Renowned Mid-Atlantic Yacht Service Center Awarded Best Accomplishment in Refit Excellence
Bluewater Yacht Yards was honored to receive the “Best Accomplishment in Refit Excellence” award during the Refit International Exhibition & Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 26, 2017. Their Hampton, Virginia-based yacht yard was awarded this highest designation for their ongoing refit of the Viking 52 Convertible, Cuttin’ Up.
Cuttin’ Up is an incredibly unique project that has been ongoing by the Hampton yacht yard team and owner Steve Jones – an avid angler with a progressive form of muscular dystrophy. Because the disease severely limits his mobility, especially in his legs, Jones has been making continued refits to his boat over the years so that as his disease advances, he can still run the vessel himself, fish offshore and access interior spaces without assistance.
Co-owner and manager of the Hampton Bluewater Yacht Yard, Earle Hall, and his team of highly skilled craftsmen have designed, engineered and installed a myriad of accessibility features to be as seamless as possible on Cuttin’ Up. Some of their innovations include a bridge elevator that maintains conventional ladder use, a companionway chair lift inside, and a bridge davit for lifting Jones and his chair from dockside into the cockpit. Jones explained, “The truth is that I was excited about the whole experience. Not everybody could pull this off, and it wouldn’t have happened without the inventiveness and sheer can-do attitude of the entire Bluewater staff.”
Earle Hall recalled, “I’ve always said we could do anything to a boat and make it look like it was always supposed to be that way. In order to do this right, we had to listen very closely to everything Steve pointed out and then figure out how to make it workable for him. We couldn’t just go buy & install parts for his specific needs. We had to engineer & craft them ourselves. It was a great experience getting into the customer’s vision, creatively overcoming the obstacles and then designing and building the solutions.”
Jim Miller, Refit show manager and publisher of Professional BoatBuilder magazine said at the awards presentation, “Yacht refits are often more complicated than new construction projects. The Refit Excellence Awards give the industry the opportunity to honor the people who take on these complex projects and deliver like-new vessels to happy owners.”
Hall summarized this honor on behalf of Bluewater, stating, “It is absolutely great for our organization, our craftsmen and industry partners to be recognized for our collective hard work and determination. The Cuttin’ Up project was truly a team effort, and I’m grateful for the willingness of partners like Release Marine to help us innovate to meet our customer’s exceptional needs. Dedicated to delivering the highest level of service to our customers day in and day out for nearly 50 years, the Bluewater Yacht Yards are very proud to receive this recognition.”