Yacht Refit Guide: Making Your Pre-Owned Oyster Your Own

If you’ve just bought or are considering buying one of our pre-owned sailing yachts for sale, the first thing on your mind will likely be getting aboard and starting your adventure. However, just as each person has their unique preferences about home design, each yacht owner wants their yacht to suit their personal tastes. At Oyster, we have an extensive yacht refit department with capabilities to make your brokerage sailing yacht your own. Below, we run through the refit process, yard locations, what can be changed and the ‘Oyster difference’.


From the moment you get in touch to talk about yacht refurbishment we are by your side, and we will help you every step along the way. The yacht refit process generally goes as follows:

  1. You reach out to Oyster Yachts Palma, our primary European sailboat upgrade centre. Operations Manager of Oyster Yachts Palma, Mark Durham meets with you to discuss what you would like to have done.
  2. Based on this discussion, Mark assigns one of the three Project Managers (PMs) to oversee the refit, with each PM offering their own specialist skills:

Steve Colley

Joined Oyster Palma S.L. as Service Manager in 2017 having previously managed Oyster Service & Refit Southampton since 2011. Steve has managed numerous major refit and repair contracts as well as overseeing warranty works in the UK, Spain and the Caribbean.

Hamish Burgess-Simpson

A sailor come ashore who has lived, sailed and worked on both sides of the Atlantic, the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the Mediterranean – focusing on a wide range of disciplines over the years. In the past 15 years, Hamish has primarily concentrated on yacht refit and new-build project management, and for the majority of his maritime career, he has sailed and worked on Oyster yachts.

Pierre Oberon

Recently joined Oyster having run his own yacht maintenance company in Palma for 15 years, Pierre has considerable experience of the entire yacht refurbishment process. He has worked in many areas of the marine industry; as a sailor, service manager, and workshop manager, project managing several refits of motor and sailing yachts, and as director of two service companies and a charter base over the last 34 years. Pierre is fluent in English, Spanish, French, with a comfortable understanding of German.

  1. The PM meets with you and talks through your ideas and requirements, bringing in the relevant members of the Oyster team to advise on pricing and timescales. They look at your budget and divide your wish-list as necessary paying careful attention to what is most important to you.
  2. The PM schedules in the necessary work, keeping the majority of this in-house with our expert professionals. If anything is subcontracted, such as upholstery or rigging, the PM will oversee the work to ensure it is completed to Oyster standards, providing you with warranty and peace of mind. We will provide a trustworthy and objective eye, sharing our years of knowledge while at the same time keeping you up-to-date. Oyster’s seal of approval on these works will help boost the resale value of your yacht. 
  3. You receive regular updates from the PM. If Oyster’s team finds anything that would benefit from being serviced while onboard, the PM will contact you to see whether you want to proceed.


  • Our yacht refit team in Palma are insured to work in any local yard, meaning we can be flexible to your needs and preferences.
  • Our Oyster representative in Barcelona can support you there, offering advice on the best local yard for your projects and managing any refurbishment through.
  • If you’re in the U.S., Oyster Yachts Newport offers everything from light maintenance to intensive sailboat upgrades.
  • In the UK we have Oyster Service Centres in Southampton and Ipswich, which offer a broad range of services from yacht refurbishment through to annual maintenance.


Yacht refurbishment can completely transform a vessel, making it almost unrecognisable. Other than impossible tasks such as moving structural bulkheads or changing the type/size of the yacht, the world is your Oyster. 

Below are some of the most common sailboat upgrades that will make a brokerage yacht feel like your own:

  • Upholstery: This is the most popular way of personalising a yacht, allowing you to implement your taste in every little detail.
  • Canvas work: Again, this adds a personal touch.
  • AV system upgrade. This will depend on how high-tech you are, and what you will spend time doing on your yacht.
  • Re-configuration of cabins: In some cases we have been able to change the cabin configuration to fit your family, perhaps adding bunk beds and games consoles for a kids cabin, or making one of the smaller cabins next to the owner’s suite into a cot room for very young children.


If you are planning on having your yacht refit, your first step should be to get in touch with our Oyster sailing services team. We know our boats inside out and are best equipped to refurbish your yacht, with countless hours of build experience under our belts. 

Not only does an Oyster refit guarantee you the best possible quality, but if you are planning to sell your luxury sailing yacht at some point in the future, her resale value will be boosted by the fact that your works have been managed by Oyster’s trusted team. Get in touch today to set your project in motion.