Yachting Developments Refit Swan 90 S/Y Spirit

By Ben Roberts

New Zealand superyacht new build and refit yard Yachting Developments have completed a major refit on the 27.5-metre Swan 90 Spirit, to the full satisfaction of her owner.

Having newly purchased an older classic Swan 90 model, the owner wished to undertake a major refit on the yacht, to convert her into a contemporary family-friendly performance cruiser that maximised all on board spaces. Choosing the right yard to undertake this mammoth task was crucial.

Spirit’s owner was attracted to Yachting Developments due to their historic refit workbook, which included the 18-month refit on the elegant J-Class Endeavour (JK4) – which picked up the prestigious World Superyacht Award for best Refitted Yacht. With full in-house capabilities for the design, construction, engineering and upholstery work the yard offered all the services this detailed refit would require. Having visited the yard and met Managing Director Ian Cook, the owner commissioned the yard to undertake the project. “We chose Yachting Developments because of their reputation and their record with recent projects ... early conversations with Ian Cook and meeting the YD team confirmed they had the skills, and they are just a great team to work with,” said the owner.

“The key concepts for the refit were to gain a more modern look, while retaining her strong sea-going capability, reputation for build quality and safety, and good cruising performance,” said the owner. “The modern look was about modifying the rig to be manageable by a family, to provide large open and al fresco living in the cockpit area and to upgrade all the cabins and living spaces with today’s finishes. We wanted large windows in the main cabin, a lighter and brighter feel throughout and a cleaner finish. All this was achieved.”

Over the course of the year-long refit, work included the removal of the aft deck and cockpit and a new cockpit seating arrangement under a semi-fixed bimini plus the addition of twin wheels in place of the original single wheel.

A new, larger, owners cabin was installed aft, and accommodation on board increased with the addition of a new guest cabin in the forward sail stow area. All interior spaces were improved and reworked, with a light overall palette and furnishings. A complete rewiring, the addition of a twin generator, a full repaint and brand new sails completed the picture. Skilful use of composite meant the refit took 5 tonnes off the overall weight of the yacht, giving her extra speed and manoeuvrability when underway.

On her relaunch Spirit’s owner was delighted with the end result and is looking forward to making use of his new yacht. “I was particularly impressed with the way the hull and structural modifications were formed and the quality of finish, through all key trades,” he said. “The design team solved some key problems up front and have implemented clever solutions. Above all, attention to detail has been a key feature.”

“Our team have done a fantastic job on the Spirit refit and the before and after shots really speak for themselves on the quality of work they have achieved,” said Ian Cook, Managing Director of Yachting Developments. “We are delighted to have such a happy customer and are all very proud of the end result.” 

By Ben Roberts
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