Deck bonding & Sevenstar
The build is progressing well at Outremer. Last week they bonded the deck section to the hulls and continued the interior fitout. The deck bonding process is an example of the value of things you don’t see at a boat show. Most manufacturers use an adhesive to glue the deck and hull sections together. This provides a watertight seal and a strong joint, but it can vary in quality depending on the process and workmanship of the factory. Outremer does this too, and then they go along the entire join from the inside and layup an additional layer of fiberglass mat and resin to provide an extra bonding layer. This makes the joint much stronger and ensures there are no weak points anywhere along the join. When pounding into big waves and gale force winds, it’s reassuring to know our boat is built to take it!
On the transport front, Robin and I went to the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show last weekend and were able to catch up with the Australian team at Sevenstar yacht transport, the company we are using to ship Puffin from Palma to Brisbane. It’s been a bit difficult trying to understand all the details of the shipping process: where the boat has to be and when, how it gets loaded and secured, how to protect it during the voyage and how to deal with the paperwork and customs on each end. It was good to talk to the team in person and they reassured me that this is pretty routine for them and not as scary as it appears. I was able to get most of my questions answered, so now we are working through the preparation details for our September shipping date.
A few things I have learned so far:
- Sevenstar recommends against any kind of vinyl wrap or plastic protection on the exterior gelcoat surfaces. Their experience with voyages of this length show that the wrapping will not last the voyage and will often damage the gelcoat surface as it comes loose and is buffeted by strong winds
- Sevenstar use their own ships with engine exhaust stacks at the stern, so the black residue that gets deposited on the decks of transported yachts during general deck cargo transport is not an issue
- They can’t give an actual shipping date until 3 to 4 weeks before departure. This makes it difficult to arrange transport to the loading site as we don’t know when we have to be there
- The actual destination port in Australia isn’t fixed ahead of time. Might be Brisbane, or maybe Newcastle. I guess getting it to Australia is the important part, so no point quibbling over where in Australia it’s going to arrive!
Here are some photos of progress during the past week.