Winslow Homer The Fog Warning 1885, Dave Mallach's nautical report on fine yachts

Not supposed to notice…

I. What you’re not supposed to notice…

To all whom I was lucky enough to catch up with at the Fort Lauderdale Show, thanks for your time! I can say with complete authority that no one who boarded our Zeelander 55 left unimpressed. And my clients, I am very proud to say,  are very hard to impress!

Seeing my yacht through your eyes is the most valuable education I could ask for. On the VIP day of the show, an experienced yachtsman I had met for the first time spent quite awhile going through her, as you can on VIP days. When he was done, he sat in the cockpit for a long time, drinking her in, before saying:

“I get it. She speaks to me.” 

That she did. That’s what happens when the right designer meets the right builder, and the magic begins.

The FLIBS show was perhaps my 150th over the last twenty years. I would guess I have shown my yachts to way more than 100,000 people in that time. And what these relationships have taught me is that with the finest of yachts – those created by that special magic – the first appeal is not what we we consciously see. It’s about what we feel.  Feelings like this couple evidenced in their spontaneous “flash-tango” on the Z55’s beautiful, immense swim platform:

That platform, by the way, operates my means of a cockpit switch mounted in the aft docking station”

As well as a handheld remote and a hidden emergency switch along the waterline reachable by a swimmer in case … well, you know.

The operation of the platform is a thing of beauty:

I’m sure you noticed at the beginning of that clip the port-side tender garage. It houses a Williams Jet Tender. It’s operation is shown here in this real-time video:

The Z55 was an eye-opener at the show. I have previously posted here a bunch of exterior photos and videos, but I now have some stupendous interior and cockpit shots:

The Master Cabin, with a TV lift in the makeup desk.

Mirror facing outward, TV facing the bed.

Stunning tile work in the master head.

VIP Cabin, forward.

Stunning woodwork, the equal of any I’ve seen coming out of Istanbul.

The Bar and TV area.

The TV, after dropping from the ceiling, of course rotates for viewing from the salon as well.

Salon table, with rotating captain’s chris for wrap-around eating for an honest eight guests.

The Salon table in its convertible bed position. Electrically operated, of course.

The cockpit table drops in the same way, making a huge sun bed:

And, ingeniously, the table also tips up 90 degrees, allowing a complete athwartship walkway, with cockpit entries to port and starboard!

I asked that yachtsman what our Zeelander whispered to him.  He said:

“She just …. flows.”

Flows! I was thrilled to hear that word. Because that ideal was determined up front by Zeelander. Their designers and builders challenged themselves to build a yacht with as few straight lines as possible. In the end she’s all about the curves, and they certainly do flow.  Take a moment and revisit the pix above, and this one below, and I think you’ll get my meaning. Flow is not something you expressly see. It’s not about noticing design and engineering choices. It’s something you feel. And when you do, it makes your day! And mine….

If you could not make it down to FLIBS, our Z55 is berthed in Fort Lauderdale for the next few months. She is fully available for your own special VIP viewing. Just launch a flare…

II. And Her Little Sisters

These intoxicating curves are no less evident with the “little” yachts that launched the Zeelander line: The Zeelander 44H. You will find her in motion here, and if you can find more than a handful of  straight lines, you win!

I can now announce two dramatic price reductions on two “leftover” Z44’s.  The first is a stunning 2014 model with a metallic Black Sable hull:

And the second is a Bentley Blue 2012 Dealer Demo at almost 40% off a new build price:

These two wonderful pocket yachts, currently at the factory in Holland, now need to go away. Quality trades will be considered. You can see their complete specifications on my Yachtworld listings, here:

Zeelander 44 #028 – Call for Price

Zeelander 44 #016- $795,000

By all means, call me for their stories in full. One of these belongs on your dock, and  if they won’t get you to Europe, nothing will.

III. The Holland Tour

I’ve been displaying, to no small notice, some wonderful photos of the Hartman Yachts Livingstone 24M on her Scandinavian cruise, Now, some from the Holland part of her shakedown:

So what then, you might ask, are we not supposed to notice about the Livingstone 24?

That’s easy – her rugged construction. It’s completely untrue, for those in the know,  to say that the blood and guts of yacht building in steel and aluminum is best left unexamined, like that old joke about the sausage factory. There is real beauty in strength, if you finish the job right! For an explorer yacht like the Livingstone 24, it’s about becoming the beast and the beauty, in that order.

You can build a myriad of rugged boats out of steel, from barges to aircraft carriers. But building them with consummate style and grace means enveloping their ruggedness with real polish and panache. That’s where the magic happens.  So here’s a glimpse of what you are not supposed to notice, in chronological order:

Tough enough for the Norwegian fjords.

Steel plating done.

The aluminum pilothouse.

Pilothouse attached. A welding job not for amateurs!

Finis!

Splash time.

Where it all comes together…

This wonderful go-anywhere classic is berthed about an hour outside of Amsterdam. She’s a full season yacht, of course. I’ll be in Holland on a monthly basis all winter, so please allow me to take you on your sea trial of this beastly beauty.

IV. And then there’s those tough conditions…

My final “not supposed to notice” for the week is about when fine yachts get tested in  harsh, real world conditions.  Because when the going gets tough, a great yacht delivers a ride capable enough that your family  don’t quite notice that tough sea-state.

The best example of this is The Baron, my Vicem 72 listing, effortless making her way through some serious weather at 28 knots, with nary a complaint:

She is in Miami, and can (make that should) be seen at any time.

VI. And finally…

Something I do want you to notice, loyal readers. I’d like to introduce you to my new hire. Now serving as The Fog Warning’s “Good Will Ambassador,” I am pleased to present Trout, my new Australian Shepherd puppy:

Her first performance review was OUTSTANDING! I will keep you posted as she chews through my life.

As always, thanks for rolling with me!

Big Wave Dave (and Trout)

If it ain’t Dutch… [Continued]

I. Portuguese for “peaceful, or gentle…”

I’ve heard it said over the years that “Northern European’s don’t do sexy.” Yachts, that is. I don’t know if that’s ever been true – after all, these are the people who brought us Zeelanders, as sexy a yacht as any I’ve seen come out of Italy:

But it certainly ain’t true now! I am pleased and proud to announce the fourth and last leg of The Fog Warning’s new “Group Holland” initiative:

The Sossego [Sah-SAY-go] Comfort  22


The Sossego line of go-fast aluminum yachts are built by the Gebroeders van Enkhuizen yard. Sossego  – a beautiful word (do what I did – get a native Portuguese speaker to say it. It pours out like melted butter). The Enkhuizen’s are right next door to the Feadship plant, in Makkum, and share many of the same subcontractors. They’ve long been known for launching some of the finest aluminum yachts (both sail and power) in all of Europe. This one, hull # 3 in the line, is as fine an example of a performance flybridge as I’ve ever run.

Running this fine yacht in the North Sea at maximum RPM, flying along at 36 knots, I was stunned at her sound engineering. I measured  just 60 decibels at full speed. If you can hear her twin MAN 1550’s in this sea trial, your ears are a lot better than mine!

It became clear to me after a couple of day in the factory that the Sossego is what you get when you combine the best of ever-skillful designer Frank Mulder’s efforts with a yard that devotes itself to empirical and uncompromising engineering, flawless construction methods, and a fine aesthetic sense:

She is currently making her way to her winter harbor in Majorca. I’d be happy to meet you there and show this fine yacht to you. Until that time, the best look at her is:

  • This clip (with some great running shots) from Dutch TV:

 Sossego Interview

  • And this virtual tour. Select “FOTO”for the best experience:

Click for Interior and exterior virtual tours!

You can see the full specifications on The Fog Warning Yachtworld page, here:

The Sossego Yachworld Listing

But… stay tuned and buckle your seatbelt, loyal readers, for some exciting information about her big sister, the Sossego 30M:

Meanwhile, as always, if you have any questions or comments, just launch that flare! Or find me at FLIBS at the Zeelander dock….

II. Zeelander at Fort Lauderdale

Just check this out….

Now, come check her out in person! I’ll have the latest Z55 at the Fort Lauderdale boat show. She’s a 2,000 hp beast (if a beast can be this beautiful) that hits 42 knots!

She and I will be in the Green Zone of the show – that’s on the north side, not far from the bridge. Specifically:

Green Zone, HOF FD 37A

I don’t have to tell you how big FLIBS is. Call me if you get lost!

I now have some big news on the smaller Zeelanders – The 44. I have two of them (that’s 88 feet of Z, people) available for immediate delivery from the factory. To give you a sense of scale, here’s a 44 next to her big sister:

I find that the Z44 shares that great mix of indoor/outdoor space with the Z55. I ran a Z44 in Holland last month with eight people aboard, and it swallowed us all up quite nicely.

The best way to get a sense of her spaciousness is through this virtual tour:

Zeelander 44 Virtual Tour

If you are looking for a wonderful little yacht right now, you have your choice of the Black Sable or Bentley Blue models:

Call me (or even better, see me aboard the Z55 at the show) and I’ll take you through the options and pricing for these two wonders. Trust me, one of them belongs at your dock this season. Let’s find a way to make that happen….

III. Long Island Yachts Runabout 40

I’m excited to talk with your today about the queen of Long Island Yachts’ fleet, their Runabout 40:

As I mentioned last month, Long Island Yachts of Rotterdam, Holland has a deep admiration for the looks and performance of classic American downeast designs. After great success in Europe – over 80 boats sold – they now come home to the country that inspired their classic designs.

I ran this boat in Holland last month, and found she delivers a nice balance of space both above deck and below. Below decks, you’ll find accommodations for four – a master cabin with an island bed, and the guest cabin with twin berths. You’ll also find a seating area, and a surprisingly spacious bathroom with separate shower area.

The entire interior is very nicely finished in bright teak and an attractive off-white finish.

The helm station offers a purely classic design, but with a state of the art dashboard:

The dinette is well protected by the windscreen, with a functional galley opposite. The spacious aft cockpit offers seating for six.

The deep V hull of the Long Island 40 Runabout is designed to travel comfortably at high speed. Her standard engines are straight shaft twin Yanmar 315’s. Upgrading to the optional twin Volvo IPS 600 enables the boat to reach speeds of over 40 knots.

You can see the full specifications (and her attractive pricing) on The Fog Warning Yachtworld page, here:

The 40 Runabout Yachtworld Listing

You will also find there exciting information on the rest of the Long Island Yachts line:

Including their 33’s:

Their 28:

And their 25’s:

As always, if you’d like to hear the full story, just launch that flare (and find me at the show).

III. All Work and No Play…

On the way back from the Annapolis Show I stopped in DC to see an exhibit I first read about in the Wall Street Journal. The National Gallery has put on a stunning exhibit entitled:

Water, Wind, and Waves: Marine Paintings from the Dutch Golden Age

I found it just exceptional, of interest to anyone who loves boats and boating. I learned that in the 17th century,  maritime art for the Dutch was their “Hollywood” entertainment. Here are some examples of what you’ll see (but only if you hurry! The show closes on November 25th):

My new best friend, Miss Google Analytics, tells me that of all the pages I’ve published on The Fog Warning, month in and month out the number one hit is …. “About The Painting.”  That’s the rather academic video atop my home page that educates us all on Winslow Homer and his iconic painting (and mine) – The Fog Warning.

Given that popularity, I am compelled to post his as well, the National Gallery’s talk on this wonderful and entertaining exhibition. Enjoy!

IV. Let’s Be Careful Out There

About fifteen years ago I was representing a small Turkish builder called Dereli Yachts. They build a neat jet boat called The Daytripper 40, and I sold my share:

If you watch the video carefully, you’ll note two things:

  • She was a truly beautiful yacht.
  • And, she ran sort of bow up.

Visibility was an issue here.  One client of mine solved the problem by adding a full blown tuna tower, with a second helm station twenty feet off the deck! But I found one night on Long Island Sound that in zero visibility weather, trim is of secondary importance.

My job was to bring the D40 from Huntington N.Y. to Newport RI for the boat show. But I got stuck waiting for an engine part, and couldn’t leave with the rest of the fleet. At 6pm I began the 120 mile run to Newport, budgeting four hours at 30 knots. Then the squalls hit….

An hour after sunset, heavy rain and wind made it an entirely instruments-only delivery. The rain was hard enough that the automatic tuning of the radar wasn’t optimal, and I had to play around with my own settings. It made no difference at all (there be nothing to see) but I left the windshield wipers running the whole time. More about that later, my friends…

Fortunately,  radar showed that there weren’t many boats out on Long Island Sound that night. A scattered freighter or two, and the ferries out of Port Jefferson and Orient Point. But running on full instruments,  those blips got every ounce of my attention. In the end, at 15 knots, it took about six hours to get to the dock in Newport. I was a little frazzled.

Returning to the boat early the next morning,, I found that sometime during the trip I had thrown the helm-side wiper blade. The steel retaining clip, arching back and forth hour after hour, had etched a perfect (an deep) half-moon scratch in the glass. Trust me, it looked a lot worse than this:

The entire windshield had to be replaced. A very expensive lesson.

It’s not like running those wipers added any value. We’ve all seen, even in daylight, how heavy rain (or seas) overwhelms most wipers.  This is why I’m a big fan of what you’ll find on commercial boats (and more and more on expedition yachts): Bladed high-speed circular ports. These suckers will cut through anything:

Looking back on this trip now, and remembering how stressed I was tracking those ferries,  I wish my radar had a MARPA option. MARPA was an expensive “black box” option (I can’t even find a picture of it now)  allowing you to mark and track individual targets over ever-changing collision courses. It was clunky, and it required some training and practice to use it effectively.  But at the time it was state of the art.

When I started selling boats in the late 90’s there were still plenty of older boats with green screen radars. Remember this?

These  were limited in the their displays (split screens were a generation or two away) and integrated badly (if at all) with chart plotters. Which is why delivery captains always had one of these in their travel bag:

Yup, you tracked targets changing vectors with a grease pencil, marking up the radar screen. Post-It notes helped for range and distance:

A pilot told me that air traffic control back in that era wasn’t much more sophisticated. Here’s how they did it:

Well, we’ve come a long way, baby!

On a foggy morning last month in Holland I helped take a stunning Dutch explorer yacht out into the North Sea. The dykes in the area were 14 feet high, and significant traffic control was necessary to safely approach the locks. I counted twenty targets  converging upon the lock passageway, over 270 degrees of horizon. Plus, of course, a steady stream of traffic was coming in from the other side. But collision avoidance is much easier now than it used to be.

The explorer was equipped with Raymarine’s new Quantum 2 CHIRP radar, with Doppler processing. Every single target was automatically identified and tracked, with clear indications of whether they were heading towards or away from us. Here’s how it works:

All I’ll say is I wish I had this on that squall-heavy trip to Newport!

OK, one and all, I’ve got a plane to catch. You know the drill – need anything, dig out your flare gun. And let me show you the Zeelander 55 at the show. I will be there full time, except for scheduled appointments to show The Baron, my Vicem 72 Flybridge at her dock in Miami:

Friday appointments are all booked. But call me about availability over the show weekend. She is worth seeing!

Ciao for now,

Big Wave Dave

Hartman Yachts Livingstone 24

Hartman Yachts Livingstone 24 has been called:

 “The pocket explorer yacht that dares to be different.”

Hartman Yachts is a sixth generation Dutch builder. Their rock-solid builds share the same DNA with the commercial freighters they build and operate around the world. Hartman’s freighters routinely run from Holland to the Falkland Islands, in all conditions, on time and on budget. Their reliability and dependability is a direct result of robust steel construction, intelligent engineering, and reliable back-up systems. This sort of reliability-at-any-price is required for profitable offshore commercial work. It is even more necessary for true explorer yachts, like the Livingstone 24:

created by dji camera

The full Livingstone 24 listing can be seen here:

The Fog Warning Yachtworld Site

Where you’ll also find exciting  information on the Livingstone 34:

The Livingstone 42:

And the Admunsen Explorer Series, including the 26

The 35:

And the Amundsen 42:

All thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in The Fog Warning are just that – My own personal can’t-fall-asleep-at-night ruminations. Some people lay awake and count sheep. For some of us,  it’s boats…