In the final video in our refit revisited mini-series, we reveal the total cost and discuss what went wrong, what worked and what we would do differently...


When we arrived in Malaysia in 2013, Esper was in pretty bad shape. After three years without moving in the brackish waters of Kerala, a knockdown off the Maldives and a lively crossing of the Indian Ocean, her equipment needed replacing and she leaked like a sieve. We had three options:

  1. Sell her, relocate to the Med and buy another boat
  2. Refit her in Thailand
  3. Give up cruising, cut our losses and put her up for sale (that was never a real option)

We went for Option 2 and literally re-built our boat from the inside out, ripping off the old teak deck and replacing it with snow white paint, re-modelling the interior, fitting new electronic systems (including radar, navigation and all cabling), treating the osmosis and much more.

We documented the entire process and you can still find the whole week-by-week playlist on our YouTube channel:

Had we stuck to our original budget and plan, the final cost would have been a good 30-40% lower. But since we had full access in the boatyard to workers capable of refitting every corner of Esper, we decided it would be sensible to do as much as possible while we were there. Of course, the project grew like topsy as we spent all the money we could muster and chose the best fittings we could afford.

SY Esper is now in better condition than when we bought her in 2005. We believe we could not have done the work to the same standard and price anywhere else. We also think the time and money we spent was worth it… But we realise it might not be everyone’s choice. What do you think?

The full costs are given in the video at the top of the page, or you can read the full cost breakdown on our blog.