St. Tropez? Napoli? How about both?

I. Fancy Free

Clearly, good things come to those who wait. And with Western Europe finally open to vaccinated Americans, off I go. If Europe is in your travel plans this month, let’s try and get together there. Here’s what can be in store for you:

Our first stop is Napoli to learn more about the storied Fiart Yachts, builder of two lines of yachts who’s command of interior space has really impressed me – their Seawalker line of luxury dayboats, and their Cetera 60 motoryacht

Here is a great example of their Seawalker 43 – that rare dayboat with real, usable interior space:

And this is their Cetera 60 – the first yacht I know of that brings superyacht and cruise ship layouts down to a more manageable size (and budget):

 

Fiart is almost completely unknown in America (for now) but to European families with rich nautical heritages they are famous, indeed.  Famous because way back in 1960 Fiart built the very first fiberglass boat in all of Europe, Conchita:

 

In the 60+ years since, they have evolved, retooled and advanced to a state-of-the-art facility with state-of-the-art designs. I invite you to explore them with me in Napoli during the last week of July.

Until then, feel free to explore these two informative video reviews. Each of them does a great job in demonstrating Fiart’s innovations in space planning:

 

          Video Review of the Seawalker 43

 

                 Video Review of the Cetera 60

If you can’t get there this month, both will be on display at the Cannes Boat Show from September 7th through the 12th. Nothing would make me happier than meeting you there as well.

From there it’s off to France’s Cote d’Azure for a viewing of hull #1 of the Long Island 40 Classic:

If you are in the St. Tropez area in the first week of August, I’d be delighted to show you her as well. Hull #2 has just sold (for Holland) and America is clearly ready for #3. As you very well may already know, you can now design, price and calendar your Long Island Yacht online, easy peasy.

While in St.Tropez, I’m quite excited to be doing a sea trial of this gem among gems, Stockholm’s  J Craft 42 Torpedo:

I first saw this 47 knot wonder in Cannes two years ago. Her styling, fit and finish was among the finest I’ve ever seen, as you’ll see through a close look at this video:

 

                   Click for a rocking video

It’s hard to say no to a St. Tropez sea trial (I know, I tried). So just give up and come along for the ride with me on the afternoon of August 3rd.

II. What a Nice Surprise

I guess that sometimes when you do something long enough (23 years, in my case) they call you a leader. Fair enough! I am honored to be profiled in Sounding’s Magazine June Issue devoted to industry innovators. And its all because of The Fog Warning’s achievement as the first in the industry to offer carbon-neutral yacht ownership to its clients. Click below for the story, and the inspiration that came during a hot shower….

 

 

OK, time to pack. Want to join me, question me, or gossip with me, just launch a flare.

Thanks, and enjoy!

 

“Adventure is just bad planning”

“Adventure is just bad planning.”
– Roald Amundsen

 

 

 

 

 

“When you spend enough time on boats, there are going to be moments when you wish you were just about anywhere else.”     

 – Dave Mallach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s been true for me here and there, and sooner or later you may find it true for you. In preparation for all possibilities, I invite you to join me today for a graceful meander down a path that skips through Newtonian physics, yacht building best practices, boat loss insurance data, and that ever-exciting world of explosive welding.  Most of this will tilt toward big boats, but there is a method to my madness – A boat is a boat, and knowledge is power. Who knows, someday you may thank me for this post (but let’s hope not).

I. The Physics of the Matter

 

Let’s start with Sir Isaac. It seems the mythic story of Isaac Newton’s apple – the one that delivered to him (and us) the truth of gravity – is not a myth. Best evidence shows that it actually happened, and in fact the the grandchild of that tree can still be visited. Perhaps a visit will provide your own inspirations.

Said apple fell during during England’s Bubonic plague of the mid-1660’s. Newton was “socially distanced ” in a farmhouse for two years, and he later explained how the plague allowed him to do his best work:

“I was in the prime of my age for invention & minded Mathematicks & Philosophy, more than at any time since.”

I’m certainly no Newton. And I’m no engineer (I just play one on TV?).  But socially distanced as I am here in the Hamptons, I’ve begun to wonder about …. impact forces! Last week we discussed the hazards of sea collisions with shipping containers.

 

I’ve always managed my businesses with the philosophy that “What can’t be measured, can’t be managed.” So how, I wondered, do shipbuilders intelligently build around impact forces they can’t measure? Clearly, there must be a way. But I found hard answers hard to come by. Google didn’t help much, so I posted some question on  yachting forums I respect, both recreational and commercial. No dice there, either. Then I reached out to some of my amazing clients (I really do have some of the best and smartest clients found anywhere), and hit the jackpot.

I have a client who is a major league quant. He started his career as a particle physicist, and now works as a derivatives trader (and is a skilled baseball data hobbyist.)   He explained that impact forces between moving objects are measured by something called (thank you, Sir Isaac)  “Kilonewtons.” He directed me towards an idiot-proof app called  Gigacalculator.  There I was able to easily plug in the following assumptions:

 

  • Traveling in a straight line at 10 knots;
  • Colliding dead on with a shipping container (loaded, they weigh roughly 50,000 pounds);
  • Thereby pushing that container two feet out of the way upon collision; following,
  • 10 seconds of direct contact.

You’ll see here an average impact force of 329 kilotons and a peak force of 658 kilotonsA torpedo, basically.

 

 

Loyal readers may remember my blog post entitled “A Survey from Hell” about the damage incurred by the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald. This painful tragedy resulted from an [entirely avoidable] collision with a freighter in the Sea of Japan:

I can’t calculate those kind of forces, but let’s stick with our shipping container model. My understanding is that 600 kilonewtons is roughly the force delivered by a 60 ton hydraulic press. Seeing this demo, I can imagine what this could do to a ship’s bow.

 

As for what happens at the point of contact,  I’ll direct you to a well-thumbed book off my bookshelf:

It turns out what sinks a yacht, technically, is not frontal damage to the bow. Rather, it’s the resulting side forces, which force the hull sides outward. That sideways pressure, as you’ll see here, breaks the welded joint connecting the hull to the all-critical waterproof bulkhead:

This is what keeps yacht and ship builders up at night. It’s not the durability of the steel or aluminum plating. It’s all about the welds!

 

II. Ship Building Best Practices

 

Welding – An art AND a science!

 

I entitled this section “Ship-Building” in reference to my closing plea in last week’s post,  There is No Bad Weather, Just Bad Boats :

But to me, if a client is going to spend $5m, $10m, or far more on a true ocean-going vessel, it’s because they want the challenge of rounding Capes – not puttering though canals. They don’t need slick marketing or magazine cover shots, convenient labels or copycat builders. In my humble opinion what they need is a ship, not a boat, and that ship should be built in a shipyard, not a boatyard, and it should be a Dutch ship, or one that aspires to that level.

 

In other words, a quality Dutch shipbuilder and shipyard like Hartman Yachts. 

Hartman has building ships for seven generations. Johan Hartman, the current owner, was commanding ocean-going freighters at the age of 22. His builds are the state of the art, mission-critical ships, whether for commercial or private usage. Hartman, 100% privately owns, builds and operates a fleet of +100m ships like these:

 

 

 

 

In fact, if you order a new Long Island 40 Classic like this one, for end-of-2021 delivery…

 

…. she may very well come to the USA on this very yacht-transporting Hartman freighter:

 

And if you need to move a damaged destroyer across the Pacific, well, Johan can certainly build one of these for you as well.

Now, back to welds…. I’ve been to shipyards all around the world (including Turkey, Vietnam, and China) where they still rely on basic acetylene torch technology:

 

 

But welding from premier shipyards is now done with computers, using solid-state welding machines that provide maximum control of things like (come on, I know you really want to know) waveform shape, the pitch of the leading and trailing edges, pulse settings, crater time, burnback time, and much more:

After that, impact-dependable welds depend upon extensive and continually upgraded staff training and the correct choice in welding wire.  Once again, it ain’t easy. Or cheap! In the early stages of a build – those involving long, continuous welds in a flat position – the best practices is to use a very expensive, special metal-cored wire, called Coreweld C6.

It costs much more than standard flux-core wire, but as in all things, you get what you pay for. Later in the construction, when they’ve run out of flat runs and the hull begins to take its final shape, a different wire is called for: Dual Shield 70 Ultra Plus. And finally, for ship areas with thinner plates, AristoRod comes into play – a bare, solid wire alloyed with manganese and silicon.

So, the right machinery, the right skills, the right rods, and you are ready? Nope, far from it…

III. Your Controlled Explosion

For considerations of weight and performance, quality yachts like Hartman’s Livingstone 24 must join its steel hull to an aluminum superstructure. And without the most exotic of materials and practices, that is impossible – You cannot just weld steel to aluminum. The hear required to weld steel liquifies the aluminum. You’ve got to get hi-tech…

… and built yourself a “ship sandwich” by:

  1. Starting with the steel hull on the bottom;
  2. Ending with the aluminum superstructure on top;
  3. But inserting in between a bizarre bi-metal invention, a kind of gasket that has been formed in a controlled explosion that permanently fuses together a thin layer of steel to a thin layer of aluminum (Imagine, if you will, a copper penny fused flat to a steel nickel). This strange amalgamation allows you to:
  4. Weld the top of the steel hull to the steel bottom of the bimetal gasket, and after it cools, to weld the the bottom of the aluminum superstructure to the aluminum top of the same gasket.

It’s called explosive welding. It was discovered in WWII, when B52 crews found strangely fused metals resulting from iron shells blowing through their aluminum-skinned planes.

Here’s what a controlled explosion looks like, graphically:

and here it is in real-world production:

 

And that, my friends, is how you build a ship sandwich!

IV. Sunk Investments

I’m going to step away from impact damage now to talk about a statistically more likely scenario out in the great beyond (or in the middle of your home channel). When it comes to outright sinking, insurance company data shows that only 4% of boats sink from collisions. The main culprit, at 40%? Water intrusion. Yup, your basic and boring seawater inflow through open hatches, doors, and blown thru-hulls. Check out this recent example, where a yacht ran aground in the middle of the night, in the middle of  a supposedly navigable channel:

With her stern exposed to following waves, eventually the sea found its way in through the stern’s tender garage. Trust me, nothing good ever happens after that.

Now, long-time clients will recall my take on tender garages in the post Love me Tender.  All in all, I really preferred this much safer, side opening alternative:

 

Speaking of Zeelander, the Demo Z55 that I showed many of you last fall is still available, and will be displayed at the coming Palm Beach Boat Show.  You’ll find that opportunity HERE. I’ve run this fine yacht a bunch, so by all means launch a flare if you’d like to hear her full story. I’d be delighted to meet you at the last day of the show, Sunday March 28th.

From there I’m off to to Holland to celebrate the splash of Hull #1 of the new Long Island Yacht 29 Classic,

and to investigate this [currently hush-hush] project:

 

Of course I’d be delighted to meet you in Holland in Early April. Please call me for EU entry details.

 

OK, more to follow on collisions, sinking and other mishaps. Please stay tuned for your next blog post, where I will explain why your bilge pump sucks (in fact, it’s almost useless). And I’ll explain what I think you really need when things go wrong.

Meanwhile, thanks for all you do. And as always, for whatever you need, just launch a flare!

 

Big Wave Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no bad weather. Just bad boats!

 

Really now? “No bad weather, just bad boats?” It’s an old Danish expression, but I heard it for the first time in Holland. Sure, it’s a little bit ….  judgmental? But I’ll give the Danes this: When you boat on the North Sea, and have since the time of the Vikings, I say you’re entitled to judge all you want. Because as Dizzy Dean once famously said,

“It ain’t boasting if’n you kin do it!”

As the fish swims, it’s only 375 nautical miles miles from southern Denmark to Urk, Holland. Urk is home port of Hartman Yachts, builder of, among other things,  the Livingstone 24:

I’ve done enough sailing in Denmark over the years to see a certain shared yachting culture with the Dutch. My respect for those shared values has led me to connect so well with Hartman, and with  Long Island Yachts.  It’s why, when bringing these lines to America, I now summarize their offerings to America this way:

“From the North Sea, to your sea!”

Which brings me today to….

I. Sold!

Keep your eyes open this summer and you’ll see a brand new Long Island Yacht 33 Classic whizzing by on Long Island Sound!

Don’t blink, because she’lll be moving fast. The owner (a race car driver and bad-ass waterskier)….

Not yet behind a 33 Classic, but soon enough…

…. has the need for speed. That’s why he opted for the largest engine that fits the 33, the Yanmar 370, which will top her out at 32+ knots. As he put it to me, “Upgrading to the V8’s additional torque was a no-brainer for me.”

In regard to that performance, you’ve heard on my Tom Brady Goes Dutch podcast about the recent sea trial of a Long Island Yacht 25 Sportsman in New Jersey:

Long Island Yachts Sportman 25 is a touring yacht built in the Netherlands.

25 Sportsman

Before our sea trial her owner was glowing in his account of the boat’s handling. In particular, her solidness in a chop. So we went out on a brisk fall day, and I quickly understood his point. Zooming with the Dutch the next day, they answered for me a question that had been on my mind for awhile:

Why are Long Island Yachts heavier than the competition?

 

Their answer?

 

Because they are supposed to be!

 

All things being equal, we like heavy boats because,

  • When you fall off a wave, that extra mass cushions the blow, and leaves your boat standing on her feet.
  • When you crash into a wave, that extra mass helps crush the weight of what’s coming straight at you (at 64 pounds per cubic foot!)
  • And when that 64 pounds per cubic foot of wave falls on top of  you? Well, best to be pushed around as little as possible.
  • Simply put,  weight delivers stable and able.

The engineers at Long Island Yachts explained that the net additional weight comes from their use of solid fiberglass construction (no foam or balsa cores) below the waterline. That extra mass, down low, is the secret to their handling. And if you are a speed demon, you can make up for that extra weight with a bigger engine (or even twins).

Personally, I think this is an optimal design choice. Especially, when you run aground (see this post on Long Island Yachts’ protected underbodies) …

 

 

… and listen to a great story about a damage-free, high-speed nighttime grounding here. A grounding, by the way, that left the boat 50 feet up on the shoreline (no one was hurt).

For your Long Island Yacht, the next open production slots are for September delivery. But demand is high so please call for your availability update.

II. Next up…

With one hundred of these small luxury yachts having splashed since 2006, the 33 Classic is a perennial best seller. But my innovative friends wanted to tweak the design a little, presenting a more curvaceous look in a slightly smaller design. So they brought some rough plans of a 29 Classic to the Dusseldorf Boat Show last year to gauge client interest. It must have been high, because they’ve already sold five from the plans alone!  Hull #1 will finish in a couple of months, and I will have a full report for you. Meanwhile, here are some CGI’s to tide you over:

 

 

Long Island Yachts commitment to growing their USA fleet has led them to move into their new and larger factory in Holland this week. I look forward to seeing it myself this spring, and I welcome you to come over with me. In fact, let’s sea trial the entire line together…

 

Here is a little of what you can expect at the factory:

III. Hardtop and Other Options

Something else you can expect from Long Island Yachts is some new Hardtop builds. This option is now available for the 29/33 Classic models:

And, so impressively, for the 40 Classic:

 

I’ll take this opportunity to say that the pricing on the hard top option is quite reasonable.

Actually, the options pricing across the entire LIY line is unusually reasonable for our industry. I always take it a little personally when builders pump up their options pricing  ($30,000 for a generator? Really? Do they thing my clients won’t notice?). So hat’s off to Long Island Yachts (the rare builder for whom teak decks and bow thrusters are standard equipment) for keeping their little luxury yachts affordable. Your cost for the generator option on the 40 Classic, you might ask? An eminently reasonable $14, 300. That’s what I’m talking about…

The Long Island Yachts 40 Classic: Quality, Performance, and Value!

40 Classic

IV. What to Build, and for Whom?

 

I’m gonna take a  deep dive into the belly of the beast today, loyal clients, and talk about how builders decide what to build, and for whom. Some of it will be a bit arcane, some of it a little obvious, and some of it (sorry) will come close to boring. But stick with me here, because I think it can add real value to your decision making process.

It starts with yet another restatement of The Fog Warning’s core mission, it’s dedication to answering these questions:

What makes a yacht great, and why? Who makes a great yacht, and how?

 

And for today’s discussion I will add this little postscript:

… and how not to!

 

Obviously, building a great yacht takes a great team.  It starts with the builder, of course  – the owner or the CEO.  But then add:

  • The designers;
  • The bean counters;
  • The naval architects;
  • The parts suppliers;
  • The subcontractors;
  • The service teams (a huge resource when designing and building the yacht in the first place); and,
  • The marketers.

Team assembled? Now the first critical decision:

Exactly what are we going to build, and for whom?

Here’s an illustrative but hypothetical story about the range of possible answers.

Let’s say sales have slowed at a storied builder of big boats. The reasons could be all over the place, but for the purposes of this discussion let’s say:

  • Maybe their designs have gotten stale.
  • Or, they haven’t kept up with the competition.
  • Or, changing trends in the industry (outboards, anyone?) just passed them by.
  • Or, human nature took its course and leadership got too comfortable for too long (when I call the owner or CEO I’m delighted to catch them out on their own boats, using and testing their own products. Catching them out on the golf course ….. um, not so much).

And now their CFO (or maybe the smartest member of their Board of Directors) notices that 18 to 24 months out their cashflow is looking a little shaky.

No need to panic! The solution is well known and well used, practically shouting itself from the rooftops of every boatyard in the world:

“We need a new model!”

Okayyyyy, but what should we build? Keep in mind that tooling costs for a 60 foot yacht are huge. The molds alone for fiberglass construction can run over $2,000,000.

As a brief aside, these tooling cost are one reason I love well-built aluminum and cold molded yachts. Without having to make a huge investment in molds (trust me, you have sell a small fleet of yachts to make that investment back)  all of that value stays in the boat! It stays in as design enhancements, higher-end components, and higher levels of performance and finish. Vanquish Yachts, for example:

… is coming on strong is America with their new, hot aluminum luxury day boats, with at least 20 deliveries here in the last year or so.

But any way you cut it, it’s a big decision. Margins are low, capital costs are high, and not many builders can survive a $2,000,000 mistake. Which leads to question #2:

Do we build down to a price, or build up to the best possible yacht?

Stated another way:

Do we build a yacht generally good enough to meet the needs of the largest pool of potential owners, or do we build a great and more expensive yacht for a far smaller but far more discerning class of owners? 

Biz-wise, neither answer is wrong. Both can succeed. But only one answer consistently and dependably produces a great yacht. Which, as my loyal clients know, is The Fog Warning’s whole raison d’être.

But let’s stick with Track One first, “build down to a price.” And since copying is cheaper than innovating, the project usually moves on to this question:

Who’s doing well, and what marketshare can we grab from them?

It’s a comparatively low-risk play. Why not leverage your competition’s expenditures on costly R & D and marketing? Well, there’s one obvious “not.” Walk through the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show’s lineup of 4,000 largely look-alike, perform alike offerings, and you’ll get what I mean.

But even copying is hard, biz-wise. If competitor X’s yacht is selling well at $2,150,000, the obvious approach for a builder becomes “Let’s move into that space, do it just differently enough to distinguish ourselves a little, but use our smarts to do it more efficiently, say for….. $1,999,000. We’ll clean up!”

Sometimes they do. But that doesn’t mean they produce a great yacht.

And let’s be clear – saving that $150,000 is nowhere as easy as you might think, because:

  • The basic material costs of yacht construction are roughly the same, planet-wide.
  • Even if you can squeeze out some cost advantage on these basic materials, the cost of the hull and deck itself is no more than 25% of the overall build.
  • The core components (engines, electrical, plumbing) are all sourced from the same suppliers, at the same cost unless you are pumping out a thousand boats a year (hello, Azimut!).
  • Basic labor rates don’t vary by county. No matter where you build in China, your base labor rate will be $4.85 an hour. Taiwan? $5.20. Turkey? $4.95. The US or EU? $22. Once you’ve built an elaborate factory, there is no easy way to reduce labor costs. Even robotics (except for making the molds) are not all that applicable to yacht construction.

So, cheaper is harder.

And doing it better and cheaper is way harder.

Which leaves the Goldilocks middle path: More-or-less match your competition’s costs, price point and quality. Then pressure your world-class brokers and cracker jack marketers (who these days are way closer to data scientists than traditional marketers) to leverage the great value of your brand name.

It works.  Does it deliver a great yacht? Sometimes. Not often enough.

More often it takes Track Two: Building the best yachts for the most discerning owners. It’s still a really hard path (after all, if it were easy, everyone would do it). But the best builders in the world continue to produce the best yachts, year in and year out. How do they do it? What skills do they bring to bear?

What I’ve seen is this: They use the best installed option available to species Homo Sapiens:

 Come Again GIF - PeeWeeHerman What Huh GIFs

A world class set of ears!

 

I mean ears (as is said of great jazz musicians) that can hear paint dry.

The builders who turn those ears unwaveringly towards their current and past owners, they get to grab the gold ring. After all, who better can identify what’s missing from their boats, and from their yachting lives, than the owner’s themselves? That kind of market knowledge is invaluable, and all it takes is Pee-Wee Herman-sized  ears.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s not done as often as you think, or as well as it should. The boat biz can be very much an ego-driven dynamic, rife with the “I know best” syndrome. Trust me, nobody in this biz knows everything. So nothing beats a goods set of ears.

What else works? Builders who:

  • Are emotionally and intellectually wired for innovation;
  • Who prioritize a direct connection to a yachting life – They use their yachts just as their owner’s do. A lot;
  • They work hard at staying small. With great product that takes discipline (you have to be good at saying no). It’s hard for big conglomerates to build great yachts;
  • Their pockets are deep enough to avoid chasing the latest trend; to weather downturns (in fact, downturns are exactly when you should be working on new models); to provide great service to their owners; to operate without significant debt but with great partners; to take as much pride in the quality of their yachts as the quality of their balance sheet; and,
  • Most of all, they have the skills, confidence and integrity to…

Say what they build, and build what they say!

 

By this I mean they define right up front the core functionality they want to bring to their yachts. And they stay true to that from first drawing to first splash.

Builders with integrity build yachts of integrity. They don’t dwell on labels or depend on slick marketing. What they depend on is the good judgement of knowledgeable yachtsmen and women who know what they are looking for and what they are looking at.

God, I love this business.

V. Explorer Yachts, Expedition Yachts, and other Assorted Labels

Which brings me, finally, to our last chapter today: Explorer and Expedition yachts (whether mini, maxi, or pocket). And I’m going to apologize in advance for being a little strident here. But in this sector the dollar costs can be as high as the physical risks. If you’ve been following the damage done to the Vendee Globe racers this winter, you know that some 10,000 shipping containers a year get jettisoned at sea. Any one of them can sink an under-built ship:

 

But no nautical authority – not Lloyds of London, nor MCA, nor anyone else – has technically defined what constitutes an Explorer or Expedition yacht. Unless and until you get up into Ice-Class classifications, any builder can call anything that floats anything they want. And since this has been a very hot build class over the last five years, builders everywhere have rushed in with their own offerings, definitions and labels.  The build space is now occupied by at least 18 builders around the world, and five times that many designers. The best of the best stand out. Some don’t (fiberglass expedition yachts? Really?).

Who builds what I would take anywhere, anytime? For me they are builders of ships. Ships that get through almost anything, for as long as it takes, with sufficient space and range for crew, guests, toys, supplies, and refuse. Ships strong enough to handle things like semi-submerged shipping containers, with commercial-level damage control systems when things get wrong. Ships that can safely provide the offshore experience that very few people get to have, much less own.  They include:

Holland’s  Damen Yachts (the world’s largest commercial builder, from freighters to naval ice breakers):

 

Feadship (Royal Dutch Shipyards), who have been building Super Yachts almost since the time of Superman:

 

Italy’s Cantiere delle Marche (CDM), who’s Darwin class Expedition Yachts blew me away in Cannes last year:

 

And Heesen (yes, that’s her Long Island Yachts 28 Sportsman tender alongside):

 

The Fog Warning Blog and Podcast is going to spend the coming months exploring this world, and I hope you enjoy the ride. Maybe you can tell that I’m taking the lack of authenticity in this sector a little ….. personally. Sure, I could probably lighten up a little.  But to me, if a client is going to spend $5m, $10m, or far more on a true ocean-going vessel, it’s  because they want the challenge of rounding Capes – not puttering though canals. They don’t need slick marketing or magazine cover shots,  convenient labels or copycat builders. In my humble opinion what they need is:

  • A ship, not a boat.
  • And that ship should be built in a shipyard, not a boatyard.
  • And it should be a Dutch ship, or one that aspires to that level.

And, if they’re going Dutch, I want them to take a very close look at my Dutch ships. Those built by the shipyard of Hartman Yachts:

 

What can I say?  I’m a true believer. Why? I’ll leave that to Dizzy Dean again…

“It ain’t boasting if’n you kin do it!”

As always, thanks for listening. And launch a flare if I can help with anything along the way.

 

Big Wave Dave

Long Island Yachts Sportman 25 is a touring yacht built in the Netherlands.

Tom Brady Goes Dutch!

Welcome to the launch of The Fog Warning 2.0. The new website allows us to share our stories with you in more helpful and engaging ways.  You’ll find more exciting high-value content, more informative videos and special reports, and most of all the latest in compelling story-telling platforms:

 

The Fog Warning Podcast

I’m also tremendously excited to share with you how The Fog Warning has become the first in the industry to offer carbon neutral yacht ownership to our clients.

It’s all quite a story.  Enjoy the ride!

I. Tom Brady Goes Dutch

The Fog Warning’s mantra is becoming more widely recognized with every passing day. The latest “If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much” convert is Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, who last month took delivery of his Dutch yacht – A Wajer 55:

 

Here’s the sports media’s amusing take on his choice. While these sportscasters get most of the details wrong, you can’t fault them for their excitement. Or their envy!

 

 

Long time readers of The Fog Warning know well my passion for Wajer Yachts. Pronounced “Wire“, they are still largely unknown here in the States (I believe Brady’s Wajer is just the fourth USA model). I find their quality, engineering and performance to be all I have learned to expect from the Dutch. I‘ve gotten to know the yard and its management team quite well. I’ve run these yachts in Holland, the Med and in the States, and I am exceedingly impressed. They have become quite the phenom in Europe, to the point where they pretty much own the day boat market there. Their biggest challenge has been building enough to meet demand, but their recent expansion should do the trick.

Their “entry level” offering is their W38:

 

 

And a much bigger [currently hush-hush] addition to the line will splash shortly. If you would like to hear more about Wajer, just launch a flare. I am here to help.

Interestingly, this makes Brady the second NFL quarterback to recognize the quality and value of Dutch yachts. John Elway, of Denver Bronco fame, bought a Zeelander 44 a couple of years ago. Like Brady, he keeps it in Florida:

 

Zeelander 44’s are no longer in production, but there are always a few available on the brokerage market. Last November I made my way up to Maine to see this 2013 model, currently asking $775,000:

large photo Photo 0

Just launch a flare for my observations, and feel free to check out her complete listing.

II. A Brave New World

Wajer, Zeelander, Pardo, Van Dutch, Vanquish, and of course Hinckley and Riva have essentially created their own new class of yachts. Three years ago, while selling Hinckley’s, I began calling this the “Luxury Day Boat” market. I’ve been watching this sector quite closely these last few years, proudly observing its growing market share.

While the success of this sector started and continues in Europe, it has begun to positively explode here in the States. In Florida and the Hamptons, of course (in Sag Harbor you can almost hop straight across the harbor from day boat to day boat without wetting your feet), but now the Luxury Day Boat tide is indeed spreading across America (lately, notably, the Great Lakes)!

I’m particularly excited by this because of my representation of Holland’s Long Island Yachts:

 

 

With seven models between 25 and 40 feet, I find Long Island Yachts hit the exact sweet spot of the rapidly growing Luxury Day Boat market:

 

Long Island Yachts, Holland's premier yacht builder.

The Long Island Yachts 33

 

Long Island Yachts Sportman 25 is a touring yacht built in the Netherlands.

The Long Island Yachts Sportsman 25, just delivered to her thrilled NJ owner.

 

Long Island Yachts Sportsman 28

The Long Island Yachts Sportsman 28 tours Antarctica

 

The best-selling Long Island Yachts 33

 

The Long Island 40 – with optional IPS drives

LIY is about to deliver its one-hundredth yacht in Europe. I firmly believe they will splash even bigger here in the States, and I’m putting all I have behind them. I’ve been to the the LIY factory many times, have worked closely with their design and production teams to better tailor them to the US marketplace, and I’ve run their yachts on the North Sea, the Med, and our Atlantic coast.  I find their styling, engineering and build quality to be top-notch, as well as a tremendous value in the Luxury Day Boat market.

What Long Island Yachts does better than almost anyone in the industry is merge quality with value. For example, in both their Traditional (cuddy cabin) and Sportsman (center console) lines, they deliver bow thrusters and teak decks as standard equipment.

I’ve also come to appreciate a pivotal design feature of both lines: Their shallow draft abilities. You’ll see here their fully protected underbody, perfect for exploring skinny waters from the  Chesapeake to the Bahamas:

The Long Island Sportsman 25’s underbody

Or, to safely slide over errant icebergs:

LIY 28- Antarctica

 

If you’d like to learn more about the LIY story, your timing is excellent! I present you now with Episode #1 of The Fog Warning Podcast. My interview with LIY founder Onno Laardhoven covers the LIY story at length, as well as our predictions and observations about the Luxury Day Boat market in both Europe and the USA. You can find it here:

 

The Fog Warning Podcast

 

As you can tell, I am completely thrilled and proud to represent Long Island Yachts in America. For a deeper dive into all things LIY – including pricing, options, and delivery dates – just launch a flare. And of course explore the brand new Fog Warning website.

And the same goes for my representation of Holland’s Hartman Yachts, builder of the Livingstone and Amundsen lines of explorer yachts:

 

Our commitment to carbon neutal emission standards that apply to yachts.

Hartman Yachts Livingstone 24

 

Hartman Yachts Livingstone 24

Hartman Yachts Amundsen 26

You can learn more about the Livingstone 24 in my snoozeagram, below.

III. You Snooze, You Lose

As detailed in Episode #1 of The Fog Warning Podcast,  what you have been hearing on the docks is not just hype – brokerage yachts sales have been record-setting during the pandemic. There is now a real shortage of quality brokerage boats out there. The public (and not just the traditional yachting-buying public) found that Yachting = Social Distancing. I’ve sold three brokerage yachts in the last few months, including Mahogany Rose:

*** SOLD *** Mahogany Rose – Vicem 67

*** SOLD *** Grand Banks 42

*** SOLD *** Island Gypsy Trawler

 

I’m also knee-deep in helping clients search for just the right Vicem. Check out the stunning woodwork Vicem is famous for in our just-explored Windsor Craft 36  in CT:

large photo Photo 15

 

I’ve also been carefully evaluating the considerable value in Hinckley’s early series of Picnic Boat Classics:

If you can be flexible about the wide range of jet control systems (Generation 1, 2, or 3) on these early models, there are still real opportunities to discuss. Just launch a flare!

As or my own inventory, well, there’s not a lot left. But foremost among them is this 2017 Livingstone 24:

 

 

Stunning photographs, interior plans, and a thrilling 360 degree virtual tour right HERE.

As always, just launch a flare.

IV. The Podcast and You

So why, one might ask, a podcast?

 

The Fog Warning Podcast

 

I started blogging over a decade ago, with my Vicem Blog.  And while that particular blog has been on the shelf since 2012, it still continues to rack up an enormous number of hits. Not a month goes by where I don’t receive Vicem inquiries through it. I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the years (which is why The Fog Warning now gets 10,000 readers a year). And the main lesson is this:

Knowledgeable yachtsmen and women hunger for quality content.

And with traditional publishing’s challenges (just see how skinny the boating mags have become) I’m told The Fog Warning fills a valuable need. I’ll say this: It certainly helps me sell a lot of boats ($50 million at latest count).

I recently read that podcasting today is where blogging was back in 2005, and that we are about to enter “the golden age of podcasting.”   This was on my mind when I recently met a quite knowledgeable client aboard his yacht, as he’d begun to think about selling her.

Our highly-substantive talk ran over three hours. Reflecting upon it later, I realized that however valuable a blog’s content, there are limitations to the written word. Perhaps a supporting forum (one, lets say, that you can listen to on your boat, bike or commute) could provide greater value to more people.

So there’s your answer!

I’ve got the next six months of podcasts mapped out. You can expect wide-ranging discussions with builders, designers, naval architects and brokers as we seek to answer (you’ve heard this before) the two eternal questions of yachting:

What makes a yacht great, and why? Who makes a great yacht, and how?

I also realized  that no one – not even the world’s top brokers – can tell the story of a fine yacht with the same knowledge, passion and enthusiasm as her owner.

So I am throwing the Fog Warning Podcast open to my owner’s as well. If you would like to tell the full story of your brokerage yacht to a world-wide audience of qualified yacht buyer’s, I am here to help. Please call me for the details.

V. Tom, Giselle, Me, and now You?

 

I expect that Tom and Giselle will dock their Wajer 55 at their new Indian Creek home:

Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen Buy Miami Property

 

Frankly, I didn’t know much about Giselle before Tom bought his Wajer. But I’ve since learned a lot about her efforts to combat deforestation in the Amazon, including the planting of hundred of thousands of trees to replace those illegally cut down by loggers. I’ve done a small bit of this kind of work in the hills of eastern Haiti while building a school in the mid-2000’s:

 

And I’ve seen how quickly embattled environments can bounce back. If you give Mother Nature a chance, she fights hard! Which is in part what led me to our latest and best initiative: The Fog Warning is the first company in the industry to offer carbon neutral yacht ownership to its owners: 

  • Why? Because our quality time on the water directly depends upon the quality of our marine environments. We’ve all become aware how that environment is changing due to climate change. We see it with rising water levels at our docks, and with more extreme weather patterns inshore and off.  Most recently, the link between climate change and the rise and spread of pandemics has become increasingly clear. So I feel that our industry has a responsibility to do more to assure safe, quality yachting experiences for our owners, and for subsequent generations of yachtsmen and women.

 

  • How? Buy a yacht, new or used, from The Fog Warning and we will provide you with a carbon-neutral ownership experience. Just send us your fuel receipts at the end of your boating year, and we will buy offsetting carbon credits to make up for your fuel use.  What’s more, we will do this for as long as you own your boat. 

 

  • Who? Our first partnership is with The Ocean Foundation’s Sea Grass Grow project. By planting and nurturing coastal sea grass acreage, shorelines are preserved and additional carbon is naturally absorbed, as demonstrated here:

 

 

That’s the plan, my friends. And while I’m proud and pleased that The Fog Warning is  the first carbon-neutral dealer in the industry, nothing would make me happier than knowing we are not the last.

So please consider spreading the good word. In my experience, no one – not builders, dealers or designers – has more collective power in this industry than yacht owners. So even if you choose to buy a yacht outside of The Fog Warning,  consider asking that builder or dealer to follow The Fog Warning’s way.  They can contact us directly for the details.

Thank you! And, most importantly ……

 

 

Big Wave Dave

Words fail me….

Sometimes it’s about the words. But more often it’s all about the pix. Especially these pix, taken just this week in Rotterdam.

Our 42-knot Zeelander 55 (#7) ships out on a freighter on July 7th. You will have your opportunity to see (and sea trial) her at our Norwalk CT docks on the afternoon of July 15th.

Just launch a flare for your private (and medically safe) reservation.

You can see her complete specifications and equipment list right HERE.

Alright, enough with the words. Now just gaze (and if you’d like an additional fifty hi-res pix, just ask)….

Your Globe-circling Report

I have returned! With four cities and ten boats over five days under my jet-lagged belt, I’d like to share with you some of what I learned. Feel free to skim through until you find something you like, and trust that I’ll tie up all its diverse threads in a bow for you at the end of this post.

I. First Stop – The Hague!

Midway between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, I spent the day at the home of my wonderful “little” pocket yachts – Long Island Yachts:

The Long Island Yachts 40 Classic

You’ll see below that the LIY factory is humming along nicely. Having sold 80+ of these wonderful boats in Europe, I am convinced they can handle the US market with skill and dependability.

 
Cranking them out!
Ignore the smiling faces, and check out the gleaming gelcoat. A top-notch job!

I am so pleased to announce here for the first time that LIY is sending me a 33 Classic demo boat for the coming season! You’ll find this lovely beauty at my dock in Shelter Island this summer, and in harbors from Montauk to Essex. I look forward to showing you what she can do, but until then, enjoy this video and call me for pricing and availability.

 

https://youtu.be/bQmeZjShwLo
Long Island Yachts 33 Classic

II. The Zeelander 72 Launch

I was honored to be among Holland’s yachting elite for the launch party of Zeelander’s greatly anticipated 72. It was … incendiary! I’ve seen launches like this at Cannes and Monaco, but never a party of this scale at a factory.

Trust me, professional photography and videography will follow at length, but here are some early views to tide you over until then:

Almost 150 square feet of extended outdoor space
The Z55, Z44, and the Z72

You can see full coverage of this party, with additional photos right here:

https://www.zeelander.com/zeelander-z72-yard-launch-vip/

I spent a full day exploring this fine yacht, and here are my observations:

Long time readers know that 72’ yachts are the most common models I have sold – at least six or eight of them, from several builders, all with traditional straight-shaft power trains. It’s a footprint I know intimately!

The Zeelander 72 changed my space-planning expectations. The interior volume that intelligent IPS engine installations provide is just remarkable. Her total living area almost approaches that of my Vicem 85 model (albeit in a narrower beam). 

This was clear just about every place I looked:

  • Her master cabin is positively huge. The only time I’ve seen so much “empty” space around built-in furniture is on larger, mid-cabin master cabin yachts.
  • Although not terribly clear on the layout plan, she even has a walk-in closet to starboard.
  • Notably, each of the two guest cabins are quite large, almost the size of master cabins on many 58’ boat yachts.
  • What’s more, shower areas, often a space sacrifice in boats this size (particularly European builds), are voluminous here. 
  • Exterior space, particularly with what I estimate is a 150 square foot extended swim platform, is almost ridiculous! For entertaining, this boat could easily absorb a 20+ person cocktail party. 


My design quibbles are just two or three in number, and they are minor. Please feel free to reach out to me privately and I’d be happy to share them with you.

A brief discourse here, loyal readers, about global markets, and what they can mean for you….

Aboard the JUST SOLD Zeelander 55. Details below

Careful readers will note at the bottom of each page icons for the Russian and Chinese versions of The Fog Warning. They are becoming much-used services. How much so?

Currently 9% of all readers of The Fog Warning worldwide are from Russia!

3% are from China, by the way. But I’m working hard on increasing that number.

The Russian market is booming, and I find those clients to be among the most yacht-savvy boaters I have met. Case in point, the Zeelander 55 I’m shooting above has just been sold to a client in Russia. Here she is, the very next day, on her way to points east:

To continue this multi-lingual thread, in the last month I have received two inquires from the UAE about Ojala, our Vicem 80 listing:

Those inquiries have spurred me to add an Arabic version of The Fog Warning, and interested readers can find that new icon at the bottom of each page as well.

My point here, loyal readers and yacht owners, is that The Fog Warning’s global reach can be a huge asset in the sale of your fine yacht. Please call me to find out how my global reach can find a new home for your yacht.

OK, back to my Vicem 80! The number one question I receive about this yacht (formerly known as the Vicem 75, before the swim platform length was added to its overall measurement) is how she differs from the best-selling Vicem 72. Well, that is now an easy question to answer. You’ll see here how just a bit more length and a bit more height allows a comfortable fourth cabin to fit in nicely:

V72 vs. V75/80

The full listing for this Vicem 80 can be found below. And if you are coming to the Palm Beach Boat Show next week, I’d be happy to meet you in Miami to explore her together. I’d say she is certainly worth your time:

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2011/vicem-80-flybridge-3515047/?refSource=standard%20listing

You will find me on D – Dock at the Palm Beach Show, under the Northrop & Johnson flags. I will be aboard the Zeelander 55 from March 28th through the 31st. I look forward to showing her to you there. But until then, this will have to suffice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK93b-vS47I

III. On to Istanbul!

I spent a great day with my friends from Vicem Yachts in Istanbul. I saw their almost done 68 Cruiser coming together, and you’ll be able to see her for yourself at the fall shows:


Vicem 68 Cruiser

Vicem is having an impressive line of yachts at the Palm Beach Show. They’re having a cocktail party on Thursday night, and you’ll see me there!

IV. And Finally, to Antalya

Antalya is a stunning historic Roman harbortown in the far south of Turkey. It is one of my favorite places on the planet, which is why this was perhaps my tenth trip there. It’s a sleepy, Mediterranean kind of place, as evidenced by my canine friend here:

I returned to Antalya to meet with AvA Yachts, the builder of the striking Kando line of go-anywhere steel/aluminum yachts.

They are finishing up hull #1 of the kendo 110, set to splash in six weeks:

And, I saw that they are two months in to hull #2, destined to deliver to NBA star Tony Parker in nineteen months:

In the end they will both look like this:

But they will have very different layouts. #1 is a five-cabin model, with the master cabin in the bow:

Five-cabin, master bow

To each his and her own, of course. But personally, I have a thing for aft-cabin masters. By putting the master cabin on the aft deck, you get an enormous “porch” at the foot of your bed, presenting wonderfully romantic “sunsets-in-bed.” After all, in the end ain’t it all about the romance?

Numarine does this with their line of explorer yachts. But as you’ll see here, that back porch view will usually be blocked by tenders and water toys:

Numarine 32XP

The Kando 110 (aft master) places the tender on the front deck, preserving those unblocked bedside sunsets:

Kando 110 six-cabin, aft master

As I say, to each his and her own. That’s the thing about yacht building in Turkey – You can always have it your way, usually at minimal extra cost!

V. And Home!

Finally, back to New York, for one week. Then I’m off to Zeelander-world at the Palm Beach Show. I do hope to see you there. But I’d like to leave you with this closing thought – A top industry executive once said this (kindly!) about my success in the boat biz:

“Dave may not be the absolute best broker in the industry. And he may not be the #1 hardest working broker in the industry. But he always shows up!”

Yah, showing up is what I do. So please consider letting me show up on your behalf, my loyal readers, sellers and buyers. You know me, I aim to please. And to deliver!

Thanks, and enjoy!

Big Wave Dave

Time and Tide…

I. The Magazine!

At least one of your holiday wishes has been granted! The Winter issue of The Fog Warning Digital Magazine has just been published on the Apple and Google App stores:

 

The winter issue contains 178 pages of cool articles and in-depth listings of featured yachts. You can subscribe to this free and engaging diversion here:

The Apple Store

or

The Android Store

Enjoy!

II. An Explorer’s Dream

The hottest sector in super yacht construction for the last five years has been heavy duty, go-anywhere explorer yachts. The reason is not hard to fathom – Explorer’s speak persuasively to the adventurer’s among us.  Big and long adventures  – the Antarctic, the Galapagos, the Norwegian fjords – these rugged and distant lands require yachts that can travel long distances safely, stay out for at least six weeks at a time (in environmentally friendly ways), yet make no compromises to luxury or comfort.

This video captures the romance of that kind of yacht, and that kind of exploration, better than any I have seen. She’s a Dutch-built steel explorer, not too different than my Amundsen 42M or Zeelander 164. You are going to watch this video more than once, so make yourself comfortable….

On your second viewing, if not your first, you probably caught at moment 2:10 one of my Dutch tender’s at work, the classically inspired Long Island Yacht 28!

 

 

Some 80+ Long Island Yachts have been built in the last eight years. Half a dozen serve as tenders to megayachts. I can’t think of a better endorsement. You can find the Yachtworld listing for this fine little yacht right here:

Long Island Yachts Runabout 28

Legend, the yacht in this video, is a converted commercial ship. My yachts, built expressly for this kind of voyage, are the Amundsen 42M:

 

 

 

And the Green-Class Zeelander 164:

 

I have quite a lot of fun information on these builds. Curious readers, dig out your flare gun!

III. “And te tide and te time…” 

As far as my research goes, those olde English words are the first recorded use, from the year 1225,  of the term we all know: “Time and tide wait for no man.” The full expression was:

“And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet.”

It doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue. Anyone who’s read the original Chaucer can tell you that. But I do like the historical nature of it all.

Last week I made a quick trip down to Fajardo, Puerto Rico to sea trial a really special sailboat. Running back into the harbor, the wind at our backs, I was momentarily surprised to see all the yachts at anchor pointing sideways to the wind. That reminded me that moored boats follow whichever is stronger – wind or tide. Docking a boat, its a good thing to know which is going to effect you more.

Here’s a video that makes the point. I’m docking The Baron, my Vicem 72 listing in Newport, a few months before her current owner took title. It’s a pretty tight fit. Tight enough that if you turn up the volume on my son’s play by play, you’ll hear

“Doesn’t look good, I don’t think he’s gonna make it!” 

The tide was running from port to starboard, with a little more velocity than I anticipated (you’ll see it drift this 30 ton yacht a little closer to it’s neighbor than I would have liked). Here is where a good set of bow and stern thrusters really came into their own. I’ll note in advance, for the squeamish among us, that no people, animals or yachts were injured in the making of this movie:

The Baron is in Miami. If you are going to be at the Miami Boat Show next month, I would love to schedule an appointment with you:

The Baron!

IV. Robotics

I’ve been knee-deep all month in financials, analyzing comparative construction costs for yachts around the world. Globalization has made hardware and material costs virtually identical no matter where you go. Labor, of course, is the great variable. Lately, because of increasing labor costs in China, Turkey – with its newly devalued Lira – has become an extremely attractive place to build a quality yacht at a great price. Sooner or later, though, advances in robotic construction is going to narrow down these advantages wherever you choose to build.

If that sounds years away to you, it ain’t. Here’s an amazing video of how Grand Banks is using robots in Malaysia to make their production molds. The magic is scheduled nightly, when most of the staff is home with their families:

 

V. Zeelander 72, hull #1 Update

The Robb Report, and many other magazines you probably have lying around, has been covering the coming launch of our Z72 #1:

Hull #1 is on schedule to splash sometime between January 30th and February 14th.I’ll be in Rotterdam for her first sea trial, and I’d love to have you along for the ride.

Here are the latest construction pix:

Portside

Swim Platform (note the electric motor).

Starboard

The Belly of the Beast

Custom Tile Work

Ciao for now, loyal readers. And remember to subscribe to The Fog Warning Digital Magazine on the Apple and Google App stores.

Big Wave Dave

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

 

 

If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much!

I’ve been traveling the breadth of Holland for most of September.  Having bounced around between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and that booming metropolis of Urk (no, that’s not a typo) for weeks on end,  I return with fascinating tales and stunning boats for you. So grab a Heineken or two and settle down for the story.

I was invited to the Netherlands by a consortium of Dutch builders eager to establish (or improve) their beachheads on our side of the pond. I got up close and personal looks at over two hundred new yachts, and met with over a dozen builders.

I found there’s a lot of truth behind the old “If it ain’t Dutch…” joke. The Dutch truly have a unique relationship with the sea. The hard fact is that most of their country is below sea level, so they don’t have much choice!  Crawling through their yachts, I found some of the best engineering on the planet. I feel very strongly that we need this level of engineering in our harbors, too. Which is why I am so thrilled to now be representing three of Holland’s premier yacht builders in America!

I. First, Zeelander Yachts

Zeelander has been selling their fine yachts (including the hot one cruising through that cup of  coffee, above) in the USA since 2010. Their Z44 and Z55 models are well established on both coasts. I think you’ll understand why this year their best seller is their Z55:

 

 

 

 

 

 

As stunning as they are to the eye, what’s going on behind the scenes – from their hull design and uncompromising standards of soundproofing to their impressively laid out systems – is even more impressive. You can see what I mean by meeting me aboard their latest Z55 (a triple IPS 45 knot boat!) at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show (from October 31st  through November 4th).  I know my clients and loyal readers. So I know you will love this boat.

Be forewarned that I’ll be divulging some Zeelander secrets at the show. You can hear some advance news about Zeelander’s new Corniche 55:

and their under-construction  Zeelander 72:

And if that is not enough, I will have details on what to me is a pinnacle of avant-garde engineering: Their stunning Hybrid Drive, Rina-Green Class Plus Zeelander 164:

The artist renditions of three alternatives for its interior design will grab your attention. I am certain of it.

But to tide you over until your FLIBS vacation, here’s a cool little advance holiday for you:

II. Hartman Yachts

These are the boats that brought me to Holland this fall! It all started with a review of their Livingstone 24  in the latest issue of Passagemaker Magazine. Her classic jazz-age styling made me reach for my passport:

This 24 meter shares her lines with two larger siblings, the 34M and the 42M. Viewed as a complete series, these sketches provide the best view of Hartman’s deep dive  into classic yachts:

The Livingstone 24

 

The Livingstone 34

The Livingstone 42

I’ll be writing about this fine yacht quite a bit in the months to come, but if you can’t wait, here’s the review that sent me to Urk:

 

I’d be remiss here in not mentioning Hartman’s Explorer line, the Amundsen Series. Designed to go anywhere at almost any time, their design and overbuilt scantlings come directly from Hartman’s experience in building ocean-tested commercial freighters – boats that routinely go from Holland to the Falkland Islands, regardless of weather. Their intelligent and redundant systems will identify their 26M, 35M, and 42M yachts as true Explorer-class yachts:

Amundsen 26

 

Amundsen 34

Amundsen 42

III. Long Island Yachts

I must say, this was the big surprise of my trip to Holland:

I had not heard of Long Island Yachts, despite their oh-so-American name (they’re actually named after a very special place in the Bahamas). I was surprised (and then excited) to learn that over eighty  have sold in Holland. I find the Dutch to be a very friendly, but rather grounded people. It takes a lot to get them excited. Well, clearly these Long Island Yacht builds turn them on!

 

I firmly believe these little pocket yachts are poised to make a big splash in our harbors. Why?

  • Their designs are spot on.
  • Their build-quality is as close to flawless as I’ve seen on small yachts.
  • Their pricing is quite advantageous.

But hey, don’t just listen to me! Come see for yourself, as I’ll have a beautiful red one for you to board at the Fort Lauderdale Show. Please call me for the details.

IV. Oh Wait….

One last thing about the Fort Lauderdale Show – The Baron, my Vicem 72 brokerage listing, will be open for private viewings in nearby Miami. I will be making scheduled trips  during the show, so please call now for an appointment. For a more public viewing, here ya go:

V. Things I hate!

Welcome to a new regular feature of The Fog Warning – Things I love, and Things I Hate. This week, it’s all about the hate!

I’m often asked where the name “Big Wave Dave”  comes from. I rarely tell the story. It’s too embarrassing for a marine professional (sic) to admit.  But as The Fog Warning’s reach has expanded (with 10,000 new readers this year alone) I recognize that a good part of this growth is the boating public’s hunger for better coverage of “real world” safety issues. So in the interest of the greater good, I will overcome my embarrassments for you, my loyal readers. You owe me one.

First, some video’s that explore that brave and dangerous activity of boarding moving vessels. (Warning, don’t try this at home).

The first is about mail deliveries on the Great Lakes. In some communities mail gets delivered right to your dock. And, as you’ll see,  that mailboat don’t dawdle!

Mailboat jumper tryouts

The "mailboat jumpers" are part of a time-honored tradition that helps put Lake Geneva on the map. FOX6 News was there on Tuesday for tryouts for the 2018 season — and not everyone stayed dry! via.fox6now.com/a1U5Q

Posted by FOX6 News Milwaukee on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

 

And then there is this boarding exercise,  from Finland. How else would your pilot board from an ice flow? And do they pay these people enough?

 

Finally, my points are made by this hair-raising tale (it ends well):

Personally, these videos instill in me an attitude of gratitude (as new-age meditators put it). Gratitude  for the fact that the universe, in its infinite wisdom, provided for the evolution of bow rails!

After all, these too-often overlooked options keep you and yours where you’re supposed to be.

Of course many downeast-style yachts dispense with these rails altogether. Far and away the majority of Hinkley’s don’t have them. In fact, these yachts are beautiful in part because there are no stainless rails breaking up their sweeping lines. Here’s a good example of that (and bonus points if you catch the captain almost falling overboard seven seconds in):

The bow rail discussion (do I or don’t I?) is a little bit like the flybridge discussion (Do I shoot for the panoramic visibility and extra outdoor space that a flybridge offers, or the pure beauty of an express model?).  A little tangent here folks….

I was speaking with a client just last week about his dilemma. His point, and of course we all get it, is that life is too short to have a less-than-beautiful boat. And whatever visibility, functionality and outdoor space a flybridge adds, it hurts to sacrifice one’s sense of style. On the flip side, when you’re running your boat, why care what she looks like to the crowds?

There’s no right answer here, of course. But I will say that one of the things that  completely won me over to Zeelander is how beautifully they balance interior and exterior space, without sacrificing visibility.

First, the designers at Zeelander went pedal-to-the-metal in providing full panoramic view from the helm of their 55. You can see it best clicking on this virtual tour:

 

I’ve never run an express-style yacht with this kind of 360 degree visibility. From a safety perspective, I cannot say enough about it.

And then, in terms of the indoor/outdoor space issue, the Z55 is the only express-style yacht I know that offers a quantum of outdoor space comparable to a flybridge. Check out these plans:

 

With her transom hydraulically opened, her beach-sized platform spread out just above the water, her bar area windows retracted and her sunroof open, the Zeelander 55 offers four outdoor areas for you and your guests, without sacrificing any room down below. I have never seen this on an express-style yacht. Come see me at the Fort Lauderdale show and I’m happy to demonstrate at length.

Well, now back to bow rails. In my ten years with Vicem, and some $40m in boats later,  I never did a custom build without bow rails. The conversation came up quite a bit, of course. Most commonly I heard “Hinckley’s don’t got ’em, why should mine?”  But in the end, safety won out repeatedly, and every one of my clients opted to spend the $14,000+ to add bow rails. Rails, I might add, high enough to do their job. Too many rails end just above knee height, as seen here….

…putting them at the perfect fulcrum point to toss you overboard.

Let me repeat that: ….putting them at the perfect fulcrum point to……

Ten years ago I was working a 50′ yacht at a CT boat show. Her bow rails were knee-high.  A client happened to call me for some advice, so for some privacy I worked my way up to the bow, thereby becoming the object of an old industry joke:

Q: How can you tell who’s a yacht broker at a boat show?

A: He/She is  the one on their phone with their back to the crowd.

Guilty as charged.

We talked for awhile,  my phone tucked in one ear as I took some notes in my ever-present notebook. These days I use this one, and if you’d like one for note taking at the fall shows, just launch a flare and I’d be happy to send you one:

All was fine until I dropped the pen. Leaning forward, braced against the (low) rail, a gentle wave from a passing wake rocked my boat slightly. Much quicker than I can write, I instantly went from six feet above the water to five feet under, hitting the dock with my shoulder as I passed it by. Instantly, as in:

Underwater, I was immediately aware of two things:

  • Which way was up (duh, the sunlight);  and,
  • That my arm hurt like hell.

I popped up, and looked aft to the crowds on the dock. No one saw me go over, and with my head just below dock level I was pretty much invisible. I couldn’t wave (I needed my other arm to stay afloat) but I could inch my way down the dock with my one good arm. I made my way up the ladder on the boat’s swim platform.

I was reasonably sure my arm was broken, but X-rays at the ER showed it was just a bad bone bruise. Three days later I was on a plane to Istanbul to splash a new Vicem 67 Flybridge.

So yes, I’m the only one in my industry who can say I fell overboard at a boat show. My colleagues awarded me a prize – an antique kapok-style  life jacket, labelled Big Wave Dave.

I have yet to escape that name. I don’t suppose I should.

What are the lessons of this embarassing tale? I will leave you with just one, plus a classic video clip to drive the point home: Bow rails are a personal decision. There are things to be said for high, none, or very low rails. But I’ll quote Archimedes here, who said this about fine yachts with knee-high bow rails:

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

Yes, I hate ’em.  And so should you. And please remember this:

Ciao for now, loyal readers. I’ll see you at FLIBS!

[You now know the saga of] Big Wave Dave