This week, loyal clients and readers, we go through three iterations of fine yachts – The fast, the blue, and the custom!
I’ve run a couple of big boats (+20 meters) at 50 knots and more, and what they all had in common was their drivetrains: Surface-drive propulsion. If you want to drive a big boat fast, with reasonable accommodations and tolerable decibel levels, surface drives (commonly known as Arneson drives) are an obvious solution.
Here’s a fairly typical example – a Pershing 64 at 47 knots:
As you’ll see here, there’s a lot of hardware at play with these drives:
The engineering is complicated, as shown here in comparison with straight shaft drives:
In my experience, these drives do work as advertised. But as in all things nautical, there are costs and tradeoffs. For example:
- The boat must be designed and built for them up front. They can’t be retrofitted to an existing boat. In particular, transom shape and engine room size and layout (particular for the transmissions) must be custom designed and built for these drives.
- Most applications have little or no capacity for trimming at speed. That means be prepared for some wet and rough rides.
- Handling in reverse can be an “all-hands-on-deck” maneuver. I’ve done it. Trust me, you don’t want to.
Whatever the tradeoffs, many military vessels use these drives routinely. When you have to go 50+ knots, you do what you gotta do.
Now, we have just this month launched our Zeelander 72 (hull #1), with triple 1200 IPS drives! Click away for a great video of her very first sea trial. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the whir of press cameras clicking away:
And, as you’ll see here, she hit her design speed on there very first run!
While 43 knots is some 10% less than surface drive installations, I will share with you here and now a little known industry secret – 43 knots is as fast as an IPS boat is allowed to go! Why, you might ask? Because….
IPS drives are speed-governed by the engine manufacturers!
Yup, the powers-that-be do not permit IPS-driven boats to exceed 43 knots in speed.
Why? Concerns about high speed prop cavitation.
And since all designs must be pre-approved by the engine manufacturers, it’s just not going to happen. In fact, builders who so much as modify the propellors will lose their build license.
So, 43 knots it is, and 43 knots is what our Zeelander 72 delivers!
Here she is the day before her launch:
And here is the big news: I would be delighted to demonstrate this performance to you in person, in New York!
On June 22, 2019 hull #1 will be in Manhattan for a major press event, and a small number of sea trials are available for my clients. Please call me quickly for a reservation, as I expect slots will go fast. As in, 43-knots fast!
They’re referred to by many names – lobster boats, down east boats, and, as I hear at boat shows all the time, “those Hinckley-looking things.” Whatever you call them, they have been the main focus of my career for the past twenty years. Long time readers of The Fog Warning and The Vicem Report know that my preferred term is its single word permutation – “downeast” boats. But the inside-baseball term many in our industry like to use is Blue Boats. It’s easy to see why, as 95+% of them are Awlgrip Code “Flag Blue.” But there are exceptions! We’ve all seen some orange ones:
Some yellow ones:
and striking “Sea Foam” versions, like Ojala, our 2011 Vicem 80 listing:
But for me the most historic model was the one that broke the color mold wide open among “blue boats” – Magpie, that amazing bright red yacht built up in Maine by Lyman Morse in 2006:
The owner of Mahagany Rose, our Vicem 67 brokerage listing, is from Maine. He was lucky enough to see Magpie’s inaugural cruise, and was wholly captivated by her red hull. When it came time to build his second Vicem (after his Flag Blue Vicem 52 Flybridge), he asked for “Magpie Red.” And that’s what he got!
That was ten years ago, about the lifespan of an awlgripped hull. When the time came to repaint her, he of course stuck with his favorite color. That paint job is now finishing up now, down in Charleston:
So if you have been waiting to see Mahogany Rose, you will be able to see her in all of her glory in two weeks. Please call me for an appointment. I promise a very special viewing of this very special yacht.
Here’s the complete listing:
The Zeelander 72, as you can see in New York on June 22nd has a striking new interior, quite different from what you have seen on previous Zeelanders. For example, here is the traditional Zeelander interior, as seen on our Z55:
Now here is our new Zeelander 72 (professional photography to follow in couple of week. Thanks for your patience):
This brighter, lighter interior will be a hit, I’m sure. But of course the traditional Zeelander interior will always be available, as will custom work of any kind.
For example, here are three artist impressions of alternative looks for the Zeelander 164‘s salon. Each of these approaches can be applied to your new Zeelander 55 or 72 as well:
On the subject of lighter and brighter, let’s talk about Ojala, our Vicem 80 listing. Vicem’s traditional interior, based around a dark and rich mahogany interior, is known worldwide. But it is not for everyone. For those who wanted a more European look, a lighter touch that shines on cloudy, dark days – Vicem created this special look:
If this yacht rings your chimes like it does mine, I urge you to meet me in Miami and see her with your own eyes. You can find the complete listing below, but first, in answer to the many questions that have come in over my transom, here’s how the Vicem 80 compares to the Vicem 72:
Your Kando Update!
My final observation this week on that most unique of custom builds is an update on the Kando 34M project in Antalya. This is the one that occupies my dream life! She is currently “splash minus 42 days” away from her launch, and her hull color has now been decided upon, as seen here:
My final observation this week on custom builds is an update on that striking Kando 34M project in Antalya. This is the one that occupies most of my dream life! She is currently “splash minus 42 days” away from her launch, and her hull color has now been decided upon, as seen here:
Here are some photos taken just this week:
I will be there for her June sea trials, and then again at the Cannes Boat Show in September for her world premier. In the words of my high school classmate (John Dewey High School, Class of 1975) Academy Award winner Spike Lee:
The truth is that back in high school we knew him as Shelton Lee. But in any event, please, baby, please join me at either of these exciting milestones in modern yachting!
And some final words….
I leave you with this, loyal clients and readers – a photo from my daughter’s wedding a few weeks ago. All I will say is this –
Do as I say, not as I did!
Thanks for cruising with me, one and all. Any questions or comments, just launch that flare!
Big Wave Dave
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