Black Pearl

In January 2010, Integrated Marine Group was commissioned to refit the forty year old Black Pearl, a Bertram 70’ brought to New Zealand from the States. This vessel had been scarcely used over the previous ten years and her look was a little dated. The owner was due to arrive in New Zealand in under eight weeks at which point he intended to use his boat for entertaining friends and dignitaries during the Louis Vuitton racing. Initial thoughts were to delay any works until after this time but on closer inspection, and some lengthy concept brainstorming, the Integrated Marine Group team put forward some ideas for a radical and fast transformation from the tired 70’s interior to a fresh, chic and more modern feel tailored to the owner’s taste.

Black Pearl - Saloon beforehandBlack Pearl Saloon beforehand

A fresh interior

Integrated Marine Group had recently employed with success the Kiwi invented “Fastmount” fixing system which enables easily removable modular panels. By employing this system on the Black Pearl the team could simply build over the top of the current cabinetry to create a completely new and fresh appearance accommodating the interior designer’s concept ideas whilst retaining access to the original spaces. Not only would this make the job dramatically cheaper, it would minimise the labour content to allow the job to be completed within the 6 week timeframe (see more on the Fastmount system by following this link to their website).

The first task was to dismantle and strip out the main saloon and master cabin before templating for the new panels. These panels were covered or varnished in a workshop offsite which minimised the need for heavy masking and protecting of surfaces inside the already cramped interior of the vessel. Just three days prior to the delivery date the newly veneered oak panels, fabric covered wall panels and headline panels were brought down to the vessel and installed in just one day. The saloon was also fitted with a new entertainment system as well as changing over the existing satellite seatel unit to receive local free view and Sky T.V. There were also some minor modifications to the layout, new lighting arrangements, and fresh new furnishings which totally transformed the interior.

Black Pearl Saloon newBlack Pearl Saloon new

The master bathroom was completely striped out and rebuilt using an L.G. Hi-Macs acrylic material on ply backing. With the knowledge that the vessel was going to be catering for a large volume of guests the old sea water manual pump style toilets were removed and upgraded to fully automatic units which meant more comfort for the guests and less concern for the crew when faced with many flushes in one day! With a new toilet, tapware and flooring added, a fresh clean modern look in the master bathroom complemented the main cabin area.


The galley, although not physically modified, was upgraded with all new 230v appliances and power outlets and the forward cabins were given a fresh coat of paint and new furnishings.

Black Pearl Master Cabin BeforehandBlack Pearl Master Cabin newBlack Pearl Master Cabin new


In conjunction with the interior fit out there where a number of equally challenging projects being undertaken simultaneously. Having spent all of her life in the States Black Pearl had a 110V 60hz power system. As the yacht was now imported into New Zealand with no intention to return to the U.S. it was impractical to leave the yacht this way and so it was decided to repower to a conventional 230v 50hz system. Clearly this is not a simple operation; it would affect a number of areas throughout the yacht and the associated ancillary equipment. The main electrical board had to be completely rebuilt to local standards as well as checking and testing all existing wiring to ensure it was safe for use. The generators were stepped down to 50hz and reconfigured to run 230v. All integral ancillary equipment was changed out to run off the new configuration, tested and commissioned.


With a lack of any maintenance history on board it was up to the IMG team to set their multidisciplinary team to work and review all the essential systems on board to ensure they were functional and reliable enough to safely carry passengers onboard.  The Main Engines and Generators were fully serviced and sea trialled to ensure reliability for the future running of the vessel. All bilge and safety equipment on board was also tested and repaired if required.

Black Pearl Master bathroom before
Black Pearl Master bathroom new

The exterior

With so much work underway the exterior works were kept to a minimum. Some modifications were however necessary, and these included installing a BBQ on the aft deck for entertaining, a new bimini top on the fly bridge, new helm seats, and repair of existing squab cushions on the foredeck. The exterior was also given a fresh look through painting the boot stripe and trim and re-sign writing the name and re-painting the transom. There were also new fenders and lines, and a team of day workers to help polish and clean the exterior to give it the birthday it required.


The results

This short but intensive project was co-ordinated by Integrated Marine Group in time for the yacht to be cleaned, dressed, and ready to hand over to the owner by his specified date. Black Pearl was used extensively during the Louis Vuitton and the Owner also used her for cruising after the racing was finished.