Monday, April 28, 2014

Granite Day!

To those of you who have re-modeled your kitchens and elected to go with granite, you know all too well the plethora of choices that abound with all types of stone.  We are up to deciding on the counter tops now and since granite is standard on this boat, granite it will be.

True to his word, Tom B. had the yard in Taiwan send me samples of 3 shades of the granite I've narrowed down the choices to.  You can imagine the hubbub in the office when the receptionist announced (over the office intercom) that I had a package.  There was a procession of curiosity seekers following the person who "volunteered" to deliver the package right into my hands.  First of all, the package had all sorts of characters on it in addition to the address and my name in English.  Next, it was wrapped better than any gold ingots leaving Fort Knox.  It took quite a bit of time to open each sample. Each granite chunk, which by the way was close to 2 inches thick, was wrapped in a sort of leather wrapping with (a lot) of tape.  Once opened, I was delighted to see that I instantly liked 2 of the 3 samples.  Needless to say, I spent most of lunch time devouring online sources of that color, from quarries all over the country.  By the time I was done, I was bleary-eyed and out of my mind with the different nuances of this lovely stone.

Craziness breeds all sorts of insane ideas.  Thanks to the willingness of the KKY folks to field all questions, crazy and/or otherwise, I felt free to let this one fly: "can the yard take a picture of the actual slab they plan to use once I make my decision and send the picture to me"?  How else can I possibly decide?  How can I possibly envision a run of galley, master and guest head counter tops in this stone from a mere 2 inch chunk?  Tomorrow, I'm bringing the cherry wood samples along with the granite back to the office for the opinion of the one person whose taste is similar to mine to have a look at.  Hopefully my apartment neighbors have little interest in my antics; otherwise, I might get some strange looks as they go by.  There is ALWAYS something going into or coming out of my door.  Between a horse, golf and boat, you can imagine the sorts of things that go on.

I know I'm being evasive and not mentioning the color of the granite I have in mind.  Oh, I may have mentioned it in an earlier blog, but I don't remember if I did; I'm sure you don't remember either.  LOL
Once I decide, I'll take a picture of the chunk and include it in a post.  I might even do a little "decorating" scheme and include the cherry wood and settee fabric as a back drop.

For those who have never been aboard a boat, let alone built one from scratch, there is considerable amazement about what goes into a project of this magnitude.  Although this is my 3rd Krogen, I am blown away by the decisions required to make the boat a reality.  Since our 1st Krogen a 39, was a brokerage boat, my only concern was putting our personal effects aboard to make it more homey.  The gentleman we purchased the boat from was a bachelor - the boat very clearly stated that.  Serenity was completed at the time we bought her, so nearly all of the major decisions had already been made.  THIS boat is another story completely.  There is something so exhilarating about building a boat you know you're going to make your home, a boat that will make your dreams become reality.  It's hard to explain, but it's a feeling I wouldn't trade for anything in world.  Even at this vulnerable time of my life when I'm trying to find my way without my beloved partner, I am still happy and excited about my future on this boat.

Needless to say, every detail going into this boat is of major importance to me.  While I was selecting the faucets, my Tom finally said he didn't want to even hear the word faucet.  He was so tired of hearing me go on about the endless choices.  This is a labor of true love, though I wouldn't use the word labor.  While some decisions make me dizzy, they still thrill me at the end of the day.

Tom B. and I exchanged several emails today (as we do nearly every day).  When I commented on how well wrapped the granite samples were, he mentioned that the folks at the yard love to wrap things and couldn't wait for me to see how they will wrap my boat.  When I said I wanted to part of her welcoming committee, Tom B. said "no problem.  We can make that happen."  How great to be working with these people.  They only want me to be happy.  I can live with that!

I'm not sure what's on the agenda for this week, but will be sure to keep you posted.  I'm staying over with my daughter on Wednesday night while her husband goes out of town, so definitely no blog then. Going forward, Thursday nights are my golf league night - we have a 5 pm tee time every Thursday starting this week through the end of September.  We "dine" after our round, so probably no blogs on Thursdays.  All the other nights, I promise to check in with whatever happened that day.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pretty Stuff...

Got a message from Tom B. this morning that made me smile.

"We are ready for your final approval on these (reference to attached pics): here is the sheer stripe with the accent stripe below it and where the paint and varnish will be on the cap rail".

Tom and I had agonized over the paint decision.  We finally settled on painting the sheer with an accent stripe underneath (both in Forest Green).  We decided against painting an accent stripe at the boot line.  That is one of two decisions given final approval today.  If you could see this picture in color, you might gasp as I did when I zoomed in to really see the accent stripe.  It is soooo elegant, really cool.  It is painted far enough away from the sheer stripe to see, but slim enough to truly be an accent and not a fight with dominance over the sheer stripe.  Again, trying to work with a PDF evaded me, so I once again resorted to the phone for taking this picture.

This drawing shows the rails encircling the boat deck, just as I requested.  We are moving the flag to centerline of the boat deck railing so it is easy to furl and unfurl.  I think the yard is installing the transducer in the hull this week so the boat won't need to be hauled once she arrives.

This next picture is looking down at the boat to determine where the painted port and starboard cap rails end and the varnished portion in the cockpit begins.  I think they did a great job in determining the best place to make the delineation.

Though I really love the traditional look of an all teak cap strip, it would be virtually impossible to maintain on this  boat which does not have walkaround capability.  I equally hate the look of uncared for varnish, so the decision was a fairly easy one to make and approve today.  Oddly, it was more expensive to have the forward cap rails painted, but I think over time, that will pay for itself in the lack of varnishing fees.

On the way to me as we speak are granite samples from the yard.  I pretty much have a color in mind, but need to see how the veining and speckling appears.  Can't be too much of each you know.  Also en route is a Sunbrella sample that I was able to narrow down to one.  The choices are endless, but since I have a certain look in mind, it was not all that difficult.  If it turns out I don't like the sample, I'll look at and ask for more samples.

Those 2 decisions were today's accomplishments.  I feel very pleased with what has been done to date and the care with which everything is discussed, researched and information offered.  I'm confident in everyone's ability to draw upon their experience to make suggestions and offer various ways to look at many issues.   I know everyone has my back.  What a comforting thought that is!

Have a great weekend everyone.  I'm sure I'll have much to share as next week moves along.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Plan Views - Really!

So I resorted to old fashioned tactics to get these plan views to you.

I printed the PDF version, placed the copy on my desk and used my phone to take a picture of the plan views.  Not exactly state of the art pictures (even though taken with an iPhone 5s), but pictures nevertheless.  I wasn't able to come up with a plausible enough excuse for why I couldn't deliver on what I promised last night, so here we are.  I should also tell you that I am very recently home - out since 8:30 this morning - had dinner with 10 members of my bereavement group and we managed to close the restaurant.  How do I seem to attract this type of person?  Even at the level of a bereavement group for goodness sake!

On with it I hear you saying, so on with it we go.

This plan view is of the guest stateroom standing in the doorway, looking to starboard, slightly aft.  I wanted to see what the room would look like with the electronics cabinet built into the room from the passageway.  If you remember, I'm no longer interested in re-arranging furniture to get to the entertainment components.

Also - and this is a big also - the newly designed and re-located steps to the pilot house are now to starboard, above a corner of the guest stateroom.  Just remember people, besides the folks actually building this boat, you are the first to get a peek of the new interior.  Drum roll please....

The first sight of this view had me frantically dialing the phone to get Tom B. on the line to tell me what I was looking at.  He calmly (without appearing to be judging) told me that I was looking at the wall against which the heads of the twin berths would rest.   The 3 cabinets cleverly hiding "stuff" also have room for storage, so they serve a dual purpose.  To the left and above the storage cabinets is a bookcase; to the right is a header cleverly concealing most of the steps and electronics cabinet.  The header will be cherry, just like the rest of room, thereby blending these necessary inclusions into the room.  Next to the arrow on the right pointing to the cabinet are the words "Electronics cabinet - facing passage, inboard of steps".  You can also see a wall lamp on each wall for reading.  I really don't like the standard reading lights, so have had them replaced with these Imtra lamps throughout the boat.   These lamps were in the master stateroom on Serenity and I loved them.  Having lighting on the wall frees up valuable counter space and eliminates the need to dismantle and protect lamps when underway.  Up for discussion right now is whether or not to cover the berths in Sunbrella or just leave them with the standard KKY fabric.  Inside scoop - I'm leaning towards the Sunbrella option.  That's a topic for another day since there are LOTS of fabric choices and my head is not there yet.

Okay, leaving the guest stateroom, we look across the passageway to port where the old steps were.  Since the guest head was pulled forward to accommodate a door for walk-in engine room access, that wall facing the guest stateroom is now flush with the edge of the guest head door and a pantry.  All the displays are neatly contained in and next to the double glass doors housing the boat's vital signs.

The next 2 views are looking forward from the salon.  This view is looking forward (through to the galley).  For those of you who are familiar with the 55s preceding this boat, you'll notice some interesting changes.

The first few steps will be visible through a household-type railing, open to the salon part way up.  This design allows for an open and airy look.  These steps replace the wine fridge and bookcase/cabinet that were originally located here.  You don't think I gave them up, did you?????  No way!  The wine fridge will now be at the end of the settee that abuts the galley counter top to port, acting as an end table, though a bit higher than a standard end table.  The cabinet (though not very deep) and bookcase will be on the starboard aft bulkhead.  When I moved, I had 845 hard cover books to do something with.  I donated many of them, but kept some of Tom's favorite books.  Now they'll have a home.

This last view is to starboard as if standing right in the middle of the salon.  You'll notice some nice cherry build outs around the windows for blinds.  I think I may have mentioned the window treatments in a previous blog.  While the actual blinds have not yet been selected, they will be hung inside the build outs, for a neat and custom look.  The same window treatments will be in the guest stateroom and pilothouse.

You might find this one a bit hard to see, but you can see quite a bit of detail: the pilot house access steps, pantry under the electronics cabinet, looking through the guest stateroom wall to where the Bosch washer dryer will live and beyond that, step down to the master stateroom, with central vacuum outlet visible.  Moving aft, you can see the storage cabinets under the windows, once being considered for the entertainment components now in the electronics cabinet.  Also visible are the bookcase and cabinet against the aft bulkhead as described above.  The TV on its lift will be on the port side of this boat so that one can be ensconced in the comfy club chairs that will reside on the starboard side - maybe similar to the beauties on Serenity.

So now you've had a first glimpse of the new interior design which will make this boat so very comfortable to live on - and entertain on.  I hope seeing these plan views was worth the wait while I muddled through evasive technology.

Please stay tuned for more tidbits as we move through this spine-tingling build process.  I can sincerely tell you this is like no other experience in my life to date.  We built our first house in Houston and that was a thrill, but it was just a house.  This is not just a home, but a dream.  Though this dream is unfolding way differently that what I had envisioned, it is unfolding nonetheless with the help and support of some pretty incredible people in my life.  I hope that many of you who are reading and following this blog get to find out firsthand what this dream is all about.

Til later..........

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Plan View of New PH Access Stairway

I hope I can upload this important plan view of the newly designed steps leading to the pilot house.  KKY 55-005 will be the first Expedition model to feature this new access.  One of the reasons I'm here sharing my excitement about this special girl is these very steps.  But first, a bit of history....

While Tom and I were at a Trawler Fest in Baltimore in 2010, we went aboard a brokerage 55 that was actually serving as the KKY host boat.  We met with Larry Polster to discuss our potential build of a 52'.  At the time of boarding, we were immediately impressed with the layout of the 55.  I was ecstatic over the innovative galley layout and spacious salon.  However, by the time I climbed the winding steps to the pilot house, my ardor began to cool.  With Tom's bad knees a major issue in a new boat's design, we had to reluctantly discount the 55.  You know the rest - we decided against building a 52' and instead took delivery of Serenity, the first of the newly designed 48 AE models, in 2011.

If you remember, this dream of finally owning a new 55' took root during the Krogen Rendezvous in 2012 when Larry revealed KKY's plans for a newly designed 55'.  I might have missed this presentation had I not decided to attend the Northern Lights generator class instead of the jewelry-making class.  Once I learned that the very steps that were holding us back were being re-located and re-designed, I went into action and here we are.  This plan view is really everyone's first peek at what these steps will look like in their new location and design.  Instead of one winding staircase, there will be a few household-type steps up, a landing, then the balance of household steps to the pilot house - on the starboard side.  A portion of the hand rail will be open to the salon, giving it an even more airy feeling.  The steps will enter the pilot house on the starboard side while still leaving room for the fridge and original settee shape.  The hope is that the newly designed staircase will be easier and safer to negotiate while underway in less than desirable conditions (which will only happen under the most extreme conditions where there was no choice but to keep going).  The re-located steps also provided for new, walk-in access to the engine room by moving the guest head forward and adding a door in the head that opens into the engine room, with steps down as opposed to a hatch.  That new design is fodder for another blog though.

Well this won't happen tonight.  Since the plan view was sent as a PDF, it has to be converted to an image for me to upload it here.  Back to the experts tomorrow to make this happen.  Sorry for the delay, but if the image can be converted, it will be well worth waiting to see.  You can say "I saw it on Bunnie's blog first".

Til tomorrow folks.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We Have Pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so this Mac laptop is fantastic, but the operator, not so much.  I had Tom B. re-send me the pictures I seem to have messed up yesterday.  I had to tell him that a lot of folks might be really unhappy with me if I didn't get these pics uploaded.

Soooooo here goes!

This is the picture that when opened it at work, caused several people to rush over to my desk, thinking I was in the midst of cardiac arrest!

At the end of this camera roll was Tom B's comment: " She's the big girl in the factory now".   Her bow is very imposing and will look wonderful "dressed" in a Forest Green sheer stripe.  My heart skips a beat every time I look at this picture.  It really skips a beat when I realize this is my boat.   Most girls from Brooklyn don't get to even think these thoughts, let alone say them!

If you're like me (and many simply are not), I had to call Tom B. to ask what I was looking at - as I did with most of the pictures in this presentation.  We're looking at the engine room, with the twin John Deere engines in the forefront.  The fuel tanks are alongside.  Next to be installed is the Northern Lights generator (genny among those who know what they're doing).  There was apparently a snafu with the order which is being rectified this week with installation to follow immediately upon arrival.  You can see where one of the water tight doors will go if you look at the top of the pic.  This is the part of the boat that keeps me up at night.  Once the granite and pretty settee covering is selected, it'll be all about those engines!

Since the genny had not yet arrived, the boat's sole (floor) was still upside down in the work space showing its underside and maze of wiring to the world.  I'm sort of glad I'm actually getting to see what a 15 hour plane trip would have allowed me to see, never mind the $$$$$$$ needed to get there.  Each wire is carefully placed and plays an integral part in the boat's functional capabilities.

Once the wiring is done, the sole is flipped and placed underside down in the boat to show off her pretty cherry and spruce floor.  Only we will know about the miles of wiring lying right beneath our feet.

This is another view of that very special engine room looking forward (I think).  You can see the Racors in the foreground.  I actually know what those are, what they do, and how to check that they remain clean and at the proper level.  Checking those babes was one of my engine room jobs on both For Us and Serenity.  Surprised you, huh?  LOL

Here we see the bow and part of the salon aft.  You can see the area where the windlasses will be installed, the chain locker, bow lockers (to ultimately be covered with pretty cushions) and where the superstructure will reside.

This picture appears to be the swim platform (I think).  The yard is looking into rub rail material for the edge of the swim platform.  This protection is not only for the occasional misjudgment of the distance to the dock, but for those yahoos who decide to stop by for a cocktail in their dinghy and think the boat is a really a big dock for their dinghy.  I (we) had already decided to have staples installed on the swim platform.  It always amazes me how high the boat is relative to the dinghy when the time comes to get off the small boat onto the big boat.  Besides, they look cool.

If you use your imagination, this shot looks like she's a rowboat with a wide backside and uncluttered transom, wide enough to pass thorough without turning to one side or the other.

Without perspective, it's hard to tell just how long she is. I'm sure there will be plenty of other pictures to give the appropriate appreciation of her size.

This is the wood (cherry) that will be used for the joinery work.  They really do everything by hand, with great attention to detail.  They apparently try to take care of themselves as well.  It looks like this worker might be preparing a section of the cap strip.

Looking at a boat without a top is weird, but especially so on this boat, since the pilot house with its Portuguese bridge is such a defining feature of this boat.

So that's it for the most recent yard pictures.  Tom B. assures me there will be more to follow now that progress is being made at a good pace.

I was thrilled to find out that those pesky table struts on the wood hi-lo tables have been re-designed and provided by a different manufacturer. They've been approved by the yard so it looks like I will have my wood hi-lo table after all, at a modest additional cost.  I really did not want the steel pedestal
table on this boat.  In addition to wanting a table that looked more like a piece of furniture, I didn't want to have to cut the rug I insist on putting under that table.  The rug is a Persian rug that Tom and I gave each other as an anniversary present many years ago.  For those years, it was the centerpiece of our den.  It's now up in the loft in my apartment.  It fits that area perfectly and is not subject to any traffic up there.

That famous build sheet is now 3 pages, but there are a lot of "completed" entries, a real sign that this dream is unfolding before our eyes.  There are days when I think I won't be able to wait 5 more minutes; then there are the days when my knees get weak at thought of what I'm doing.  It's a good weakness, but still weakness nevertheless.

Next post will have plan views of 2 views I requested: one of the guest stateroom looking to starboard.  I wanted to see how the electronics cabinet mounted in the passageway and pilot house access steps would look in that room.  The second view is standing in the salon, looking starboard at the new staircase providing access to the pilot house.

I'm saving those views for tomorrow's post.  One reason is that I'm falling asleep; the other is to save you from yet another post of all text with no pictures to amuse you.  Thoughtful, right?

Thanks for your patience while you waited for me to untangle my 2 left thumbs and get on with it.  I hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures as much as I did (don't see how you possibly could, but it sounds good).  Be back tomorrow (if my dinner with friends doesn't run into the wee hours).

Your comments will be more than welcome.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Technical Difficulties

It's 11:08 pm and I got home from the barn a mere 2 hours ago after being out since 8 am this morning. In my hurry to leave the office for a dental appointment, I neglected to forward the boat pictures to this computer.  Well, I thought I did, but apparently not.

I'm so sorry for any disappointment, but since I have to be up at 6 am for an appointment, I haven't got the time right now to try to get the pictures off my phone.  They're sort of jumbled together.  Rather than just not post anything, I decided to come clean and ask forgiveness.  Tomorrow is a new day and though it will be jam packed until about 9:30 pm, I'll try again to get the pictures to you.  They're worth waiting for, believe me.

Thanks for understanding.

Stay Tuned - Pictures Tonight!

Assuming I don't run into technical difficulties, I'm going to upload Tom B.'s pictures from the yard in Taiwan tonight.  I'm at work right now, so that's why the upload isn't happening now (in case you were wondering).

See you later!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Houston, we have ignition

We have pictures!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned.  They're on their way!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

It was the best of times........

Spring is here in the northeast - it finally found us!

For a horse owner, spring means bringing mounds of muddy, dusty and just plain filthy blankets of all weights to the one laundromat within miles that will do them for me.  Gone are the days when I'd slink in the back door of a laundromat miles from the barn with several of those huge black plastic leaf bags suspiciously bulging with something other than leaves.

Anyway, the point of this meandering story is that the laundromat is just 2 blocks from the marina where we kept For Us and Serenity - and only 4 minutes from my old house (which I can't bear to go near).  Now, many folks might find it difficult to visit the site of beautiful memories - I'm no different - but I was on a mission that popped into my mind en route to the laundromat.  I was going to put my bid in with the marina manager to lay claim to Serenity's old slip for Summer, 2015.  Serenity had one of the most prized slips - very wide, lovely long finger and no neighbor on one side - ideal.  Considering I will be a VERY novice captain when the new boat heads north next spring, not sharing a slip with another boat is a dream come true - for both of us!

The marina folks were lovely.  After condolences were offered, I hurried to change the subject and lighten the mood.  I find myself doing that often, by the way.  I want to put people at their ease and move the conversation along as quickly as possible.  It's good for everyone.  I guess the economy is improving - they told me nearly all their slips are reserved (see how quickly I changed the subject).

While I was there, I walked down the main dock to my former D dock to see if anyone was around.  I ran into a friend (a sailor with a gorgeous huge sailboat) who told me he is going to do a solo circumnavigation of the world in November.  He has a great sense of humor and offered that we'd be dock mates in 2015 if he made it back.  He and Tom enjoyed each other's company; more condolences offered.  I continued my walk and was disappointed not to run into anyone else.  All the boats are out of their winter shrinkwrap, so I guess it's just a matter of a few more weekends til the dock is buzzing again.

Word travels fast in the boat world.  I hadn't even gotten home when one of my favorite dock friends called to say she heard the good news.  It seems her husband arrived shortly after I left, ran into the marina manager - and the rest is history.  I do think by the time the boat and I arrive in the marina next spring, we might actually be celebrities.  One thing is certain - the marina can accommodate close to 300 boats of all sizes - there will NOT be another Kadey Krogen there, and there will NOT be another single woman living aboard her own boat.  So there!  During our chat, I received an open invitation to spend time aboard my friends' boat this sumer.  She is a fantastic cook and always has wonderful things aboard to eat.  Since Serenity had the wine and Donna had the food, we spent lots of time on each other's boats.  At least I'll be near boats this summer - it's been a long, dry spell.

Weekends are still tough for me - despite a blistering schedule.  I rode this morning, spent 3 hours at the barn, THEN embarked on 3 more hours of errands.  Once the errands were done, I drove 25 minutes to pick up my grandson for a sleep over.  We had a dinner "date" at Bertucci's, then headed to the apartment for a bath and playtime.  He's finally asleep after watching a Winnie the Pooh movie on my iPad.  I can still be lonely in a room full of friends.  I know this feeling will ease over time, so until it does, tomorrow is another wild day!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We're on target

I was delighted to hear that we are on target for where we should be in the build process.

Today was an "email" kind of day - and not too many at that.  As we speak, Tom B. is sending me a couple of large swatches of Ultraleather which I somehow narrowed down to Light Oyster and Almond.  We tabled the Sunbrella discussion pending getting some cost information from the yard.  No sense spinning our wheels until they need to be spun.  There will be plenty of spinning to come in the days ahead.

However, we DO have 2 pictures!  One is a rendering of what the boat will look like with her sheer stripe on the bow - Forest Green, remember?

What a pretty girl she will be.  Remember, this girl's boat deck rails will encircle the boat deck so yours truly doesn't take any unplanned swims while tending to the dinghy.  My parents were advised to discontinue my ballet lessons - that should tell you something.

This is a photo of what the mast will look like with the radar and satellite TV dome.  This is a first pass and will be shared with RJ Marine to be sure things are where they need to be for optimum performance.

It's a nice clean look that means business without extra frills that detract from the job at hand.

I'm getting excited that this dream is unfolding in front of my eyes!   Last night, I exchanged a few Facebook posts with some Krogen folks who are already looking ahead to next winter in Stuart.  As I read their posts, I realized that my new boat and I will be part of that winter 2015 scene!  With our slip booked and friends ready to party, can life get any better?  I'm amazed that I'm even capable of saying these words since next week will be 7 months since my life changed with Tom's loss.  I guess it goes to show that with the right attitude, a truckload of determination and courage and true friends, anything is possible.  I must admit my impatience with people who look at me as if I've sprouted wings when I respond to the question: "so what will you do now?"  I think it's the condescending tone or look of pity that makes me want to strangle them.  I revel in their looks of amazement, incredulity or whatever you want to call it when I tell them about my plans to pursue our dream.  For those that get it, there is an immediate invitation to join me on the boat; for the others, a change in conversation.

Anyway, you're not reading this to get a philosophy lesson.  Even though there isn't much to share at the moment, I love to just chat away about the boat and my plans for her.  The posts prior to September 12 go into more detail about the other earlier decisions.  If anyone is out there reading this that wants to know more, please let me know and I'll do my best to fill in whatever details you might need or want.  When it comes to boats (and horses, golf and good wine), it'll be hard to shut me up.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Slowly but surely

The Sunbrella fabric BOOKLET arrived today along with the Ultraleather color card (not a tri-fold but whatever is a 6 fold)!

The choices are enough to make a grown woman cry!  There is one whole side of the Ultraleather card devoted to shades of "neutral"!  Luckily, I'm far enough along in my thought processes to be able to eliminate all the colors other than the neutrals.  BUT, and that's a big BUT, the choices are still vast.  Again work got in the way today, so I couldn't give more than a glances to the "gifts" that arrived.  However, in that quick glance, I could see definite possibilities.  

 The Sunbrella fabric card was another story all together.  Solids, stripes, zig zags, swirls, patterns - AND all of these designs come in COLORS!!  Can you imagine my angst when I opened that envelope and saw the gazillion choices?!   As I panted and sweat, I realized that this choice would most definitely not be the walk in the park I expected.  Now I was grateful that work was annoyingly requiring my attention.  Great excuse!  Once I recovered my wits, I zeroed in on the stripes section (several pages of those devils) and settled down a bit.  The fabrics are really lovely and I think just about anything will look wonderful.  So tomorrow at lunch, I will try not to get indigestion while I try to make a Sunbrella fabric selection for those all-important guest stateroom twin beds.  Would any of my potential crew dare to offer a suggestion?

The folks at KKY really know how to set the pace.  While I was agonizing over these 2 fabric challenges, Tom B. gave me another reason to lose control - granite choices!  OMG, as if the arrival of the fabric books wasn't enough to produce some gray hairs!  Again, I'm leaning in the rich green direction, so the samples Tom B. sent pictures of were pretty much on target.  Needless to say, I asked for a sample of each - and we all know what too many choices do to a woman, right?  How this saintly man manages to remain calm and exhibit a sense of humor through all these decisions never ceases to amaze me.  I know I couldn't do his job without possibly insulting customers' inability to just "move on, for Pete's sake".  There are 4 different granite choices in this dark green that Tom B. will be sending me.  Anyone who can envision an entire run of galley counter top from a 4x4 chunk of granite is a better person than I.  So, my week's work is cut out for me.

While all these decisions are exacting their toll on my nervous system, there is a wonderful sense of accomplishment as each decision is made.  Having pictures of other Krogens is a help beyond measure. Many of you have offered generous suggestions based on your experience and for that, I'm very grateful.  I know I keep saying this, but I can't imagine how other boat manufacturer's customers survive the boat building process.  Without the family of other Krogen owners to guide me, I would be hanging upside down from the nearest tree!  Thanks to all who have offered advice, suggestions and just plain good wishes.

So as the week moves on, I'll be playing house, making those all-important fabric selections.  As I've said, I do have some time, so can enjoy and savor the decisions instead of rushing through them, against the clock.

I'll stay in touch!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gearing up for the next round of decisions

Nothing too exciting going on at the moment, while not losing sight of the fact that my long-awaited dream of a boat is being built as we speak!!!

Tom B. is working quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to make sure things are moving in the right direction within the time frame agreed upon.  Our order for the 2 helm seats was placed with Lebroc, a price determined and a delivery date in August nailed down.  So at least my crew and I will have a place to perch in comfort - and style!

Once the intercom is added to the electronics package, that too will be finalized and RJ can initiate the ordering and installation calendar process.  My thoughts on the intercom is that it is an essential part of the equipment package, especially since I will always want at least one person, if not more, with me at the helm for the foreseeable future.  If the 3rd person decides they've had enough of me and wanders too far, I can call them without having to shout (or otherwise send a panicked call for assistance).  Wait a sec, there will be no panicked calls, I keep forgetting that I really will know what I'm doing.  Considering the things I've mastered in my tenure on earth, navigating a small ship is certainly within the realm of possibility.  I keep reminding myself that I'm a former Intensive Care Unit registered nurse who actually was responsible for keeping a unit of critically ill patients alive - and was able to do just that - on most days.

Right now, I'm looking at 2 chunks of granite against 2 pieces of cherry, with different grains.   It's sunny in the spot I've chosen right now.  When I come back later, I'll move them to a different light source so I can get a better idea of how the colors will look at different times of day.  The granite selection is more difficult than choosing the generator - too many options!  I expect to receive color cards for the Ultraleather and Sunbrella fabrics this week.  As mentioned earlier, I'm thinking of dressing the guest beds in Sunbrella fabric so they always look sharp and neat.  Though I want a palette that is easy to complement, I'm not interested in blah.  I'll take a pic of what I decide on - assuming that can be accomplished in this century.

Switching from boats for a bit, I want to share an incredible thing that happened yesterday.  My cousin and I had tickets to see La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera in the city.  Since we decided to go at pretty much the last minute, our seats though in the orchestra, were in the last row (and still cost $150 each)!  While we were waiting in line to pick up our tickets, a well dressed man approached us and said he wanted to give us a pair of tickets he and his wife were unable to use.  It seems the friends who were supposed to join them were unable to go at the last minute.  When I politely declined saying we already had tickets (I'm a skeptical New Yorker after all), he asked if our tickets were as good as those he was offering.  When I looked at the tickets he was holding out, my eyes popped!  They were for row G (the 7th row) in the orchestra, seats 10 and 12 - only 1 row behind where the gentleman and his wife were sitting.  Those seats were $252.50 EACH.  He assured me he wanted no money for them, he just wanted someone to enjoy those seats.  So.... we picked up our own tickets and graciously accepted his tickets (once I knew no money was involved) and went to those seats (still skeptical).  They were real and absolutely fabulous!  Since one good turn deserves another, we went outside and gave our tickets away to 2 tourists who leaped into the air with gratitude.  How great was that experience!  To add to the drama of the day, the lead soprano (Anita Hartig) who sings the role of Mimi got the flu so that morning, the Met director asked the soprano (Kristine Opolais) who had just sung the lead in Madame Butterfly the night before to step into Mimi's role.   She had never sung or rehearsed Mimi at the Met, so it was a big leap of faith on Peter Gelb's part.  She was fantastic!  Not only did she get a standing ovation, but had to come back on stage several times.  She even got a mention in today's New York Times.  Seems drama follows me wherever I go.  Let's hope there's no drama at the barn when I go to ride my horse later!

Since there isn't too much to report these days while the yard bangs out the latest round of decisions, I feel the need to keep in touch with everyone.  I'm still sensitive to the 6 month hiatus that followed Tom's passing; I don't want to maintain long periods of silence while things are getting done.  As long as you don't mind insertions of happenings of interest, we can stay connected during the "quiet" times.  Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It was a quiet 2 days - for the boat that is

On Monday, I decided to finally visit my dentist to have him look at a lump that had developed under my gum - over 1 of my brand new front teeth crowns!  Oh oh he said, you have an infection brewing and will probably need a root canal.  Root canal!!  Are you kidding me I managed to shout. Those simple few words put an end to everything normal for the next 2 days, hence, no posts.  Now that you feel sorry for me, I'm sure you're already forgiving me for giving you all the silent treatment.  So I had part 1 of this inhumane treatment for teeth that misbehave last evening and was too miserable to do much more than moan and feel sorry for myself.  Today is a better day, even though part 2 is looming next Tuesday.  So here I am!

Not too much breaking news at this point, but some more email discussions took place today.  I've decided to use RJ Marine based in Stuart for the boat's electronics suite.  RJ did not do the electronics on either of our 2 previous boats, but for a variety of reasons, the other vendors were not invited to submit a proposal.  Tom and I had met with RJ's owner and his techie daughter last spring while we were waiting to close on Serenity's sale.  They were able to see firsthand what we had on Serenity, which was a definite advantage for all of us.  That tour sparked hours of very detailed conversations so that RJ knew how we used Serenity and how we planned to use the new boat.  Since those initial discussions were so comprehensive, I pretty much left things as Tom planned, but with a few tweaks here and there.  Typical of a man, Tom asked for more bells and whistles than I will ever need, let alone know what to do with.  Even now, the proposal reads like something out of a chemistry/physics book with reference to numbers, cables, models, megahertz, macrohertz and every other "hertz" in between.  I plan to go over everything (for the 3rd time) with Tom B., then speak to the RJ folks when I can sound more intelligent than I feel right now looking at those 4 pages of "stuff".   Someone asked me in July who was doing the electronics.  If you're reading this blog, now you know.  I feel very comfortable with my choice; since RJ has done other Krogens and has been in business for centuries (well not quite, but close), I trust their expertise will be up to the task.  I'm sure some of you will want to know which components I'm using for what applications; I'll share that once everything is in place.  Yes I know, that's the whole reason many of you are taking the time to read all this.  Don't worry, I'll try not to disappoint you.

While discussing the guest stateroom, I couldn't remember what material I asked to have the night table in the middle of the 2 beds topped with: cherry, formica, granite?  Tom B. reminded me we discussed and selected cherry.  I will swear I could see the smile he was hiding when he gently reminded me that this item was in that lovely right hand column of the build sheet under Completed.  How could I have forgotten that??????    Anyway, he suggested I might want to consider "dressing" the beds in a sunbrella fabric for a fitted, custom look when guests were not aboard.  I asked for - and received - several photos of other boats who had used this fabric.  While the examples were nothing I would have chosen, the overall effect was stunning.  So, I will receive in the mail a swatch book of colors and fabrics suitable for this use so that I can nudge this topic over to - yup, you're getting it now, the right hand column of the build sheet!  It's great to work with folks who have an unlimited repertoire of suggestions and ideas, backed by actual photos to help with the decision-making process.

The bed fabric discussion invariably led to a discussion of settee and helm chair fabrics.  So also in the mail will come a color card with all the Ultraleather color choices.  I decided to go with Ultraleather after seeing it on quite a few boats.  Not only is it neat, easy to maintain and care for, but it won't crack and fade like leather does, especially in a marine environment.  Our first boat (brokerage) had the beige tweedy fabric that KKY uses on their boats as a default if an owner does not make that initial selection. Serenity was built when we bought her, so she was "dressed" in ultrasuede.  That is beautiful fabric, but hard to slide on and even harder to keep tight on the seat.  It had a tendency to wrinkle and I hate wrinkles - anywhere!  I think I mentioned (see I really do forget what I've said) that I planned to do the settees and helm chairs in the same color Ultraleather.  Since a boat is confined space, I think going with a monochromatic color scheme with splashes of color on non-permanent items provides a more spacious look.  So at the end of this week, beginning of next week, I'll be haunting the receptionist at the front desk, casually inquiring about packages for me that are not from J. Crew.

Lebroc will do the 2 helm chairs as they did on Serenity with stainless steel accessories.  They won't need to be ordered until August, so once the color is selected, that item will go - wait for it - into the right hand column of that famous sheet.  I loved the chair on Serenity, even though I rarely got to sit in it.  These helm chairs will be my second home, so to speak.

A fellow Krogenite kindly offered information on enclosing the aft cockpit.  That is another wonderful feature of building one of these boats.  Though the decisions are certainly individual, they become easier to make after hearing from a whole cadre of knowledgeable and seasoned Krogen owners who want nothing more than to help.  How lucky can I be?

So, as I said, other than identifying the electronics vendor and starting to put some flesh on those electronics bones, nothing huge has happened since last week.  Of course if you're me, anything I do that is boat-related is huge.

As the next items present themselves for discussion and selection, I promise to share.  Don't forget, Tom B. goes to Taiwan in a couple of weeks.  He promises me pictures of what has been done so far which I will race to upload for you.  Since I've already preyed upon your sympathies crying about my root canal, I know I have to deliver - and without waiting a century!

Be well everyone.  Be back soon!