22 December 2020
For those fortunate to own or have access to a boat, it is a particular privilege to be able to escape to the water at the moment, even if it is within state borders. There has also never been a better time to look after your investment, while at the same time supporting Australia’s marine businesses. From a simple linen refresh to a full refit, there are shipwrights, designers, painters, trimmers, mechanics, marine product suppliers, electricians and even clothing outfitters that can add significant value to your refresh.
For something simple, why not upgrade your stereo to a Bluetooth-compatible version, such as Fusion? Linked to your Garmin, this simple upgrade in technology can make accessing your favourite music or podcasts seamless. All it takes is a call to your marine electrician and hundreds – not thousands – of dollars.
Another simple yet easy way to refresh and modernise your space is with some beautiful fresh linen for the beds or perhaps new window treatments for the saloon.
A visit to a beautiful interiors store like Analu in Rushcutters Bay – with its abundance of textures, colours, accessories and styling advice – can provide a wealth of inspiration. Plus, Angela and Andrea are experts in fitting out boats from your 45-foot all the way up to your superyacht.
Interiors store Analu was born in 2005, but both Angela and Andrea have experience in marine and architectural interiors and products that goes back even further. Andrea explains, “The backbone of our work is the creation of soft furnishings.
“We mill our own products and marry that with our leathers, which are all Italian. We have a selection of tanneries that we work with, mostly Italian too, where there is an incredible level of experience in weaving, tanning, finishing and producing materials to a high quality.
“Designing for our clients is not just a matter of choosing soft furnishings or pillows or cushions. It becomes a whole discussion around what we do with the floor, the walls, how we treat the edges, the curtains and, of course, how the space is accessorised. This plays a major role in the finishing of interior and exterior packages for clients.”
With prior marine experience, Angela understands how boat finishes differ to a home finish and what each space needs, especially in terms of durability and function.
She says, “Clients find it a valuable part of the experience, especially since not all designers have the knowledge to deal with a marine application.”
Analu’s experience is also relied upon at boat shows by brands who want to wow clients with what a boat can look and feel like once a client, using their guidance and knowledge, adds their personal touches.
External changes to your vessel that can make a significant difference to its appearance include renewing teak decks and repainting the hull. While neither of these investments is for the fainthearted, both will last for many years.
Unfortunately, painted hulls can crack over time, and the darker the colour, the quicker they can degrade in this sunburnt country.
Calypso is a great example of how making your boat a lighter colour can not only improve maintenance and modernise the look completely, but also reduce heat load.
What’s more, it is a lasting improvement: “Years later, boats still look stunning,” says Brett Tattersall at Mako Marine Centre.
Replacing teak can be time-consuming and quite an investment too, but Yachtworx notes brightening teak soles can increase the value as well as the appearance of a vessel.
One last tip: painters and shipwrights should be selected the same way you choose a surgeon – by word of mouth and not simply because they are the cheapest. You will get what you pay for.
If you have a larger vessel and are looking for a complete refit, there are plenty of things to consider before you enter what could either be an enjoyable experience or a very costly and painful one.
Some boatyards like Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) are incredibly experienced in this space, which can work to your advantage in terms of cost savings and by having projects completed on time.
For smaller vessels, try asking the broker you bought the boat from for the names of contractors they use or consider the company that does your antifouling. They see contractors in action every day and can be a valuable source of advice as to who does great work.
Once you engage your contractors, respect them for what they do and heed their advice. Don’t cut corners, always use quality products and expect everything to take longer than you think it will.
Finally, make sure you have a contingency budget up your sleeve for any unexpected findings. The replacement of a ceiling finish can reveal water damage, the repainting of a hull can expose rust in steel, osmosis in fibreglass and rot in wood – all elements that can be fixed but will need further investment.
If your budget is limited, creating some yachting clothing branded to your vessel can be very satisfying. Upgrading your crew uniform can also refresh your look on board.
Duncan Curnow at Quality Marine Clothing is one of my trusted experts in this space. From embroidered caps for you and your friends to a full suite of styling for your team or crew, this can be fun and won’t cost a fortune.
These ideas are just the start. I hope they inspire you to fall in love with your boat and everything she offers all over again. I’ve mentioned some contractors I know and trust, but there are many more out there who will be able to help you make this an experience to be savoured.