Adèle, the 54.64m ketch launched by Vitters in 2005, has recently left Royal Huisman following an extensive refit-programme by Huisfit, the shipyard’s division for superyacht refit, repair and renewal.
Andre Engblom, Adèle’s experienced captain, was involved in the original build at Vitters and has been on board since her launch. Engblom, who during the Huisfit refit acted as owner’s representative, kindly answered the following questions about the recent upgrade and his time spent at Royal Huisman in Vollenhove, the Netherlands.
How important is it to programme refit work well in advance to ensure the best outcome?
“We started planning 18 months in advance. This pre-planning process was really important from the perspective of ensuring accurate project management to avoid conflict between the various trades. This in turn allows for seamless progression through the work list with optimal efficiency. The input of Taco Zwarts [the owner’s project manager during the Huisfit period] leading up to the refit was invaluable, both technically and financially.”
Why the decision to refit in Holland as opposed to the Med?
“In one word: quality. The Dutch are renowned as yacht builders and Royal Huisman is the epitome of a Dutch shipyard. The owners were proud to bring the vessel to a yard with such a prestigious history and reputation.”
What was the experience of your crew during their time in Vollenhove?
“It was a rather damp winter, but the crew’s time in Holland was pleasurable thanks to the hospitality and great family atmosphere in the village, which carried over to the shipyard. Great friendships were made that will last well into the future.”
In terms of determining the refit schedule and work list, how significant was it that you were involved in the original build of the yacht?
“Being involved in the original build at Vitters meant that both Taco and I had in-depth knowledge of Adèle right down to her foundations. This meant that together with Huisfit we had a winning combination; we brought vital past knowledge that Royal Huisman could draw on to carry Adèle elegantly into her future travels.”
Adèle underwent a complete mechanical upgrade (as well as replacing the PLC system), which necessitated removing the entire engine room. The work list invariably expands during a typical refit project as unforeseen issues are uncovered and improvements can be made. This led for example to replacing all the main engine and generator exhaust hoses with extra-tough Glass Reinforced Epoxy (GRE) piping.
Other items on the work list included: service and complete overhaul of propulsion, generators, thrusters and other onboard systems; climate control upgrade; replacement of batteries; exchanging existent lighting system to LEDs; upgrade and replacement of electronics; touch-ups and repairs of the interior; new teak deck and partial replacement of the caprails; servicing of hatches, winches and various deck equipment; painting of the inside of the hull and parts of the interior; repaint and varnish of the hull, superstructures and rig.
Adèle has now started an expedition to the Arctic, cruising Svalbard and Norway, after which she will be returning to the Netherlands before continuing her journey to Central America, the Panama Canal, and the South Pacific.