Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Devil's in the Details

How much does a yacht really change in the design stage? Dramatically, in some cases, as illustrated by these renderings from Laurent Giles Naval Architects. Project 6H, the result of a collaboration with Peter Insull's Yacht Marketing, evolved over an eight-month research, design, and development program. What started out as a 148-foot expedition yacht with four decks (see Style A) became a 171-foot yacht with a much different profile, particularly forward and aft (see Style B and C, then the final design at the bottom).

Note the high freeboard forward; unlike some hybrid yachty-expedition styles, this one doesn't hide its rugged roots. Note also the signature Laurent Giles element, the dramatic downward curve to the transom. The silver and white paint scheme complements the bold design.

Look for more information in my "Megayachts" column in May.

Class Action Lawsuit

According to Boating-Industry.com and Detroit News , a national class-action lawsuit has been filed against Caterpillar Inc., in reponse to more than 7,000 allegedly defective engines produced since 1996.
The suit alleges certain Caterpillar engines contain defective aftercoolers, which allow water to enter the engines and mix with fumes, resulting in severe corrosion and engine failure, sometimes involving the engine exploding, the newspaper reported.
Caterpillar denies the allegations.
"We have requested an appeal of the certification decision," company spokeswoman Anne Leanos said in a prepared statement Friday quoted in the article. "We will continue to defend the case vigorously."

The main focus of the suit is the Caterpillar 3196, which the company has described as the ideal engine for yachts 40 to 60 feet long, according to the newspaper.

The suit was brought by Detroit businessman James Jaikins, who alleges that his Riviera 48 yacht contained two Caterpillar 3196 engines when a 2003 engine explosion and failure nearly stranded him between Florida and the Bahamas.

Jaikins says that when he started talking to other boat owners, he found his experience was not unique, alleging problems with the engines are the subject of widespread "dock talk" and are documented on Internet boat forums, the newspaper reported.

Jaikins’ attorney, Nathan Resnick, said the lawsuit was “a major consumer protection case—huge," according to the newspaper.
The Detroit News says that damages could exceed $100 million.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Global Explorer

I received an e-mail today from Ron Holland, who is collaborating with Cheoy Lee on an exciting expedition yacht called the Marco Polo project. (See the Cheoy Lee 45-Meter Marco Polo design portfolio article we published a few months ago.)

He attended the sea trial last week, which went quite well; in fact, he says it met their highest expectations:

"The variable-pitch propeller and different power settings allow us to fine tune and confirm our original goals for long-distance fuel-efficiency operation (long-distance range will be over 6,000 NM!). We were also able to verify Marco Polo's handling and manoeuvring capability (bow and stern thruster control) and the unique "get home" capability of the forward Schottel Vector drive system (which is one of Marco Polo's outstanding unique safety features, without comparison in existing yachts)."

The yacht will be handed over to her owner in Hong Kong in July. More photos and a full feature story to come later this year in the pages of PMY.

Welcome to Wally World

I've heard of motherships, but this takes the cake.

Wally has a proposal for a 99-meter (325-foot) yacht that features all the accommodations you'd expect of a megayacht along with deck areas large enough to stow tenders in the 40-foot range (WallyPowers, of course), land a handful of helicopters, and/or serve as everything from a tennis court to a garden area with a swimming pool.

Dubbed WallyIsland, the yacht features Azipod propulsion, zero-speed stabilizers, and a nearly 200,000-gallon fuel capacity. Wally claims a 15,000-NM range at a 16-knot cruising speed, putting essentially any destination within reach.

The superstructure, as you can see, is flushed aft, purposely designed to resemble an airport control tower. With no fairing or painting, the steel vessel has a decidedly commercial look.

Inside is quite another story, of course: a saloon; dining/gaming room; library; cinema room; spa (complete with gym); and an owner's suite plus six double-size king guest suites that can, if necessary, be transformed into 12 guest suites.

Imagine the possibilities—and the envious looks from other owners.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Safety Alert: Viking Life-Raft Product Recall

Viking Life-Saving Equipment A/S is recalling certain serial numbers of its RescYou life rafts due to potential problems with their pressure relief valves.

The relief valve's supplier, Thanner & Co., has informed Viking that problems with its OTS 65-type valve could prevent the life raft from inflating properly. As a precautionary measure, Viking recommends that all Thanner OTS 65 valves used in RescYou liferafts should be checked and replaced if necessary; the company will replace the valves for free.

Visit Viking Yachting or call (877) 848-1057 for further information.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

LORAN Users Unite!

The U.S.Coast Guard is requesting comments from recreational boaters regarding the elimination of the 2007 Loran budget by Homeland Security. Congress voted to allow funding for the system for one more year and the U.S.C.G. is asking for public comments in order to evaluate the future of LORAN.

According to Elaine Dickinson at BoatU.S. Government Affairs, "With the GPS signal being relatively weak there is concern that it is susceptible to jamming, which could present national security problems if it is the sole navigation system for the U.S." But she adds that "Testing has shown LORAN to be virtually jam-proof. There is a strong case to be made for keeping LORAN as a relatively low-cost, ground-based backup to satellite-based GPS."

Dickinson also notes that the Coast Guard just spent $160 million to modernize the system.

Click here to share your comments with the U.S.C.G. (Coast Guard docket number USCG-2006-24685).

Somebody Has A Lot of Time on His Hands

A German man built a replica of the 1,092-foot aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman completely out of Legos. It not only took him over a year to build the 16-foot model, but it cost him almost $20,000 USD. It's not exactly surprising then that he says the project caused "lots of arguments at home."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

PMY February 2007 Issue On Sale Now

It's our biggest issue ever—over 400 pages! Don't miss the new column Stern Shot for a chance to win a Raymarine fixed-mount VHF radio.

Monday, January 22, 2007

It's Not Too Late

Fill that space on the wall of your office cubicle with the 2007 Megayachts of the World calendar. This popular calendar, published by Power & Motoryacht, features a collection of some of the most beautiful and luxurious megayachts in the world, from the world’s largest yacht to the classics.

World’s 100 Largest Yachts 2006 #1: Al Salamah

CNN said it best about Al Salamah: "a vessel beside which most similar boats look like little more than glorified pedalos." That’s not hard to do, considering she rises eight decks high. (No wonder tourists have mistaken her for a cruise ship.)

See the entire list of the world's 100 largest yachts.

Diesel 101

What do you do when your diesel needs attention? Don't call a mechanic. Learn how to care for it yourself. Associate Editor Jeffrey Moser gets his hands dirty at a diesel maintenance seminar.

Club Scene

Want all the amenities and community of a yacht club while you're actually out at sea? Here's a novel idea: Join a yacht club whose clubhouse floats. That's what Ellsworth Marine is doing right now. The San Diego brokerage bought a 156-foot offshore supply vessel to convert into a luxury clubhouse for members of the Eastern Pacific Yacht Club (EPYC). "Our aim is to provide a new dimension to boating," says Tom Ellsworth, who founded the EPYC and opened it to 50 memberships.

Yacht Escort Ships began the conversion in January. The rechristened Pacific Provider will offer six staterooms, a bar, lounge, indoor and outdoor dining areas, gym, theater, tackle center, and dive-gear area. Boat owners can power out to the yacht club and moor alongside it or commute using the vessel's helipad. There are two 35-foot sportfishermen and plenty of PWCs, kayaks, and other watertoys for members to use. Pacific Provider should splash this summer. Ellsworth Marine plans to launch at least tow other floating yacht clubs as well.

February 2007 Agenda

1-4: Atlantic City International Power Boat Show in Atlantic City, NJ
7-11: Mid-Atlantic Boat Show in Charlotte, NC
15-19: Miami International Boat Show in Miami, FL

PMY Quiz

On average, the U.S. Coast Guard saves 15 lives every day, every week, or every month?