The 3 R’s for a Successful Boat Refit

Many would agree that ownership of a boat is made up of a healthy chunk of enjoyment, facilitated by a (sometimes) healthier chunk of maintenance, running repairs and general pottering. Indeed, if we’re honest with ourselves, the enjoyment derived from the pottering can sometimes eclipse that of the boating!

There comes a time in the life of every boat when a more comprehensive programme of works is required to keep your pride and joy looking and operating at her best. It may be that it comes at the point of purchasing a second hand boat, or following a list of jobs derived from an insurance survey…or just because, as a knowledgeable owner, you’ve kept a track of where you are with your repairs and planned in a refit to cover off the major tasks. You may also take the opportunity to deal with some of the smaller jobs and make a few changes to enhance your experience or the boat’s performance.

However it comes about, you may need to seek the assistance of a full service yard to carry out the entire job rather than organising an army of contractors and doing all the chasing around and coordinating yourself…it also helps to have one invoice at the end of the job, not just to ease the payment process, but also to simplify the boat’s records and any warranty process that you (heaven forbid) may have to instigate in the future. In the busy modern world there’s a lot to be said for only having to make one phone call to get an update, make a change or pay a bill.

In our experience, refit tasks (whether they be repainting the topsides, replacing the deck, replacing or overhauling machinery and systems, making changes to the rigging or interior furniture or any number of other tasks) can be grouped into one of three R’s: Replace, Repair, Remodel. Most of the big refits that we have carried out have incorporated a mixture of these, generally covering a healthy dose of cosmetic work supported by some structural repairs or improvements and topped off with some systems overhauls and upgrades. Very often we are asked to carry out fairly major engine work or a complete replacement, both of which need space, specialist tools and machinery, a host of readily available spare parts as well as tons of experience in the form of an engineer.


Similarly, a lot of owners are keen to adopt the latest navigational and electronic equipment and often request a suite of replacement navigation, plotter and radar equipment as well as the electrical backbone and connectivity systems. More and more people are also installing on-board WIFI and 4G networking as part of the package.

Making a boat look beautiful has to be done under the right conditions if you want it to last and should be carried out under cover (not out of doors) and it has to be done by someone who knows what they’re doing, ideally someone whose toolbox only holds sandpaper and paintbrushes and who’s done so for decades.

Paint and varnish take time, loads of time, days and days of seemingly fruitless labour until the final result is unveiled and the gleaming topsides and brightwork catch the light and you realise all the time and attention to detail was really all worth it. A word to the wise: time, of course, is money and so painting, in particular on complicated superstructures or a deck adorned with glossy brightwork to be varnished, has a habit of dominating a budget in the planning stages. Therefore it’s good to discuss this in detail beforehand and ensure all the options and costs are explored.


So the prized possession has just emerged from the shed after a comprehensive refit, the sea trials were a success, you’ve had a good handover from the project manager or lead contractor and paid the bill…what now?

What if something goes wrong or in the excitement of the sea trials you were looking at the gleaming varnish and not at the schematic in front of you and now you can’t remember how to turn on the new air conditioning/dishwasher/plotter/WiFi booster etc ?

What if you just love it so much you want to call in from a sunny anchorage as you sip a cold drink and say how great everything is looking/working and how it was well worth every penny of expense and all the work involved?

Answer: you remember why you paid for a complete service, for the peace of mind that when you ring for help someone will pick up the phone, that they’ll continue to do so for years to come and that they took pride in their work in the first place and still want to do everything to make sure you enjoy the finished product to the full.


To discuss your refit or potential project you can contact Mylor’s Project Manager Henry Goldsmith: / 01326 372 121