Long time no hear, you might think. And you are right: The past weeks since my last visit to the shipyard had been extraordinarily busy. It seems that with Covid (LINK) the boating market had been turned upside down: What used to be a seasonal business is now a mish-mash of everything. Especially handovers, very time consuming and laborious events: Usually amassing in spring, since two years it´s spring all the year. In this, of course, very little time for other side-kicks, such as taking a day off and visiting my new boat in the shed. And just the other day, I finally got myself freed from the workload, winter invaded Germany …

That´s a no go for today …

Well, the wonderfully warm October kind of lulled me into believing there would be some time later to change tires to M & S and over night there are thirty centimeters of snow, freezing temperatures and countrywide black ice advisory. Anyways, I asked the yard to send some pictures of the status quo and here we are – some interesting things have happened since I left the boat in autumn.

Progress of the Omega 42 Interior

Last time the crew had begun to manufacture the bulkheads for the Omega 42. Which is a very intricate and time consuming effort. Whereas a serial production yard just feeds zeroes and ones into a CNC-cutting machine that will spit out meticulously precise parts, there is no such thing for the Omega 42. Everything has to be done by hand – every cut carefully thought through, taking off too much material can never be added again. The reason for this is that there are no original construction plans left, hence no details available.

ALPHA as seen today in the shipyard

In this, the guys had put out a roughly cut blank and positioned it well inside the boat. By lowering the deck onto the boat and precisely checking any surplus material, deviations and inaccuracies, the carpenters took off bit by bit and bulkhead by bulkhead what was too much. Every time cross-checking the perfect fit by lowering the deck time and again. Now this has been done and all four forward bulkheads are perfectly customized, a number of them already fitted and fixed.

Principal layout & bulkheads

When I am at the shipyard in person the next time – I hope I´ll find a time window in December still – I will do an in-depth article about the fixing of the bulkhead, because I´ve received some comments and questions about this by you, dearest readers. For now, I am happy to see that forward of the entryway the boat in principal is “finished”, going there will convey the feeling of the volume and the utilization of the available space just like it will be in the completely finished boat later.

Please take a seat …

For example, the head is fitted. There is a GRP-formed component that has been laminated by the Swedish production yard back then with my WC already mounted. By the way, I have opted against an electric WC, although I am a big fan of these. The reason is simple: More electric stuff means more wires, fuses and hustle. As both Heiner, boss of the shipyard and initiator of the Omega 42 evo-project and myself want a lightweight, simple boat, this is the way to go.

Galley roughly fitted

Forward of the head´s frontal bulkhead one can see the push-tray of the navigation station fixed, four drawers for equipment. The carpenters have also begun to work on the galley´s furniture. Although all of the wooden parts are still very rough, sometimes raw, unpainted and unlacquered, the scheme and idea behind her interior concept start to materialize: Still a good time to ask for customizations before things become unalterable.

Fore cabin berths

A bit further in production is the fore cabin. The front berth will have the classic V-form and I know from those pictures you cannot imagine how big this is: Actually two adult persons will have more than enough space here to find a good night´s sleep without having to cuddle all-too much (although this is what will happen here …) The guys have already fitted the raw lower frame for the berth. Also, the stowage underneath the berths has been impregnated with Epoxy and painted in white already, which looks beautiful: It´s starting to become a yacht, Ladies and Gents!

A big time front cabin

For the matrasses I am already talking to some companies making custom cold foam matrasses. I will turn 45 years old in a couple of weeks and from previous sailing trip I know perfectly well how much of a pain in the ass it can be (and will be for sure!) when money is saved on cheap matrasses. The idea is that both for sleeping in ALPHA´s berths (there will be a pilot berth in the stern too) and for the saloon cushions I am not going to save expenses – certainly no pump-WC here!

Detail of the berth´s stowage

Next time I am in the shipyard, I will take measurements and maybe do some cardboard-blanks to send to the lorimer. ALPHA will be a yacht I plan to stay on for longer periods of time. She will not only be the boat for some two- or three-week summer sailing trips but also for extended periods of living and working on board: Not ruining my spine when I sleep and during daytime when I do my boat office here, is imperative.

A nice detail: Wooden frame

And then there are those little details which make my heart jump. Craftmanship and know-how meeting attention to details and extraordinary solutions. Look at the picture below: A beautifully carved out massive wooden frame attached to the hull, forming a rigid base for a bulkhead. It reminds me of the astonishing boatbuilding details as seen on H.M.S. VICTORY or other wooden sailships of the past. How beautiful!

Awwwww, how nice is that?

This attention to detail and the strive to do something extraordinary is what I love most about these guys: They are not just assembling any other boat, they are trying to produce something special. Each team member adds his skills and his art to come up with such things, a proof of true craftsmanship and passion. Even now, with a boat as unfinished and raw as it can be, I can see so much love and dedication. I am so excited, I think I will send some Christmas chocolate truffle to the team …

Next steps

I need to go there any day, but right now the pre-Christmas business is holding its firm grip onto my calendar. With another dash to France this week and some boats arriving coming week, the New Year´s eve-holidays come nearer when the shipyard will be closed. Hoping for the best, I look in admiration onto these pictures and hope to be there very soon: Stay tuned for more details!


You might also be interested in these articles:

All information on Peter Norlin´s icon Omega 42

Sailing the Omega 42 for the first time

A book about the father of the Omega 42, Peter Norlin