If you're like me and never experienced the commissioning of a new boat, you must be asking yourself at this point, "aren't they done yet?" On Friday, Serenity will be in Florida for 2 months - for 2 long weekends, one in January and one last month, she was being "shown off" at boat shows in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Of course no work could be done then. This past weekend, KKY held an open house at their Stuart headquarters, so again, no work got done. However, since the KKY folks have built and commissioned quite a few boats before Serenity came along, they pretty much know how the timing goes.
All the "big" items have been completed with the exception of the electronics installation. Since the electronics are the "brains" of the boat, extreme care and precision are needed here. We engaged the services of a top-notch Florida-based technology wizard whose bid was not only fair, but presented on time and addressed all the issues of importance to us. Though the work on For Us was well done, the customer service portion of the job was found lacking. There were several work overruns which wound up costing us a bit more than we bargained for. The company's owner became elusive; our questions were bounced to his assistant, who was often busy on other jobs, thus delaying the answers to our questions. Needless to say, this company was not invited to bid on Serenity's electronics package.
I don't know if you noticed in other photos, but Serenity has a radar arch instead of the traditional mast and boom. Though the mast and boom present a more typical "salty" profile, the arch is sexier and provides a perfect platform for various antennae and little domes.
Okay, back to the electronics. Many of you have emailed me asking me what we finally selected. There are pages of the stuff, but I can give you the basics here. We considered several options: Raymarine, Furuno and Garmin. The captain did much research on this topic (while I was busy selecting cushion fabrics). After consulting with other KKY owners, long-time boating buddies, friends in the marine transportation business, Coast Guard Auxiliary friends, Tom decided on Garmin, same choice we installed on For Us. Thanks to a larger pilothouse, the electronics panel on Serenity is huge, big enough for 3 different screens.
This is a view of the electronics panel as of last week. You can see we have 2 separate 15" screens for chart plotting, GPS and weather, separate smaller screens for autopilot and rudder angle display. If he is so inclined, the captain can watch a football game on one of the screens while navigating (he better not)! If you notice, over to the right, there is a whole panel we've not yet used. For now, we'll use it to display pictures of the grandbaby due in early May! There's a Ritchie compass mounted where we can see it without standing on tiptoe. The radio is not yet installed, but very important - the speaker for the Bose system is already there, above the instrument panel. First things, first.