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 theCannes Boat Show from September 7th through the 12th. Nothing would make me happier than meeting you there as well.
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!
https://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/JC_Main17_1__1_.jpg7541200dave mallachhttps://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-fog-300x69.pngdave mallach2021-07-19 18:46:582021-07-19 20:00:49St. Tropez? Napoli? How about both?
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:
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.”
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?
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 (seethis poston 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:
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…
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 bean counters;
The naval architects;
The parts suppliers;
The service teams (a huge resource when designing and building the yacht in the first place); and,
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 valuestays 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 Goldilocksmiddle 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:
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 DamenYachts (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
https://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/IMG_1630.jpg10161600dave mallachhttps://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-fog-300x69.pngdave mallach2021-02-04 20:58:192021-03-04 17:58:13There is no bad weather. Just bad boats!
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’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:
Wajer, Zeelander, Pardo, Van Dutch, Vanquish, and of courseHinckley 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)!
With seven models between 25 and 40 feet, I findLong Island Yachts hit the exact sweet spot of the rapidly growing Luxury Day Boat market:
The Long Island Yachts 33
The Long Island Yachts Sportsman 25, just delivered to her thrilled NJ owner.
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:
As you can tell, I am completely thrilled and proud to represent Long Island Yachtsin America. For a deeper dive into all things LIY – including pricing, options, and delivery dates – just launch a flare. And of course explore thebrand 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:
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 inEpisode #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:
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.
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:
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.
Welcome to Chapter #3 in Zeelander University’s Master Degree program – The latest course in your 12-part series in advanced Zeelander ownership.
Today we’re going to explore together one of yachting’s high water marks in innovation, one where Northern European builders and engineers jumped far ahead of the rest of the industry:
The ins, the outs (and the sideways) of IPS drives
Zeelander Yachts – starting with their Z44 model – was an eager, early and successful adopter of Volvo Penta’s IPS drive systems. Every Zeelander built to date features this technology. That includes our about-to-be shipped Zeelander 55, arriving at our CT docks in mid-June. She is powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS 1350HP engines:
Zeelander’s positive owner experiences with these drives suggests we take a comprehensive “under-the-hood” view of exactly what this integration does for owners, and how. Trust me, by the time you finish this chapter you’ll know more about this technology than 99% of your dockmates.
If you are late to the Zeelander University party, or would like to dive in again, you’ll find Chapter #1 on Night Vision options right here, and Chapter #2’s coverage of Yacht Tender Storage Solutions here.
But first, a word about about our fleet. By mid-June I will have two Zeelander models available for your viewing at our Norwalk, CT docks – A 2013 Z44,
A Brief Note About Safe Viewings: I look forward to showing you the Z44 and Z55 in person. Towards that end, I’m keeping a close eye on CT’s social distancing guidelines.
Longtime readers know my dedication to (an obsession with?) safety on the water. It has earned me in some circles the nickname of Safety Dave. I can live with that. I’m gratified that The Fog Warning’s blog postings devoted to safety issues continue to be its most widely read and shared. In fact, the single most viewed posting of all time continues to be this cautionary tale.
So please rest assured that I have your best interests at heart in exactly when and how to show you these fine vessels. I promise you a good and safe time will be had by all, both at the dock and at sea.
Volvo Penta’s IPS technology is now almost 15 years old. I remember when I first heard Volvo’s pitch at an advance industry conference. It all seemed just too good to be true:
Joystick operation (a Hinckley exclusive, up until then);
Reduced fuel consumption;
Higher speed with less noise;
Tighter turning radii;
Fewer engine installation hours;
A completely flat power curve, from low RPM to high (sorry, jets).
Dynamic Positioning (exactly what was that, I wondered?); and
Smaller (!) engines????
I was unconvinced, at first. Now, with some 540 builders having installed over 24,000 units, it’s hard to remember why it seemed so controversial. But indeed it was. Especially for me.
At the time I was selling large, powerful Turkish motor yachts with straight shaft MAN inboards, usually 1550 hp models. As a sometimes stodgy traditionalist, I was a tough sell. In particular, Safety Dave had a hard time getting past this key question:
“What happens when you run aground at speed?”
If a pod ripped off, I couldn’t see how it wouldn’t leave an awfully big hole in the bottom of the boat.
Volvo wholly answered my concerns with this [now] classic “test to destruction” video:
Some 15 years later, as far as I can determine there has never been a case of catastrophic hull damage due to an IPS grounding. In what I suppose is becoming the theme of today’s post, You gotta love great engineering!
II. Some History
This wouldn’t be a Master’s Degree program without some history in it, would it? Well, the IPS story starts in Sweden in 1959 – A time when a small Northern European country was able to punch above its weight (warning: more boxing metaphors to follow) and command the world stage in sports.
That’s when Ingemar Johannson, (he of the crushing right hand he affectionately called “Toonder and lightning,” but others called “The Hammer of Thor”)
shocked the boxing world by taking the heavyweight crown away from Floyd Patterson (with seven knockdowns in three rounds, at Yankee Stadium) as seen here.
And just a few months later, at the New York Boat Show (anyone remember the classic NY Coliseum shows, on Central Park?)
Volvo Penta introduced the world’s first sterndrive engine, the Aquamatic:
Over the next three years Volvo Penta sold a then-unheard of $20m of these engines (in 1960 dollars!). They even hired their Swedish heavyweight champ to promote it, albeit on somewhat shaky waterskis:
Ingemar, in case you are wondering, promptly retired to buy and operate a Volvo-powered commercial fishing vessel in the North Sea.
As for Volvo, many revolutions (sic) later, in 2004 they landed their biggest knockout blow to date with launch of their IPS program.
III. The Ghosts in the Machine
If you happen to know exactly what “IPS” stands for, go ahead and blow The Fog Warning’s official horn (and your own):
IPS stands for “Integrated Propulsion System” – The artful (largely computer-driven) integration of a motor to a separate underbody drivetrain. Its game changing features (beyond the joystick) included:
Forward facing counter-rotating props;
Set into pods that pivots to port and starboard over a 30 degree range;
100% aligned with the bottom of the hull;
Eliminating the cost, drag, vulnerability and maintenance required of separate rudders, shafts and struts and gutless bearings;
Set into small and “slippier” hubs; allowing,
Larger prop blades.
They all magically come together to produce:
40% longer cruising range;
20% higher top speed;
30% reduced fuel consumption;
30% less CO2 emissions;
50% lower perceived noise; and,
All at lower horsepower!
For me that lower HP remains the icing on the cake. The IPS 1350’s equivalent horsepower (measured at the crankshaft) is actually produced by a 1000 HP engine. Why pay for more HP than you need? For comparison’s sake, in the straight-shaft world going from a 1000HP engine to a 1350 would cost you an additional 30%.
Before we take a closer look at the magic under the hood, a brief aside about the notable efficiencies IPS drives provide by their “100% alignment with the bottom of the hull.” Here is a diagram of a traditional drivetrain, with its 12 degree downward shaft offset. It’s easy to see how much thrust is misdirected and wasted:
Now compare that with the completely flat IPS angle here, where every ounce of thrust is is directed towards forward movement:
Comparing these two diagrams I can see how Volvo’s engineers back in the day must have had the thought “There has to be a better way!”
There is. And here’s exactly how it works, via some high-value video – The best video I’ve ever seen of how IPS drives behave as you manipulate the wheel, throttles, and joystick (in split-screen view, no less). This video greatly increased my understand and appreciation of exactly what is going on under my feet as I move Zeeladander’s around.
You will note the full pod pivot, the operation of the counter-rotating props, and the varying exhaust trails as the skipper puts this [triple] IPS installation her through her paces:
The operation of double IPS installations (as in our Z55) is identical. The same is true for our Z72’s triple engine installation. Once boats get up into the 80+ range, quadruple IPS installs are common. But the basics never change.
Here are some things to look out for, minute by minute:
At Moment 0:53:
Here the boat is in idle, her props fully at rest. Notice the continuous exhaust bubbling out of the pod’s hub, rising up against the bottom of the hull. That’s a uniquely IPS experience. With traditional drives the exhausts exit at or through the boat’s transom. But with IPS drives at idle you’re always sitting on a bubbling cushion of air. On a flat calm day you will feel a little bit of vibration, and hear some gurgling.
Personally, this never bothers me. And the larger the boat, the less you’ll feel and hear (I see zero effect on the hull in this video’s 48′ test boat). But Zeelander owners typically have asked the builder to add Volvo’s Clearwake system for a quieter experience. It’s an exhaust bypass system that diverts the engine’s discharge out the transom in idle, just like in traditional straight drive installations. This option works automatically and seamlessly, and Zeelander’s owners report it a good investment. We have added it to June’s Z55 #7 delivery, so please feel free to call me for its pricing:
At Moment 1:21
Note how the pods pivot when the steering wheel is manually turned. Who needs the added complexity, cost and drag of rudders? In my experience, the high speed turning radius of IPS boats is a good 20% tighter than traditional shaft-driven boats, with less slide-slippage. It really does feel like the boat is turning on rails.
At Moment 1:43
As the engines are put in gear, note how the props counter-rotate. And if you look carefully, once the props are moving the exhaust stream source changes from the center hub up to the base of the unit, right against the hull. This is a performance move, as it reduces air in the prop stream, and eliminates cavitation. Less air, more performance!
At Moment 2:53
Here you get a great split-screen view of joystick operation. Now we see how much of the fly-by-wire coordination is computer-driven. Again, gotta love that great engineering.
At Moment 4:17
Here you see a few moments of my favorite IPS/Zeelander feature: Dynamic Positioning. That’s where the “ghosts in the machine” really take over. You can get a fuller appreciation of the technology here:
Personally, I never got the phrase “dynamic positioning.” What does this engineering gobbledygook even mean? The phrase pre-dates IPS, by the way, part of a failed commercial and military project that went nowhere at the time. It took awhile for the technology to catch up with the vision.
I prefer the term Virtual Anchor, because that’s how we really use it. Push the button and two GPS sensors and a digital compass all spring into action, keeping the boat “anchored” and at a fixed compass heading for as long as you want. At the Palm Beach Marina (with its sometimes 3 knot ICW currents) I’ve held a pod-driven yacht 18” away between two opposing finger docks (without fenders) for fifteen minutes at a time. And this feature really comes into its own when you are:
They’re all just a push-button push away. Worry free. Well, almost….
There are two things I suggest you keep an eye on: First, while you may be virtually anchored in place as you await that bridge opening in substantial current, most of the other boats around you will not be. And they can and will swoop down on you! If its a crowded day with many bridges to cross, I’ll put out my fenders just in case. On a less crowded day I’ll set my radar alarm to its 1/16th of a mile setting. That’ll pick up your intruders.
Now, in a credit to both their engineering skills and the size of their R&D budget (more on this below), Volvo Penta made this scenario easier to manage with their latest development: Enhanced Dynamic Positioning. When virtually anchored, all you have to do is just tap the joystick once, and your boat will shift over 30’ in that direction – and then automatically re-anchor herself! When the offending intruder has passed by you, you can resume your prior position with just another touch. Here’s a cool demo:
Secondly, you shouldn’t put swimmers in the water while you are virtually anchored. Once you hit that button, the props are going to spin under their own (utterly blind) command. So when swimmers (or divers) are out and about, change the virtual for the actual – Drop that small, beautiful stainless plaything that sits so nicely at the bow of your bigger beautiful plaything:
IV. The Future
As I said, I give Volvo credit for continually evolving and improving IPS technologies. In my view, traditional straight shaft designs in our industry have been essentially static for the last fifteen years. MAN and the other big-box builders moved over to environmentally friendlier “Common Rail” technologies then, but haven’t done much since. Hinckley made improvements to their harbor-speed steering about six years ago, but I’m not aware of too much else since then. But Volvo’s dedication of significant resources to their R&D budget continues to pay off for owners (for example, see Active Corrosion Protection, in the Maintenance section, below).
As for the future, IPS is destined for a major enhancement in a year or so: An entirely self-docking boat! By connecting onboard sensors with dock-mounted beacons, docking will be managed by the ultimate “ghost in the machine”. An early version works well. In a demo test in Europe an industry observer wrote:
Even as an RYA instructor/examiner with years of experience berthing all kinds of boats, including craft fitted with IPS and a joystick, I wouldn’t have been able to maintain such slow, steady progress into the berth whilst keeping the boat perfectly on track.
I suspect that the actual release of this technology awaits a chicken-or-egg business challenge – until marina’s adopt and install the required beacons, owner’s won’t pay for the option (no pricing is hinted at yet). But I am certain that once its released – and Zeelander’s own engineers have put it through their own rigorous tests – it will become available to you. Until then, here’s your preliminary look:
Beyond that, Volvo has a working model of a hybrid electric IPS drive. Based upon what I saw at the Dusseldorf boat show this winter, hybrid drives are growing in popularity far quicker in Europe than here. But once worldwide demand for this technology increases, I’m sure you’ll see Volvo introduce it into the market
The maintenance needs of traditional inboards are different than pods. Inboards require:
Cutless bearing repair;
Engine oil checks;
Transmission fluid checks; and,
Fluid checks of hydraulic steering.
Pods delete from your concern prop adjustments, cutless bearing repairs, and shaft alignments. But they do add to the mix:
Drive-oil changes every 250 hours, or annually;
Lower-unit oil checks.
Annual removal and inspection of prop sets and seals;
Re-greasing of the prop shafts; and,
Lower unit antifouling paint.
As for your zinc replacements, you can take that off your to-do list (and off your annual budget) by opting for Volvo’s Volvo Penta’s new ACP (Active Corrosion Protection) system. It replaces conventional anodes altogether by applying carefully measured countering currents, continually measuring and automatically adjusting the electrical output for protection in both brackish and salt water. What’s more (and I just love this) it displays your degree of protection in real time on your engine control panel:
If you keep your boat in a “hot” marina (just check your yard bill for how often they have to replace your anodes) this is for you. It’ll save on hauls and divers, big time. As always, for options pricing, just launch that flare…
Speaking of your budget, on an annual basis pod maintenance (done right, by our certified IPS techs) is going to cost a little more than straight drives – perhaps $1,000 more per engine (on the other hand is should cost about $2,000 less than jet drive maintenance). But net/net, the increase in IPS fuel efficiency over straight drives will leave you ahead if you use your boat more than 150 hours a year.
As for Volvo’ warrantee, IPS systems come standard with two year’s of warrantee coverage. But on your price lists you will find the option of increasing that term by three years, for a total of five year’s protection.
Now, there are way too many variables for me to predict your service needs in years three to five. But I will disclose here an industry secret: Volvo incentivizes its techs, worldwide, to respond to extended warrantee owners first. As I see it, if you need critical service over the July 4th weekend, its nice to be at the top of the list.
VII. Class Takeaways
A client recently engaged me in a long talk about The Fog Warning’s mission statement. As quoted on its homepage, it’s all about answering those big, eternal questions of yachting:
1.What makes a yacht great, and why?
2. Who makes a great yacht, and how?
My client, a skilled yachtsman and a bit of philosopher, suggested that the “who” is a more subjective question than the “what.” He has a good point. I’ll talk about the “what” first.
Locked away and thinking hard in the Hamptons (however comfortably) these last three months, it’s become clearer to me than ever that what makes a yacht great, in measurable and objective ways, is great engineering.
I have long looked to Norther European builders for this kind of innovation and quality. Now, of course great engineering does not live exclusively in this part of the world. But when I look at what Volvo has done on the propulsion side; what Feadship, Lurssen and Heesen have done for big yachts; and what Zeelander delivers for “small” yachts, I see theIr uncompromising devotion to quality engineering as their defining character. Personally, I’m excited to be associated with that kind of character.
As for the second, more subjective question – Who makes a great yacht? Well, that’s more your call than mine. Put another way, that’s for your needs, values, and tastes to determine. The Fog Warning has averaged 6,800 annual readers over the last few years. That’s thousands of different opinions of what’s best, and every one is more important than mine. All I will say on the matter is this:
Knowledge is power!
See you at the next class (if not on a CT Zeelander before then).
https://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2712789_4154766a_1.jpg400600dave mallachhttps://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-fog-300x69.pngdave mallach2020-05-24 20:12:382021-03-04 17:58:14The Ghosts in the Machine
Welcome back for chapter two of your continuing twelve-part series in advanced Zeelander ownership. In the end you’ll be awarded your well-deserved Masters in Zeelander Yachts degree.
This week we try to answer that age-old question of yachting, reportedly first asked by H.M.S. Bounty’s Captain Bligh himself:
Where is the best place to store my tender?
This discussion is somewhat technical (it includes a rating system of all choices), but then again this is an advanced degree!
I’ll begin with an admission of …. hard headedness. Over the years some long-time clients and readers of The Fog Warning have called me to task for my famously inflexible opinion about the best way to store yacht tenders:
“Trust me, all of your storage options are bad. Pick the least bad one.”
I’ll explain today how I came to that opinion. And why I’ve recently changed my mind.
The choices are fairly narrow. We all know that yacht tenders are stored Up, Back, Way Back, or Down. Having launched, retrieved, and transported a wide variety of tenders in my time, I get to make the rules. So I’m evaluating your choices under the following criteria:
The “Disruption Factor”
Ease of use (and speed)
I rate on a scale of 1-10 (with an understanding that except for our children, there are no 10’s in either boats or life). I know from experience that my clients aren’t shy about expressing their opinions, so I look forward to hearing your own ratings. Just launch those flares!
I. THE UP
Flybridge yachts, like Mahogany Rose, above, offer tons of acreage up top for hydraulic cranes and tenders. Cranes can be sized to lift quite sizable tenders (not to mention cars, motorcycles, jet skis, and submarines). I’ve found that with some practice you can launch or retrieve even a fairly large tender in under fifteen minutes (in sheltered waters).
It’s a well-tested choice. With a yacht over 100,000 pounds, the added weight up high doesn’t affect your pitch and roll much, and if you’re fortunate to have stabilizers, not at all. Crane hydraulics are a tried and true technology, and if you check routinely for hydraulic leaks (and have a couple of quarts of backup fluid stashed in your bilges) you’re good to go.
In a fun aside, check out an earlier Fog Warning post about a creative (and healthy) emergency hydraulic fluid back up, under the Way Back section later in this post.
Here’s my own scoring on the matter:
Efficient use of valuable space: With all that space up top, why not throw a tender up there? All in all, you can store larger tenders up top than any other solutions. And for bigger yachts, + 30 meters, you can even have both a crane/tender and a jacuzzi. My rating? 9/10.
The “Disruptive Factor”: How disruptive is launching and retrieving a tender to your partying guests? Not very. It all happens largely without impacting anyone in the cockpit, or down below. But the process is a bit of a circus (like docking your boat in high winds, it tends to attract lots of gawking), and it invites lots of comments from your distracted guests. But when the time comes to line your tender back to your cockpit or swim platform boarding areas, things go more smoothly when your guests aren’t wandering about. My rating? 8/10.
Aesthetics: Some find the look a little clunky, others find it wonderfully “shippy.” It’s a highly personal thing, and I’m not going to piss anyone off with my rating. But please let me know yours. No rating.
Safety: There is no way around this – You’re swinging a 1,500 pound load twenty feet up in the air, often amidst wind or waves. It’s a one-man or woman operation in only the calmest of conditions. Otherwise, while you’re manning the crane remote, at least one other person (up top, down below, or both) must use tender lines and boat hooks to keep the tender aligned fore and aft with the mother ship. What’s more, as with all of your tender storage choices (except one, discussed below in THEDOWN) its easier and safer if you drop your anchor first. But I add points for this: I don’t know of a better shorthanded solution than a crane for a man overboard recovery. My rating? 5/10.
Ease of use: Like I said, its a bit of a circus, with lots of moving parts. And, depending upon the reach of your crane, there will be situations where dockside use is impossible without turning the mother ship around 180 degrees. My rating? 4/10.
Big WaveDave’s weighted average? 27/40, or 68%.
Note:Mahogany Rose, the Vicem 67 listing above, is in Charleston, and very much for sale (just launch a flare). In addition to the crane and tender up top, she also features a fully pivoting radar mast. It’ll allow you to get you under that 19′ 3″ bridge in Chicago, halfway through your life-changing Great Loop cruise.
Also, one of my older listings, a recently sold Viking 82, took a different approach to tender storage by putting the crane and tender up on the front deck. I’m curious how you’d score that one.
II. THE BACK
By “back” I means under the cockpit. From a design standpoint, doing that well can be very tricky. Designers have to give a lot of thought to the tradeoffs involved, because as that great deadpan comedian Steven Wright once said:
There are two ways to approach this challenge – a lifting cockpit (like the Palm Beach boats) or by means of a transom slide (most everyone else). In both approaches it takes larger boats – with both ample beam and freeboard – to pull it off well:
Case in point, narrower designs sometimes require partially deflating the tender to squeeze it in:
And some designs don’t optimize their freeboard considerations, and these can take some muscle (and gymnastics) to operate:
And, of course, the more you squeeze under your cockpit, the more you’ll limit your valuable space in the cockpit. This inevitably reduces your cherished seating and storage capabilities, as you’ll see here:
So, paraphrasing comedian Steven Wright, how am I gonna score it?
Efficient use of valuable space: The above pix make pretty clear that the space tradeoffs – particularly as to cockpit seating and storage – can be significant. And for me, cockpit seating is a critical part of guests’ enjoyment. My Rating: 5/10.
The “Disruptive Factor”: In a lifting cockpit design everyone has to bail out from the cockpit. My ratings?1/10. And 8/10 for the rear slide (see smaller cockpit space, above).
Aesthetics: It’s all about how well the designers can keep the freeboard profile reasonable. My rating? 9/10 if they can do it well. But if it looks like they’re hiding something big in the oven, a 6/10.
Safety: No safety impacts that I can see. My rating? 9/10.
Ease of use: Lifting cockpit – Not only do you have to clear the cockpit of guests, but you also have a fairly long walk aft to the end of the swim platform. I timed this last fall at eight minutes to launch or retrieve. My rating? 4/10. Rear slide: 8/10 (and six minute’s work).
Big WaveDave’s weighted average?
29/50 (58%) for the lifting cockpit.
39/50 (78%) for the rear slide.
III. THE WAY BACK
What we all see every day, in every harbor: Swim platform mounts like Freedom Lifts:
Or, hydraulically lifting swim platforms:
In my experience, both technologies work fine. Builders love them because they require little or no design modifications at the factory. And there is a healthy after-market business culture to sell and support them.
My reservations, such as they are, are not deal-killers. I don’t love the corrosion risks of Freedom Lift’s aluminum components. But I do appreciate the sliver of useable platform space it allows between the transom and the edge of the tender.
And the hydraulic platforms? Well…
Obviously, it’s a two step dance – You’ve got to first launch the tender before your guests can swim from the platform, or use it as their private “beach.”
Backing into a slip you have to remember that you’ve got twelve or eighteen inches of tender sticking out beyond the swim platform edge. That’s going to hit the dock before your boat does. The costs of forgetting are high (Don’t ask…. just please don’t ask).
While the pictures and videos rarely show it, best practices require that the tender be tightly tied down to the chocks or mounts, and that the platform be tightly strapped to the transom. This takes more time than you might expect, and often take some gymnastics to get it all right.
Here’s how I score it:
Efficient use of valuable space: You can store your tender aft, or you can have a platform for boarding or swimming. You can’t do both well unless the yacht is particularly big, or the tender particularly small (see Steven Wright, above). My Rating?6/10
The “Disruptive Factor”: Points added for having an unencumbered cockpit space. Points lost for “you can’t do both well,”above. My Rating? 7/10.
Aesthetics: Well, the degree of gracefulness depends upon whether you are at rest, or underway. At cruising speed, that additional four or five degrees of bow rise really adds to an awkward look when you’re balancing a tender way aft. My Rating? 4/10 at rest, 2/10 underway. I average it out here to a 3/10.
Safety: Having a functional lifting platform available at all times is a great man overboard recovery tactic. But of course you’re unlikely to have the time to launch the tender first when you hear that big splash and yell. Plus, see backing in, above. My Rating?4/10.
Ease of use: But for strapping things in and down, they are easy-to -use solutions. But doing it right can easily take six or seven minutes. My Rating? 7/10.
Big WaveDave’s weighted average? 28/50 (55%).
NOTE: That creative emergency hydraulic lift repair I mentioned earlier?
As I’m mentioned up front, my conclusions about tender use and storage have evolved over the years. With a bunch of Zeelander operating hours now under my belt, I’ve seen that putting the tender below deck in a central garage is a game-changer. After all, megayachts have been doing this for years, and they be no fools:
My own conversion began with this: A “real time” retrieval video that clocks in – beginning to end – at just 1 minute and 50 seconds:
Here’s how Zeelander pulls that off:
The garage is standard equipment for both the Zeelander 55 and the 72, and the tenders are chosen off their option lists.
Sansle youyou (as the French say), the garage of our next available Zeelander 55 – shipping to the USA next month – looks like this:
You’ll get a better sense of its location from these Z55 and Z72 plans. Note that the weight of the tender is exactly where designers want it for optimal handling – Low and central!
With all tender storage solutions, you’ll know its done right when the yacht’s trim doesn’t change, with and without the tender. I use the “marble test” to check (does a marble roll about differently on the flat cockpit deck, before launch and after?)
In my experience, Zeelander’s do not lose their marbles.
When I say that designers look for “optimal handling” in their weight calculations, for both the Z55 and the Z72 their turn-on-a-dime ability is fully verifiable by video, as seen below:
As for tender choices, both garages are custom-sized for either a Williams 280 or a Williams 285Minijet tender.
The Williams 280 is 9-foot 2-inch long, and weights 440 pounds. Its 45 horsepower waterjet engine gives her a top speed of 31 knots:
The Williams 285 is 9′ 6″ long, and weighs 695 pounds. It’s 85 HP engine pushes her to 37 knots.
But, for speed demons everywhere, an optional 100 HP engine delivers 42 knots! Notably (for all you drag racers) that is the top speed of both the Z55 and the Z72 models with their largest engine packages (of course, the packages we chose for our coming Z55 and Z72 stock yachts).
If you and your’s require a bigger tender, Zeelander has a plan for that (where there is a will, there is a way!) If you go back and review the Z72 plans above, you’ll notice that just behind the garage is the crew cabin. If you opt out of that cabin, you can extend the garage to handle a full 5-person tender, the 12′ 8″ Williams 395:
To the extent that a tender is a water toy (albeit a large one), I’ll note that the garage has dedicated storage space for other water toys. Just about the most popular item off Zeelander’s option list are SeaBob’s. Most of the Zeelander’s delivered to date have one or two tucked into their garages, with additional charging stations installed by the swim platform):
If you want to push your water toy enjoyment to the max, the Zeelander 72 is large enough to store and present your own private (and moveable) “inflatable beach resort,” as shown here for soon-to-splash Z72 Hull #2:
All that’s missing in this private beach resort pic is Zeelander’s “safari” approach to celebrating sunrises and sets:
As always, for the full details about yacht base pricing and all of these options, just break out your flare gun.
Enough! My conclusions? By the criteria I’ve been using above, I have yet to find any significant disadvantages to this “Down” design. Here’s how I score it:
Efficient use of valuable space: This is perhaps the most valuable yield I’ve seen from IPS engine placement. Moving the engine systems aft provide all the space a garage requires, without impacting either the size of the engine room or the size of the master or VIP cabins. My rating? 9/10.
The “Disruption Factor”: On both models, access to the garage from deck level is by means of a hatch, away from exterior seating. Your guests and their margaritas can stay put. There is, however, some disruption on the Z55, as the hatch is just aft of the salon entry door. That will block traffic, intermittently. My Rating? 8/10.
Aesthetics: There is simply nothing to see when the garage is closed. My rating? 9/10.
Safety: I see no compromises to safety anywhere. Actually, quite the contrary. I’m sold on the garage’s central location for bad weather launches and retrievals. I’ll start with three examples: 1) With Zeelander’s optional gyroscopic stabilizer (look for that discussion in upcoming Zeelander University Chapter 5) and dynamic positioning systems (Chapter 9) you can always “anchor” the mothership so that you can launch and retrieve your tender on the down-wind and down-tide side, regardless of conditions.2) With your key-fob remote control in your pocket, you can single-hand yourself in and out of the garage in any weather.3) What’s more, you’re never stepping down into a pitching tender from a rolling deck – You start and end your journey already seated. I can’t say enough about these safety advantages, and I very much look forward to demonstrating them for you. Myrating? 9/10 (only because I don’t do 10’s).
Ease of use: Quick and easy, as our viral 1:50 video shows. Minor impacts include: 1) You can only dock starboard to (for the Z55), or portside to (for the Z72) to launch and retrieve. 2) When docked stern to, you’ll need 9′ of room between your yacht and the one aside you in order to launch. My rating? 8/10.
Big WaveDave’s weighted average? 43/50 (86%)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this [too geeky?] chapter. If it gave you some things to contemplate during some idle moments, I’ll feel I’ve done my job (in a socially distanced way).
For me, this learning experience has been a reminder that happiness in life usually flows from flexibility. I began this chapter with my long-held opinion that all of your tender storage choices are bad. But new approaches and new designs have opened my eyes. I look forward to your thoughts on the matter.
V. Signing off
I’m going to close today with some recent pix and video’s of our next available Z55, Hull #7. She is just finishing the last of her last interior work in Rotterdam, and she will ship to us in thirty days. As you’ll see below, just about all she needs is her next owner. If that spirit moves you, we should talk fairly quickly. After all, why ship this fine yacht someplace other than your dock? Beats me!
We will pick this up again soon. Meanwhile, stay safe.
Big Wave Dave
P.S. A small gift for you – This punk version here of Elvis’ classic Love Me Tender. If you’ve rocked out like this lately, I want to hear all about it.
https://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Mutiny_HMS_Bounty.jpg7451024dave mallachhttps://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-fog-300x69.pngdave mallach2020-04-22 15:04:382021-03-04 17:58:15Love Me Tender
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!
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…
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:
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.
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:
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)
https://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/mq2-1.jpg514500dave mallachhttps://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-fog-300x69.pngdave mallach2020-03-29 18:46:492021-03-04 17:58:15Your “MZY” – a Master’s degree from Zeelander University!
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:
You will find us on the Hall of Fame side of the show, under the Northrop & Johnson banner, slips 41A, 42A and 43A.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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
https://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/011252b1-d14b-4b0f-8a0f-e2399e22db4d-1.jpg7681024dave mallachhttps://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-fog-300x69.pngdave mallach2019-08-12 19:04:382021-03-04 17:58:16From Newport to Cannes, to … Newport?
As I said, a rare and impressive opportunity to see and run three yachts that I honestly consider among the finest yachts afloat. Please call or write me now to schedule your quality time. Because, as you’ve heard me say many a time, You Snooze, You Lose!
Big Wave Dave
https://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/PHOTO-2019-02-15-12-33-45-1030x687-1.jpg6871030dave mallachhttps://thefogwarning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-fog-300x69.pngdave mallach2019-06-07 15:44:162021-03-04 17:58:16Your Special Newport Opportunity