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Boat Renovations and Restorations 101

Posted on March 8, 2022 and filed under SWD News & Stories

There’s an intangible, but visceral feeling we get when we hear the rumble of the engine and smell the exhaust of a Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS or view the way the bow of 1962 Riva Aquarama cuts through the water. It’s almost hard to put into words other than to say it’s magical.  And despite the best efforts of the modern design world, there’s just something about the classics that can’t be replicated or replaced. Some things simply can’t be improved upon.

yacht renovations

This mighty 1937 Purdy commuter yacht, Aphrodite , was completely restored at Brooklin Boat Yard with design support from Stephens Waring. Her rehabilitation shows how traditional design and technological innovation each have their place on the water. With redesigned propulsion and steering systems, new tanks and plumbing systems, and completely revamped interior, she offers a thrilling glimpse at what yachting was like in the 1930s—with all the comforts of today. Photo credit: Benjamin Mendlowitz

And in the fast-fashion world we live in, where it seems like half of what we buy has been replaced with a newer version before we leave the store, it gives us a good feeling to keep something old going, or better yet, to bring something from the past back to life.

yacht renovations

Stephens Waring worked with the owner of this classic 45’ Huckins, called Northern Spy ,  to rebuild the hull structure to accept the most modern of power plants: twin Volvo IPS drives. In the classic Huckins QuadroConic hull form, the IPS performs marvelously, boosting speed, cutting fuel consumption, and increasing maneuverability. Photo credit: Alison Langley

But for every unicorn rebuild project, there are plenty of renovation and restoration disasters along the way. Conversely, there is a mountain of smaller, less illustrious restorations and renovations, implemented successfully, which didn’t require the net worth of a Saudi Sheik to accomplish, but still extended the life and enjoyment of an old and beloved boat.

Big or small, iconic or sentimental, the key to any successful restoration project is figuring out how to identify the right fixer-upper and arming oneself with the knowledge to enter into a rebuild project with a clear understanding of the challenges, costs, and risks along the way.

Renovations vs. Restorations

The terms renovation and restoration are often used interchangeably. And while they may be close cousins, the goal and outcomes of a renovation or restoration project can be quite different in terms of objective, scope, and cost.

What is Restoration?

yacht renovations

The bridge of Aphrodite was restored to match the original materials and controls of the vessel. Materials including varnished mahogany were carefully matched and rebuilt based on the original design specifications. Right image photo credit: Benjamin Mendlowitz

The primary objective of a restoration project is to bring a boat back to its original design and construction as closely as possible.  Good restoration experts put significant time into researching the origins and background of the original build including understanding the history of the designer, construction techniques of the time, design philosophy, parts suppliers, and material sources.

yacht renovations

In 2014, French & Webb and Kurt Hasselbalch, curator of the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Hart Nautical Collections, began restoration of Marilee originally built in 1926. In early winter 2014 they began with a 3D scan of the existing hull. This, combined with a CAD drawing created from the original Herreshoff plans, enabled the team to accurately examine Marilee’s current shape and compare it with the design from 1926. Photo credit: Alison Langley

Restoration experts often embark on a difficult treasure hunt as they scour the world for rare and comparable historical parts. This process can almost be as time consuming as the construction work itself.

During the restoration process, original materials are matched, and methods of construction are reused.  Modifications from the original design are generally limited to changes necessary to bring a project up to modern codes and standards including electrical and life-safety. Stepping aboard a fully restored vessel should be like taking a step back in time.

What is Renovation?

Renovation is a much broader term.  Generally speaking, it’s the process of renewing a boat or structure by fixing what’s present and adding something new or modern. This includes the integration of new materials, technologies, and even major structural design changes. We often think of a renovation as being built on the “spirit” of the original design while leaving the door open to new opportunities for creativity and innovation.

yacht renovations

The owner of Marilee (built in 1926) had the bold vision to create an interior that reflected the yacht’s century-long provenance while creating an open space below. However, he wanted to get away from the dark “cigar room” interiors typical of so many classic yachts. The team worked with Paul Waring of Stephens Waring Yacht Design, to create a traditional and properly constructed interior with an updated layout for relaxed, modern day use. Photo credit: Alison Langley

Renovation can include adding new engines, propeller systems, updated electronics, efficient keels and hulls, and electrical systems.  It can also include a refresh of the interior design elements and decor.

In some cases, renovation can be cheaper than restoration, especially for very old or historic boats where access to original parts and materials are rare or don’t exist at all.

Often renovations are completed in conjunction with restoration.   In architecture we often see this with an old home or building where great lengths are taken to restore the exterior facade back to the original design, while inside, cutting-edge kitchens and bathrooms are installed. The effect is a blend of classic elegance with creature comfort and modern living.

What to Know Before Embarking on a Restoration or Renovation Project

There are no two ways about it, a major restoration or renovation can be costly and time consuming. They can also be extremely rewarding. The most successful projects are born from a sentimental and emotional objective rather than a purely economic consideration (although there are times when the economics pan out as well).  Key to success is starting a restoration or renovation project with the right foundation. This may includes several of the following principles:

  Starting with the Right Boat

Not all boats make good restoration projects.  In fact, most don’t. The ones that do have that special something that may be referred to as being a “classic”.  A good restoration candidate should have a historical or emotional value, or simply, a unique “wow” factor that makes it worthy of a second life.

Building on Good Bones

yacht renovations

Zingara was originally designed by Bill Peterson, conceived to participate in the 1990 BOC-British Oxygen Company Challenge, a solo event ‘round-the-world yacht race. By the time we met her, the yacht was a long way from finished. Our renovation made the best use of her potential as a solid sailing yacht: the thoughtful design of the sailing platform, deck arrangement, and cockpit were to be functional in blue water; and down below her interior was to be spacious and comfortable, safe and relatively simple.

When possible, find a boat in which the problems are more cosmetic in nature than major costly systems repairs or replacements. At some point deterioration of major structures such as stringers and bulkheads may make restoration impractical. You should consider consulting with a professional designer like Stephens Waring to get an accurate assessment of major structural components and systems to fully understand the scope and resources necessary for a restoration or renovation.

Set a Realistic Budget and Timeline to Complete the Job

It is said that God created the world in seven days. That’s probably because he didn’t have to clean up anyone’s mess first. Realize that restoration and renovations are often as time and resource consuming as the original build itself. It takes time to undo the bad and rebuild with the good.  Sweat equity can only carry your project so far and there are many hard costs and professional skillsets you’ll need to complete a big job. Working with a professional can help to set a realistic budget and define clear expectations and goals.

Size Does Matter

It’s easy to want to bite off more than you can chew.  However, as a boat gets bigger the complexities of the systems become exponentially larger.  The difference between a 30’ and 40’ boat can be immense.  Experts generally recommend that no one attempt to restore a boat bigger than 35’ without professional support.

Where to Make Your Money Go the Distance

When done correctly, there are a number of benefits to upgrading and renovating rather than buying new. The key is to identify where to get the most bang for the buck.  Finding a project where cosmetic repairs are the main problem is the best place to get a strong ROI.  Renovations such as replacing upholstery, fixtures, refinishing surfaces, and painting can do wonders to make an old vessel feel new and increase the economic value.

Where to Start

Whether looking to renovate a boat you currently own or looking to purchase a used fixer-upper, we strongly suggest starting with a professional evaluation.   Engaging an expert to inspect the hard to reach structures and systems can save a lot of money in the long run.  A renovation expert like Stephens Waring can also help determine a solid triage strategy for what to discard, repair, and replace.  For bigger projects, having a design expert create a detailed design and engineering plan, complete with 3D renderings, can provide a way for owners to better conceptualize the scope, cost, and outcome of the renovation and finished product.

Further Reading:

The Renovation of Marilee

The Renovation of Zingara

site by: slickfish studios

The Ultimate Guide to Yacht Refurbishment

  • by yachtman
  • September 9, 2023 August 26, 2023

yacht renovations

Yacht refurbishment is a complex process. It involves restoring and upgrading a boat to its previous excellence. With careful planning and expert skill, this long undertaking can transform an old, worn-out yacht into a beautiful, luxurious masterpiece.

The refurbishment begins with an assessment of the boat’s present state. From hull repairs to engine upgrades, every part is evaluated to find areas for improvement. The project size depends on the yacht’s age, size, and desired result. But, the goal remains the same: to make it more attractive and efficient.

Professionals execute the plans once the assessment is done. They revamp interior spaces with lavish furniture and modern amenities that fit the owner’s taste. From elegant salons decorated with soft seating to high-tech entertainment systems, nothing is overlooked in creating a luxurious onboard experience.

The refurbishment also includes technical upgrades. New navigation systems are integrated for a smooth sail. Advanced audiovisual equipment allows for quality entertainment. Additionally, eco-friendly engines and energy-saving lighting systems can be added to reduce environmental impact.

Yacht refurbishment involves partnerships between design firms and shipyards specializing in luxury boat renovations. These joint efforts bring together expertise to create amazing results.

The process is labor-intensive and needs attention to detail. It shows how dedication and creativity can give an aging vessel a new life.

Understanding Yacht Refurbishment

To ensure a successful yacht refurbishment, gain a comprehensive understanding of the process. Dive into the world of yacht refurbishment to grasp its significance. Discover why refurbishing a yacht is essential and explore the exciting benefits it entails.

Why Refurbish a Yacht?

Refurbishing a yacht is a decision packed with multiple factors. It can add to its looks, upgrade technology and increase market value. A refurbished yacht guarantees a fresh look as well as a comfy experience for owners and guests. Plus, it allows for personalization according to individual needs. By changing the interior design, adding amenities or reconfiguring the layout, yachts can become personalized floating paradises. This caters to the desires of those who seek exclusivity and uniqueness.

Also, as yachts age, they may suffer from wear and tear due to saltwater exposure. Refurbishing helps address this by replacing outdated components, repairing damages and performing maintenance. This increases the longevity and performance of the yacht.

Furthermore, refurbishing increases the resale value of the yacht. A well-maintained and upgraded vessel attracts potential buyers who are willing to pay a premium. Yacht owners who plan to sell in the future can benefit greatly from investing in refurbishment.

Pro Tip: When thinking about a yacht refurbishment project, consult experienced professionals who specialize in marine craftsmanship and design. Their knowledge will help your vision become reality, following safety regulations and industry standards.

Benefits of Yacht Refurbishment

Refurbishing a yacht offers numerous advantages that go beyond just its looks. By revamping different features of the boat, yacht refurbishment can vastly improve the experience for owners and guests.

  • Greater Safety and Dependability: A major benefit of yacht refurbishment is increased safety and dependability. Inspections, repairs, and upgrades can reveal and fix any issues or weaknesses, guaranteeing a safer and more trustworthy vessel.
  • Enhanced Comfort and Efficiency: Yacht refurbishment allows for customizing and optimizing rooms to maximize comfort and practicality. From upgrading amenities to changing layouts, owners can turn their yacht into a personal paradise on the sea.
  • Enhanced Value: Refurbishing a yacht can significantly raise its value on the market. A well-maintained and attractive vessel is more likely to draw in buyers or charter customers, leading to better resale or rental prospects in the future.
  • Prolonged Life: Investing in yacht refurbishment extends its lifespan. Regular maintenance, repairs, and updates stop deterioration caused by external factors like weather and make sure the yacht stays seaworthy for many years.

Apart from these noteworthy benefits, yacht refurbishments often come with unique details that add extra luxury or convenience. Special features such as advanced entertainment systems, custom-made interiors, or eco-friendly upgrades take the yachting experience to the next level without compromising quality.

A great example of these benefits is a couple who chose to refurbish their old yacht instead of buying a new one. By investing in a total overhaul of their boat’s systems and aesthetics, they were able to modernize it while maintaining its sentimental value. The refurbished yacht not only exceeded their expectations but also caught the eye of potential buyers when they eventually sold it, resulting in a profitable deal and demonstrating the long-term value of yacht refurbishment.

Assessing the Yacht’s Condition

To assess the yacht’s condition in “The Ultimate Guide to Yacht Refurbishment,” inspect the hull and structure, and evaluate the interior and systems. These sub-sections offer comprehensive solutions for evaluating the yacht’s overall health and identifying areas that require refurbishment or maintenance.

Inspecting the Hull and Structure

Examining a yacht’s hull and structure is crucial. To prevent costly repairs, it’s important to assess its condition properly. Here’s a Hull Inspection Checklist:

  • Check exterior surface for cracks or damage.
  • Look for blistering/peeling paint, which could indicate moisture.
  • Check keel for corrosion/damage.
  • Tap hull lightly with mallet to detect hollow sounds.

Also, assess interior structure. Check bulkheads, frames, and stringers for water damage/rot.

Pro Tip – A professional surveyor who specializes in yacht inspections can offer expert insights into potential structural problems. They ensure a comprehensive assessment.

Evaluating the Interior and Systems

When evaluating a yacht, you must understand its condition. This includes exploring electrical systems, plumbing, and HVAC. Also, check for wear and tear or damage.

Make a table to check the yacht’s condition. Include these columns:

When evaluating:

  • Look at components.
  • Use tools if needed.
  • Document maintenance/repair.

Also check:

  • Ceilings/walls for mold/water damage.
  • Noticeable odors that could be hiding problems.

Don’t miss details. Ignoring an issue now can lead to costly repairs later or even put your safety in danger. Take this seriously to have a safe and comfortable time at sea.

Planning the Refurbishment Process

To plan the refurbishment process of your yacht, utilize key steps like setting goals and budget, hiring professionals and designers, and creating a timeline. These sub-sections will provide you with effective solutions for managing and executing a successful yacht refurbishment project.

Setting Goals and Budget

Setting goals and budget is a must for any refurbishment project. To do this properly, you must figure out what you want to achieve and set aside finances accordingly.

Here are some tips:

  • Know your objectives: Figure out what changes or improvements you want to make. This could include anything from functionality, aesthetics, and energy efficiency.
  • Allocate a budget: Estimate the expenses like materials, labor costs, permits, etc. and set aside money for unexpected costs that may arise.
  • Prioritize: Rank your goals based on their importance and value. Consider the long-term benefits of each goal.

To make the most of your goals and budget, consider these unique factors: size of the space, any specific regulations, and the timeline.

To ensure success, here’s what to do:

  • Research: Learn about the current market prices for materials and labor.
  • Consult professionals: Get advice from experts who specialize in refurbishment.
  • Prepare for surprises: Set aside some extra funds for unexpected expenses.

These steps will help you define your goals and manage your resources. This way, you can make informed decisions throughout the refurbishment process.

Hiring Professionals and Designers

Professionals and designers are a must for any refurbishment process. Why? Here’s why:

  • They have the knowledge to guide you through each step.
  • Their eye for detail helps with aesthetics, functionality, and practicality.
  • They take care of all legal requirements and permits.
  • Their expertise helps speed up the project and minimize delays.
  • They have existing relationships with suppliers, which leads to cost savings.
  • They help create personalized themes and concepts that fit your vision.

Moreover, these professionals stay up-to-date on trends, materials, and design styles. This ensures your refurbishment is modern and reflects your taste.

A friend of mine recently went through a home refurbishment. They tried DIY-ing, but it was too overwhelming. Without expertise, mistakes were made and progress was stalled. In the end, my friend hired pros. Not only did they get their dream design, but also saved stress.

So, hiring professionals and designers is essential when planning a refurbishment process. Their expertise saves time and creates successful results that exceed expectations.

Creating a Timeline

Creating a timeline for refurbishment is a must! Here’s a guide to help:

  • Define objectives. Outline the goals and objectives of the project. This’ll help you decide the scope and duration of tasks.
  • Divide into phases. Split the project into manageable parts, such as planning, demolition, construction, and finishing. Assign each phase a timeframe based on complexity and dependencies.
  • Set deadlines. Make realistic deadlines for tasks within the phases. Think about availability of resources, weather, and disruptions that may affect the timeline.

It’s essential to communicate and coordinate with all stakeholders in the refurbishment process. Regular updates and adjustments can help keep the project on track.

Remember, making a timeline is not only about meeting deadlines. It also allows flexibility if unexpected issues arise. So plan your timeline carefully and turn your space into something extraordinary! Don’t let time slip away – start planning now!

Selecting Materials and Design Elements

To ensure a successful yacht refurbishment and create a stunning final result, you need to carefully consider your materials and design elements. Choosing the right materials and exploring design options will be crucial in this process. Let’s dive into the sub-sections: Choosing the Right Materials and Exploring Design Options to find the perfect solutions for your yacht renovation.

Choosing the Right Materials

When designing, choosing the right materials is an essential step. Careful consideration and analysis of the project’s needs is required to pick the perfect materials. Here, we’ll explore elements to consider when selecting materials. We have also created a table with material details like properties, durability, cost and availability. By examining these factors, you can make an informed decision.

It is important to remember that each material has its own characteristics that can add to the design’s aesthetics and function. For example, wood brings warmth and natural beauty, while glass is transparent and light. Taking these qualities into account can help you choose the best material for your project.

Technology has also expanded the materials available to designers. Innovative materials like carbon fiber composites and eco-friendly alternatives, such as bamboo , are becoming more popular. These materials offer more creative expression while being sustainable.

The Material ConneXion library provides a collection of materials from around the world.* *Source:

Exploring Design Options

Selecting the right color palette sets the tone for the design and evokes specific moods. Choosing appropriate fonts enhances overall legibility. Deciding on the arrangement of elements ensures optimal user experience.

For a successful design, consider factors such as target audience, brand identity, usability, and current trends . Experiment with different color and typography combinations for stunning results. Don’t be afraid to explore!

Executing the Refurbishment

To execute the refurbishment of your yacht effectively, follow these steps: prepare the yacht for refurbishment, perform necessary repairs and upgrades, and implement the design and décor. Each sub-section will address a specific aspect of the refurbishment process, providing you with a comprehensive guide to successfully transform and enhance your yacht.

Preparing the Yacht for Refurbishment

  • Assess the yacht’s current state. To begin any refurbishment, it’s essential to inspect the yacht and find areas needing attention. This will help you prioritize tasks and make a refurbishment plan.
  • Set a budget for the project. Renovating a yacht can be costly. So, decide a budget including material costs, labor fees, plus any unexpected expenses that may come up during the refurbishment.
  • Create a detailed plan. List the changes you want to make to the yacht, including cosmetic and functional improvements. This plan will guide you throughout the process and ensure nothing is missed.
  • Hire qualified professionals. Unless you have experience in yacht refurbishment, hire people who specialize in the field. They will have the skills and knowledge to handle all aspects of the project.
  • Secure permits and approvals. Depending on the scope of your refurbishment, you may need permits and comply with regulations. Research and fulfill all legal requirements before starting.
  • Find storage space. During the renovation, it’s important to find storage facilities where the yacht can be kept safe. Choose options with climate control and secure access.

Preparing a yacht for refurbishment requires planning and attention to detail. By following these steps, you’ll give the yacht the makeover it deserves without delays or setbacks.

Also, consider the timeline for the project . Sourcing materials and complications can extend the time required to complete the work. Be realistic about the time frame to manage expectations and avoid stress.

Fun Fact: The global yacht refit market was worth over $3 billion in 2020 and is set to grow in the coming years.

Performing Necessary Repairs and Upgrades

  • Assessment: Start with an evaluation of the property to spot areas that need repairs or upgrades. This helps to decide which tasks are important and how to use resources efficiently.
  • Planning: Create a plan that details what repairs and upgrades each area needs. Think about budget, timeline, and skills needed for each job.
  • Prioritization: Rank repairs based on urgency and how it affects the building’s purpose. Do the critical ones first to keep occupants safe.
  • Hiring Professionals: Hire professionals like contractors, plumbers, electricians, or architects if needed. Their expertise ensures quality results.
  • Execution: Put the plan into action, following safety regulations and industry standards. Monitor progress closely to fix any surprises.
  • Quality Control: Check each repair or upgrade to make sure it meets the standards. This step ensures all changes are made successfully.
  • Budget Allocation: Use funds wisely by focusing on essential repairs first. Fix structural problems or upgrade old systems before anything else.
  • Sustainable Solutions: Look for eco-friendly options when upgrading systems or fixtures. Using energy-saving appliances or water-saving technologies helps financially and environmentally.
  • Future-proofing: Look ahead when planning upgrades. Include smart home features or flexible design elements to make the property last longer and work better.

By following these guidelines, property owners can do repairs and upgrades correctly, creating a good, functional, and attractive place for people.

Implementing the Design and Décor

  • Gather materials & resources needed for the design decor.
  • Follow plan carefully, with emphasis on each element for a good effect.
  • Paint or wallpaper walls, & pick furniture pieces based on functionality & atmosphere.
  • Use lighting to create different moods.
  • Finally, add artwork, deco items & plants to give personality.

Be detail-oriented throughout. Small touches can make a big difference. Standards may vary, but excellence should always be strived for. Attention-to-detail is key for a style that reflects you.

Albert Hadley once used bold colors & patterns in a hotel lobby. This daring concept revolutionized interior design & earned him global recognition. His unique concept transformed the space into something worthy of admiration.


To ensure a successful post-refurbishment phase in your yacht, equip yourself with maintenance and care tips along with strategies to maximize its value. Discover how to keep your yacht in pristine condition and enhance its overall worth. Explore maintenance and care tips and learn effective methods to maximize your yacht’s value.

Maintenance and Care Tips

For optimal condition, regular maintenance is a must for refurbished items. Here’s how:

  • Keep it clean. Wipe down surfaces with a soft cloth or gentle cleaning solution to avoid dust and dirt buildup.
  • Handle with caution. Avoid dropping or mishandling to prevent damage.
  • Protect from moisture. Keep away from water or humidity to avoid rust or mold growth.
  • Store properly. Store in a dry and secure place, not in direct sunlight or extreme temperature.
  • Maintain moving parts. Apply lubrication regularly to ensure smooth operation.

Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for specific care instructions. For extra protection, inspect for signs of wear and tear. Address small issues quickly before they become bigger problems.

Maximizing the Yacht’s Value

Maximizing a yacht’s value requires planning and careful attention to detail. Follow this 3-step guide to ensure your vessel’s worth and marketability.

  • Spruce up exterior with paint and polishing.
  • Upgrade the interior with quality materials and stylish furnishings.
  • Invest in modern tech and entertainment systems to draw buyers.
  • Service engines, mechanics, and electronics.
  • Inspect for potential problems.
  • Keep detailed records of maintenance.
  • Research market trends and incorporate features.
  • Offer customization options.
  • Keep informed of emerging tech that can add value.

Moreover, remember to keep it clean! Taking care of every detail can help you get better resale or charter prices.

One example of value maximization is a refurbished yacht with modern amenities and up-to-date navigation systems . It attracted a lot of attention and sold at a higher price than expected. This proves that maximizing a yacht’s value can bring success!

Planning and detail are key in yacht refurbishment. Every part is important. To start the project, assess safety needs, such as electricals, plumbing and navigation. Customization is often forgotten, but it’s essential for reflecting the owner’s style. Alex Robertson’s classic yacht restoration is an example of this. He preserved the charm and restored vintage woodwork, as well as modern amenities, showing skill and passion for yachting.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for The Ultimate Guide to Yacht Refurbishment

1. What is yacht refurbishment?

Yacht refurbishment refers to the process of renovating or improving the condition, appearance, and functionality of a yacht. It involves various tasks such as repairing, repainting, replacing outdated equipment, and upgrading the interior and exterior features to enhance its aesthetic appeal and performance.

2. How long does a yacht refurbishment project usually take?

The duration of a yacht refurbishment project can vary depending on the extent of work required. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Factors such as the size of the yacht, scope of refurbishment, availability of resources, and weather conditions can all affect the timeline.

3. What are the common areas of a yacht that can be refurbished?

There are several areas of a yacht that can be refurbished, including the hull, deck, interior spaces (such as cabins, saloons, and galley), navigation systems, electrical systems, plumbing, and overall aesthetics. Each yacht refurbishment project is unique and can be tailored to suit the owner’s specific requirements and preferences.

4. Can I customize the design and layout during a yacht refurbishment?

Absolutely! Yacht refurbishment not only allows you to restore and upgrade your yacht but also provides the opportunity to personalize the design and layout according to your taste. You can work with professionals, such as yacht designers and naval architects, to create a custom interior layout, select materials, choose colors, and incorporate unique features to make your yacht truly one-of-a-kind.

5. How much does a yacht refurbishment cost?

The cost of a yacht refurbishment project can vary significantly depending on the size of the yacht, the extent of work required, the quality of materials used, and other factors. It is best to consult with professional yacht refurbishment companies to obtain accurate cost estimates based on your specific requirements.

6. Can a yacht refurbishment increase the resale value of my yacht?

Yes, a well-executed yacht refurbishment project can increase the resale value of your yacht. By upgrading and modernizing various aspects, you can make the yacht more appealing to potential buyers. However, it is important to consider market trends, the age of the yacht, and the quality of refurbishment when determining the impact on resale value.

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Gulfstream news

  • February 25, 2024

Yacht Renovation: Reimagining Your Luxury Vessel

yacht renovations


Thinking about giving your yacht a facelift? It’s more than just a touch-up; it’s a chance to make your yacht feel brand new, tailoring it to fit your style and needs. Whether you’re updating the look, making it run smoother, or adding cool new features, it’s all about making your yacht a better place to be. To do it right, you need a solid plan, some expert advice, and an eye for detail. We’re diving into what you need to know to turn your yacht into your dream boat.

Figuring Out What You Want

Deciding on changes.

Start with what you want to achieve. Is it a modern interior, a tech upgrade, or a more powerful engine? Knowing your goal helps shape your renovation plan.

Get Expert Input

Talk to people who know their stuff. Designers, engineers, and renovation pros can offer valuable insights that help you make informed choices.

Think Green

Consider eco-friendly options. Things like solar power, efficient appliances, and sustainable materials are good for the planet and can save you money in the long run.

Design and Comfort: Making It Yours

Transform the inside of your yacht by focusing on maximizing space, improving lighting, and picking materials that scream luxury. Think custom furniture and top-notch entertainment setups.

Updating the Outside

Refreshing the outside not only makes your yacht look sharp but also helps it perform better. New paint, a spruced-up deck, and updated outdoor lounging areas can make a big difference.

Tech-Savvy Upgrades

Smart tech can make running your yacht smoother and safer. Up-to-date navigation, security, and control systems mean less hassle and more relaxation.

yacht renovations

Keeping It Legal and Shipshape

Know the rules.

Renovations need to meet safety and environmental standards. Make sure you’re up to speed on regulations to avoid any hitches down the line.

Plan for Maintenance

Think about upkeep while planning your renovation. Choosing durable materials and designs that are easy to maintain can cut down future costs.

Learn from Others

Looking at other yacht renovations can spark ideas and teach you what to do (and what not to do). Success stories can show you creative solutions and give you a heads-up on common challenges.

Wrapping It Up

Renovating your yacht is a chance to make every trip on the water special, mixing luxury with the latest in yachting tech. Navigating through a renovation project can be tricky, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Fly Yachts, we’re here to help you through it, making sure you end up with a yacht that’s everything you wanted.

yacht renovations

Fly Yachts is your go-to place for everything related to luxury yachts and more. Starting from their  homepage , you can dive into a range of services they offer. If you’re looking to buy, check out the  yachts for sale  section where you’ll find a variety of options including super yachts. For those thinking about crafting their unique yacht, the  build a yacht  page offers customization choices. Curious about who’s behind Fly Yachts and what they offer differently? The  About Us  page will fill you in. For travelers, the  charter destinations  page lists beautiful places you can explore with a yacht charter. The  Compass Articles  section is great for reading up on yachting tips and news. Those looking to sell can find all the necessary information on the  Sell Your Yacht  page. For luxury experiences at sea, the  yacht charter  options are worth a look. Fly Yachts also features  aircraft for sale  for those interested in luxury flying. Keep up with the latest by checking out  Gulfstream News , and if you have any questions or need further assistance, the  contact  page is always available for you to reach out.

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The yacht interior design, refit and repair projects below are a sampling from the thousands of projects we have completed over the years. We specialize in yacht interior refits as well as outfitting private use and charter yachts with the essentials and luxuries which make for comfortable cruising.

131′ Sunseeker




















Cow Tow Lobster


1971 Moxie

Elevate Your Yacht: Luxury Interior Renovation Secrets

Embarking on a yacht renovation journey can be as thrilling as the first day at sea. With the right vision and craftsmanship, your vessel can transform into a floating testament to luxury and comfort. At The Yacht Docktor, we believe that every yacht has untapped potential waiting to be discovered and unleashed. This article delves into the secrets of luxury interior renovation, offering you a glimpse into the world of custom design, premium materials, and master craftsmanship. We'll guide you through the steps to elevate your yacht from a mere vessel to an exquisite maritime haven.  

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Designing Your Vision: Crafting Elegance on the Seas

Crafting a yacht's interior is akin to shaping its soul, where every curve, contour, and corner tells its unique maritime tale. This transformative journey begins with a vision - your vision - brought to life through meticulous planning and bespoke design. The sea calls for elegance that flows like the tide, and your yacht's renovation is an invitation to redefine nautical sophistication. Here, in the realm of luxury, we begin with a blank canvas, where your aspirations set sail towards reality. Crafting elegance starts with understanding your yacht's unique character and how it can be enhanced to reflect your individual taste and lifestyle. Envisioning Yacht Potential Envisioning your yacht's potential is the cornerstone of luxury renovation. It's a collaborative process that involves delving into the essence of your vessel - its lines, its spirit, its purpose. Whether it's a serene escape for tranquil voyages or a vibrant space for lively gatherings, each yacht has a story that's waiting to unfold. We listen, we understand, and we visualize, ensuring that the design plan not only meets but exceeds your highest expectations. The Influence of Custom Design Custom design is the compass that guides this transformation. It's more than mere aesthetics; it's a strategic, thoughtful approach that intertwines your desires with the art of the possible. Every selection, from the grain of the woodwork to the hue of the upholstery, is made with a purpose. It's about creating an ambience that resonates with the rhythm of the waves, a sanctuary that stands the test of time and trend. In this space where craftsmanship meets passion, every stitch, polish, and placement is an ode to your vision. The result? A yacht that doesn't just sail - it soars on the seas of luxury and bespoke elegance.

Material Mastery: Selecting Quality for Longevity

In the world of luxury yachting, the materials you choose are as important as the design itself. They are the foundation of the yacht's aesthetic and functional longevity. It’s not just about the immediate impact; it’s about how these materials stand up to the rigors of the sea over time. The Selection of Premium Materials Selecting the right materials for your yacht is a delicate balance between beauty, durability, and sustainability. We source only the finest woods, fabrics, and composites, ensuring that every surface is not only stunning to the touch and sight but also capable of withstanding the test of sea travel and time. The Art of Custom Woodwork Our craftsmen are artists, and wood is their preferred medium. With each grain, we carve history and style into your yacht, be it through mahogany's rich warmth or teak's resilient elegance. The custom woodwork is not merely a feature; it's the soul of the yacht, setting the stage for every other design choice to come. Sustainability in Craftsmanship As we select materials, we hold sustainability as a guiding principle. For us, it’s not just about crafting an environment that you can take pride in aesthetically but also ethically. We partner with suppliers who share our commitment to the environment, ensuring that the luxury we craft today doesn't come at tomorrow's environmental cost. Defining Yacht Character The materials and craftsmanship we choose are not just about the end product; they define your yacht’s character. It's about creating an ambiance that's both timeless and timely, a space that reflects where you've been and where you're headed. It’s the fine balance of classic elegance and modern innovation that creates a yacht that is truly yours. In this section, we'd delve deeply into the specifics of each material type, the process of wood selection and treatment, and the intricate details that make your yacht not just a mode of transport, but a story and a home.      

High-Tech Enhancements: Blending Tradition with Innovation

The harmonious marriage of high-tech enhancements with traditional yacht craftsmanship heralds a new era in luxury boating. In this section, we explore how cutting-edge technology not only complements but elevates the yachting experience, ensuring that every voyage is as smooth as it is luxurious. Integration of Modern Amenities Today’s yachts are more than just vessels; they are smart, interconnected havens. Automated systems seamlessly control lighting, climate, and entertainment, creating an ambiance that adjusts to your needs with just a touch. Integration of these systems is done with careful consideration to the yacht’s aesthetic, ensuring that technology enhances rather than detracts from the beauty of the craftsmanship. Navigational and Safety Advancements Safety and navigation technology have made significant strides. Modern yachts are equipped with GPS systems, radar, and sonar, not only enhancing navigational ease but also ensuring safety in the unpredictable seas. These systems are integrated into the yacht's design in a way that is both accessible and unobtrusive. Entertainment and Connectivity Onboard entertainment systems now offer cinema-quality audio-visual experiences, while satellite connectivity keeps you in touch with the world, no matter how far you sail. These systems are designed to be as unassuming as they are impressive, blending into the luxurious interiors until called upon. Eco-Friendly Technology In a nod to sustainability, many modern yachts now include eco-friendly technology. Solar panels and energy-efficient systems reduce the environmental impact, ensuring that your time at sea is as kind to the planet as it is indulgent. In conclusion, the integration of high-tech enhancements in yacht design is a testament to how tradition can embrace innovation, resulting in a boating experience that is unmatched in luxury, safety, and comfort. This section would conclude by emphasizing that at The Yacht Docktor, the future of luxury yachting is not just envisioned; it is brought to life with each craft we touch.

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Illumination and Illusion: Lighting and Spatial Dynamics

In the art of yacht interior design, lighting and spatial dynamics play a crucial role in creating an atmosphere of luxury and openness. This section, "Illumination and Illusion," delves into how strategic lighting and innovative spatial solutions can transform confined spaces into expansive sanctuaries of comfort and elegance. Strategic Use of Lighting Lighting in yacht design is more than just a utility; it's a key element in setting the mood and altering the perception of space. Advanced lighting technologies, like LED strips and accent lighting, are used to highlight architectural features and artwork, adding depth and dimension to rooms. Dimmable lights and color temperature control allow for an adaptable environment, catering to the time of day and desired ambiance. Creating a Sense of Openness To counteract the spatial limitations inherent in yachts, designers employ a variety of techniques to create an illusion of more space. Mirror installations and reflective surfaces magnify light and views, giving a feeling of expansiveness. Cleverly designed furniture that can be tucked away or serve multiple purposes helps to maximize usable space without clutter. Innovative Spatial Solutions The integration of foldable walls and sliding panels allows for flexible room configurations, adapting spaces for different uses – from intimate gatherings to open social areas. Skylights and large windows not only provide natural light but also offer unobstructed views of the sea, further enhancing the sense of openness.

The Yacht Docktor Difference: Team and Craftsmanship

At The Yacht Docktor, the essence of our distinction lies in our team and their craftsmanship.  Skilled Professionals at the Helm Our team comprises seasoned craftsmen, designers, and project managers, each a master in their field. They bring a wealth of experience, precision, and creativity to every project. This collective expertise is crucial in turning complex designs into tangible, exquisite realities. Collaboration and Project Management At the heart of our process is a collaborative approach. We believe that the best results stem from synergistic teamwork, where ideas and skills converge to create something extraordinary. Our project management methodology emphasizes clear communication, meticulous planning, and seamless execution, ensuring every project is completed to the highest standards, on time and within budget. Craftsmanship and Attention to Detail Our craftsmanship is our signature. It's visible in every line, curve, and finish. We pay attention to the minutest details, which sets us apart in the industry. This relentless pursuit of perfection in craftsmanship not only results in stunning aesthetics but also ensures durability and functionality.

In the journey of luxury yacht renovation, each step we've explored is a testament to the transformative power of skilled craftsmanship and innovative design. From envisioning your yacht's potential to the final touches of lighting and spatial dynamics, The Yacht Docktor stands as your ideal partner in this voyage of transformation. We invite you to embark on this journey with us, where every detail is meticulously crafted to your vision. It's not just about renovating a yacht; it's about redefining your experience at sea. Let us help you turn your yachting dreams into a magnificent reality – one that sails beyond the ordinary and into the realm of extraordinary luxury.      

  • Practical Boat Owner
  • Digital edition

Practical Boat Owner cover

How to buy an old boat as a project – DIY yacht restoration advice

  • October 31, 2019

Yacht broker and part-time boat restorer Will Higgs shares his passion for buying old boats and making them as good as new

yacht renovations

Firebird is a Mirage 28 restored then sold on

Growing up sailing on the East Coast it’s fair to say that I caught the bug pretty early on. Family sailing on my father’s yachts and starting in dinghies from the age of five, it was clear from the outset that boats were going to play a central role in my life in one form or another.

yacht renovations

My first project boat was a dinghy which my dad brought home when I was around four years old. She was 7ft 6in length overall and far too wide to sail well, but she had a gunter rig, foils that needed varnishing, rubbing strakes to replace and a hull that needed painting. Her name was Jake and she was going to be my boat. I was hooked.

Through my teens the boats grew until at 18 I purchased my first yacht – a Hurley 20. I couldn’t have been prouder, she needed new windows and a complete repaint right through but she was mine and I poured every spare minute and penny I had into her for six months before she was ready for sea.

As time has gone on, the boats have got bigger, but the principle remains the same: buy a green one and polish the love into it. A Hunter 701, a Seamaster 23, a Mirage 28 and now a 32ft Barbary Ketch – all made possible by adding a little more value to each boat as I went along.

Now my family and I can cruise the West Country in relative comfort and have clocked up some respectable sea miles, not to mention a few stamps in the passport. But it all started from bailing out the cabin of that first Hurley and wondering where to start.

My first project boat

My first project boat: “She was 7ft 6in length overall and far too wide to sail well, but she had a gunter rig, foils that needed varnishing, rubbing strakes to replace and a hull that needed painting.”

Why refit a boat?

For some, the pleasure of bringing an old boat back to life is the driving force; for others it’s a means of getting afloat on a tight budget. Whatever the motivation, all boat restorers share a love of the sturdily built and seaworthy lines of craft designed, in many cases, over half a century ago.

Indeed it is the robust construction of these old hulls that has led to the wide availability of potential projects which can be found in the damp, dark corners of almost every boatyard in the country and I dare say the world over.

These are boats that were designed in the days when a family of four would have bravely put to sea in a 20-footer for their summer holiday and that are still robust enough to earn their keep not only as a vintage item to be varnished and polished, but also as originally intended – fully functional cruising yachts.

So what are the benefits? It’s clearly a major undertaking, a modest refit project could easily see you through six months’ worth of evenings and weekends – not to mention the expense. Why do so many start and fail to finish?

Firstly, a refit is an excellent way to get to know a boat. For the DIY boat owner it makes perfect sense to go through her with a fine-tooth comb and address any issues along the way. It’s an excellent way of stretching the budget: real value can be added to a project boat, so whether the plan is to keep it long term or trade up, the minimum result to aim for should be a newly refurbished boat for a similar cost to a tired one on the open market.

Those who undertake boat projects for the simple pleasure of returning something sore and neglected to its former glory can be seen standing back at the end of each day of work with the sun setting behind them and a satisfied smile on their face. The sweat and occasionally blood poured into their pride and joy barely registers against the surging pride at every inch closer the boat gets to touching down in the water.

Before and after images of a Dufour 2800

Before and after images: This Dufour 2800 required a £3,500 restoration budget and 50 hours’ skilled labour

How much will a yacht restoration cost? Even if you can commit £1,500 and 1-2 days per week for three months, you should still only be considering project boats under 26ft long. · The skill level, budget and timescale requirements increase exponentially with the size of the boat so careful planning and a couple of attempts with smaller craft first would be well advised. · As a case in point this Dufour 2800 (above) required a budget of close to £3,500 as well as 50 hours’ skilled labour. Keep control of the costs on a project – it really is possible to keep spending if you are not careful.

Key considerations when choosing a boat for a restoration project

Selecting the right project boat carries many of the same criteria as any yacht purchase might, with a few specific additions. Scope of use and budget are fairly standard considerations as is the availability of a suitable mooring. However, it is easy to forget about these important points when looking at a boat that may be months or even years away from her launch date.

How will the boat be used?

Picking a boat that’ll meet your requirements when she’s ready for sea is critical to a successful refit. There will be times when walking away will seem like the easiest option. On the days when the paint won’t wash off, the splinters won’t come out and the head is sore from banging it repeatedly against the bank balance, even the most ardent enthusiasts need a vision of the finished article to remind themselves why they started down this road. There are plenty of tough moments restoring old boats, but for me, thinking about launch day sees me through every challenge.

What is my budget? What is my skill level? How much time can I commit?

It may sound obvious but blowing the entire budget on buying a boat that will require significant additional repairs is a recipe for failure. At best it will result in extensive and unnecessary storage fees that will further eat into the budget and add to the overall costs. There’s a certain principle of frugality at the heart of restoring boats and perhaps hand in hand with budget comes time. For these reasons it’s important to consider how big the boat really needs to be. A large project will incur far higher overheads and take much longer to complete. It is also more likely to require a higher level of expertise to tackle the more complex systems and structural issues.

Will it fit on my mooring?

It is advisable to have somewhere lined up to keep the boat before choosing one: the size and type of mooring available can play a part in the selection.

Pitfalls to avoid

The following hints and tips apply to beginner/intermediate standard DIYers on the majority of yachts. Ignore for boats with a high end value, or if you consider yourself to have a high skill level:

· Boats that are just a shell with no salvageable equipment. The cost of replacing gear can snowball very quickly so it’s important to factor this in before getting started

· Boats with faulty keelbolts can be expensive to put right and tackling it properly on a DIY basis is not for the faint-hearted.

· Avoid boats that are going to cost far more than their end value to put right. There’s nothing more soul destroying; check the market first!

· Boats that have major structural defects. There are plenty of boats out there that only need TLC.

· Boats that are too big for your budget and timescale will sap resources and demoralise. There are occasions where a refit could be programmed over months or even years, but as far as shoestring projects go, every week in the yard is added cost to be avoided.

Restoring a Leisure 20 for a client

A few months ago I decided that I wanted to take my lifelong passion to the next level, so I set up a brokerage through Imperial Yachtbrokers ( ) and started refurbishing yachts in a local yard where I have some history of carrying out boat projects for myself.

So far we have refitted a Sadler 29 , a Dufour 28, and are in progress with a Westerly Centaur and a Westerly Griffin.

I was also approached by a lady at a local yacht club who wanted a daysailer/weekender to keep on a swinging mooring. We chatted about her requirements and settled on a Leisure 20 for its sailing characteristics and ease of handling while still providing overnight accommodation and somewhere to make a cup of tea!

She struggled to find a good example, so I had a look around and located one in a nearby yard that was in a sorry state but could be bought for £300 on condition we move it straight away. We sourced an engine, had her dropped in and motored her around to our base at the Lynher Boatyard in Torpoint to do the work, starting with emptying her of gear and cleaning her from end to end.

yacht renovations

Leisure 20 as found in need of TLC – but was only £300 to buy

Restoring Leisure 20 yacht

Hull was grubby but basically sound

Restoring Leisure 20 yacht

Deck’s non-slip paint was looking worse for wear

Restoring Leisure 20 yacht

Interior needed a good clean and a retrim to modernise

The brief with this boat was to keep her simple, set up for day sailing and with a minimum of potential failure points. One of our first jobs was to remove and glass in all of the through hull fittings as these would not be required.

We spent some time carrying out the usual sanding of woodwork and polishing of the hull. New vinyl decals were added to draw the eye and the deck paint was re-applied in a more modern looking light grey.

We also repaired the redundant screw holes in the mouldings and retrimmed the interior to make it functional and attractive.

Externally, we cleaned and applied silicone grease to all the fittings’ moving parts and replaced any fittings and lines that were broken or worn out. We then raised the mast, dressed it with sails and relaunched the boat ready for a shakedown en route to her new mooring.

There are few more satisfying moments than raising the sails for the first time on a resurrected boat.

Restoring Leisure 20 yacht

Cleaned, polished and varnished – what a difference!

yacht renovations

Launch day! There are few prouder moments…

Restoring Leisure 20 yacht

Restored. Afloat. A Leisure 20 ready for new sailing adventures

yacht renovations

Key figures

Initial purchase: £300 Yard costs: £330 Engine: £275 Misc parts: £400 Total : £1,305 Time commitment: 50 hours’ labour over four weeks

We had to allow for around 50 hours of labour as well as the costs of various parts and yard storage costs, but what is very clear from the figures is that refurbishing a modest yacht is an affordable undertaking.

DIY boating on a budget

With determination and a basic skill level, anyone can get on the water without going bankrupt. It’s simply a case of being sensible: pay attention to boat selection, programming and budgeting the project then stay focussed and work hard.

yacht renovations


813-571-5750, how to remodel a yacht the fast, easy way.

Yachts, just like houses, can fall behind the current style on a pretty regular basis. And if you invested 10s or even hundreds of thousands of dollars into your luxury transportation you will definitely want to keep it current.

And when you buy a yacht used – just like buying a home again – you’ll want to bring it up to date and put your own design stamp on it as well.

But interior upgrades can be daunting! Especially with renovations of all kinds on backlog because of labor and material shortages, rising construction costs, dump fees and more.

So even if you did want a full scall upgrade of the finishes in your watercraft, it would probably be mid-2022 before you could make that happen.

The Cost of Modernizing

The average 40′ yacht renovation starts at $40,000 for millwork and interior finishes.

There are labor costs to demolish existing materials, coupled with manufacturing new, raw materials (avg. 8 weeks), plus shipping.

And the average waste to rip and remove existing millwork (doors, cabinets, millwork), is 1500 lbs!

That means that not only is that remodeling project going be expensive, but it will also take months to accomplish and be bad for the environment.

  • Cost out of pocket.
  • Cost of not being able to use the yacht during construction.
  • Cost for disposal and to the environment.

But there IS a proven fast, available, and responsible way to lessen environmental impact, use less labor, provide a lightning-fast turnaround time AND impress your guests!

Custom Yacht Interiors

Fast Yacht Remodeling Options

Di-noc™ architectural finishes and rapid refurbishing.

That untapped way to shorten refurbish times, reduce labor and win big points with sustainable and design solutions is with implementing 3M DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes.

IMO Certified, Coast Guard Approval Number: 164.112/151/. You can convert existing substrates into new finishes immediately on site.

Here are just a few benefits of using DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes for your renovations:

  • Odorless and quiet and rapid on-site installation
  • Reduced material costs, compared to natural materials
  • Capture the worlds natural beauty without sacrificing a forest for creative ideals
  • A product that can change from wood to metal, leather to chrome
  • The non-porous surface of DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes are easy to clean and disinfect
  • Interior and exterior solutions
  • Class A Fire-rated, lightweight, and self-adhering

How would you like to refinish every cabin door on the ship?

Or convert an existing oak wood door while in place, to a teak wood or metal finish…with no construction waste.

Or update your eating area EASILY?

DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes and other 3M architectural films come in a wide variety of patterns. Materials that can be applied by our certified installers to just about any smooth surface.

Consider one of these finishes:

3M Di-Noc Options 2

Transform any smooth, interior OR exterior surface? The truth is these are just a few of the 950 different options you have with 3M DI-NOC films for rapid remodeling!

Steps to a Fast, Environmentally Friendly Upgrade to a Yacht

First , contact us here at . We’re 3M premier installers, have decades of experience AND have professional interior and graphic design and 3M Certified installation ready to transform your project.

WE control the process from beginning to end, so that you will have your project executed by the best in the industry.

Next , start prioritizing what you want to do FIRST. Doors? Elevators? Hallway walls? Passenger cabins? Imagine a finish that is consistent no matter the substrate.

Lastly , working with our team design your project or brand, select your materials and get the job scheduled. There are no boundaries. No limits. Only your imagination. Create your masterpiece.

Suggested Applications

  • Walls and wall panels
  • Curved Surfaces

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Custom Wood Look Yacht Interior

Yachts, just like houses, can fall behind the current style on a pretty regular basis. And if you invested 10s or even hundreds of thousands

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Van Isle Marina

Renovating an Older Yacht

Thinking about renovating a yacht as a hobby project here’s what to expect.

There are many different scenarios that might see you one day staring down a decades-old boat on land from bow to stern, wondering, “Where do I even start?” Perhaps you’ve recently bought a pre-owned boat and are looking to make it your own. Or maybe your existing boat needs a few repairs and modern enhancements. It might even be that you have just inherited a boat that’s been in storage for so long and needs a little work before she is seaworthy again.

Whatever the case may be, restoring an older yacht can be a fun, rewarding endeavour. Just keep the following steps in mind to know what to expect when it comes to restoring an older boat or tackling your upcoming yacht restoration project.

renovating yachts - tools required

Step 1.  Take an Inventory of Your Tools and Workspace

Before you begin, take a look at your tools and workspace. Do you have what it takes to pull this off (an electric buffer, demolition tools, etc.)? Do your friends and family have tools to lend you? If not, having to acquire these tools will factor into your restoration budget.

Step 2.  Wash the Entire Vessel

Thoroughly clean your boat from top to bottom, and from stem to stern to get a sense of what exactly you are working with. This includes removing all the water, leaves, and other organic matter from the boat.

Pro Tip: If you’ve purchased your pre-owned boat from a broker, this step has likely been done already.

Step 3. Take a Visual Inspection of What Needs Fixing and Replacing

Start identifying everything that is visually broken, damaged, or otherwise falling apart, and make a list! This could include things like:

  • Crazed and cracked fibreglass
  • Torn, ripped, or mouldy upholstery
  • Rotting or decaying wood components
  • A shabby-looking cabin or galley
  • A dull, chalky looking hull
  • Peeling no-slip paint on the deck
  • A cracked or foggy windshield
  • Rusty components

Depending on time and budget, you might have to pick and choose what DIY projects you realistically want to take on. For example, if your hull has just lost its shine but is in otherwise good condition, you are likely able to buff it back to life yourself. However, if your upholstery needs work too, this is a more challenging DIY project and a professional re-upholstery company will be worth every penny.

Step 4. Inspect the Vessel’s Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Components

Examine the mechanical components of the boat and continue adding to your list of repairs. Check all the electrical components, including all the vessel’s lights, electrical outlets, heating and cooling systems, appliances, sinks, toilets, and shower. Ensure you’ve removed any old fuel from the fuel tank and any lingering oil from the engine and gear case. Replace any old belts and hoses on the engine.

Pro Tip: A marine technician can complete this step for you and provide a more comprehensive report on the vessel’s power systems. In many cases this is done prior to the purchase of a used boat, giving you a better idea of what the project will entail.

Step 5.  Pay Special Attention to the Hull

Another area to pay special attention to is not just the cosmetics of the hull, but the through-hull fittings. Make sure they are rust-free and are still properly sealed. While you’re in the area, check the conditions of the seacocks and the cleats. If any appear to be rusted, broken, or missing altogether, these items are all relatively cheap to replace.

Step 6. Make a Wishlist of Features, Amenities, and Upgrades

If time and budget are on your side, make another list of all the add-ons you’d love to have on this boat. Keep things in scope by first thinking ahead to your intended uses for the boat. If this boat will mainly be used for fishing excursions, brainstorm all the fishing amenities you’d like to see such as rod holders, rod storage, and a livewell.

If you’ll be living in the boat part-time on the water, consider upgrading or adding to the appliances in the galley. You can also look at things like adding a laundry closet, carving out more storage space if you’re doing a deep reno, and adding newer navigational equipment.

renovating yachts - strip the paint and varnish

Step 7. Get Started on the Project

With your lists in hand, it’s time to get started with your restoration project! At this point you can re-evaluate the items you want to tackle yourself, or start to call in the experts. A lot of help can be found on YouTube, on boating forums, and by talking to other boat owners who have already been where you are. Look at boating magazines and different boats for sale on the internet for visual inspiration of what’s possible.

Finding the Right Boat to Restore

Finding a boat to restore is similar to buying a boat you plan on enjoying right away. You need to consider things like what you plan to use the boat for, where you plan on storing the boat when it’s not in use, and what size and age of boat your budget will realistically afford you. All of these things are considerations for any boat purchase.

For a restoration project, storage considerations and budget should be looked at a lot more closely, as does your skill level. Be realistic about how long the boat project will take you, and where your skill level is at if the restoration is going to be a true DIY. If you think 3 months, and it ends up being 3 years due to life’s circumstances interfering with things, then that’s a lot of additional storage time you have to consider if you’re paying to store the vessel somewhere. And depending on the make and model, there could be too much depreciation if you’re planning to resell.

If budget, time, and skill level are factors, start small. The smaller the boat, the quicker the retrofit in most cases. And, if you’re just starting out, definitely avoid boats with no salvageable equipment. If the boat is just a shell, replacing gear, seating, and fibreglass components is going to far exceed the end value of the boat. Also avoid boats with major structural defects. The repair job on these types of boats is likely to be beyond cosmetic and require more equipment than the average DIYer has at home in the garage.

Likewise, if you’re looking to fix the boat up to eventually resell it, check the market before settling on something. A boating expert or yacht broker will be able to help you sort out the resale value of the boat you’re looking at restoring. It might not be worth the time or money if there is no resale or no sentimental value at the end of the day.

Just like when you’re looking at renovating a house, you already have a sense of where your comforts lie and what your limitations are. Depending on the nature of your restoration project, things might be more complicated than what we have provided above, but we hope this post has inspired you to get started on your next project. However it turns out, you’ll likely feel proud of the outcome and enjoy life on a boat you’ve customized just to your liking.

Opting to restore an older yacht can be the perfect option for someone who has the time and wants to own their first boat but is limited by budget. If you’re searching for a boat to restore, let our brokers help you find what you’re looking for. While most of the boats we have for sale at our sales dock are newer, we do come across the perfect project boat from time to time, or can help you locate one from elsewhere.

At Van Isle Marina, our brokers are ready to help you navigate the purchase of your next boat or yacht. Learn more about our sales process , or contact us with any questions you might have. We look forward to helping you end up in the boat of your dreams!

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DGM has an established reputation for specialized ongoing and seasonal care of custom yachts. We provide skilled support for the efficient and timely execution of solution-based refit and upfit services. Our proven capabilities ensure precision craftsmanship and a guarantee of expertise.


As a local firm, we have a deep connection to our community and resources when sourcing quality  materials and skilled service providers. We believe capability and attention to detail is everything as trusted  and skilled luxury yacht craftsmen.

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Welcome to Lake Lanier!

Renovation services, welcome to lake lanier houseboat renovations, operation hours.

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Lake Lanier Islands Harbor Landing Marina East Dock 7560 Lanier Islands Pkwy Buford, GA 30518

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We are the #1 luxury houseboat renovations company on Lake Lanier. We provide industry-leading luxury houseboat renovation services, and our renovations are handled by experts with over 20 years of experience in the field.

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Classic Yacht Restoration

A classic yacht restoration is the ultimate project for many yacht owners, however the ever-shrinking classic yacht fleet has meant that the opportunity to carry out such a project is becoming increasingly rare.  Classic yacht restoration has formed the mainstay of our firm’s business for the past twenty years, G.L. Watson & Co. have the expertise to source and salvage classic yachts and also design and project manage their refit. In the past ten years alone we have won Boat International’s World Superyacht Award for Best Refit twice and our portfolio of classic yacht restoration projects includes, amongst others, Malahne, Nahlin and Blue Bird .

Below is a small selection of the collection of yachts we have identified as candidates for classic yacht restoration projects.

Sourcing and Salvaging a Classic Yacht

With our unparalleled knowledge of classic yacht restoration and the fate of yachts from the classic era we can assist our clients in sourcing a yacht. Using our archives, research skills and contacts, we have identified numerous yachts which are ripe for restoration.  When selecting a yacht for a classic yacht restoration we look not just for historic pedigree, but also the suitability of the hull to accommodate modern requirements and comforts.  We have particular expertise in the purchase and safe recuperation of classic yachts and have engaged in the complex salvage of yachts that are either abandoned or have ended up converted into houseboats, ferries or even floating restaurants.

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Recent classic yacht restoration projects carried out by the firm such as Nahlin, Blue Bird and Malahne demonstrate how G.L. Watson & Co. can re-design a classic yacht in order to combine modern superyacht amenities with an authentic period style. Our multidisciplinary team uses archival sources, as well as the vessel itself, to recreate the legacy design and to take this forward to a conceptual design for the classic yacht restoration. We have an in-depth knowledge the house styles not only of G.L. Watson & Co., but also of the other great designers of the classic era such as William Fife, Alfred Mylne, Camper & Nicholson and Nathaniel Herreshoff. This, combined with cutting-edge knowledge of modern design requirements, means that we can create designs which do not compromise authenticity or modern requirements and aesthetics.

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Classic yacht restoration projects are complex and require substantial management if they are to succeed. G.L. Watson & Co. can manage these projects by providing a comprehensive project management service. This service includes contract management and specification writing, sourcing shipyards and running a tender-process, and managing sub-contractors and suppliers. We can also act as the Owner’s Representative in the shipyard in order to ensure maximum quality and contract value during the refit process.

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Our residential renovation services encompass a spectrum of possibilities, from revitalizing existing spaces to creating entirely new realms of luxury within homes. With an unwavering dedication to precision and aesthetic excellence, we turn visions into reality, enhancing lifestyles through tailored designs and impeccable craftsmanship.

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We specialize in providing bespoke luxury yacht renovations that redefine opulence on the water. Our team’s expertise transforms every vessel into a work of art, seamlessly combining sumptuous design with cutting-edge marine technology.

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Our comprehensive expertise extends to new construction services, where we craft visionary projects from the ground up, blending modern luxury with architectural ingenuity. From conceptualization to completion, we bring to life bespoke homes and commercial spaces that embody sophistication and unparalleled quality.

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At A1A Renovations, we are a team of dedicated artisans and professionals who share a passion for crafting exceptional living spaces. With years of expertise in the industry, we bring dreams to life by merging innovative design concepts with timeless aesthetics. Our unwavering commitment to delivering unparalleled quality and personalized service sets us apart as a trusted partner in the pursuit of reimagining homes into exquisite expressions of luxury and comfort.

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We specialize in transforming residences into opulent havens of sophistication and comfort. From meticulously crafting lavish living spaces adorned with the finest materials to seamlessly merging modern technology with timeless elegance, our company redefines luxury living. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, we curate bespoke renovations that embody refined taste, ensuring each project reflects the unique vision and desires of our discerning clientele.

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Our proficiency extends to lawn renovations, embracing a diverse range of possibilities – from revitalizing outdoor spaces to cultivating entirely new dimensions of natural beauty. Driven by an unyielding commitment to precision and landscaping artistry, we transform visions into reality, enhancing outdoor lifestyles through tailor-made designs and impeccable execution.

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Our capabilities encompass new construction projects, embracing a spectrum of possibilities – from crafting visionary structures to erecting entirely new architectural marvels. Guided by an unwavering dedication to innovation and quality, we bring concepts to life, shaping the future through tailored designs and meticulous execution.

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Expanding beyond homes, our mastery extends to luxury yacht renovations, where we apply the same meticulous craftsmanship and refined sensibilities. With a keen understanding of maritime intricacies, we seamlessly blend opulent design elements with nautical functionality, elevating yachts into floating paradigms of elegance. Our expertise transforms every vessel into a bespoke masterpiece, ensuring that the allure of luxury transcends from land to sea.

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Palm Beach's private Tarpon Island with asking price of $187.5M is under contract, MLS shows

With its rebuilt and expanded mansion, private tarpon island is under contract in the estate section, according to the palm beach beach board of realtors multiple listing service..

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Palm Beach’s only private island and its renovated-on-speculation mansion is under contract with an asking price of $187.5 million, according to a sales listing updated Monday in the multiple listing service. 

The property at 10 Tarpon Isle is the most expensive house for sale in Palm Beach. 

There’s no word yet on the buyer, the amount to change hands or when the sale will close. 

The Palm Beach Daily News is the first media outlet to report the so-called “pending” status of the property in the MLS.

Affording panoramic views of the Lake Worth Lagoon and Intracoastal Waterway, the artificial island in the Estate Section measures about 2.3 acres with a combined 1,163 feet of waterfront on all four sides. A picturesque bridge connects the island to Tarpon Way, which leads to the rest of Palm Beach via Tarpon Way and Island Road. 

The 11-bedroom, two-story mansion has 28,618 total square feet of living space, inside and out, and a long list of amenities, including a 98-foot lakefront swimming pool with a whirlpool spa and a "cold plunge" pool.

The property was redeveloped by Palm Beach and Miami developer Todd Michael Glaser with two real estate investors, Jonathan Fryd of Fryd Properties in Miami and developer Scott Robins of Scott Robins Cos. in Miami Beach. 

Glaser declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement. But he previously told the Palm Beach Daily News that Tarpon Island's location is truly one of a kind.

“It has its own bridge. How many houses in Palm Beach have a bridge? None,” Glaser said in a December article about the house .

The estate comprises the new main residence on the west side of Tarpon Island. The original 1937 house was converted into a guest pavilion and includes an ultra-luxury fitness-and-beauty area. 

Among the property's features are a five-car garage and one of the town’s only lighted tennis courts. Other amenities include a paneled library; a home gym; and an entertainment room with a fireplace, wine storage, billiards area and movie lounge.

Fryd and Robins have invested in other Glaser-controlled projects in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade County, where the developer built his career before turning his attention to buying, renovating and selling homes in Palm Beach several years ago. Glaser's eponymous company has offices in Miami Beach and Palm Beach. 

Tarpon Island set a town lakefront price record when the developers bought the property and its original house for $85 million in July 2021 from its longtime owners, private investor William Toll and his wife, Eileen. 

In October 2021, the property was listed at $125 million for the land and renovation plans for the original house. At the same time, the property also was listed then at a pre-construction price of $210 million, which would have included the renovated house. 

The price was later raised to $218 million while still in construction before dropping to $187.5 million in November .

Agent Suzanne Frisbie of the Corcoran Group and Chris Leavitt of Douglas Elliman Real Estate hold the listing. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate is also involved on the sellers’ side.

Frisbie, Leavitt and Angle declined to comment.

Agent Margit Brandt of Premier Estate Properties is on the buyer’s side of the sale, according to people familiar with the transaction. She declined to comment.

The renovation-and-expansion project  transformed the island’s original Bermuda-style house — designed in 1937 by noted Palm Beach architect Howard Major  — into a guesthouse. A new, much-larger addition for the main living areas was built onto it in a similar architectural style.  

“We flip-flopped the house. You can’t tell where one house started and the other began,” Glaser said in December.

Into the repurposed guesthouse went VIP guest suites, the spa area with its sauna and steam room, a hair-styling salon and staff quarters. The guesthouse nearly abuts the east property line. “So when you are in the gym, you feel like you are on a yacht,” Glaser said previously. 

The new addition to the west houses the main living areas, most of the bedroom suites and the garage. An air-conditioned octagonal tennis-and-dining pavilion, rising two stories, is attached to the house and overlooks the tennis court on the far west side of the property.

Windows, patios, terraces and the dock on the south side of the house afford views straight down the Intracoastal Waterway for a little more than a mile to the Southern Boulevard Bridge, past former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The views also include Everglades Island to the west and Palm Beach’s Estate Section to the east.

Architect Roger Janssen of Dailey Janssen Architects drew up the plans for the Tarpon Island project. Christopher Cawley Landscape Architecture designed the grounds. The interior finishes were chosen by Glaser’s wife, interior decorator Kim Glaser

To see more photos of Tarpon Island, click on the photo gallery at the top of this page.

This story was updated from a previous version. This a developing story. Check back for updates. Portions of this story appeared previously in the Palm Beach Daily News.

Darrell Hofheinz is a USA TODAY Network of Florida journalist who writes about Palm Beach real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. He welcomes tips about real estate news on the island. Email [email protected] , call 561-820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz.

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How the USSR disfigured historical buildings in the name of progress

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For an architecture-loving tourist, walking around old Moscow can be quite a shocking experience. One minute find yourself admiring the exquisite facade of an old building in the baroque, empire or classicism style, and the next you raise your head and see a characterless monstrosity perched on top of the original building, increasing its height by a couple of additional stories. And no, sadly this is not a mirage.

It is widely believed that a significant portion of the pre-revolutionary buildings in Moscow were destroyed in war or demolished as part of Stalin's1935 master plan for the city's renovation. While this is partly true, an even larger number of historical buildings were lost as a result of numerous rebuilding and renovation projects. This is why many of the city’s surviving 18 and 19th century buildings have a radically changed in appearance, becoming monuments to the bizarre transformations of Russian history.

New housing for 'new' people

In the majority of cases, the reconstruction of old aristocratic and merchant mansions, as well as tenement buildings, was necessary in order to modernize and adapt them to new functions. The first wave of these renovations took place in the 1920-1930s, when the newly established Soviet authorities urgently needed to resolve a housing shortage. They began putting additional stories on three- and four-story buildings that usually housed dormitories or administrative offices. One- and two-story mansions almost always had attics, and these were usually converted into communal apartments by crudely dividing spacious halls decorated with stucco moldings and frescoes with partitions. The architects who undertook those renovation projects were seldom concerned with preserving the building's original style. In fact, the opposite was true.

Smolensky Boulevard, 10.

Smolensky Boulevard, 10.

One example of this efficiency drive in urban planning is a quaint building designed by Peter Lavinon Smolensky Boulevard, 10. This three-story building in the classical style with carved plat bands and a decorative stone façade was built in 1892 as an apartment building for several families. During an acute shortage of housing in the 1930s, a two-story constructivist addition was built above it and the building was converted into communal apartments. The result is a hybrid building that is characteristic of Moscow's urban development at the turn of the century, which is defined by a grotesque contrast between classical and avant-garde architecture.

 Golitsyns' mansion, Volkhonka

Golitsyns' mansion, Volkhonka

A similar modernization befell the Golitsyns' mansion in Volkhonka, which now belongs to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The two-story mansion – a fine example of Moscow classical architecture – was rebuilt in the late 1920s. The building’s austere facade was changed, and it lost a pediment that adorned the central portico. In addition, the building had two attic floors added to it, which for a long time housed the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Philosophy. It should be noted however that, unlike the tenement building on Smolensky Boulevard, this extension was executed in a style that was consistent with the original building.

Till present day

Mansion of the Lukutins.

Mansion of the Lukutins.

This barbaric approach remained a part of Moscow’s urban planning until the end of the 20th century. For example, the mansion of the Lukutin merchant family (art patrons who backed the production of the famous Fedoskino caskets) on Vishnyakovsky Lane, 23 was built in the 18th century. In 1910, the owners ordered another floor to be added to the three-story mansion with the idea of turning the mansion into an apartment building. The final loss of the building's historical appearance took place in the 1980s, when two more floors were added to it. As a result, what was once a classical style mansion was transformed into another faceless specimen of Soviet architecture.

Lyalin Lane, 14.

Lyalin Lane, 14.

One of the last victims of Soviet architects was the Zavarzina tenement building on Lyalin Lane, 14. Over 80 years after its construction in 1907, the art nouveau building had two additional stories added to it in order to house residential apartments.

The collapse of the USSR did not yet spell the end to Moscow’s architectural tragedy. A second wave of renovations of pre-revolutionary buildings took place in the 1990s and early 2000s, when private investors bought up historical mansions for peanuts and added attic floors to them, often to house offices because at the time Moscow had a severe shortage of modern business centers.

Malaya Dmitrovka 20.

Malaya Dmitrovka 20.

One particularly sad symbols of the new era in urban development was the reconstruction of a two-story mansion in Malaya Dmitrovka 20, which once belonged to the poet Aleksey Pleshcheyev. In 1999, the city government handed it over to a private investor, and the building was dismantled up to its front wall and incorporated into a high-tech business center.

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UW dock renovations pose threat to 75-year sailing tradition, yacht club students say

by Denise Whitaker, KOMO News Reporter

Image of boats on a docking bay in Washington. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE — Students in the Washington Yacht Club (WYC) accuse the University of Washington (UW) of working to stop a 75-year history of teaching students to sail.

Those students told KOMO News that the UW’s plans to renovate the docks near Husky Stadium will eliminate the docks they use to store their 70 boats, thus taking away their ability to teach students to sail.

“It would really mean, like a death blow to the community,” said Renee Chien, the current Rear Commodore of WYC.

The U.W. has plans to repair and remove docks. The total dock space will be reduced by 4,000 square feet.

“And the university has actually given us a statement as of March that we will no longer be able to keep beyond one boat on the dock,” said Chien.

UW told KOMO News that the club only needs to move some of the club's boats short term.

“We have up to 75 boats. We’ve got everything from sailboats up to a 44-foot ocean-going vessel and everything in between,” said William Rae, another member of WYC.

Once the renovation is completed in 2025, the university told KOMO that UW recreation will no longer maintain dock storage space, so the WYC and the Union Bay Rowing Club would each be able to maintain just one boat at the dock.

“It would mean the loss of something that I have poured my heart and soul into,” said Chien. “And I feel like that is the case for most people that I work with in the WYC, who like are united by their common love of sailing.”

Chien told KOMO she just joined the WYC in November, to learn to sail and loves it so much, she’s already been out sailing 22 of the past 23 days.

“I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan and as an international student, I wouldn’t have felt like my roots were planted firmly anywhere. I thought maybe I would stay in Seattle maybe I wouldn’t, but I didn’t feel attached and it was really because of sailing and because of my access to the water and this newfound connection that I have with the Puget Sound that I feel like I would like to stay here to keep sailing and keep building the community here,” explained Chien.

Perhaps the best part of getting out on one of the 70 boats to learn to sail, is the price. Students pay just $39 per quarter.

“And if we lose that that’s a huge loss to people being able to enter into a sport that traditionally has such a high barrier,” said Rae.

Sailing lessons in Seattle cost several hundred dollars a month.

“We’re pretty unique, definitely in the Pacific Northwest, and really for student-run organizations we believe we're unique in the country,” said Rae.

UW's tradition of sailgating right outside Husky Stadium is another unique Pacific Northwest tradition and some accuse the University of putting profits from events like this over student benefit.

The renovation plan calls for adding new docks for large sailgating boats plus greater access for students and the public to rent kayaks and canoes.

“And we just want to emphasize that kayak rentals are $19 per hour our quarterly membership is $39 a quarter,” said Chien.

UW told KOMO that they are prioritizing Rec Clubs with the new waterfront plan, to expand student participation.

Construction on the docks and beach at the UW is scheduled to start in January and UW told KOMO that they are still working with the WYC through this process.

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Moscow Has a New Standard for Street Design

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  • Written by Strelka Magazine
  • Published on August 25, 2016

Earlier this year the development of a new Street Design Standard for Moscow was completed under a large-scale urban renovation program entitled My Street , and represents the city's first document featuring a complex approach to ecology, retail, green space, transportation, and wider urban planning. The creators of the manual set themselves the goal of making the city safer and cleaner and, ultimately, improving the quality of life. In this exclusive interview, Strelka Magazine speaks to the Street Design Standard 's project manager and Strelka KB architect Yekaterina Maleeva about the infamous green fences of Moscow, how Leningradskoe Highway is being made suitable for people once again, and what the document itself means for the future of the Russian capital.

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Strelka Magazine: What is the Street Design Standard and what does it include?

Yekaterina Maleeva: The Street Design Standard is a manual for street planning in Moscow . The Standard is divided into four books, each one of them covering particular aspects of street design. Many cities across the globe have developed their own standards and the concept has gained a lot of popularity over the last decade. The New York Street Design Manual is a famous example; the book has even been translated into Russian. However, Moscow streets have little in common with New York streets, for example; every city has its own unique urban typology and simply copying existing solutions from another manual is not a viable option.

When we started our work on the Standard , the first thing we did was study Moscow streets, their peculiarities and common features. The first volume of the Standard focuses on the typology and distinctive attributes of the streets of Moscow. We gathered data on more than 3,000 streets and processed the data. Despite the large sample size, we discovered certain similarities. We managed to identify ten of the most common street types, but some unique streets could not be categorized. For instance, Tverskaya Street, built in 19th century, originally fell under category "10C." But after it was widened in the 1930s, Tverskaya ended up in a unique place within the urban fabric of Moscow. Such objects as that require a case by case approach and an individual project.

What can be found in the other volumes?

After we identified these ten street types, we started working on defining the best way to approach the development of each. The second book describes what a street of each type must have. We developed a general profile and functional zoning for each type. The pavement is more than just a pedestrian lane: there is a buffer zone between the roadway and the walking lane where the parking posts, street lights and communication lines are located. It’s a mandatory utility zone that has to be paved in such a way that any section can be easily unpaved and replaced. There is also a pedestrian fast lane for people walking to their workplace and a promenade with benches and other objects. Building façades have a large impact on the street they are facing. Restaurants and shops are located in these buildings. Making the adjacent zone retail-friendly is important. Cafes and restaurants must be able to open street patios to attract customers without disrupting the pedestrian traffic. How to apply these concepts to each of the street types is thoroughly explained in the Standard .

The third book describes eleven groups of design elements, including surface materials, benches, trash bins and lights. This catalogue of elements contains no mention of suppliers. It does not promote any manufacturers; instead it describes the attributes which define a quality product. For instance, the third book explains which type of tree grates will serve the longest while causing no damage to the root system of a tree. Styles of grates, bins, benches and other elements may vary, but all the items must comply with the quality standard.

Finally, the fourth book focuses on the planning process: how to perform preliminary analysis, how to apply user opinions during the development and how to achieve quality implementation. Additionally, there is a special emphasis on the fact that street planning cannot be carried out without any regard for the context of the street. A street should be regarded as a part of an interconnected system of various public spaces, together with adjacent parks, garden squares, yards and plazas.

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Does the Standard have an official status? Should it be considered a law or merely a guideline?

There are a number of state-level laws and regulations relevant to street design issued by the Moscow Government. They were taken into account during the development of the manual. These regulations ensure safety standards and must be complied with. While the existing legislation covers safety aspects, our books introduce comfort standards. The Standard is basically a non-binding, advisory guideline created with the goal of improving the urban environment everywhere across the capital and maintaining it at a high level.

What happens if a street does not fit any of the mentioned types (and is not as significant as Tverskaya)? For instance, what if a street located in the New Moscow territory has cottages on one side, apartment complexes on the other and an entrance to the Moscow Ring Road somewhere along the way?

A standard is not a ready-made solution. The streets share common features yet also retain their individual attributes at the same time. Applying a single standard profile to every street is impossible. Adjustments are always in order.

The Standard offers three sets of solutions for each type of street with a large potential for combining various elements. The manual basically offers a convenient database that a designer working with a new space could use. That does not mean that all the new projects will look exactly the same. Some solutions featured in the Standard are yet to be implemented anywhere in Moscow . For instance, our collaboration with Transsolar, a German company consulting us on environmental comfort, revealed that Moscow’s largest environmental problem was not in fact CO2, but small-particle dust produced by studded tyre traction. And a simple method to control this type of pollution already exists. Many busy streets outside the city center have a green buffer zone separating the roadway from the sidewalks. A 1.5m high ground elevation running along this zone could filter out up to 70% of the tyre dust, preventing it from spreading into the residential areas. Western countries have been successfully using this technology for many years. Now it is a part of Moscow Standard . By the way, a terrain elevation could also help reduce the level of road noise.

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Does the Standard offer anything for the main roads? For example, nowadays Leningradskoye Highway basically splits the city into two disconnected parts; it’s a car dominion.

The Standard does not offer solutions for transportation problems. When we were defining our street typology, we relied on traffic load data calculated using Moscow ’s transportation model. We pursued a goal of only offering solutions that would not aggravate the current transport situation. Any planned sidewalk extension or addition of a bicycle lane or road crossing should first be approved by the Moscow Department of Transport.

As for the main roads, our research revealed that the streets with the highest traffic load also have the heaviest pedestrian traffic. One would think that it should be the other way around. However, the main roads have metro stations, which generate a lot of pedestrian traffic, which in turn draws retail. Treating main roads the same way as highways is impossible. The needs of both vehicle traffic and local residents must be taken into account, which creates a paradox.

These territories have every opportunity to become more comfortable. Some have relatively large green buffer zones that currently remain underused. The Standard proposes to augment these zones with additional functionality. On one hand, some of the main streets will gain attraction centers, especially near intersections connecting them to the adjacent residential areas. Weekend markets are one example of such centers. On the other hand, the Standard involves the creation of zones able to absorb extra precipitation flowing from the roads and filter it. There is a list with types of vegetation best fit to handle this task. The same zones could be used to store snow in the winter. The meltwater will be naturally absorbed by the soil, alleviating the need for moving the snow out to melt. This, however, would require decreasing the quantity of melting chemicals sprayed over the snow, as the plants underneath might be susceptible to their effects.

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Can the new Standard rid us of green lawn fences, yellow curbs and other eternal eyesores?

The choice of yellow and green appears random, so we have no idea how to actually fight that. The Standard offers no colour schemes. As long as fences meet the set requirements, their colour does not matter. However, currently they seem to fail to comply. The Standard states that lawns do not require fencing. This is a waste of materials: people will not trample grass and bushes just for the sake of it, while dog owners will trespass anyway. There are many other options for protecting lawns from being trampled. For instance, a same-level pavement strip with a different texture could protect a lawn from accidental intruders just as well as a curb can.

Natural soil water absorption is currently largely ignored, with most  precipitation going down the storm drains. Meanwhile patches of open terrain on a street are able to absorb water. Employing these natural cycles in street layout could save resources.

Does the Standard provide any financial estimations? For instance, an approximate cost of renovating a street of a particular type?

No, as the Standard does not list any products of any particular brand, there are no prices to refer to. Nonetheless, the Standard was developed to fit three potential price ranges. Whether their estimated price is low or high, all the elements ensure that quality requirements are met. The same quality level must be maintained across the whole city and never drop below the set standard.

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Let’s say a world-famous architect arrives to Moscow to design a street. He puts incredibly beautiful things into his project, which, unfortunately, contradict the Standard and are not guaranteed to work as intended. In that scenario, will the architect be told to stick to the Standard ?

This could happen and I think it would be a good thing. If an architect plans to place a sculpture on a 1.5 meter wide sidewalk, would that really be a good idea? Following the Standard ensures smooth movement. Its goal is to reinvigorate the streets. In Copenhagen, new design manuals helped increase average time spent by residents outside by 20% over 10 years. That was achieved through creating convenient and attractive public spaces. Moreover, implementation of the Standard enables the creation of professional documentation for architects, which excludes the possibility of any instructions that will later be unclear to the experts trying to work with them. Finally, the Standard also pursues the task of providing the opportunity for the development of street retail.

Isn’t retail a whole different story? How can retail be introduced in such places as Strogino District, where the ground floors are living floors and have security bars on windows? By reintroducing street vendors?

True, business has no direct relation to street renovation. However, there is a strong connection between them. In Strogino, building façades are mostly located far from the sidewalk. Moreover, facades are often concealed by shrubbery and trees, making local businesses even less noticeable. Another problem is that first floor apartments cannot be used for commercial purposes due to insufficient ceiling height (3 m compared to 3.5 m required minimum). Nonetheless, we discovered multiple examples of shop owners reconstructing apartments in residential districts to meet the requirements.

Our British consultant Phil Wren, a street retail expert, travelled Moscow ’s residential districts and studied the existing examples. He came up with a great idea: building an expansion connected to the façade and facing the sidewalk. This makes it possible both to achieve the required ceiling height and increase the visibility of the business to the passers-by. The part of the shop located in the apartment can be used as a utility room or a stockroom. This way the noise level is reduced, regulations are met and store space is increased. Our Russian consultants confirmed the viability of the proposed concept. And the Standard will ensure that any added expansions will look presentable.

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Does the  Standard also regulate façade appearances, an architectural element? What should be expected from this? It is unlikely that all houses which fail to comply will be demolished once the Standard is implemented. 

Renovation works with what is given. Of course, façades cannot be changed. Central Moscow has a problem with mansions and many other buildings being fenced off, which prevents them from accommodating street retail. Central streets are also relatively narrow. The Standard proposes sidewalk expansion wherever the access to the first floors is open. Street renovation does not always involve planting trees. Some places require enhanced crossings so that people can quickly reach the other side of the street to get to a shop or a café. Those streets where the facades are windowless are a more suitable place to plant more vegetation.

Can an average person – not an architect, designer or construction worker – understand the new Standard , or is it a technical document which can only be interpreted by a professional?

Any person can. The Standard is written in a way that both professionals and common citizens are able to understand. The Standard contains multiple images, photos, infographics and diagrams and is written in plain language. We would love for more people to read it: the books contain many interesting solutions for our city that affect every pedestrian.

In late March it was revealed that Strelka KB would be developing a standard for recreational zones and public areas in Moscow . What differences will that document have from the Street Design Standard ?

The two standards will have a lot in common. The city currently faces a task of developing a connected system of public spaces. The first logical step was to work with the streets which actually connect areas of attraction and other public spaces. Now the work on all other public spaces takes off. Parks, garden squares, yards, water bank recreation areas, plazas near metro stations must all fall into place. Work with these territories will set a single quality standard. In addition, it will improve Moscow ’s quality of life and reduce air pollution. Simple solutions could improve airflow, increase biodiversity and reduce noise levels at the same time.

The renovation program is quite long and depends on numerous standards and documents. But when exactly will the endless repair works end? Are there any time estimations for when all these concepts will finally get implemented?

This is not an easy question. Full renovation may last decades. The Standard is the first step towards actually controlling the renovation process and its timeline. Until now renovation has been proceeding rather haphazardly. Now the city has decided that the way the streets are designed should be clarified. We understand that the Standard cannot last unchanged for eternity and should, just like any regulation, undergo periodical updates. The Standard uses flexible typology: a street of one type could transition to another within a few years under certain conditions, such as changes in its usage and its user categories. Everything must stay regularly updated according to the accumulated experience.

During our work on the Standard , we held regular roundtables joined by experts and ordinary citizens. One of our guests mentioned that he had recently started paying attention to Moscow ’s facades, their beauty and their drawbacks. He was able to do that because he no longer had to watch his step. So the process has already started and we already see some results.

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