Top five classic yacht refit and restoration projects

When purchasing a superyacht, many owners will not necessarily choose a new-build. Instead, they choose to refit a previously built vessel with a trusted refit shipyard to put their own stamp on it.

Classic superyacht refit means that owners can not only ensure the yacht is in full working order, but it also gives them a chance to showcase their personality. In no particular order, Yachting Pages looks at five memorable refit and restoration projects.

1. M/Y Malahne

Classic motor yacht Malahne is one of the most extensive superyacht restoration programmes. Originally designed and built in 1937, Malahne is a classic piece of history and one of only a few pre-war motor yachts to survive until the 21st Century.

M/Y Malahne

In 2012, Pendennis Shipyard undertook the project, with the brief to recreate Malahne to the style of her original era.

Malahne’s design features an Art Deco-inspired interior, with artisans and hand-painting artists recruited in order to recreate the authenticity of the 1930’s era. The project took two-and-a-half years to complete and recently won the World Superyacht Award for ‘best rebuild’ at this year’s World Superyacht Awards.

2. M/Y Legend

Previously known as a Class 1 ice-breaking ship named Giant, the 77m explorer superyacht Legend underwent a huge refit at ICON Yachts. The brief was to completely rebuild and transform her.

M/Y Legend

In impressive style, ICON Yachts completed the entire superyacht refit in less than 12 months. What emerged from the yard in July 2016 was a luxurious explorer yacht, with the strength and safety of her original status as an ice-breaking ship.

Standout features on board Legend include a helipad and submarine. These are available for separate charter at an extra cost. Impressively, she also has room for 26 guests and 19 crew, as well as 10 expedition crew members, who range from doctors to ice-pilots and expedition leaders.

3. M/Y SuRi

SuRi was originally built in 1978 by Halter Marine as a crab catcher ship and named Fierce Contender. It is another story of complete transformation, having first undergone her original refit in 2012, at Bay Ship & Yacht Co.

M/Y SuRi

The rebuild involved cutting her steel hull in half, in order to extend her LOA by 11m to just over 63m; take a look at a video of S/Y SuRi’s extension on YouTube. SuRi is now an expedition superyacht, able to travel to destinations far and wide. Her added length also enabled designers to add a pretty incredible glass-enclosed guest lounge for guests on board.

4. M/Y Attessa IV

Originally created as Evergreen, a Japanese ship, Attessa IV was first delivered in 1999. It was then sold to billionaire Dennis Washington in 2007 and refitted by Washington Yachting Group.


An epic superyacht measuring over 100m, Attessa IV underwent a huge refit at Vancouver shipyards, which took over three and a half years. During this time her bow, stern and superstructure style were all replaced. The interior and exterior were completely redesigned, with a new tender garage and helipad. A notable standout feature is a giant glass sculpture located in the upper deck lounge, created by the artist Dale Chihuly.

5. M/Y Minnow

While M/Y Minnow may be the smallest of our top five, her refit project is by no means any less impressive. Originally built in 1986, Minnow underwent a refit at Marine Group Boat Works, adding approximately seven metres to her LOA.

M/Y Minnow

Minnow underwent a similar process to SuRi, with her hull being cut down the middle to extend her length, with a brand new paint scheme also applied and her interior completely gutted and revamped.

Todd Roberts, president of Marine Group Boat Works, described how the yard worked collaboratively and closely with the owner and captain for over two years. He also commented, “The owner ended up loving the finished product so much; it served as inspiration for the interior of the owner’s boutique in Hawaii.”

Discover our top worldwide refit and repair shipyards, or search refit and repair shipyards on Yachting Pages.

Refit & Repair Articles
March 12, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts

In this Tried & Tested, clothing specialist Sea Design conducts a review into the best yacht crew polo shirts on the market. Which garment comes out on top when put to the test? Find out the number one option...

By Nathan Bees
January 21, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products

In this Tried & Tested, yacht cleaning expert Marine 16 Ltd and cleaning expert Judith Shaw rate and review some of the best cleaning products available to buy. Find out which product was crowned the best following rigorous testing.

By Yachting Pages
January 13, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys

In our brand new Tried & Tested, yacht water toy specialist EAMS and a group of experienced superyacht captains and crew rate and review the very best luxury water toys on the market. Find out which brand and product was crowned the best...

By Nathan Bees

Finished reading? Now find your perfect supplier.

Search our industry-leading directory for over 20,000 superyacht suppliers, providers and marinas.

Search now