Repurposing has become an essential requirement for creating a sustainable future, and it applies across almost every industry, including yachting.
Refits are rising within the yachting industry, offering multiple benefits to both yacht owners and the planet. Refits enable owners to add significant value to an existing yacht while also providing the opportunity to future-proof the vessel by incorporating green technology. Of course, a key benefit is speed; it’s significantly quicker to upgrade an existing vessel than wait for a new yacht to be built.
Monaco spearheading yachting sustainability with yacht refits
Monaco has become the hub for yachting sustainability with initiatives such as the Superyacht Eco Association (SEA) Index, founded by the Monaco Yacht Club and Credit Suisse Bank. This non-profit organisation’s aim is to increase the yachting industry’s awareness of its carbon impact on the environment and strengthen the commitment of the Principality of Monaco as a centre of excellence, innovation, and environmental leadership in yachting.
The SEA Index has partnered with shipyards, innovators, operators and yacht owners. Their mission states: “We aim to support key industry players towards change, defining objectives to reduce emissions. The SEA Index is a voluntary tool, and the Superyacht Eco Association aims to create a true ecosystem of stakeholders, providing information and helping to implement new solutions. The long-term goal of the SEA Index is to become the world’s leading energy-intensity rating system for superyachts, with a view to be extended to other sectors, leading to a multifaceted sustainability index.”
One of their local partners, Monaco Marine, employs over 1,000 people across their nine shipyards along the South of France and participates heavily in sustainability practices and efforts, providing insightful information for industry advancements. The COO, Tanguy Ducros, states that yacht refit demands have been increasing for the past years and gives us insight to the benefits of superyacht refitting:
- Reusing old yachts to make new yachts offers a sustainable, eco-friendly solution
- Refit projects can be divided into parts, enabling owners to enjoy their yachts around the works. For example, owners in the Med may wish to ensure their yacht is available for use during the summer months
- Refits offer an opportunity to install pioneering technology to help decrease energy consumption
- A well run refit project offers a quick turnaround compared to building a new yacht, which typically takes several years to complete
- A refit is more cost-effective compared to buying a new yacht
- Refits enable owners to be highly selective in the choice of sustainable materials and eco-friendly machinery
- A reputable refit yard can ensure the responsible disposal of materials
Ducros affirms that the demand for sustainability is not going anywhere.
“The reality is that the upcoming generations will not look the other way when it comes to responsible luxury entertainment,” Ducros said. “This race for sustainability in yachting will be a sink or swim situation, wherein only innovators and truly responsible companies will survive.”
The United Nations’ specialised agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has set hard regulations and deadlines to ensure that vessels comply with emission limits, and this is only the beginning. Within the next decade, the face of yachting will be very different to the one we know now.
Notable superyacht refits by Monaco Marine
GALAXY recently underwent a ‘fast’ five-month yacht refit following a change of ownership in December 2021. The yacht underwent a complete interior transformation with cosmic-inspired accents and a ‘private member’s club’ style main salon. Each of the five guest suites feature a distinct planetary theme, while the owner’s suite features personalised star signs etched into the headboard behind the bed. Other notable upgrades include a sound-proofed music booth and a fresh exterior, including a black mast and blacked-out windows.
SYNTHESIS was built by Feadship in 1982, and its recent refit has shone a new light on this spectacular vessel. The work included a full exterior paint job and interior modifications, including an overhaul of her equipment and systems to ensure commercial compliance. SYNTHESIS’ outdoor decks were also fully refurbished with new amenities, including a new Jacuzzi on the bridge deck and an outdoor bar.
VESPUCCI is a refined, classic Carlo Riva 1970s-built CRN yacht that has been fully transformed into a luxury modern vessel while remaining faithful to her original design. Her 18-month yacht refit aimed to restore the vessel to her original beauty while bringing her systems fully up-to-date. It was one of the most challenging and extensive refits undertaken by Monaco Marine. The refit was extensive and included the replacement of more than 260-metres of steel pipes, the re-levelling of multiple decks, the restoration of the boat’s historical elements, including the original black toggle light switches, and the rebuilding of the original engines. A new foredeck seating area was also created, with custom storage for water toys and scuba diving equipment, while the interior was re-designed to be as faithful as possible to its original.
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