The New Zealand superyacht’s 25th ‘birthday’ turned into a homecoming of sorts when she was recently completely refitted in Tauranga.
S/Y Miss Silver, launched in 1995 (and originally called Sovereign), was pulled up by Vessel Works in Tauranga’s Sulphur Point marine area and spent 10 months in a 50m hangar at Super Yacht Coatings, having a full interior and exterior refit.
S/Y Miss Silver was built by Alloy Yachts in West Auckland and has spent most of her life in Europe. In 2020, her new owners decided to combine a trip to the America’s Cup in 2021 with a major refit.
“At 25 years old, superyachts have major upgrades to all their systems and it seemed appropriate to bring her back to the country where she was built,” says skipper Wayne Avery.
“We knew that the standard of New Zealand craftsmanship sets a very high bar and many people who used to work for Alloy are still working here in the marine industry.”
Wayne says undertaking a refit in Tauranga with Vessel Works was attractive because of the easy access to facilities and trades, as well as the skilled and experienced workforce.
“The Super Yacht Coatings shed is world class and the painters there are world class.
“The amount of man-hours involved in such a project cannot be underestimated, and labour in Tauranga is 20 per cent cheaper than in Auckland. In addition, everything is so centralised that vendors don’t have to spend precious working time travelling.”
In addition to a complete repaint inside and out, all of the yacht’s secondary systems, including engineering, electrical, navigation, lighting and entertainment, have been modernised and
upgraded with the latest technology.
“She’s better than new now because all the problems and issues that existed before have been fixed.
It’s now a different colour too: its original dark blue case has become a shiny, all-white, silver-tone clasp.
Super Yacht Coatings general manager Ben Steele says this has given the yacht a much more modern look.
“You would never have thought she was more than 25 years old.”
Super Yacht Coatings got involved after meeting Wayne in mid-2020 and showing him their new canopy, which was then nearing completion.
“A big part of the appeal of Tauranga was that they could use the space as their own facility and could almost exclusively use local contractors,” says Steele.
“That’s what the Maritime District was designed for – to increase and expand the maritime industry in Tauranga – and such a project was ideal.”
The Vessel Works District includes maritime business sites, a 6,300sq mooring, deep-water berths for large vessels and one of New Zealand’s largest mobile boat lifts.
The businesses based there cover a wide range of specialisms, from fibreglass to marine engineering, ship painting and timber decking to composite construction, encouraging collaboration between maritime businesses and creating a one-stop shop for customers servicing their vessels in Tauranga.