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A ReFit with a Difference for 50 Metre Luxury Superyacht

There is no back-up option when it comes to choosing a refit and maintenance destination that’s perfectly positioned near the idyllic waters of the Pacific region, according to David Sharp, Captain of MY Plan B.

For the owner, captain and crew of luxury superyacht Plan B, Rivergate is the ideal refit destination – offering expert onsite trades, professional project management and a convenient base that’s close to the Pacific region.

The vessel has been coming to Rivergate for refit and maintenance works for several years and is back once more to undergo a large scope of works – ranging from bathroom repairs and refinishes right through to the installation of new muffler exhausts, electrical upgrades, paint touch ups, teak work and much more.

“One of the reasons we keep coming back to Rivergate, and it’s simple really, is purely the level of workmanship,” said David. “It’s consistently high compared with so many other yards that the vessel’s been to in the past. The level of workmanship here completed by not only Rivergate staff but also the key contractors is exceptional. You can’t fault it, and it’s just going to last for years.”

The way the Plan B team approaches refit and maintenance periods is different from most – opting to stagger the refit by booking in eight-week maintenance blocks to keep the boat in action and maximise its capabilities while at sea.

“Choosing Brisbane as the location has also been really helpful because during the cyclone season here in the Pacific, we can be here which is generally very safe,” he added. “Having the same location to come back to each time means we can just be more productive. You can do everything from pre-planning. You can basically have all the spare parts and all the different bits of kit you need almost waiting for you on the dock. So as soon as you get here, boom – the contractors are straight into it. They’ve already seen the boat, they know the boat, they just hit the ground running and get the job done.”

The 50-metre vessel, originally built in 1973 by the Australian Navy as a military explorer vessel, is now primarily used for private cruising and scientific research trips. While there are unique challenges associated with refits on an older vessel such as MY Plan B, Rivergate Project Manager Angus Paterson accepts them with open arms.

“For myself as a project manager, I love older boats and as an older vessel, it’s great to see Plan B in such immaculate condition,” said Angus. “I love seeing it stay that way and keep moving throughout its lifespan… I really enjoy working on vessels of this quality and it’s been a pleasure to work with such a professional crew and management team.”

As the project lead for this refit, Angus is responsible for coordinating the various onsite and offsite contractors who will work on Plan B while she is docked at Rivergate. With short refit stints, freight delays and a large workforce required to carry out the works, coordinating this refit has come with some difficulties. However, Angus said the close working relationship between Rivergate, its contractors and the Plan B crew has made the refit journey seamless.

“A 50-metre vessel gets quite small once you put several different trades on there,” said Angus. “On Plan B’s refit, we’ve had 10 onsite trades working with us, that includes engineers from Maritime Professional Solutions, electricians from M2i Electrical, painters from Yachtsmiths and Millennial Marine Australia, wrapping guys from Planetwrap, and shipwrights from Wright Marine and Gateway Marine. Outside of Rivergate, I think there’s been a total of 40 trades that have worked on the boat. However, with the management team of the vessel, and our professional trades, the challenges have been easy to minimise.”

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