Do you have what it takes to be a Project Manager overseeing a superyacht refit?

As exquisite feats of engineering, superyachts will always need working on throughout their lifetime: whether for refit, scheduled maintenance or emergency work, they will have to go ashore at some stage. Refitting in particular can be a daunting experience and the process can be lengthy. If not managed properly, the undertaking can wreak havoc on the owner’s time and money and unnecessarily disrupt scheduling and the ability to attract the best crew.

Owners usually hire a Project Manager or an Owners Technical Representative to ensure that refit projects run smoothly, and are completed on time within the specified budget. Unbiased and impartial, they work towards achieving a process and outcome which pleases all parties involved.


What is required from a Project Manager on a superyacht refit:

When owners can be based thousands of miles away from the yard, the Project Manager will effectively be the owner’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground and can advise the owner on any obstacles that may arise, identifying problems before or as they arise and guiding everyone toward the optimum outcome.

A Project Manager with an established background should be able to prepare a timeline of key construction, plan resources, and manage the quality of the refit. The project will have very clear delivery deadlines pertaining to the distribution of information, the acceptance of drawings and samples, and arrival of owner supplied items. Late delivery can lead to heavy penalties with shipyards so it’s not a job for the fainthearted!

We look for a knowledgeable and professional liaison when recruiting for roles like these. Characteristics such as reputable business acumen, an ability to negotiate on behalf of someone else, excellent problem-solving skills and proven project management experience are all important. Also critical are effective communication and persuasion skills because regular clear communication regarding goals, responsibilities, performance, expectations and feedback will be required for the owner as well as the Captain, crew and shipyard. You should be able to express opinions – your client is paying for someone who makes decisions on their behalf and can offer clear advice.

In terms of experience, previous experience of working at sea either on yachts or commercially and/or boatbuilding and a commercial understanding of the marine industry are beneficial too.

So, have you got what it takes to oversee a refit on a superyacht? Come and talk to us for guidance. Get in touch at

Big thanks to Andy Tree from Superyacht Technical Services for your advice on this article! –