A Complete Boat Refit

This was a massive undertaking that saw up to fifteen people working on her at any one time. We documented the entire process, including weekly youtube video updates.

PSS Boatyard, South Thailand

The project was undertaken at PSS Boatyard, Chebilang, in the southern Thai province of Satun. The list of jobs was exhaustive and the ones listed to the right merely scratch the surface.
  • Removal of teak deck

    After months of deliberation we removed the teak deck. Watch the refit videos to find out why.

  • Redesign of interior

    Stripping away the yellowed ash interior to make way for a lighter, more contemporary look

  • Hull osmosis treatment

    Extensive osmosis had to be dealt with

  • Complete respray

    From masts to deck to topsides

  • Updating entire electronic system

    Rewired with a new navigation system

Documented in Oyster News and Sailing Today

Sailing Today, recently bought out by Chelsea Publishing, has repositioned itself towards the cruiser market. ST is modern, fun, informative and relevant. We have been writing for ST for four years documenting our adventures as we travel east. The article will look at specifics like why we decided to remove our teak deck, and what it's like working with local labourers. We will be profiling each and every update aboard Esper, from navigation systems to remodelling the interior.

Oyster News is the glossy quarterly, published by one of the most successful custom luxury yacht manufacturers. They too have documented our adventures and, despite its world-wide distribution, it's free.


The Articles Are Reproduced Here

The six articles for the above-mentioned sailing magazines are reproduced here and include new, unseen photographs.

Sailboat Refit Pt 1: Introduction


Remaining on a pontoon in India for two years, despite basic servicing and upkeep, had led to some general deterioration of our boat. But for SY Esper to stand a chance of completing a passage to South Africa, she needed to be in the best possible shape. So we spent a full season planning, servicing and preparing.

Continue reading here

Real-time Esper Refit Blog Posts

Videos, pictures, commentary, links... we uploaded all of this and more every single week throughout the refit.

Real-time Esper Refit Blog Posts

Esper Refit 4 – tent up; filling in a portlight

March 2, 2014

Teak decks are being ripped off, toilets have been removed, the top-sides have been spraypainted black and someone is creating so much fibreglass particles and sawdust that even after three showers we're still itching like hell. The question, therefore, should be: exactly how close are we to a nervous breakdown after a month on the hard here in Thailand? The video clip should put it all in perspective...

Esper Refit 3 – removing deck fittings; interior mood boards

February 23, 2014

Six days of work in a three minute video clip... and whilst Liz gets a smack in the head we bring the entire yard to a standstill as we move four boats out the way so we can take prime spot in the corner of the yard. A snippet of time-lapse video trickery in this week's video summary too. Low-point of this week was having to let one of the staff go, but this was off-set by being relocated to our new home.

Esper Refit 2 – removing the mizzen and main masts

February 16, 2014

Week Two of Esper's refit moved as quickly as the first week. The crane was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, which it did, and Un's team duly removed both main and mizzen mast in two hours. We recorded the whole shebang, though you'll be pleased to know we reduced to down to a short clip, complete with some explanatory commentary. If you've not seen this operation before, take a look and marvel at the ease in which both masts were removed.

Esper Refit 1 – an introduction to our boat refit

February 9, 2014

We've been off the radar for the last few weeks, if you'll excuse the nautical pun there. It's been a busy time with us leaving Malaysia, entering Thailand, hauling out, finding a house, emptying Esper of our worldly goods and preparing our beautiful but tired boat for a strip down. Esper's refit is a monumental project. At the very least we'll be stripping her of her gelcoat, her teak deck, her masts and rigging and her electronics...

The Refit Video Series

One year in a boatyard. An Oyster 435 refurbished from inside to out, top to bottom. Use the icon in the top-left of the playlist to display a pull-out menu of every video episode.