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Federico Bennewitz, expert advice on New Builds & Refits

Federico Bennewitz has a wealth of experience in yachting, acquired over the last 30 years. His expert knowledge ranges across almost every aspect of the industry. When it comes to new builds and refits, he is the go-to man for advice.

Luxembourg - Engel & Völkers Yachting - Federico Bennewitz

NEW CONSTRUCTION: UNDERSTANDING YOUR PROFILE
When deciding if a new construction is right for you it is essential to think about your previous yachting experience and have a solid understanding of your likes and dislikes.


AN EXPERT TEAM IS KEY
It is safe to say that one of the most important parts of the process is the people involved. Before approaching a shipyard you should recruit a team of experts and share your vision with them. The size of your team will depend on the size of the yacht and the complexity of the project. One key role will be your Project Manager who will ensure that everything runs smoothly and on schedule, and will liaise between all parties involved. We advise you to include them from the very outset – from before signing the contract through to delivery. An exterior and interior designer will also form part of the team. It is especially important that your interior designer has prior experience working on yachts.


SELECTING THE SHIPYARD
Before you select a shipyard, briefing your team as to precisely what you want is very important as this will ensure your vision does not get swayed in any other direction during the process. Your team will be able to advise you whether the yard has the capabilities and required skills for your project and to ensure your vision is always kept at the forefront of all decisions made. They will also analyse the shipyard’s questions as those are a good indicator of their professionalism and they will review previous builds to determine which is the best choice for your particular project.


SETTING A REALISTIC TIMELINE
An estimated date for delivery is agreed at the start. The Project Manager plays a key role in monitoring progress and ensuring the timeframe is sufficient to maintain the quality promised by the shipyard. Pressuring for a fast delivery is risky, as it detracts from the time required to achieve a high-quality finish.


BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY

When visions on the drawing board come to life, they quite often do not turn out as originally planned. Rather than waiting until the unveiling of the yacht to see how the ideas turn out in reality, creating mock-ups during the build is a genuinely effective way to see the results and make any necessary changes before it is too late. Even the smallest details such as lights, dimmers, electrical curtains and switches should be included in the mock-ups that fit your requirements.


REFIT: STARTING WITH A DETAILED PLAN

Refits are often underestimated for the level of complexity involved. Before deciding whether you want to have your current yacht undergo a refit, you need to make a plan. The first thing to do is define the strategy for the yacht for the next five years in terms of use, charter, or even sale. A good idea is to have a surveyor come on board and assess the current condition of your yacht from a different point of view. The surveyor will help you to enhance your vision in terms of what requires work and will come up with estimations for a budget and timing. This information will be invaluable when deciding on your plan of action.


FINDING THE RIGHT PARTNER

Once you have an overview of the work that needs to be done you then need to find a suitable shipyard. The obvious choice is to go with the builder, however sometimes if you have an older yacht the shipyard may not be as well-equipped as it once was. Returning to the same shipyard is not necessarily the only option you have. It is best to investigate all your options for your specific project.


ALLOW FOR UNFORESEEN COSTS & EXPECT DELAYS

Even if you draw up plans and carry out assessments in great detail beforehand, you should always be prepared and allow time to navigate your way through unexpected situations.

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