There are contacts which are appreciated when ringing, resulting in a fastened heartbeat and pleasant anticipation. One of those is Heiner´s number, the boss of the shipyard currently building my new boat. Two days ago his contact details appeared and whatsapp signaled that there were a number of pictures ready for download. The text message went: “News from your favorite shipyard.” And yes indeed, what a joy!
Huge steps taken
After a bit of stalling progress in November and December which was mainly due to the huge devastating storm that had crushed hundreds of boats in Northern Germany an other parts of the Baltic Sea, Heiner´s team had really shifted gears, building progress is advancing in big steps.
In the fore cabin, as it seems, they have painted the wooden furniture already. Nice plain white – it looks awesome. I also could spot the first floorboards in the fore cabin being painted already. As you may have read in my previous article we´ve decided not to fit the classic boards for budgetary and weight-saving reasons. Instead, Heiner had suggested a plain straight white and nonskid-area done in Kiwi Grip-paint.
His team had apparently also prepared a mock-up floorboard which I will inspect next time visiting the workshop myself. The picture he sent reveals the fine granulation that the Kiwi Grip-paint is making when dried. Resulting in an efficient way to reduce the hazard of slipping and sliding when the boat is moving through the waves. I like it. Well, kind of. Maybe it´s too much white? Too plain straight? On the other hand, this classic boat does not have any porthole windows, so natural light will be less than in the modern cruising boats I am used to. We will discuss this matter, I´m sure.
Last bulkheads fitted
Rejoice! It seems that the guys have also completed the task of fitting the bulkheads. Judging by the pictures, all principal parts have been made, adjusted and firmly laminated to the hull by now. Examining Heiner´s pictures I can identify the bathroom being completed now with all walls.
Interesting to realize the bulkhead adjoining the head of which the large V-cutout is in fact the entry to the boat from the cockpit. By now for the first time the length of the cockpit can be seen and also the huge volume created underneath still forming the pilot berth, in this case the aft cabin on portside and the mirror-reversed locker storage room on starboard side.
Regarding the aft part of the boat, the engine housing is set up and fitted already revealing the true dimensions. The Omega 42 did have a number of different layouts especially regarding this area. There are double aft cabins in the first, original version by Peter Norlin – in this case where I have my large WC now a nav station would be apparent and a door leading to the aft cabin. Later iterations applied slight changes with the last boats sporting the layout like mine in principal.
For my boat I we have decided to have a door (of course literally without a door!) to have the pilot´s berth to portside with a small get-through around the engine housing, opening up into the locker room to starboard side. Heiner envisions a stowage system with plastic trays and hanging shelves, we´ll dive deeper into this later.
Installation of the Volvo-Penta powerhouse starts soon
A very, very interesting big part of the building process has also started already: The fitting of the propulsion system. The guys tailor-fitted the Volvo-Penta base mounting part which will later take on the Diesel engine. I am particularly interested in documenting this process in detail: Fuel tank, piping, cutting out a hole in the hull to have the sail drive lead outside underneath the boat. It´s so interesting!
I hope I will be able to be apparent in the workshop as many times as possible as I am very interested in so many details. Just like: How do they manage to align the engine and saildrive as accurately as possible with the boat´s axis? How is a fuel tank fitted? How will they do the wiring, pipes, gauges and all connected auxiliary equipment? This is a chocolate box of so many noteworthy details that I am so much looking forward!
More and more decisions upcoming
At the same time, more and more decisions will have to me made. Decisions which will decide not only details but the appearance and character of the yacht as a whole. In my last article on the building process I´ve shown some ideas playing around with the style, colors and possible patterns of the fabric used for the cushions. In this I´ve received the first samples from manufacturers of those. A really tough decision for sure!
A quick one will be decided in the coming days: Heiner sends a picture showing the possible colors of the felt lining that is going to be applied to the inner side of the hull. This felt will be the backdrop of the foreground colors, but I can choose between dark (nice for contrast) and lighter shades. Where there is no ceiling, this felt is applied. Such as the backside of the closets for example.
More details will come up: I am especially excited to talk about the size and form of the main salon table. As far as I have been coming to know Heiner, he will surely have a great simple and practical -yet stylish and modern solution. Right now I am working on a supplier for porthole windows to deliver the skylights, hatches and said windows. This of course will mark the start of the work on the deck, which is another big thing.
First things first
But – there´s always a “but” – first things first. Arriving to Duesseldorf, today the second of nine days of Boot boat show started. I am working eight hours on the Beneteau-booth, doing my marketing stuff like producing the second season of our company´s podcast (this time talking to Beneteau boss Jean-Francois Lair) and trying to have some “me time” too, of course. This is the world´s leading trade fair for yachts and yachting equipment. For sure I have an all-out working spree here and as such cannot visit the shipyard seeing ALPHA. On the other hand, literally all manufacturers and brands, suppliers and dealers of the parts and equipment for my Omega are present here, like Gebo hatches or Sunbrella.
By chance and co-incidence absolutely great to roam the 16 exhibition halls on my own behalf and check out, try out, negotiate and eventually buy stuff needed to complete ALPHA. And of course a great pool of new information, sailing yachts and stories for NO FRILLS SAILING.com – your favorite sailing blog: As every year, you may look forward to so many articles on interesting sailboats, new trends and stuff I notice and people to be interviewed. Stay tuned! And if you happen to be here at the mighty river Rhine as well, feel free to drop by Hall 16 on the Beneteau stand to say “Hello”, I would appreciate this very much. See you, dear readers.
You might be interested in these related articles:
The interior layout concept of my Omega 42 yacht
Sailing an Omega 42 for the first time