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16 March 2004, 10:45 am
Refit Completed
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Global Challenge 2004/05

Berthon Boat Company has finished painting the last 72ft Global Challenge race yacht ahead of time and on budget, bringing to the end another chapter in the highly successful, multi-million pound yacht refit project.
Challenge Business awarded the £500,000 contract to Berthon last summer with a package of work, which included repainting the hull and decks of all 12 identical, steel ocean racing yachts.

Andrew ROBERTS, technical project director, Challenge Business, commented."'We're delighted with the work that Berthon has undertaken. The company has a state-of-the-art facility, as well as a skilled workforce and an efficient management team. Berthon can actually control the temperature and humidity very accurately, which makes very specialist jobs far easier to carry out".

The Challenge Business technical support team temporarily relocated to Berthon in Lymington last summer for the start of the yachts' first major refit since they came into commission in early 2000.

"Challenge Business felt confident that Berthon could not only undertake this very large job, but do it well,"</> continued Roberts. "To deliver this ahead of time and to budget further highlights the expertise of the company."

Dominic MAY, director of Berthon said. "This 12 boat refit was truly a partnership with the customer. We worked very closely with the Challenge Business for two years testing different paint systems and application techniques so that we both knew exactly what was possible with the time scale and budget".

"Throughout the refit, co-ordination and co-operation between Berthon and the Challenge team, and fast decision-making helped the job along. At any one time we had five or six of the 72ft yachts in our work sheds or paint booths.

Thanks to the project management between Challenge and Berthon we launched the 12th boat two weeks ahead of schedule and the whole project was exactly on budget."

Challenge Business' relationship with Berthon started in 1999, with 18 topside paint jobs having been completed in the Lymington shipyard before the refit started.

"As the last yacht in the programme emerges from the ultra modern spray booth and is being prepared to motor down to Challenge Business' facility in Plymouth, the quality of the work is truly evident," concludes Roberts.

The refit project is due for completion in May, when a very proud Challenge Business will reveal, for the first time, all 12 yachts, which will sail from Plymouth to St Katharine's Dock in the heart of London for a week of corporate activity.
Rachel Anning (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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