What does a yacht owner’s representative do?
Written by Michael Henson
Last updated: 28/06/2016
A yacht owner’s representative will protect the client’s interests; assemble all of the required consultants, design firms, contractors, and effectively coordinate communication throughout the yachts build or refit, all the while keeping to budget and time frames.
Is a yacht owner’s representative needed?When a UHNWI (ultra high net worth individual) invests in a superyacht, most do not have the expertise or time to manage the project. Whether the yacht build is from scratch or it already exists, there is a lot of vital planning required for a successful project. It doesn’t matter if the project is the refit of an existing 24m yacht or a new 100m+ yacht, an owner has to devote the required time to the project, the shipyard and the hired contractors.
The most critical and time-consuming phase of any superyacht project is prior to a single piece of material being touched. The owner needs to hire all of their project team members as early as possible. Thereafter, all the team members need to be provided with the appropriate information in order to carry out their required tasks. The owner also needs to consistently manage the team during this pre-construction phase to ensure the correct information is identified on the construction documents, and more importantly, is thorough and complete.
Do yacht owners have time to dedicate themselves to a superyacht project, especially during this stage?
The lack of experience within the yachting industry for some owners can also be problematic, especially when trying to find the expertise needed to create their dream vessel. Whether it’s a full custom or semi-custom yacht, an owner should reach out to contractors who compliment their vision. An owner’s representative can assist with selecting interior/exterior design firms, contractors, and ensure there is the right balance within the team between experience and innovation.
In addition to the selection of the right team, the owner’s representative will be knowledgeable with new materials introduced to the marketplace, current technologies, and experience with past superyachts, which will ultimately benefit the client.
What is the difference between an owner’s representative and a project manager?
Some view the project manager as directing the project through the design phase working along with the architect and engineer, while the owner’s representative works as a liaison between the project manager, owner and contractors.
Superyacht owner’s representative’s misconceptions
- The yacht owner’s representative is an unnecessary cost. – Even though there will be a cost to hiring the representative, having them join the team early in the project will reduce overall costs due to efficient communication and coordination. This ensures construction moves along at a good pace.
- The owner’s representative creates a communication barrier. –Part of the owner’s representative’s role is to assist all of the hired contractors, by making decisions on behalf of the owner. With the absence of an owner’s representative, many project team members will lose money if an owner does not respond to inquiries promptly.
What are the advantages of a yacht owner’s representative?
- With years of superyacht experience, they can recommend quality designers and shipyards to ensure the yacht owner’s dream becomes a reality
- A dedicated, unbiased expert can ensure expensive mistakes are avoided
- Ensure every detail is accounted for such as reference checks, design oversight, insurances, issuing contracts, and processing payments
- The yacht owner’s representative can effectively communicate between the creative teams to the construction team, and vice versa, due to their experience and background
- Re-occurring onsite presence on behalf of the owner ensures solutions to construction issues can be addressed quickly
- Changes from any part of the team members can be reviewed accurately due to an in-depth understanding of the project
- More relaxing time for yacht owners