Solent Refit, one of the UK’s leading yacht repair and refit companies, is relocating its activities from Hythe Marine Park to Saxon Wharf – both sites being in the Southampton area. The move follows Fairline’s recent decision to make Hythe its new base, which will allow it to build larger yachts over the coming years – taking it into the lower end of the superyacht market.
Allan Foot, managing director of Solent Refit, explained to IBI that the move is due to be completed by the end of May. “We have a couple of yachts already at Saxon Wharf and we will start working there soon. We are very busy with a number of projects and have a very healthy forward order book.”
The move will see Solent Refit operate under different conditions in terms of facilities, as it will be working in an open area undercover with projects on the hardstand area at Saxon Wharf. It will lose both its 10,000sq m hall providing an undercover space for new builds, repairs or refits and its 1,500-tonne capacity slipway.
Foot suggests the change of facilities will not hinder the company’s activities. He points to the fact that the company has a 15-strong core of highly-skilled workers supplemented as required by a number of agency workers. “Because of the volume of work we have had,” he commented, “we have taken on a number of good agency workers. Currently we have about 60 in total working on projects.”
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).
IBI understands that negotiations will start shortly between MDL and Oyster Yachts, now owned by Richard Hadida Yachting, in terms of whether they wish to make any changes to the facilities they have at Saxon Wharf.