Yacht refit

How to plan your Yacht refit project

Cantieri Sestri, is one of the most prestigious shipyards in Europe, located in north Italy near the city of Geneva, carrying on over 30 years of experience and progress in super yacht refit.

The yard is capable to assist with the most advanced technologies almost any kind of vessel, boats and the most ambitious Yacht refitting projects.

The company has an extensive and glorious boat refitting portfolio, allowing its modern yard and prepared teams, to ensure a bespoke service in line with briefs, schedules and client budgets.

Sailboat and yacht refit and repair projects are keys services and elements of the Cantieri Sestri’s portfolio.  

Professional planning consultations and expertise to ensure a complete yacht refit management process that meets client’s requirements, quality regulations, preventative maintenance schedule and technical safety standards.


Some of ours common yacht refitting requests

The most common refit requests are mechanical, electrical, structural and boat and yacht interior rift, including high complex refitting projects until a complete boat re-building

Often when a new owner arrives, immediately they want to put their stamp on the vessel – such as a change in the accommodation, updating the interior décor, changing the teak deck.

Other common reasons we found can also be related to the desire to empower the new yacht with new motor engines, new stern, upgrading sewage treatment, new generators and electrical systems, or a whole new mechanical or painting re-style.

For any kind of sailboat refit projects, it required to be prepared and proactive, and based on our large experience as yacht and boat refuters, we want to share few advices to help superyacht owners to improve the efficiency and timing of our refitting service and reduce the time their yacht is out of the sea.


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1.  Plan your boat refit earlier


It’s all about pre-planning, we always suggest to start the idea to refit the each at least 12 months ahead of the desired work start date. The reason is because based on our work load,

Sometime our yard could be booked up for months in advance and also for the fact that no two refits are alike so each one needs the right amount of time and resources.

Another important reason is because, depending on the type of work to do, we might need to hire subcontractors for some specific aspect of the rift project, and they need to be notified and pre-booked in advance.

Same reason in case a rare, complex or large component needs to be ordered, or there is a yard maintenance process to assign.

Contacting the right shipyard several months ahead of the desired starting date is the best advice for your yacht, because all refitting plan can be easily pre-planned ahead.

Obviously just like a house renovation, surprises or new problems, can pop up when yard workers start dismantling mechanical and electrical systems and discover new problems, and this is also why is advised to start considering the refitting at least a half-year heartier for large yacht refit and repair.


2.  Prioritize your refit goals


“We fall in love with the boat and yacht we repair and It’s important for the owner’s representatives to work together with us especially to prioritize the wordlist.”


We ensure to our clients the best timing efficiency through a programmatic approach and once the list of refit goals are prioritized, all the work necessary can be programmed into our work-list assigning all work plan to the crew with specific deadline.


3.  Be proactive before the refit

This is way it’s so important also to be proactive with the yard,  before and during the refit, especially during the part procurement which is another important step during the refitting planning process.


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Cantieri Sestri Barche a Vela America


There is a soul, made of passion, continuity, commitment and professionalism behind the history of Sestri Shipyards. The Sestri’s engine and mind has the name of Fulvio Montaldo, who in 28 years of activity has transformed a shipyard devoted mainly to the demolition of work boats in barrels and tugs, in an efficient, advanced and highly specialized Naval Shipyards of today’s CantieriSestri. A structure capable of working at the highest levels and with the best professionalism, both on ancient sailing ships as well as on modern motorboats or complexes of service boats.

Since 1989 Montaldo, with the help of its staff, has succeeded in developing, expanding and modernizing the Shipyard. He pursued the quality by hiring and preparing more skilled craftsmen (not forgetting the fact that she was losing the long tradition of Ligurian welder and shipwrights). It has created tradition continuity, with the constant support of young people to the most experienced; connecting the yard into a top-notch network, tightening solid agreements with professional studios design, suppliers and industry leaders.

The development process has also gone by a continuous enlargement and modernization of the structures. The first major innovation was the modernization of the fishing yard that allowed to move even 40 meters boats in half day, against the three of a time. Since 1995, the evolution of the self-propelled hydraulic trucks saw a progressive arrival of new vehicles, up to the latest acquistions of 40-tons, the 300-meter modular and the 25-meter models, advancing the shipyard transformation and his ability to work on large yacht and hulls.

Thanks to shipyard’s strategy to allocate every year 50% of maintenance revenue and above all to the technological upgrading of the means of work, with the goal of replacing them every five years, today, the Sestri’s Shipyard occupy an area of 22,000 square meters divided into 13,800 sea area and 8,200 land, including warehouses, workshops, car parks, offices and open spaces. The latest innovation is the Service Center building, built in the 2015, as nerve center, with accommodation, gym, meeting rooms for employees and transit crews (equipped with solar plants that support much of the energy needs).

All together, permit to our shipyard to offers a complete and advanced range of services and unique facilities to our clients throughout the Liguria seaside station, that makes it one of the safest area in the entire gulf of Genoa, ensuring safety, reliability and high quality services to all ship-owners and commanders.

Over the years the Montaldo’s satisfaction have come from finishing assignments on prestigious boats that have made the history of yachting. First of all, probably the shooner America, perfect replication of the 1851 winner’s of what was called the Hundred Genoa Cup, today’s America’s Cup. (

After that Vagabunda, a wonderful Goletta, 35 meters long with furnishings, furniture and original paintings of the ‘700, whose in restoration during eight months of solid work. Also the beautiful Sea Home, a Swedish shuttle service from 1919, whose restoration was born in collaboration with the Milanese Architect Matteo Picchio (

Many other boats have passed from here and others are still in the pipeline: With the handling of about 250 boats all year round, the Sestri ShipYard have now consolidated a strong reputation and certainty of having advanced structures, know-how and super skilled workers able to perfectly face any type of work for our clients.



“The boats are made to sail, not to host parties on board.” Fulvio Montaldo, chairman of the Board of Directors of Sestri Shipyards, is always very clear and direct.

This phrase seeks to emphasize a fundamental spirit of Ligurian Maritime culture, the same deep culture that characterizes all the CNS employees, who are first of all men of the sea.

Perhaps that is the spirit behind the long-standing success of the CNS: passion, skill, and quality. These are the values ​that allow shipyards to look to the near future with great optimism. On this industry; There have been years of crisis. But if you know how to live with the right mindset, even a period of crisis can be exploited as an excellent opportunity for growth. This is the thought of Fulvio Montaldo who in the most difficult years has been able to maintain high quality standards without ever reducing the staff, nor taking advantage of the integration fund.

Today, the shipyards continues to invest in technological innovation, especially with regard to the study and knowledge of on-board electronic systems, a real market in the increasingly demanding market and which is experiencing a continuous and faster evolution than any other sector . In addition to regular maintenance, such as replacement of parts and calibration, you need to have expertise in the study of system architecture, their positioning on board in the sedicorrette. For this reason, Sestri Shipyards also make use of partnership with the major players in the market.

Competition is both national and international, in this area it is very strong. Consider, for example, that by targeting a clientele with very large boats, there are risks of unpredictability: for these carriers it is much simpler to go some ten miles further, in Turkey, Croatia or Tunisia, to keep or maintain Even just a little more favorable conditions. With smaller boats this phenomenon is, of course, much more limited. All this means having to offer always great quality at the highest technological level and able to make a difference compared to competition, a quality and passion that is at the heart of the Shipyards of Sestri.

Review of Ability Hydrology:

Shipyard Sestri Mega Yachting Refitting


These are the lapidary words of Fulvio Montaldo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shipyards of Sestri. It sounds obvious, but a boat can have almost infinite life – or, several lives – if it is subjected to a series of care and constant maintenance, meticulous and well executed

This is a widespread philosophy in the nautical environment, but a real dogma to Sestri Naval Shipyards, also because shipowners are not always sensitive to this, as a result of deceptive savings.

In fact, in recent years, the nautical culture is returning, with fewer “improvised” navigators and a more imperious return of old-fashioned yachtmen, are shipowners or commanders. This also means more attention not only to ordinary maintenance, but also to all those jobs that – in fact – can give life to a boat again.

Let’s go for order.

The most normal preventive maintenance, but often underestimated, concerns the antiosmos treatment. The hulls are composed of layers of glass wool covered with resin: long water immersion, penetrates small amounts of water inside the resin by wetting the glass fiber that forms the classic bubbles (osmosis), of which it is practically It is impossible to get rid of, except for antifouling treatment. And being a delicate and complex work, especially during the stage of stripping and preparation, it must be done by experienced professionals and with top quality products. And the thing most shipowners underestimate is that it should be done every 12 months!

There are more complex jobs, however, considered maintenance in order to have a safe boat, such as: upgrading on board systems, as well as renewing environments. The most common cases concern, modify or customize a boat just after buying, modifying the boat (even with elongation), the blanket or the interior.

Various cases where boats have suffered serious injury, accidents, fires or even surrenders. In these cases, the restoration operations are obviously more complex: but what matters is that, if entrusted to the right hands, any boat with any damage, can look or receive a second life again.

In Sestri Shipyards specialization remains on wood, steel and aluminum, but in recent years new trends have also led to specialization on carbon and kevlar.

Over the years, the Sestri Shipyards are also changing the trends of refitting types: up to a few years ago, most refitting operations involved hulls ranging from 15 to 30 meters; Today it rises from 30 to 45 meters, up to 60 meters. And this is another sign of great skill and advanced ability by Fulvio Montaldo’s Sestri team.

To learn more about antifouling:

Hydrotoxic voids work: (Photo)