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

Your “MZY” – a Master’s degree from Zeelander University!

I. Zeelander’s Latest Video Review

I have a lot to share with you all today, about yachting things both big and small. But the most exciting by far is the the premier of a really impressive video review of our [soon to arrive] Zeelander 55.

Last fall’s video review of our Zeelander 72 has become (by far) the most viewed Zeelander video on the web (you’ll find it at the end of this report). But it will be getting a run for its money with this latest Zeelander 55 review. If you watch closely you’ll get a very strong feel for her handling and responsiveness. I guarantee a quality viewing experience here:

You’ll find more about her pricing and availability later in this posting.

II. Welcome to Z.U.

I’m delighted to welcome you here to Zeelander University. The story begins with some young people: Two young friends of mine are finishing up their advanced degrees in New York (in law for him, an MBA for her) and of course both have been shifted entirely to online classes. They tell me that from a learning perspective they don’t feel particularly shortchanged. But being young, single and ready to mingle, they report feeling extremely shortchanged, socially. 

Their both winners, and they’ll be fine. I’m impressed by their flexibility and dedication under difficult conditions, and they’ve inspired me to launch this new initiative – Your online MZY degree A Master’s degree in Zeelander Yachts! 

All the Z’s (so far) – 44, 55 and 72.

For those of you who find yourselves homebound (yachtbound?) I invite you join me here on The Fog Warning for the first in a 12-part series in advanced Zeelander ownership. For each class, I’ll select a single item from their intelligently designed options list, and do my best to relate it to your real-world yachting needs.

As always at The Fog Warning, these discussions will touch securely on yachting safety, but you can also expect wide ranging discussion of yachting ergonomics, aesthetics, and just plain fun. I’ll try to not make it too geeky, but then again, it is an advanced degree…. 

You can expect discussions springing off various Zeelander’s options like these:

  • Stabilization technologies – What technology works best, and when? 
  • Navigation electronics – Does Radar/Chart overlay really work?
  • Engine choices – What is your actual cost per extra knot?
  • Dynamic positioning – What are the hidden dangers?
  • Broadband vs. onboard WiFi systems – Cheaper Netflix?
  • Tender choices – All of them!

I am sure that by the time we get through both this crisis and this course (and we find ourselves back on the water with friends and families)  you’ll find there isn’t much you won’t know about what Zeelander can do for you. Everything, that is, except what you’ll learn on sea trials of these fine yachts, which I’m quite happy to schedule for you. 

So pull up a chair, grab a hot cup of coffee….

….and let’s get to it!

III. Mater’s Degree Lesson #1 – All you ever wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about Night Vision

I know a skilled captain, one with many more sea miles under his keel than mine, who’s philosophy on yachting at night is simple: 

Just don’t do it!

I get that, I really do. But it’s a little like saying don’t boat in fog. Great in theory…

I come to nighttime operations from a different perspective, for two reasons. First, I’m a sailor. At 6 or 7 knots top speed, you never have the luxury of completely avoiding nighttime sailing. My trawler, for that matter, tops out at a blistering 11 knots (downhill) so that luxury doesn’t apply here either. Sometimes, despite the best plans and intentions, you find yourself getting home after dark. 

Second, my passion in life (beyond Zeelander’s, of course) is fly-fishing. The whole River-Runs-Through-It thing. But over the years I’ve spent more time fly fishing oceans than rivers. I live in the Hamptons, and up here that means fly fishing for striped bass from a flats boat at 3am. Because, as children of all ages know…

…monsters only come out at night!

My own personal go-to aid for hunting monster at night is a FLIR hand held night vision system:

It’s waterproof, has long (rechargeable) battery life, and it will show a big bass’ tail breaking the surface from 35 yards away. I can only cast 30 yards, of course, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

The handheld version does have its limitations, as I belatedly learned three years ago. I was running a Hinckley jet boat from lower Manhattan to Seawanakha Club in Oyster Bay. That’s about a 25 mile run, and after a [too] great dockside dinner I didn’t head east until just after sunset. She was radar equipped, of course, and my SOP for nighttime operations over open water is 15 knots, so all in all, it was no big deal. 

A Short Editorial Digression

No big deal, I might add, except that in my experience jet boats hate going just 15 knots. The shallow draft advantages of jet drives are well known. Their disadvantages? Well, for one, their power curve is quite narrow – They like going five knots, and they love going thirty knots. But in between? They tend to drag and lurch a bit, a semi-stagger that announces to the world they’d really just rather get up and go.  Like keeping an eye on my dog Trout around chewables,

it can be a little …. wearing. Trout and I find the power curve of IPS boats to be both wider and more predicable.

Anyway, as many of you know, the mooring field at Seawanaka is very crowded in summertime, and finding your assigned mooring ball at night can be tough.

I pulled from my trusty FLIR out, but found it completely useless.  It took a few minutes for me to figure out why – its’ heat sensing technology doesn’t work through a windshield (or even Isinglass, I later learned). In the end, I stood on the pilot seat, head and scope poking up through overhead hatch, and eventually found the right mooring. But I wasn’t thrilled with the work-around.

On a Zeelander, of course, my handheld would have worked just fine, operating this fine yacht fully from her rear (outdoor) docking station:

Portside exterior docking station

Even better, of course, would have been using FLIR’s big screen displays. On the Zeelander option lists, it runs through the Garmin Glass Bridge system display, in what I find to be a completely seamless integration.

It costs roughly $30,000, and I find it worth every penny. Handhelds are fine for small boats, but I highly recommend an integrated FLIR system for big yachts.  

An aside to my loyal readers: For a full options list on both the Zeelander 55 and 72, just launch a flare and I’ll get it right to you.

Here’s what the integrated units do that handhelds don’t:

  • Much greater range – a couple of miles, vs. just 50 yards. 
  • A built-in Wi-Fi connection, transmitting the FLIR screen from your helm to your phone or tablet. Terrific for dockside security, even if you’re belly up to the bar.
  • A wwo lens systems – one for low light (an enhanced video camera, essentially) and one for thermal, heat sensing displays.  For the latter, even the heat caused by the friction of a boat’s hull as it moves through the water makes her wake visible. 
Actual, low light, and thermal views
  • Because they are built primarily for naval use, their lenses are heated, allowing full use in sub-freezing conditions. 
  • They have a remarkable 2-axis gyro-stabilization feature.

All in all, this is why someone (not me) once said:

“If you want to use a tougher, better-performing FLIR, you’ll have to join the Special Forces.”

I certainly welcome you to apply for the Special Forces. For myself, I’d just settle for a FLIR-equipped Zeelander!

IV. Your Zeelander construction report

Your next available Zeelander 55 (#7 in her run) is about six weeks away from her first splash. Here you can find this week’s walkthrough of her latest status:

For how we have chosen to option #7 out for you, just launch a flare and I will send you her complete details and pricing.

And, your next available Zeelander 72 (#4 in her run) is getting closer and closer to her end-of-year delivery. Here is the latest shot of Z72 #2 getting unloaded:

Zeelander 72 #2

Again, feel free to let me know if you’d like to understand exactly how we optioned her out (and why) with full pricing.

And, as I’m sure you’ve anticipated, here’s your impressive (12 minute!) video review of the Z72 I mentioned up front:

V. Virus Supplies from the boat locker

Last week I went to check on Gypsy, my Island Gypsy 40 trawler. She’s shrink-wrapped and on the hard in a closed marina in the Hamptons right now. But I wanted to prepare my season-opening checklist, and I really needed to get out of the house. Poking around in my darkest locker, what did I find among my fiberglass supplies but half a box of disposable gloves, and four N95 ventilator masks! So, if your yard is isolated, and you are as bored as I am, it may be worth your while to dig around in your bilges to see what you can find.

Well, the class bell just sounded. But fear not, lesson #2 is in your near future. Between now and then, I’m here for whatever you need. Meanwhile, take care, stay safe, and launch a flare if you have the luxury of boredom in these trying times.

Big Wave Dave (and Trout)

Westhampton beach, this week

Lauderdale Offerings

The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show countdown clock is now at T-9 days! Running from October 30th through November 3rd, I look forward to seeing you there aboard a wonderful three-boat display from Zeelander Yachts:

The Zeelander 44, 55 and 72

You will find us on the Hall of Fame side of the show, under the Northrop & Johnson banner, slips 41A, 42A and 43A.

Just south of the Los Olas Bridge

Here is our lineup:

I. Our Zeelander 72 was the Queen of the Show at the Newport and Norwalk Boat Shows. I know she will conquer Lauderdale as well!

You can find a revealing video review of her right here:

And don’t hesitate to check out her Yachting Magazine review as well.

II. Right next to her you will find our Zeelander 55:

And while I’m not promising anything, I hope we can reprise our famous “swim platform tango” at the show:

III. And finally, recent winner of Motorboat Magazine 2019 Boat of the Year Award in her class, our Zeelander 44:

For those of you intrigued by all the exciting things happening in the global dayboat market, I’m pleased to offer you another opportunity to enjoy the best of Dutch yachting at the show. My friends at Wajer Yachts have contributed two of their fine yachts as water taxis at the show.

You can take a ride aboard their brand new Wajer 55S Jetboat:

Or, the Water 38, which has captured a significant (and growing) part of the Mediterranean dayboat market:

Just launch a flare if you’d like further details on any of the above. For Zeelander’s in particular, I have just updated delivery and availability info. There are opportunities out there for you, but this is definitely one of my patented “you snooze, you lose” situations.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Big Wave Dave

From Newport to Cannes, to … Newport?

I. Summer in Newport

I am so pleased to report that our Zeelander Yachts “pop-up” boat show last month in Newport Harbor was a wonder and a joy – an [almost] living, breathing example of the “If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much” dynamic.

We had a brand new Zeelander 72 available for sea trials all weekend. Here she is, directly in front of a brand new Dutch “Mystery Ship,” and behind her smaller siblings, the Zeelander 55 and Z44. All in all (except for some pea-soup fog) it was a fabulously successful event.

I venture to say you are going to see a lot more of these pop-up, invitation-only events from more high-end boat builders. Builders are taking increasingly closer looks at their “bang for the buck” returns from traditional “big-box” boat shows.

As attendees, you’ve seen it all first-hand. Shows have gotten so big (think Miami, or Fort Lauderdale), that builders are finding it increasingly hard to make their quality products stand out in the marketplace. And even more importantly, among the crowds they struggle to provide you with the quality viewing and buying experience you deserve. So you can expect to see far more private, invitation-only showings like ours. In fact, this year and next you may be surprised about which high-end builders choose to skip the big box shows altogether. A brave new world….

I mentioned above that our pop-up was a “fabulous success.” Well, here is how I measure success:

We sold hull #2 of the new Zeelander 72!

I am pleased to say that she will be berthed in Connecticut next season. And that in anticipation of your order, Zeelander will be starting construction on hull #3 as you read this!

You can view an informative video review of this amazing yacht right here:

And if you’d like to really poke around her, here’s a fun virtual tour:

The Virtual Tour

So, that brand new Dutch mystery yacht, immediately aft of our Zeelander line in Newport? She be Scout, a Hakvoort 64 meter explorer-class yacht:

I last saw her in the Haakvoort yard a couple of years ago, where she had been sort of …. abandoned? Her Russian owner-to-be had defaulted mid-build, so she sat for a while until her current Palm Beach owner could finish the project to his highly-customized liking:

It was a thrill to see Scout’s before and after, and I give great kudos to Hakvoort for riding the someway bumpy Scout project out right to her final home port. The Hakvoort yard, by the way, is in North Holland, not far from my friends at Wajer Yachts (it’s pronounced “Wire“).

I stopped in to see that factory a few weeks ago, as I wanted to get a better handle on the Wajer build process. Unlike most builders I know, they choose not to use subcontractors. Management explained to me that they are willing to take on higher labor costs, as they feel quality is better guaranteed by in-house staff! I was very impressed, particularly by their Wajer 55:

Last year at the HISWA show in Lelystad, Holland I saw the W55’s oh-so-innovative fender system. I expect that this will certainly get your attention:

The Wajer Yachts motto is “Without a worry in the world.” I can’t think of a better representation of the entire Dutch approach to building quality yachts.

II. Fall in Cannes

I’ll be in Cannes on September 10th for the show’s opening, and I hope you will meet me there. What draws me there, however briefly, is to see and show two steel yachts that loyal readers of The Fog Warning have been following with me for some time: The Hartman Yachts Livingston 24, and the AvA Yachts Kando 110.

The Livingston 24 has just this week made its way from Holland to the south of France:

Hartman Yachts Livingston 24 entering Nice Harbor
Anchored at Cap Ferrat

I would delight in showing you this amazing yacht at Cannes. Just launch a flare for an appointment. Until then, the full listing can be seen here:

The Livingston 24 Yachtworld Listing

Later that day I will be aboard a yacht I have been following from the time her deck was first layed in Antalya, Turkey – The Kando 110:

Aluminum Deck to Steel Hull!

This will the first time I’ll see her afloat. Why not share this Cannes adventure with me? Just launch that flare…

III. Back to Newport!

From Day One of Cannes, I race back to Newport for Day One of the Newport Boat Show, which runs from September 12th through the 15th. The lineup there? Exactly what you saw (or missed!) at our July pop-up event: The Zeelander 72, 55, and 44:

To jump from one Zeelander to another, in size order, is a fabulous experience. Regular attendees at the Newport Show know how crazy the crowds can get. So please call me for a private viewing of these three spectacular yachts early or late on show days.

So, as usual, loyal readers, I’ve spanned the globe to bring you the finest yachts to be found anywhere. And for one of those yachts, I’ll leave you now with my final “mood piece,” one that I hope sets a tone for our next get-together in Cannes or Newport:

Thanks, and enjoy!

“Big Wave” Dave

April 13th, for all you father’s-of-the-brides!

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…