Solent Refit, a leading UK business in the large yacht repair and refit market, has entered administration or voluntary liquidation. At this early stage of the process, IBI has not been able to confirm exactly what course the company has taken or the reasons behind it.
Allan Foot, managing director of Solent Refit, told IBI: “We are still looking at the position so am unable to comment at this stage. I will let you know should this change.”
The latest company to be so troubled is the fourth in eight months based in the Solent area on the UK’s south coast, the country’s leading yachting region with Cowes, the Hamble and Lymington as key locations. The previous companies hit were Green Marine, Burgess Marine and Oyster Marine Holdings.
A transition was underway at Solent Refit, which was relocating from Hythe Marine Park on the southern shore of Southampton Water to Saxon Wharf on the River Itchen in the eastern part of the city. The move was announced after Fairline, the UK luxury yacht builder, took over Hythe Marine Park to allow it to build larger yachts.
The relocation was due to be completed by the end of May and it is known that at least two yachts that Solent Refit were working on have been moved to Saxon Wharf.
The reason behind the administration/liquidation are not yet known. Solent Refit is understood to have had a healthy forward order book with a number of projects in progress or lined up for the future. The workforce at Solent Refit comprises a team of 15 core workers, plus around 50 or more subcontractors at any one time according to the volume of work.
The move to Saxon Wharf represented a notable change in the facilities that Solent Refit was able to use. Its covered sheds and 1,500-tonne capacity slipway were set to be replaced by a large tent-type facility plus the open hardstand area available at Saxon Wharf.
Saxon Wharf is operated by MDL and it is the site of the Oyster Yacht facilities and Southampton Yacht Services, which were so much in the news recently. The wharf offers facilities for yachts of up to about 80m (263ft) and a dry stack for boats up to 13m (43ft). It also has a 200-tonne capacity travel lift and a number of heavy duty pontoon berths.
Saxon Wharf is also very close to MDL’s Shamrock Quay marina, which can accommodate yachts up to 70m (230ft).
It is not yet known at this early stage what interest there might be in buying any Solent Refit assets, such as ongoing work. Following the demise of Burgess Marine, Southampton Marine Services, located close to Saxon Wharf, acquired some of the assets.