The ink was no sooner dry on the closing statement when the process of building a brand new boat began.
I mentioned spending about 4 hours with the very talented (and patient) naval architect who is the "artist" within the bones of every Kadey Krogen yacht. These 4 hours barely scratched the surface of the decisions to be made, additional questions to be asked and answered, etc. Since our deal closed Monday, my emails have been very un-work related to say the least. One astounding thing about buying a KK boat, is that one of the owners is the project manager. He is the one who just built an awesome spread sheet for us with just about every detail that goes into building a boat of this caliber. There's are columns for the item in question, whether or not that item is a change order, the cost, and when a decision is required. Items are in bold that have been discussed, but not firmly decided upon at this point. It is a fantastic way to keep track of every idea that pops into our heads and the status of those ideas.
For all of us in this country, July 4th is an important holiday. Many offices closed early today but I know 2 who did not - mine and Kadey Krogen. Tom B. was still answering my questions at 5:48 this evening (and mind you, he just returned from one of his many trips to Taiwan). For those of us who have never built a boat, let alone their dream boat that would also serve as a permanent home, having this kind of expert attention by a KKY owner is the next best thing to Utopia.
To bring you up to date, one of the items up for discussion (and needing a decision soon) is whether or not we want stern thrusters. Since this is a very costly piece of equipment, we had to carefully consider the pros and cons. Tom B. was able to give us a detailed explanation of how the stern thrusters are fit on the 55, how deep they will sit in the water depending on things like fuel load, etc. Instead of trying to sell every conceivable option, Tom objectively presented the information we needed to make an informed decision.
To answer the question you're dying to know the answer to, we opted to not have the stern thrusters. With twin John Deere engines and very effective bow thrusters they move from the "must have" column to the "not necessary" column. Just to show off a bit, another reason we decided against stern thrusters is the unique "wineglass" design of every KKY stern. This shape actually lifts the stern a bit thereby giving the stern thrusters less water to bite into. A simple explanation which I understood the first time around. The captain of course knew this before it was discussed, but then he's supposed to know these things, right?
Since we plan to cruise the Caribbean, other seasoned KKY owners have suggested we put a water maker aboard. At first we thought this was a waste of money since we always have cases of bottled water aboard. What we didn't realize is that we drink cases of bottled water during the short trips we've made to date. That is considerably different from being in the Caribbean at anchor for perhaps weeks at a time. We are told that the most successful (and comfortable) way to cruise islands anywhere is to provision the boat to be its own power and sustenance plant. The Caribbean is not like living in Huntington where every imaginable creature comfort is either a short drive or a phone call away. So at this point, we are considering having the fixture for this apparatus installed as a through hull during the build and put the water maker in when we are ready to take on the Caribbean. Doing it this way will avoid a stateside haul out, drilling a hole in the boat and other issues that are sure to arise.
On the table for discussion right now is a central vacuum system vs. a traditional vacuum. It's hard to believe that this discussion is taking longer than the water maker. Issues to consider are 1 central station which is less expensive, but entails dragging many feet of hose around and through the boat vs. several stations which would be more expensive, but worth it. Who would have thought the location of the collection canister would create such lively discussion? My plan is to chat with the person who we trusted to clean the interior of both For Us and Serenity and ask her about the back pack she uses. Hopefully we can put this discussion to bed by this time next week.
What we're trying to do is conduct our research and make a decision as things come up, rather than trying to tackle several things at once. It's daunting enough to build a new boat, but to build a boat that will also be home is even more so.
So you don't think this project is all work and no play, Tom and I are having fun thinking of names. We're thinking of doing something different on the bow that will be a departure from the artwork on the bows of our other two boats. Tom has sketched out some designs that look very interesting. Once we come up with the final design, I'll be happy to share a picture with everyone.
We exchanged congratulatory emails with Serenity's new owners. They so love her name - and fear Neptune's wrath if they change it - that they decided to keep the name. We're happy to know that - the name so suits her.
Even as I type these words, there is still an air of unreality about selling her. At the time we bought and furnished her with the best of everything we could afford, we thought she would be our forever boat. She certainly had the capability, safety, range and comfort of a home, so what changed our minds? Now that we've decided to actually move aboard, the idea of the one level living design and the walk-in engine room was a major motivating force. That coupled with the re-designed approach to the pilot house sealed the deal in our minds.
I know we'll see her again, just as we saw For Us in Stuart this past January. We Krogen folks certainly have wanderlust. I'm trusting that will enable us to say hello to Serenity at some point in the future. In fact, I'm counting on that.
More to follow as we move down the build list. Feel free to ask questions as we go along. Reading comments is what makes writing a blog so much fun. I'll be waiting to hear from you.