When you own a classic yacht and both want and need modifications, it’s important to strike a balance between preservation and transformation. The owners of the 35-year-old Amara prioritized that balance, as did the craftspeople at Feadship’s Makkum yard, during a recently completed refit.
The owners acquired the 188-foot (57.3-meter) megayacht, the ex-Cacique, last year. They cruised in Alaska before compiling their checklist. Amara was due for her Lloyd’s survey, too, so the timing worked out.
One major upgrade needed: the helideck. While the original size and shape were fine (above), it couldn’t handle twin-engine craft. Therefore, Feadship’s aluminum shop crafted a new one based on the engineering of Feadship Refit & Services staff. Additionally, the helideck now bears Amara’s logo (below), versus the traditional H.
The owners further determined that Amara would benefit from a different sundeck configuration, based on how they like to relax and entertain. Specifically, they wanted an open-plan layout. Feadship removed a bulwark plus added stowage lockers to make it happen. All-new teak decking, of course, went in place as well. (The foredeck and bridge deck also benefitted from new teak.)
Inside, everything from wall paneling to carpeting and furniture either received a refresh or got replaced. This extended to the crew’s quarters. Finally, while mechanical systems and related piping and pumps largely remain out of sight, they underwent scrutiny, too. Everything is either new or overhauled equipment.
Notably, not every mechanical system is different—or, at least entirely different. In fact, as surprising as it may be, the 35-year-old Amara still had her original engines. She retains them even now, thanks to extensive refurbishment.
Capt. Tim Rowland, who leads Amara’s crew, is happy to have the yacht back, and is equally happy with the refit. Having overseen several service periods during his career and five new builds, he’s well versed in different yards’ project management. “The entire workforce—from the people in the canteen to the craftsmen working on the boat and the various subcontractors—gave us a very warm welcome from the moment we arrived,” he says.