Lay-up superyachts correctly

Orderly planning is necessary to lay-up a superyacht no matter how long the period of inactivity.   Classification societies such as Germanische Lloyd or Det Norske Veritas have introduced statutory guidelines for commercially used ships and also for private yachts.  It makes sense to observe these guidelines in order to maintain the condition and value of the yacht.

The guidelines of the classification societies include among other recommendations and tips for safety, the maintenance of value as well as the preservation of the hull and all technical systems. To what extent a yacht is made inoperative generally depends on how long this period should be and whether it is a “hot” or “cold” shutdown. Additional measures to be taken into account will depend on factors such as the location of the yacht, the prevailing climatic conditions and the general condition of the yacht.

With a “hot” shutdown, the yacht is deactivated for a limited period. In doing so, it is still manned with a small crew who monitor the technical activities as well as ensure the safety required in respect of fire, leakage and mooring.  In a “hot” shutdown it is very important that the crew ensure that the internal temperature and humidity conditions remain constant in order to prevent condensation.  Condensation is not good for either the complex machinery and electronics or the high quality systems on big yachts. The yacht can be reactivated relatively quickly from a “hot” shutdown. 

In contrast to this, with a “cold” shutdown, practically all the ship’s functionalities are shut down and the technical operation is stopped for the most part. The yacht is literally “put into moth balls”. There are, however, numerous measures to pay attention to so that the ship does not incur damage during the lay-up period and loses its insurance coverage. Adequate ventilation must be provided to prevent the formation of condensation. Pantaenius damage expert, Holger Flindt, also advises choosing a mooring that is continuously monitored and checked. Furthermore, someone should board the yacht regularly during “cold” shutdowns to check on everything.

Flindt has witnessed a lot of damage caused by improper or unprofessional lay-up. “Machinery is switched off without any preparation and often left with heavy oil in the tank. Cooling systems and sea cocks are sometimes not closed resulting in leaks and flooding. All this has happened.” It is for this reason that Pantaenius offers its clients assistance and advice on preparing a yacht for lay-up. Owners and operators of commercially used yachts should also turn to their classification society and enquire about the required class guidelines.