Helios Undergoes Major Refit at K&C

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Knight & Carver YachtCenter’s Cliff Mayo (left), is shown aboard Helios with the megayacht’s chief engineer Per-Eric Kallstrom (center) and HF Interior managing director Curt Biller. (Photo Credit: John Freeman)

By the time Helios completes her six-month refit January 31, the 194 ft. Oceanco will be ready for her close-up. For now, the yacht’s once-classic European styling has been stripped away, to be replaced with a far more glamorous, sexy look. “It’s going to be a floating beach house, totally chic, edgy and contemporary,” said Captain Tommy Gurr. “The owners wanted something more fitting to their lifestyle. When it’s finished, I know they’ll feel at home here.” Launched in 2001, Helios now calls the Pacific its cruising base, one reason Gurr opted for a lengthy refit at San Diego’s Knight & Carver YachtCenter. “We really love San Diego,” said Gurr, a native of Great Britain. “It’s got so much going for it. The downtown’s vibrant, the concert scene is alive, and there’s the beach life and amazing weather. Everything’s here for us. I’d say San Diego covers all the bases for yachties.” As many as 100 full-time workers are assigned to the interior refit, implemented by HF Interior, a Swedish interior fabrication firm that specializes in cruise ship projects. Helios marks the company’s most extensive megayacht refit. Besides the major interior overhaul of the salon and all six staterooms, the refit includes full exterior paintwork as well as a full remodel of its 500 square foot sundeck, plus considerable system upgrades and maintenance. “This is our biggest project on what we’d term a smaller boat,” said HF Managing Director Curt Biller. “It requires a totally different time frame, with a stronger emphasis on precision and craftsmanship.” Knight & Carver’s Cliff Mayo, who serves as project manager with technical superintendent Howard Buller, views the Helios refit as an complex collection of smoothly moving parts. Dozens of staff tradesmen and subcontractors are working with HF’s craftsmen, some of whom have temporarily relocated from their native Sweden. The daily workforce includes carpenters, electricians, steelworkers, upholsterers, floor carpenters, mechanics and engineers, among other trades.

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