Project: Interior Refit M/Y Plan b
The story of the Springbok, Python, Cow Hide and a Tottooist
I have to say that in Project Identity’s occupation we are asked for some pretty unusual requests, but with this particular vessel, the requests were stranger than usual.
M/Y Plan b is no stranger to Cairns as in her past life she was HMAS Flinders, a hydrographic Naval vessel and was based and maintained in Cairns for many years. Now however she is a glorious 50m Superyacht having undergone many structural and cosmetic changes.
We had received word that the vessel had plans to refurbish the guest areas on board and we were asked to supply contact details of upholsterers and carpet layers in the Cairns area. As we all work closely together anyway, Project Identity went along to the initial meeting with the crew. It soon became obvious that we could achieve far more of their wish list than they previously thought.
As with most international Superyacht owners, their choice of fabrics and finishes will be chosen from the immense resources in the Northern hemisphere. Fortunately, the majority of these suppliers are represented in Australia, so the hassle of “import” red tape was removed and we could get the ball rolling quickly. Fabrics soon began to arrive ahead of schedule from the States for some of the interior upholstery and for all of the exterior cushions. We could also start 3 D drawings for some bespoke outdoor furniture, along with sourcing some “sleek” cowhides to recover the dining room chairs and ottomans.
Over the following week, the management company, the yacht, Project Identity and Carter Marine worked cohesively to bring about as much work as possible in the very limited time period. Every area of the vessel started was completely finished.
In addition, one of the owners’ requests was to have the 1200mm Japanese symbols for luck and harmony painted onto a hessian background and mounted to the exterior wall of the Main Deck. A tattooist was suggested as a likely candidate to commission the work, and this led me to Craig, who was very dubious at first, rose to the challenge like a true champion.
The owner also requested that we find a python skin to make some cushions out of. These were to go with the imported Beaver and Chinchilla cushions on the Main Salon Sofa.
I initially assumed that an imitation fabric was required, only to have it confirmed that the snake had to be real. Unbelievably I found a gentleman here in Cairns who had a 16ft Javanese Reticulated Python skin sitting on his shelf (It was 350mm wide at its widest point), and he was delighted to sell it and a 12ft crocodile skin as well, (something to keep the resident stuffed Armadillo company, no doubt). Amazingly still, I managed to find someone to sew the snakeskin without being too squeamish.
To find the Springbok cushions was a tame exercise in comparison.
As with most of the projects I undertake, getting images of the finished articles rarely happens, however this time we were able to set up the exterior areas, and arrange them as if the owner was coming on board. So we had a photo opportunity.
It is often surmised that foreign vessels are not choosing Cairns or Australia for refit work because of our high dollar and expensive labour costs. This maybe true for large haul out refits and paint jobs, but for smaller work that can be undertaken in the Marina, I believe it is a matter of positive contact with the vessel, and an honest approach to their timetable and what can be achieved, and a “can do” attitude.
The vessel said that the standard of work ethic and workmanship was equal to, if not above that of Fort Lauderdale and Antibes.
We had very positive feedback from the owners, through the crew, as each job was completed and photographed, for their approval.
In hindsight, without Project Identity’s involvement, the yacht would have only managed to complete the wall linings in 1 guest cabin and the Master cabin completed along with the upholstery in the Master cabin. These jobs, from the quotes submitted, were no more than AUD7,000.00 in total. The yachts’ spend, through Project Identity, for Cairns, was AUD105,000.00 for the interior plus the carpeting work which the yacht sourced themselves.
I would like to thank the following businesses in Cairns that helped with advice, information, quality workmanship and support to keep the Plan b project on schedule and with excellent results. Well done!
Upholstery Works: Cairns
Rob McNamara Upholstery: Cairns, who stepped in after the sudden, sad death of John O’Dell.
Custom Upholstery: Cairns
Trim Tech: Cairns
NQ Curtain Works: Cairns
identity Marine Interiors: Gold Coast
Lampshades of Distinction: Gold Coast
Brian Bench & Assoc: Sydney
Craig McLachlan, Tattooist: Cairns
Carter Marine Agencies: Cairns
Custom Shipwrights: Cairns
Marino Bros: Cairns
Solomons Carpets: Cairns
Hoppens Carpets: Cairns
|23 March to 16 April 2011