How often should you do a yacht refit and what is involved?

How often should you do a yacht refit and what is involved?

How often should you do a yacht refit and what is involved?

How often should you do a yacht refit and what is involved?

How often should you do a yacht refit and what is involved?
How often should you do a yacht refit and what is involved?

SOUTHEAST ASIA'S YACHTING MAGAZINE VOL. 16 NO. 4, Nov 2021 - Jan 2022

by: Easy Branches


To ensure that your yacht continues to run smoothly, you should plan a refit every five years. A yacht refit typically involves significant electrical, structural, and mechanical work.

What is involved in doing a Yacht Refit? What are the benefits of upgrading the systems on your boat? How much time will it take? These are all questions potential buyers may ask before making the decision to purchase new electronics for their yacht. To make things easier on yourself, it's beneficial to understand what's involved with this type of upgrade; including what you can expect to pay for different kinds of equipment and the amount of time they'll take to install.

Surveys and Recertification

Before upgrading your boat, you need to schedule a survey and recertification. The average cost of a survey is $2,500, but the price varies depending on the size of your yacht. Recertification can cost up to $6,500.

When to Schedule a Yacht Refit

Yacht owners typically plan their refits every five years to coincide with the survey and recertification process that most insurers require. However, if your boat is older or has more wear and tear, a refit may be necessary sooner.

Yacht Refits vs. Upgrades

Many people use the terms refit and upgrade interchangeably, but there is a difference. A refit is a complete makeover; it's like redesigning the entire interior of your boat. An upgrade is a minor refurbishment that doesn't require as much time and money as a refit, such as updating the electronics on your boat.

When planning your refit or upgrade, you need to weigh the costs and benefits of each option. For example, replacing all the interior furniture in your boat is a refit, while updating the televisions is an upgrade. If you're looking to sell your yacht, people are more likely to buy it if it has brand new furniture rather than outdated pieces.

What's Involved in an Electronics Yacht Refit?

Electronics upgrades can include updating equipment, purchasing new equipment, or adding in-demand appliances. For example, in 2018 it's more important than ever to have a boat with wifi/internet capabilities and inbuilt AIS. The cost of installing each appliance varies depending on the size of your yacht, so be sure to consider this when budgeting your refit. For example, you can expect to pay about $900 for a new radar unit or between $1,000 and $3,000 for a wifi package.

Electrical Work

Electrical work is expensive because it requires professional help. When doing an electrical refit on your boat, be sure to hire someone who is experienced. It's also important to purchase parts that are compatible with your boat. When considering a refit, it's best to have a professional electrician estimate the cost before making any changes. If you want to update your electrical system, you can expect this part of the refit to take around 2-5 days and cost between $3,000-$10,000. Work will include adding new interior power points, an inverter, installing a battery bank, and connecting all the wiring.

Structural Work

As well as being expensive, structural work is very time-consuming and requires a lot of manpower in order to complete in a short period of time. For this reason, it's best to hire professionals for this part of the refit. Expect structural work to take around 4-10 days and cost between $5,000-$25,000. Work will include strengthening the hull of your boat by adding floor supports and re-coring.

Electronic Upgrades

Upgrading your electronics is an affordable and easy way to add value to your yacht. When updating the electronic components of your boat, you can expect this to take around 3-5 days and cost $2,800-$10,000.

Wiring & Electronics

Frayed or damaged wiring can pose a serious hazard. It is important to inspect all wire connections and check for discoloration, corrosion, frayed wiring, loose wire nuts, or wires that are loose in terminals. Wires should be checked for continuity with an ohmmeter.

A complete rewiring is not usually necessary. If you're just looking to do a few upgrades, the cost of rewiring will be about $25 per foot and take approximately three weeks to complete. If you decide to go all out and upgrade your entire boat, expect the process to take three months and cost $60 per foot.

Battery location can affect the time it takes to install different kinds of equipment because all the wiring has to be run to that location before installation begins. New wiring must also be installed if you decide to switch out older technology for newer models. This can be very involved work that requires running new wires throughout the interior of the boat, through bulkheads (walls), and then connecting them into junction boxes throughout the vessel. Once everything has been connected, you should inspect all of the old wiring and make note of any portions that look worn or damaged.

Benefits of Retrofit

The benefits of upgrading your boat's electronics are obvious. Starting with the most basic equipment is a good idea if you're not familiar with these systems or don't own a boat now but plan on doing so in the future. There are many variables to take into account when planning your yacht refit and one of those is determining how often you'll use it after installation is complete.

If your boat is in commission year-round, it might be worth making more extensive changes to bring the equipment up to speed. It can also be helpful to make these upgrades gradually if you plan on keeping your vessel for many years.

Some Benefits of Upgrading Your Boat's Electronics:

1) You'll have access to a wider range of equipment.

2) Upgraded technology is more energy-efficient.

3) Electronics are easier to operate, which means you'll have fewer problems on the water.

4) You can do more advanced navigation with upgraded equipment.

5) New technology will last longer and require fewer repairs over time.

6) Your boat will be safer. Modern equipment is much more reliable than old systems.

7) It's an affordable way to add value to your yacht by making it easier to sell.

8) You'll have access to the latest features that will allow you to do the most enjoyable activities on your boat.

9) Your entertainment options will be greatly improved.

10) It will be easier to maintain your boat's value over time by keeping up with the latest trends.

ABS Standards

If you're going through a vessel certification process soon, make sure the systems onboard comply with ABS standards for safe navigation before finalizing your refit.

The ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) is an industry leader in defining standards for marine engineering, design, and construction. They are considered the most widely recognized authority on these topics.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your boat's electronics up-to-date is the easiest way to keep it running smoothly and prevent malfunctions. Replacing old components on an as-needed basis allows you to continue enjoying time on the water, while steadily bringing older models into line with the latest technology. If you live aboard year-round or plan on owning your yacht for many years to come, this is a great way to avoid the need for a full refit as often as possible.

When you do choose to upgrade your boat's electronics, be sure to research all of your options and take quality into consideration. As always, make sure that any work done on your vessel is completed by a reputable professional that will stand by their work. With the right refit team, you can be confident that your boat will stay in prime condition, giving you many years of enjoyment on the water.

 

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