Come on down to Sunny Isles for a fun day of sea trials!Read More
News From the Docks
After washing four of these boats from superstructure to hull that weekend with the one and only Trevor Duke, I realized how luxurious this style and size of boat would be as an owner / operator. Just big enough to throw a party and withstand rough seas with its vee hull (semi-planing!), but not so large that you need a crew to maintain it.
As a fairly new employee of Trevor's, I sat in on my first yacht care orientation of his with all the Krogen owners there. And much to my surprise, there was so much more that I have yet to learn from the master. Knowing when to use the right products, tools and methods to cleaning yachts might as well be an art. I guess the most important thing I learned from this orientation is the importance of a proper weekly wash for your yacht.
[liveblog] Coffee is being consumed, and things are about to kick off here!
Please bear with us as we figure out this liveblog! It is not letting me correct my typos....
The launch ramp at Petoskey’s city marina is unavailable for boaters as crews tend to a dredging project in the recreational harbor. City parks and recreation director Al Hansen said the ramp was closed down Friday for the two- to three-week project.
“We’re trying to do it as rapidly and quickly as possible,” he added.
The dredging work, which costs about $71,000 and is being paid for using marina reserve funds, was arranged in response to a decrease in water levels along with a buildup of sediment that makes navigation difficult in portions of the harbor. R.B. Lyons of Charlevoix is handling the dredging, with support from trucking firm Poquette Leasing of Petoskey. During the project, the launch ramp is needed for storage and truck loading of spoils removed from the harbor bottom, Hansen said. The slope of the ramp helps in draining water from the spoils, and Hansen said using that location also helps avoid encroaching on marina parking areas. City officials had hoped to have the dredging work taken care of earlier in the spring, but Hansen noted that they encountered delays in obtaining state permits needed for the work. The parks and recreation director added that contractors are aware of the need to move quickly on the project. Given the pace with which the project has moved in its first several days, Hansen said it may take less than three weeks to wrap up.
“We want to get it done before our main season hits us in late June,” he noted.
Slips remain available during the project for boaters traveling to and from the marina by water, although Hansen said some boaters are having to be temporarily relocated from one portion of the harbor to another. Spoils removed from the harbor bottom will be taken to an Onaway-area landfill for disposal, Hansen said.
To supplement the Bay Harbor Lake Marina webcam, it looks like the Yacht Club is catching up. These webcams are a great way to keep an eye on your boat, particularly in regards to the weather. You can decide if it is a good day to take the boat out, or be able to tell how hard the boat is bouncing in a storm (not in protected Bay Harbor, mind you!).
Yet another great use of these cameras? Watching us clean your boat. WOW.
The camera pans around to cover the entire bay, and zooms in to check on BHLM in the distance. If only you could control it to zoom in on individual boats!
In case you have not been outside, summer is here! We were on the docks this weekend doing a bit of work and had the pleasure of being buzzed by a sea plane doing a few laps over Bay Harbor Lake. Luckily we were able to grab a couple of good pictures and put together a short video!
When we tell people about northern Michigan, we often tell them how perfect it is up here during the summer. Today turned out to be a bit on the cool and cloudy side, but Walstrom's new sales showroom is the nicest showroom I have ever seen. A big thanks to Walstrom's for hosting the event and being kind enough to extend an invitation to us! The guest list included a lot of our customers and other influential members of the boating community. Check out the pictures to see if you can spot any of them!
I lived in Milwaukee a couple summers ago and absolutely loved the city's waterfront. They also had an amazing schooner fully restored that toured from Milwaukee down to the Florida Keys on a nearly annual basis. It is returning this summer and is open for tours!
MILWAUKEE — The world's only recreation of a three-masted Great Lakes schooner arrives to downtown Milwaukee this weekend.
The Denis Sullivan returns on Saturday from its winter dock and will be open for public tours at the Discovery World harbor in Lake Michigan.
Professional shipwrights and nearly 1,000 volunteers finished building the 137-foot re-creation of a 19th century Great Lakes schooner in 2000. It is used for education, training and research.
Museum spokesman Richard Cieslak (SEE'-slak) says the ship will visit Manitowoc on the last weekend in June, Sturgeon Bay over the July 4th weekend and then Racine later this summer.
- Classic Schooner Sails SoundWaters Opens this Weekend! (janetserra.wordpress.com)
- Changes In Great Lakes Threaten Transplanted Fish (npr.org)
The weather in northern Michigan has changed, and so are the sales offices of Walstrom Marine in Harbor Springs. We will be attending their grand opening BBQ next weekend (and you should too!).
With the opening of the new building, the old building next door is in the process of being torn down / renovated to suit the needs of Walstrom's customers in the Basin. I hope they save the "Walstrom Marine" from the front of the old building!
I was checking all my nautical sites, and while on gcaptain.com (I did not recommend because it is slightly technical and focuses more on freighters and cargo ships) andI stumbled across an online AIS mapping system. Wikipedia explains AIS:
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automated tracking system used on ships and by Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS stations. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.
Information provided by AIS equipment, such as unique identification, position, course, and speed, can be displayed on a screen or an ECDIS. AIS is intended to assist a vessel's watchstanding officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements. AIS integrates a standardized VHF transceiver with a positioning system such as a LORAN-C or GPS receiver, with other electronic navigation sensors, such as a gyrocompass or rate of turn indicator. Ships outside AIS radio range can be tracked with the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system with less frequent transmission.
This site gives a bit of information about vessel movement, and MarineTraffic.com is about what I imagine an air traffic controller looks at all day (when they are awake!). Not only are you able to browse the entire world for AIS reporting ships, but you can view by type of ship, and a few other parameters. Obviously tracking the big yachts is going to be my primary use for this! Just taking a look at some of the yards in Florida, I was able to quickly find Johnny Depp's Boat, VaJoLiRoJa. Fun fact about his boat, if you say the name fast enough, it sounds like "The Jolly Roger", which would make you think of the pirate movies that paid for the boat, but it is actually the first names of all in his family, VAlerie, JOhnnie, LIly-ROse, and JAck.
As you can see on the left side of the screen, I have filtered out everything but the yachts. Also, notice the ad for an iPhone app! That would be a great time killer on the road!
Looks like the Beaver Island ferry, the EMERALD ISLE is a little late for it's 4:30 projected ETA. If you like big boat, or fancy yourself a diehard yacht spotter, this may be the site for you. These closeups only show a few areas in the US, with a lot of commercial boats filtered out, but there are a lot of boats on this site. Be sure to check out some of the destinations around Europe (Med, Monaco, Cannes, etc) to see some of the big boys! Zooming out still gives you a tiling of green squares with the number of reporting vessels in each area, so you can quickly find the hot spots.
I highly recommend you poke around, and if you find any interesting boats, say something in the comments!
Just in case you forgot, Walstrom's opening day at their new showroom is fast approaching. Their new showroom in Harbor Springs is looking great and we are looking forward to the event. Time: Saturday, May 28 · 11:30am - 2:00pm Location: Walstrom Marine New Sales Showroom and Yachting Center
500 Bay Street Harbor Springs, MI
If you want to let your friends know you are going, RSVP on their facebook page!
We had the privilege of seeing the Piano Man himself's boat at the Palm Beach Show. Captain Gene politely declined a wash, but he could tell that we knew the boat, and we wanted to get aboard. After an evening working the Northop and Johnson tent (brokerage representing the sale of VENDETTA) on the last day of the show, Captain treated us to some drinks on the boat, and boy was it great to get aboard.
[I would personally recommend you play some background music for this post.]
The boat is a commuter, this style of boat was built for the social elite who found it far more fashionable to travel from home to work by sea than by land-- but who also justified this travel by making it quicker! These boats were sleek lines and big engines. Also, the interior was not for long distance cruising, and would have a very spartan layout. These boats were purpose built to go from Point A to Point B to Point A. A different, more comfortable boat would handle more luxurious cruising elsewhere.
The designer of the boat is none other that "the Down-East Expert" (FMYC's term) himself.....*drumroll*..... DOUG ZURN! We take care of quite a few Zurn influenced boats, and you will recognize his styling even if you don't know its his. The Hinckley ____, the MJM's patented "parabola" window line, Marlow Yachts 65, Custom Builds for Lyman Morse, even the hull of the Vanquish runabout. take a look at Zurn Yachts to see his boats lined up next to each and other and notice the commonalities in his designs.
Billy is quite a boater, and I came across more than a half dozen boats that he owns or has owned in researching this article. Further, he is somewhat involved with CH Marine:
In the early '90s, he worried about boating jobs on Long Island. "First there was the luxury tax and then the recession. I wanted to keep talented people working. I wanted to get involved. I didn't want the boatbuilders to lay off people." He teamed up with Doug Zurn and Peter Needham at Coecles Harbor Marine and, in 1996, introduced the 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout. So far, 39 have been sold (base price: $356,800).
Then he wanted something bigger for himself. "There are two subplots here," he said. "Trying to revive a local builder, plus reviving a tradition of great commuter boats." [Yachting Mag]
Related, from CNN Money
Suddenly, though not for the first time in his life, Joel had a hit on his hands. "We figured there might be a market for it, so we took it to the boat shows," Needham recalls. "The phone started ringing off the hook. We had to hire people, train them, and start a bona fide boat-building business."
It helped that there was nothing quite like the runabout on the market, save perhaps for the wildly successful 36-foot Picnic Boat just introduced by Hinckley. It also helped that the stock market bubble was beginning to swell. A Microsoft executive flew in from Seattle and wanted a runabout immediately, Joel says. "He looks at my boat, and he goes, 'Whose boat is that?' I said, 'That's my boat.' And he goes, 'Well, are you in the boat business or not?' So I actually sold my original boat. But it was good for the company."
Needham has just completed hull No. 36. Joel didn't invest in the business but owns the design and the tooling, and he collects a royalty on every runabout sold--the base price is $340,000. Needham says that another singing boat nut, Jimmy Buffett, nearly bought one. "He was 99% there. But at the last minute he said, 'I can't do this--it's like sitting on another man's throne.'"
The black hullsides, wood cabinsides, and an off-white bridge really sets of the sloping lines, which to me gives it a "wind-tunnel" look, of the air breaking just aft of the cockpit. This profile is further accentuated when the boat is in motion, on a low plane angle, but with a frothy wake accepting the terminus coming over the boat, everything the boat is cutting through being churned and blown by right about where the transom is.
The technology of the boat is extremely impressive too, and it being custom, allowed a lot of things to be tried (that may not be feasible/practical for a production run). Some Specs:
- LOA: 57ft
- Beam: 15ft
- Draft: 3'11"
- Fuel Capacity: 620 gallons
- Year: 2005
- Builder: DERECKTOR
- Speed: 44/50 Knots
- Engines 2xMAN 1300hp
Some notable tech on the boat are the hull made with SCRIMP technology, and the Power-Vent surface drives. SCRIMP which is much more common nowadays than it was in 2005, and is now commonly referred to as "vacuum bagging". To summarize the advantages of the system, you have a perfect resin/glass(cloth) ratio, taking out some of the soft spots found when laid up by hand. The Power-Vent system, is extremely impressive, and directs the exhaust under the boat to create a pseudo surface drive configuration. This accomplishes excellent performance, with less specialized parts, and a few side benefits such as no projection off the transom. Some of the surface drive boats (Magnum) will have MASSIVE achitecture coming off the transom, sometimes 6-8ft long! When a clean look and high speed is required, a configuration like this makes sense. Captain Gene was also discussing some other advantages with the power drive, as far as other engine intake/exhaust benefits which I cannot recall, but I do know the system was flexible enough to create some VENDETTA-specific advantages.
From the Power-Vent Page:
- Shallow shaft angle (performance-draft-installation)
- Proven reliability (long term, low maintenance)
- Simple installation (cost effect manufacturing)
- Easy and simple maintenance (field repairable)
- Unobstructed transom (allows for stern boarding and accessories)
- Quiet Operation (exhaust exits under vessel)
- Transom Area: is usable deck space (transom is free of engine box or steering gear)
- Transom Options: Removable, fold down or swing in or out doors for rapid deployment
- Low Radar Profile (no rooster tail)
- Minimal IR Signature (exhaust gasses mixed with propeller wash)
- Come Home Capabilities: Single engine on step running. Manual steering via tiller at any speed, even if console is destroyed.
- External trim system
- External steering cylinders
- External U joints
- External rubber bellows
- External seals
- External oil filled housings
- External features to cover up drive system
The helm is laid out in a form follows function manner, with 4 STIDD chairs in a military layout, 2 on the port, 2 on the left. Much like those darn Coast Guard boats always counting my life-jackets... This configuration makes sense for the purpose of commuting, and also allows a huge hatch down the the engine room. All deck in the helm is oiled teak, and the dash has every control you need, nothing more. The mechanical gauges are set in a single piece of stainless, alluding to a fast machine. Electronics are Raymarine 12"s, and an extra screen for the passenger in the port passenger seat to aid in navigation or plotting. Radar and Autopilot are included, but no FLIR or extra antennae that would disrupt the profile. The white exterior is repeated in the helm walls, and light wood accents for the forward bulkhead and ceiling.
Heading down below, immediately to your port is a half galley, more for serving than preparation, with enough refrigeration for an extended trip. To starboard, table with two benches and seating for four is available for meals. Forward of the galley area, there is a bulkhead with a curving "Y" cut in it to allow a very open feeling, while still suggesting a solid structure. The other side of this bulkhead has center-facing seating for six, and a forward head makes use of that otherwise dead space. The cushions are a light green seafoam color, and the carpet and counter tops are both light neutral brown and gray.
The engine room is unremarkable except for the size. Other bilges I had been in at the show were the MJM 36z With compact Volvos, and the Cruisers 47, I think with IPS 600's. HUGE difference in engine volume, for these engines to be put on a 50-60ft boat, you would expect the boat to be 20,000lbs heavier. I did a very poor job photographing the engine room and aft bilge that houses the Power-Vent tubes, guess I'll have to get more pictures next time I run into the boat.
Another thing I would like to mention is how large the canoe stern is. It is big, a wide expanse of black, with the very ominous sounding "VENDETTA". This name by the way is not in reference to some long held grudge or rivalry against a fellow musician, but proudly suggesting that he wages a war with life. As often as it cold and cruel, he 'wins' by living well. I have no plans available, but I would venture that the beamiest part of the boat is 3-4ft from the stern, further stretching the tumblehome.
Why the name Vendetta? I asked. "Because living well is the best revenge," he laughed. "I live in a Gatsby-type house, now I have a Gatsby-type boat. I enjoy that lifestyle."
The little things I noticed (but would never think to photograph) were that the fixtures I saw were all of the highest quality. Things like the hardware for the engine hatch were definitely not something you can replace at West Marine, and all felt very solid. The cabin had lots of natural light, with both cabinside windows and hatches letting in a lot of light. The forward windows are just slivers, but justifies the slight rise in deck while drastically brightening the cabin. The mast, larger and exaggerated like that of a lobster boat, is the first thing a lot of people comment on, and I frankly think it fits well, and the boat would have a very different profile without it. Also, the boat was not 'flashy" at all, but rather modest. Nothing ornate, and the only real decorations were a few plaques from military organizations thanking Mr. Joel for his $upport.
Thank you again to Captain Gene Pelland for the time, and check out our video of him skillfully taking the boat out of its corner slip, leaving the Palm Beach Show. You can also catch a few glimpses of the boat on our "horn blowing" video.
Related / Sources
- Information about AUDACIOUS, Billy Joel's Expedition boat.
- Yachting Magazine, "Rush Hour" (Launch of Vendetta)
- Coecles Harbor Marine
- CNN Money article on the build, some history on the Billy Joel's influences on the design
- More on Captain Gene , More again
- Northop and Johnson Listing
|FMYC VENDETTA Album|
If you want to pay $5 million more than build cost for a seven year old boat owned by a celebrity, this boat is for you.Read More
You read that right, we just surpassed 10,000 views on our YouTube channel! Sure, we might not be internet stars yet, but we did have a lot of fun along the way. We have a whole range of topics, ranging from our new quick demonstration on how to buff, interviews with well known boat makers like Bob Johnstone, and boat show fun! Here is our most popular video of Al Copland's Phenomenon!
We are slowly getting around to publishing all the material we gathered at Miami. Here is a video I took the day after the show, of a huge chunk of boats heading north along Collins. We actually saw some of the same boats 2-3hrs later as we were driving by the port of Miami. Quite a trip home, and as you can tell by the video, there is a bit of congestion getting around.
Not signed up for the Miami Boat Show emails? Well, you should be! We just got a nice run down of events and new opportunities in our inbox:
Participate in Our Navigation Electronics Focus Group — $50 Incentive Help marine manufacturers shape the future of navigation electronics! Sign up now to take part in an innovative 45-minute focus group at the 2011 Miami International Boat Show. Put $50 in your pocket for participating, and be entered to win a $200 West Marine E-Gift Card.
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have past experience with at least one type of marine electronics navigation device. The study will take place on Feb. 19 & 20 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in the pre-hall meeting rooms (Washington Street Entrance); light refreshments will be served. Must be pre-registered to participate. Space is limited so sign up now! Contact: Marine.Research2011@gmail.com with preferred dates and times. (edit: Original email had an incorrect email which has been corrected.)
So go ahead, go sign up to earn yourself $50!