Yacht Solutions, formed in Phuket 15 years ago, picked up the prize for Best Asian Yacht Refit for the 208-foot (63-metre) expedition vessel SuRi. (See story here.)
The team of up to 100 Thai technicians completed extensive exterior and interior works over three months at Bangkok Dock’s dry dock, located in the heart of the capital on the Chao Phraya River.
No experts were flown in. The team were all local, western managed.
“The local technical team supplied engineering, electrical, metal welding and fabrication, painting, shipwright, air conditioning and refrigeration services to Bureau Veritas standard, which is considered one of the highest international safety standards in the world,” said Yacht Solutions Managing Director Gareth Twist.
The works completed included repairs on hull and superstructure; shaft, propellers and rudder removal, inspection and maintenance, manufacture of seals, bearings and anodes, overhaul of tender engine; repair of bent hull frames, replacement piping, hull thickness testing and welding repairs, stainless steel fabrication of guard rails and deck fittings; manufacture of air-conditioning sea chest, re-wire repairs, service and maintenance of systems including walk-in freezer, ice makers and AC units throughout vessel.
Just for shipwright works, the team replaced the swim platform teak deck, installed a new drop-ceiling garage and completed customised 18m storage systems, as well as reconditioned upholstery, soft furnishings, flooring and cabinetry work in the crew mess, cabins and bridge.
‘’Our team has grown considerably over the past 15 years to become the most comprehensive refit and service centre in Thailand, to have now received industry recognition for our achievements not only has thoroughly delighted us, but has also given affirmation to Thailand’s technical skill base, facilities and competitive edge within the larger yachting community,’’ said Mr Twist.
“We would like to thank Captain Juan Koegelenberg and the SuRi crew for their support and involvement throughout the refit. Having such a well organised and knowledgeable crew to work with made the refit run smoothly and on time.”
Yet the development of such skills has not come overnight, Mr Twist noted.
“I established Yacht Solutions in 2001 with a very small team of people working for us. In the past 15 years we have grown considerably with a permanent workforce now nearing 40. We’ve seen a lot of changes in Phuket, we’ve had the usual ups and downs for any company working within an unpredictable ‘tourism/ pleasure’ industry,” he said.
“I think that we can modestly measure our own achievements, however to have recognition from external, industry professionals is very rewarding and shows we are considered not only competitive within the region but amongst the best refit yards.
“We are one of four companies that won at the Awards who are either directly based in Phuket or who have subsidiary offices here, a great achievement for such a small island and one that gives further endorsement to the promotion of yachting in Phuket.
“It will allow other superyachts to see that Thailand is considered as a viable place for major refits – we have the facilities and skills to complete works to world-class standards,” Mr Twist added.