12 Feb [Kensblog] Our new boat is complete!!!
This is just a quick blog entry to announce that the wait is finally over. After a long Covid-induced delay, our new boat is complete! Roberta and I will be cruising this summer.
Once the boat arrives in the United States it will be “commissioned.”
We have gone through the commissioning process a couple of times on our prior boats. There are usually fine details at the end of a boat-build process, which the factory doesn’t do, that are necessary to complete the boat. For instance, on our Nordhavn 68, Sans Souci, it took months after the boat arrived in the United States to install all of the boat’s electronics. Commissioning is a time of high-highs and low-lows because, after all the waiting, you can finally see and touch the boat, but the process of completing the boat stops you from being able to go cruising.
We shall see what happens, but as you can see in the pictures, Cygnus will be arriving in near-final condition. I may be overly optimistic, but there is very little that should need to be done for Cygnus to be ready for action. We need to install the shades and soft goods (bedspreads, pillows, rugs) but that’s about it. And, our timing is perfect. Cygnus should be arriving in the United States a couple of months prior to the cruising season starting. This gives us plenty of time to finish anything that needs done.
I asked the factory to snap a few pictures of the boat before loading it onto the freighter and these are what they sent. We could not be happier. The boat looks amazing!
Cygnus, on the left side of this pictureEach of the boats you see here are on a cradle waiting to be lifted aboard a freighter for transport to various locations around the world.
Lifting the boat and cradle onto the freighterI’m never completely comfortable when our boat is transported via freighter. It only happens on rare occasions but things can go horribly wrong when loading or unloading these boats from a freighter.
For example, here’s a Nordhavn motorsailer that was dropped while being unloaded: https://oceanlines.biz/2009/07/vessel-assist-salvages-launch-accident-nordhavn-56-motorsailer/
Even when the freighter is underway, you aren’t 100% safe. Recently, a brand new Nordhavn 68 (the same model boat as our own Nordhavn 68, Sans Souci) was arriving brand-new from Taiwan when the freighter hit bad weather, causing extensive damage inside the boat: http://www.mvtanglewood.com/2021/01/coming-together-to-deal-with-difficult.html
When bad things happen, the insurance companies usually pay for the damage. But, there is damage that money can’t solve. Manufacturing a boat is a long multi-year process. If a boat is lost during transport you can’t just run down to the dealership and pick up a new one. Multiple cruising seasons can be lost, and no amount of money will bring them back.
Cygnus on the freighter, strapped down and ready for the voyage
There are a lot of miles between Malaysia and Seattle, with several stops along the way. We’ve been told to expect that the voyage will take a full month.
I don’t know all the details but am assuming that Grand Banks will send a team to fire up the boat when it is offloaded from the freighter. After a month on a freighter it will probably be a mess, but will look beautiful to us. Our current plan is to meet the boat when it arrives, and ride aboard the boat as it is transported from the freighter to the dock for commissioning.
As long-time readers of my blog may know, we’ve never been on a Grand Banks 60 while it is underway. We had never even been aboard a Grand Banks 60 when we ordered the boat! Our future cruising plans will be defined by how easy the boat is to maneuver, how comfort it is at anchor, how maintenance free the boat is, and how seaworthy it feels. Our expectation is that this will be a boat that will take us anywhere we want to go, and we’ve equipped it to take us comfortably virtually anywhere in the world. That said, there can be a difference between reading reviews of a boat, reading the manufacturer’s website, watching YouTube videos, and running the boat yourself. Our goal this summer, in additional to having fun, will be to put the boat through its paces and see how it performs.
Thus far, Grand Banks has exceeded all expectations. I have no doubt Cygnus will meet all of our goals and that we have many thousands of more successful cruising miles in front of us.
Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
Our cruising plans for this summer are unknown…
Until the Covid crisis closed the Canadian border our plans for this year had been to cruise the Canadian inside passage, and perhaps venture as far north as Alaska.
It is possible that the border with Canada will open at some point this summer. It is also possible that we’ll run the boat up to Alaska stopping only for fuel or anchoring at night as we traverse Canada. But, neither of these options is likely.
Realistically, we are likely to stay in Washington this summer. If the Canada border opens we will head north, but if it doesn’t we will not be suffering. There are more great anchorages in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound than we can possibly exhaust in a single season. And, we are looking forward to spending some time in our home marina, Roche Harbor, on San Juan Island, which still ranks as our favorite marina ever.
That’s it for this edition of the blog.
I hope all of you are staying healthy, and I’m excited that the covid numbers seem to be declining. Let’s hope that by summer the world will be somewhat closer to normal.
Ken and Roberta Williams
and, our two pups, Toundra and Keely
Grand Banks 60, Cygnus