Superyacht Conversions – From Workboat To Luxury Yacht

John Konrad
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August 27, 2009

Suri fierce-contender Yacht Conversion

During the years I spent as a cadet on SUNY Maritime‘s training ship Empire State, I could not begin to tally up the hours spent chipping, wire wheeling, priming and painting.  But no matter how hard we worked it never looked good enough for the Chief Mate. When I got aboard my first working ship, the product Tanker M/V Patriot, I naturally took with me the work ethic and attention to detail learned at the academy. Not a good idea.

As I worked tirelessly to make the fire hose stations, I was tasked to repair look presentable the Chief Mate stopped by and said “This is not, and will never look like, the QE2. Just make sure the danm thing works!”  Well it took many years to prove but I am happy to report that a working ship, no matter what her condition, can look like the QE2 when placed in the hands of Stubbert Maritime.

The vessel shown above is the M/V SuRi formerly the 166′ Seattle based crabber Fierce Contender. Why would you convert a working boat into a luxury yacht? To use it as an escort ship to carry the helicopter, jet boat and other “toys” for your larger yacht!

Unfortunately the idea didn’t seem to work, as the escort yacht’s mothership, the MY Jemasa, is now for sale. We don’t know the details behind the liquidation but, after interior decorating, fuel charge, hiring a crew… running two yachts can not be cheap. No worries though, there are other uses for working ships in the Super-Yacht community, like a floating Yacht Club!

Pacific Provider - Floating Yacht Club

The above drawing is of another fishing vessel conversion the F/V Shelikof. The San Diego Based Ellisworth Marine tells us:

Following a six-month conversion process, the F/V Shelikof will serve as the clubhouse for the “Eastern Pacific Yacht Club (EPYC),” an exclusive membership club offering both boaters and non-boat owners a luxury social platform, water sports, sportfishing and provisioning at sea in the hottest fishing and cruising locations on the Western U.S. and Mexican coastlines. The ship, to be re-christened the M/V “Pacific Provider”, will feature six luxury suites, two 35′ game boats, 60,000 gallons of fuel, dining room, bar, lounge, theater, gymnasium, jet skis, kayaks, sailboats and a variety of other amenities. In the event you prefer to arrive by air, the Pacific Provider also offers a commercially certified helicopter deck. Read More…

M/Y Devotion Photos

Next on the agenda for Stubbert was the creation of the M/Y Devotion. Maritime Executive tells us:

Stabbert Maritime Group has recently completed refit of the 143 ft Motor Yacht Devotion (ex Marjorie Morningstar). Late in 2007 a localized fire in the guest area exposed the vessel to smoke damage. Stabbert Maritime, recognizing the potential value and quality of the damaged yacht, purchased the vessel and began a complete refit. Read More…

How about the purchase of an old NOAA Research Vessel?
M/Y Sahara

In today’s headlines SNYFO tells us:

Stabbert Yacht and Ship (SYS) announces the sale of the 308ft Sahara to a European buyer. The yacht has a previous life as a NOAA Research Ship, and is currently undergoing a complete refit and conversion at SYS in Seattle. The vessel will be exported from the US and may benefit from a new export financing program that SYS say they are now offering to international buyers. Under the program, Stabbert is able to offer competitive financing for buyers by guaranteeing term financing to creditworthy international buyers for purchases of US vessels and refit/conversion services.

“The advantages to foreign buyers in the current economy are enormous.” states CEO Dan Stabbert. “Market conditions present unique opportunities to buy seaworthy commercial vessels for conversion to exploration yachts, shadow boats, or for specialized missions such as oil research or security duties”. Paul Madden adds, “At a time when conventional finance may be difficult to obtain, we can provide a financial package that enables foreign buyers to get on with their projects right now.” Read more…

Well, it’s certainly not the average shipyard job but the teams converting these working ships are doing a great job. Let’s just hope the sales continue through this tough economy.

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