Tauranga ideal location for superyacht ‘birthday’
A 25-year ‘birthday’ for a New Zealand-built superyacht turned into a sort of homecoming, when she was recently fully refitted in Tauranga. S/Y Miss Silver, which was launched in 1995 (and originally named Sovereign), was hauled out by Vessel Works in Tauranga’s Sulphur Point Marine Precinct, and spent ten months in the 50 metre long shed at Super Yacht Coatings, having a full interior and exterior refit.
S/Y Miss Silver was built by Alloy Yachts in west Auckland, and has spent much of her life in Europe. In 2020, her new owners decided to combine a trip down-under for the 2021 America’s Cup with a major refit.
“At twenty-five years old, superyachts are due for a massive upgrade of all their systems, and it just seemed appropriate to take her back to the country where she was built,” says skipper Wayne Avery. “We knew the standard of New Zealand workmanship set a very high bar, and lots of people who used to work for Alloy are still involved in the marine industry here.”
Avery says undertaking the refit in Tauranga with Vessel Works was attractive because of the ease of access to facilities and trades, as well as a skilled and experienced workforce.
“The Super Yacht Coatings shed is world class, and the painters there are world class,” he says. “You can’t underestimate the number of man-hours involved in a project like this, and labour is twenty per cent cheaper in Tauranga than Auckland. Plus, everything is so centralised, so tradespeople aren’t having to waste valuable work time travelling.”
As well as a full repaint inside and out, all the yacht’s secondary systems — including engineering, electrical, navigational, lighting and entertainment — were all upgraded and enhanced with the latest technology. “She’s now better than new, because all the problems and bugbears that used to exist have been ironed out,” Avery says.
She’s now a different colour, too: her original dark blue hull is now a glistening stark white, with a silver bootstrap. Super Yacht Coatings’ general manager Ben Steele says it’s given the yacht a much more modern look: “You’d never think that she was more than twenty-five years old.”
Super Yacht Coatings got involved in the project after meeting with Avery in mid-2020 and showing him their new shed, then nearing completion.
“A big part of the attraction of Tauranga was that they could have this space as their own facility, and were able to almost exclusively use local contractors,” Steele says. “It’s what the Marine Precinct was designed to do — to increase and expand the marine industry in Tauranga — and this kind of project was ideal.”
The Vessel Works precinct includes sites for marine businesses, a 6300m2 vessel hardstand, deep-water marina berths for large vessels, and one of New Zealand’s largest mobile vessel hoists. Businesses based there cover a wide spread of specialities, from fibreglassing to marine engineering, vessel painting and timber decking to composite building, encouraging collaboration between marine businesses and creating a one-stop-shop for customers getting their vessels serviced in Tauranga.
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Super Yacht Coatings, Southern Ocean Boat Builders, Jeff Scott Electrical
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