Interboot Friedrichshafen, September 2013

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Refit is what everybody is talking about


The recent Interboot Friedrichshafen was, once again, a testimonial of the current winds: There is not only an interest in buying new boats, but also the desire to take care of old boats by means of a refit. Many newbuilding yards are very proud of the fact that their boats are considered so long lasting and classic that a refit is worth while. Refit yards, which exhibited at the boatshow were supported by the corresponding newbuilding-yards.


For example: At the show there was a 30-year old Bavaria on display, which was refitted by a team of individual companies, very similar to the refit-team I gathered in Ellös. In this case, the team is based at the Bodensee in Southern Germany, covering the markets of Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany.


The Bodensee is an important sailing area with no less than 60.000 boats of which many large prestigious yachts. There are over 300 Hallberg-Rassy’s sailing on the Bodensee and no less than 60 highly attractive Faurbu’s. This corresponds to 6 years of boat production for this highly  prestigious danish boat builder. See faurby. No doubt, there is a lot of capital around the shores of the Bodensee.


Bavaria is, obviously, in first hand interested in selling new boats, like all other newbuilding yards. Nevertheless, Bavaria is a strong supporter of the Bodensee refit team as well, and used the old Bavaria at the show as a reference. “One should buy a new Bavaria”, so they said, “since even 30 year old Bavarias are worth refitting!” Bavaria was, in other words, glad and proud of the fact that a refit team had been formed, taking care of this old Bavaria: The refit team, Bavaria and the Boat Owner in a fruitful co-operation!


To me, it shows that Bavaria is now taking up the idea and want to be in line with Hallberg-Rassy, showing that not only Hallberg-Rassy’s are being refitted, but also Bavarias are worth taking care of, irrespectively of age. It seems obvious that the work I have started is in line with an entire market development, which cannot be held up. I welcome Bavaria and other brands to follow the trend that newbuilding yards seek a co-operation with refitting yards to jointly rise the appearance of their fleet of boats. The industry so strongly needs a refreshing breeze to boost business for subcontractors and equipment suppliers. Bavarias approach showed that this may also gain sales of new boats.


I would not be surprised if more newbuilding yards will follow in their wake in the near future, i.e. start co-operating with refit-teams around the world.


The talks I held at the boat-show were no less visited. When I talked about refit and blue-water sailing at the YACHT-stand (two talks per day), all chairs were quickly taken and people were standing in the iles to hear my talks. Thank you very much for coming and for listening!


One frequent comment after the talks was, by the way, that visitors thought it was better to buy new than going through all this hassle with a refit. I fully agree: A refit is not for everybody and for many it will always be the best option to order a new boat directly from the yard.


Next show will be at Hanseboot in Hamburg, and here, I will talk about how to get your wife onboard and interested into sailing. See you in Hamburg!