In 2017, we have been proudly involved in a complex but exciting project with the refit of Amels 55m M/Y HARMONY (ex. M/Y KISS THE SKY) and we thought it would be an experience worth to share and develop. Let's start by the beginning: after having been listed for sale by Imperial during the year 2016 and sold by our Sales teams in a record time early 2017, the Amels 52m KISS THE SKY successfully passed her 15 year survey but was, on the outside, still looking up to date with her dark blue hull, and crisp white upper levels. The same couldn’t be said for the interior, although lavish and luxurious, but was very much outdated. Her new owner felt the need for a complete refit inclusive of a challenging 3m length extension of the Lower deck to fit inside the lazzarette a luxury Beach Club. An extension longer than the average tender! This case study below will show you the various steps and involvements of Imperial and our partners during this project, from the very first contact with the responsible shipyard to the daily communication with yard's team via the selection of the right designer to support this refit in a very specific timing. Reading this article, you will better understand the complexity a refit can involve, but how much satisfying is the result in the sight of her owner, the same result we are looking after for every project our clients put their and our trust in.
Photos: courtesy of AMICO & CO, Luca Dini Design / HARMONY post-refit shoot by Blue I for Imperial
Built by Amels and designed by Terence Disdale, KISS THE SKY (now HARMONY) was delivered in 2001. Her 2009 refit saw Patrick Knowles re-imagine the yacht’s inside spaces in his signature opulent style. Over the years there have been some dramatic changes in technology and styling in the yachting industry and as a result in 2016 she was looking rather old and outdated and not always able to cope with the technological demands of the crew and guests.
The first challenge: fitting the tight deadline implemented by the owner. After much debating, with several yards in consideration, the Imperial team chose AMICO & Co Shipyard, in Genoa (Italy). This was mainly due to their long standing, highly regarded track record and more importantly, they were able to accept the short time frame requested by the owner. Another plus side was that the yard is based in Genoa, Italy, a stone’s throw from the Imperial headquarters, which meant the team could be onsite within a couple of hours and stay several days or weeks in a row to supervise and implement the instructions from the owner. This benefit allowed also the Imperial Management team on site, consisting of an Operational Manager, a Technical Manager and an Interior Manager together with the crew, to immediately pass the information to the owner for swift approval: delays in passing the information were strongly reduced!
Throughout November & December 2016, naval architecture and stability drawings were made and interior mood boards and renderings were drawn up. January 1st came by and the initial stages of the refit were fully underway. The scope of work included the second challenge of this refit: the extension and conversion of the existing lazzarette in order to create a luxury Beach Club area, opening upwards to allow guests direct access to the sea, including a steam room, showers, a bar cabinet and lounge. The sequential refit phases, after design and technical definition, included the dismantling of all systems and interferences, demolition of the existing stern section and reconstruction of new stern blocks, with installation and welding on board.
Successively, the new stern door was constructed and installed, together with the new passarelle and Opacmare transformer swimming platform. Following surface preparation, fairing and painting, the two technical spaces, starboard and port, were outfitted with new watertight doors and the new systems for the new equipment and luxury amenities – steam room system, showers, AV system etc… were installed. Simultaneously with these major structural modifications, new AV/IT systems and new radio and navigation equipment were installed and diesel generators replaced.
“Various work scope variations and integrations requested by client, flag and class during the refit meant that production schedules were updated daily, with our capable and experienced technical and production teams overseeing works planning and management of resources, suppliers and contractors.”said Alberto Amico, AMICO & Co Chairman. “Planned works, integrations and contingencies were crammed into tight production times by carrying out works in tandem and with a high level of organizational integration – unthinkable with standard production logic.”
It was then down to long stading Imperial partner Luca Dini, from Luca Dini Design to bring his expertise and creativity to the project. A new exterior furniture layout was created and a full interior refit was performed. “I faced this refitting project with great enthusiasm. The great challenge was to respect her soul and nature giving detail, freshness, renewed elegance and character. ” said Dini. “The time at disposal of all the parties involved was so little that the only possible way to go through was to strictly cooperate both with the shipyard and with Imperial trying to fly to the goal without any waist of energy.”
Among the main interior upgrades realized during the refit of M/Y HARMONY:
Alberto Amico went on to say,:“The experience and trust that deepened between the Imperial and AMICO teams as the project proceeded allowing us to maintain a high quality contractual, managerial and technical rapport, efficient in terms of technical analysis, decision-making and problem-solving, with no delays to the production schedule. And ultimately we share with Imperial the satisfaction of having achieved the desired result, in terms of the functional and architectural design success and the standard of the refit in terms of quality, budget and re-delivery time.” Due to the careful planning by the Imperial team, and the superb work by the Refit team at AMICO & Co, the project was completed in record time within 6 month schedule, fitting the owner’s expectations and on line with Imperial processes. She arrived at the AMICO yard as 52m KISS THE SKY, and left as 55m HARMONY, now cruising the seas in pristine condition.
“It was a challenging project where all involved had to think on their feet and make instant decisions to keep the project going but we loved every moment of it. The hard work paid off when we saw the face of the Principal when he joined his yacht for the first time and absolutely loved it” added the Imperial Interior Management. “This project was absolutely fantastic – it has stretched Imperial team and Amico to new height of what can be achieved with team work, trust, dedication and passion” said the Imperial Operational and Technical team involved on M/Y HARMONY refit.
At Imperial, we believe our actions speak louder than our words, so please check out the before and after images to give you the full visual in-depth story. Feel free to contact our Operational teams to get an overview of your next superyacht refit project, and elaborate the suitable options for your needs.