Superyachts Capitalise on Refit Prowess of Echo Yachts

By George Bains

The brand of Echo Yachts is instantly synonymous with the build of full custom superyachts such as 84m White Rabbit and 46m Charley. However, the Australia shipyard has another dimension which is increasingly being noticed by the world’s superyacht fleet. Boasting the largest purpose-built superyacht facility in the southern hemisphere and an array of specialised marine trades, Echo Yachts is fast becoming a mecca for refit and maintenance projects of all scope and complexity.

Based in the Australian Marine Complex near Fremantle in Western Australia, Echo Yachts has been celebrated for its innovative custom superyacht projects. White Rabbit, the largest luxury trimaran in the world, was greeted with international acclaim following her launch by Echo Yachts in 2018. The 84m superyacht set a new industry standard for design innovation and performance efficiency. Now, international superyachts are recognising the remarkable capability of Echo Yachts as a refit and maintenance specialist, tapping into the resources of an award-winning shipyard.

First and foremost, the full-service Echo Yachts shipyard has dedicated superyacht facilities incomparable to anything else in the region. In terms of hauling out the world’s largest superyachts, Echo can cover any project with multiple lift and slipway options. The shipyard has among its arsenal an 800-tonne slipway, an 8,000-tonne syncrolift and access to a 12,000-tonne floating dock which is used for mammoth submarines and warships. Any European-built steel monohull can be easily accommodated and lifted at the Echo Yachts facility.

The significant hardstand and deep-water wet berth options are enhanced by 10m and 100m fully enclosed superyacht construction halls, each with dedicated workshop spaces.

While the facilities available are certainly impressive and capable of accommodating any luxury vessel, there is much more that is required to meet the demands of international superyachts. With Echo Yachts, the infrastructure is the platform on which expert teams and trades can collaborate on complex and large-scale projects. With a full in-house multi-discipline team of superyacht project managers, designers, technical and trades staff, every angle of a comprehensive refit project is covered by a highly skilled professional.

This is a team which is accustomed to working on the design, build and delivery of bespoke, full-custom superyachts. The advantage of having such a wealth of experience and expertise readily available at the shipyard cannot be overstated. Owners and captains are given the confidence that their superyacht is in the hands of a specialised builder, and so a broader spectrum of works can be completed.

Echo Yachts ticks all boxes when it comes to refit and maintenance work, whether that be refurbishment, full painting, fitout and electrical. The expertise of a large custom superyacht builder also allows Echo to take on more challenging refit briefs. In recent years, the shipyard has completed a number of impressive projects including the conversion of a 58m explorer superyacht, which involved superstructure modifications and the installation of a custom-built helicopter platform.

Other projects have encompassed significant work on the hull, a distinct advantage of a shipyard with a global stature in new-build. Echo Yachts’ innovation is demonstrated in the example of one 55m superyacht which came to the shipyard in need of engine removal. Echo delivered on this by removing the hull side-shell to extract the engine, before re-installing and repainting. Another 54m explorer also capitalised on Echo Yachts’ capability to complete a hull extension at the shipyard.

Undergoing a refit and maintenance in Western Australia also have several other significant benefits, not least the favourable exchange rate of the Australian Dollar. Australia’s western coastline offers incredible opportunities for exploration, from Perth up to the mesmerising Ningaloo Reef and further to the rugged Kimberley region. Increasingly, superyachts are discovering the unique experiences available in this part of the world which has everything to be a haven for adventurous explorers and luxury yachts alike.

The location of Echo Yachts has a natural draw for superyachts cruising in the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia regions. A short sail brings these yachts to the world-class Echo Yachts facility in Fremantle, where they can undergo refit and maintenance with a specialised superyacht builder before exploring the natural wonders of Australia.  

Upcoming refit and maintenance projects booked in at Echo Yachts include an 84m superyacht returning for drydocking, survey, component upgrades and maintenance works. Another 60m superyacht is also due to arrive for similar works. 

By George Bains
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