dna9413

Naval Architect/GC recommendations for major refit

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Hi,

I'm looking for some advice on whom to work with on a large refit project.

We see three basic options to get a boat we like:

 

1 - Buy a new production boat from a builder like Boreal, OVNI, etc…

2 - Have a custom designed boat from an architect like Dykstra and built by a custom yard.

3 - Buy an older Boreal, OVNI, Bestevaer, etc.. for 50% of our budget and then spend the other 50% on a refit.

 

While we like Boreals and OVNIs, they don't offer all of the very specific requirements we want.  And my inquiries with Dykstra lead me to believe that our budget is too low to get a new custom boat with the requirements we want.

 

So now I'm investigating option 3.  

 

A little background first.

 

  • Our sail-away budget is USD 750,000.
  • We're looking for a 13 -16 meter boat.
  • Sail world-wide
  • Aluminum hull and deck.  Sheltered cockpit with hard dodger.
  • Centerboard or lifting keel.
  • Insulated, heated and air-conditioned.
  • High performance and high reliability systems
  • One fuel design (electric outboard and electric stove)
  • Modern commercial marine electronics and advanced electrical management systems.
  • Sail handling design for short-handed crews - sail controls in cockpit.
  • Swim platform.
  • We're based in the Washington DC area.
  • We have about 5 years before we want to be on the water (youngest son graduates high school).

 

This list does not represent any of the specifics of what we want.  This is just to give an idea of the type of boat we're looking for and who we are.

 

So, I have a little (very little) experience with large building construction.  Of the techniques used to build buildings, the design-build approach makes most sense to me (Under this method, an owner typically hires a single entity, the design/builder, to perform both design and construction under a single contract).  

 

So I'm looking for advice from people who know marine builders who can act in a design-build function.  That is to say, naval architect and general contractor.  I'm also looking for recommendations of high-quality ship yards to do the work at.  Since I'm in the US, US locations are preferred.  But shipyards in Europe are also acceptable.  Finally, I would like recommendations about specific sub-contractors.

 

Any recommendations of specific companies are appreciated. What I'd like to avoid, though, are distributors.  I'm looking for function-specific experts that can help me scope out the overall best performance of a system based on my need.  After we work with all of the subs and the GC to resolve the interoperability issues that each sub system brings, we will start identifying which specific products meet the requirements.

 

Designer:

General Contractor:

Ship Yard:

Sail Designer:

Rigger:

Marine engines and axillaries:

Electrical systems:

Electronic systems:

Marine Sanitization Systems:

Safety systems:

Interior Design:

Anything else?

 

I do work full-time right now and won't be able to respond especially quick to posts here, but I'll try to respond once each day.

 

Thanks,

 

Dan

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35 minutes ago, dna9413 said:

Anything else? 

French boobies? Come on.

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It sounds like you need a broker, not a naval architect and boat builder. Here is a well-established broker for Garcia and Allures: http://swiftsureyachts.com/.

Tell them your story, they know the boats you're after. Being five years out, you might work out some kind of arrangement so they know they're not wasting their time. It would be tough to get a custom alu boat built by then anyway, even if you could finance it all starting tomorrow.

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Option 3 is probably your best bet. Call Swiftsure Yachts. They're brokers, but they have a lot of experience helping people do what you've described.

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I think the Bestevaer 45ST pure should fall within your budget and the specs? To my knowledge, its around 500k USD and is available with a variable keel.

1-250516-aopzkmybestevaer45stpure2016051

Otherwise look for Koopmans, van de Stadt, Hutting or Atlantic, here is an Atlantic 43, for sale for 390k EUR

image.php?yacht=18735&bid=190&fileName=D

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The OVNI and the Boreal are rather different beasts, I think that you should determine which one suits your program better. In short OVNI have shallower draft board up, are more similar to production boats whereas the Boreal are more geared toward "expedition style sailing" with the pilot saloon and a lower CoG.

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17 minutes ago, Panoramix said:
23 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I like the space shuttle like nav chair!

@Panoramix, that chair is the thing I least like about the boat.  It looks to me like something from behind the desk of a self-important middle-manager with very severe penile inadequacy issues

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@Panoramix - your point about the boats is why I want recommendations about neutral parties to help me determine which boat most closely suits our needs, and also is easiest/cheapest to make all of the modifications we want to make.

Dan

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Dykstra is generally used to designing much bigger boats so you are probably not worth their while.

You're way overthinking the number of people who need to be involved. Buy a boat that meets 80% of your needs and modify to suit.

it doesn't sound like you have much big boat experience either. Do a lot of reading (Beth Leonard's book on modern sailboats is good) first

   > One fuel design (electric outboard and electric stove)

Oh, don't do this. Either you need a generator running to heat up a can of soup or a whacking big battery bank. Then you have an electric outboard that takes many hours to charge (more genset time?). Do what 95% of the cruising population does: diesel for main engine, gasoline for a dinghy, and propane to cook. There is a reason almost everyone does it and it is not because it is just herd mentality. It's just the best solution.

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So you want people to tell you what to buy, go to a boatshow and be happy, they will tell you what you want to hear.

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Even the best yard for a re- or new build is pretty helpless unless the owner knows exactly what he wants. They're craftsmen, not mind readers. If you don't have a cruising boat now, get one and do a lot of weekending, some offshore work, cruise to Maine, etc. Become knowledgeable so when you talk to a boatyard about autopilots or battery banks, you're both speaking the same language. Be prepared to be onsite a lot. Simply rubbing money on stuff is a poor solution and will likely leave both you and the yard dissatisfied (read the Stanley Paris thread here). Have a clear, reasonable mission, and start now acquiring the skills required. 5 years is not very long.

Maybe you already have all the experience and skills,  and the point is moot, but you didn't make that clear in your post.

In New England, NorEast Marine Services is very good, and relied on by many boatyards. They've done various systems on a couple of my boats, and on other boats for friends, and the results have been very satisfactory. In my case, I knew exactly what I wanted, and where and how I wanted it installed. They confirmed that I was not, in fact, a total idiot, and then did a very nice job.

http://noreastmarinesystems.com/services/

 

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39 minutes ago, Zonker said:

   > One fuel design (electric outboard and electric stove)

Oh, don't do this. Either you need a generator running to heat up a can of soup or a whacking big battery bank. Then you have an electric outboard that takes many hours to charge (more genset time?). Do what 95% of the cruising population does: diesel for main engine, gasoline for a dinghy, and propane to cook. There is a reason almost everyone does it and it is not because it is just herd mentality. It's just the best solution.

This is getting more and more feasible as battery tech, chargers, inverters, etc.. have really improved and solar has gotten more energy dense and much cheaper.  On my 42' stinkboat, I am all electric for everything but the main engine and the dinghy.  I have enough reserve power I could charge a dinghy off my solar though.  Solar is more than I need most of the time but when weather comes to stay for a while then I do need to run the genset, but it's not very often.  It does put you on the leading edge of things and depending on some sophisticated electronics instead of super simple systems that have been the norm for a long time.  Fixing a bad inverter or charge controller in a remote location would be a problem or impossible.

For the electric stove, look at Induction.  I love my induction cooktop, it runs off the inverter really well and while I've always preferred gas for cooking, induction is even better than gas as far as heat distribution and response.

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2 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

Go read 'Dave's Perfect Boat' thread and you will learn much.

Indeed.  Especially if you read all of it, from beginning to end

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Read the Sailing around the World  thread through first.

You need storage for mashed potato flakes and a chicken. 

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5 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Even the best yard for a re- or new build is pretty helpless unless the owner knows exactly what he wants. They're craftsmen, not mind readers. If you don't have a cruising boat now, get one and do a lot of weekending, some offshore work, cruise to Maine, etc. Become knowledgeable so when you talk to a boatyard about autopilots or battery banks, you're both speaking the same language. Be prepared to be onsite a lot. Simply rubbing money on stuff is a poor solution and will likely leave both you and the yard dissatisfied (read the Stanley Paris thread here). Have a clear, reasonable mission, and start now acquiring the skills required. 5 years is not very long.

Maybe you already have all the experience and skills,  and the point is moot, but you didn't make that clear in your post.

In New England, NorEast Marine Services is very good, and relied on by many boatyards. They've done various systems on a couple of my boats, and on other boats for friends, and the results have been very satisfactory. In my case, I knew exactly what I wanted, and where and how I wanted it installed. They confirmed that I was not, in fact, a total idiot, and then did a very nice job.

http://noreastmarinesystems.com/services/

Thanks to all for the comments.  While it may appear that I don't have experience on big boats, I've been chartering, getting passage miles via OPO and other crew finder sites, and have belonged to a few big boat sailboat clubs over the last 5 years.  I've deliberately sailed on a variety of boats to get better insight on features and functions that I like or don't.

I won't get into exactly what my ideas are as I don't want to distract the conversation.

As I mentioned in the beginning, I have some large building construction experience working for the owner of the largest chain of hospitals in the country.  What I know from that experience is even if you know exactly what you want, you still need experts in the various systems to help you make the vision reality based on actual conditions.  I also know that you need an overall leader to bring all of the competing systems integrate into one result.

I provide the vision and the $$.  I'm looking for experienced companies that can help me flesh out my vision.  I realize that most here would not take this path.  I understand that.  I appreciate any relevant advice that is offered.

Thanks again,

Dan

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Designer: JK

General Contractor: NASA

Ship Yard: Area 51

Sail Designer: Bruno Dubois

Rigger: Rondal

Marine engines and axillaries: Volvo

Electrical systems: NASA

Electronic systems: ESA

Marine Sanitization Systems: Space plumbing LTD

Safety systems: Nuclear reactor system

Interior Design: Ivanka Trump

 

So solved, your budget is gone, and no boat, but you have the best people.

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16 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

@Panoramix, that chair is the thing I least like about the boat.  It looks to me like something from behind the desk of a self-important middle-manager with very severe penile inadequacy issues

The I like was a bit sarcastic. I think you are a bit harsh, I would have imagined somebody who spent his youth watching Star Wars.

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12 hours ago, Panoramix said:

The I like was a bit sarcastic. I think you are a bit harsh, I would have imagined somebody who spent his youth watching Star Wars.

Personally I thought it looked more like a longdistance truck driver's seat than a middle management perch

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If you think about a Bestevaer you should also talk to KM about the refit. They do refits on their own boats to a very good standard and know the boat very well (since they build it) so should do a better job at it.

Seen a refit under way at their yard and it was like it was build as new.

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On 7/6/2018 at 8:53 PM, dna9413 said:

@Panoramix - your point about the boats is why I want recommendations about neutral parties to help me determine which boat most closely suits our needs, and also is easiest/cheapest to make all of the modifications we want to make.

Dan

Yes, but I think that you need to be more precise about what kind of boat you like or dislike if you want our input to be more valuable, or at least what you expect from your boat.

 

On 7/7/2018 at 4:03 AM, dna9413 said:

Thanks to all for the comments.  While it may appear that I don't have experience on big boats, I've been chartering, getting passage miles via OPO and other crew finder sites, and have belonged to a few big boat sailboat clubs over the last 5 years.  I've deliberately sailed on a variety of boats to get better insight on features and functions that I like or don't.

I won't get into exactly what my ideas are as I don't want to distract the conversation.

As I mentioned in the beginning, I have some large building construction experience working for the owner of the largest chain of hospitals in the country.  What I know from that experience is even if you know exactly what you want, you still need experts in the various systems to help you make the vision reality based on actual conditions.  I also know that you need an overall leader to bring all of the competing systems integrate into one result.

I provide the vision and the $$.  I'm looking for experienced companies that can help me flesh out my vision.  I realize that most here would not take this path.  I understand that.  I appreciate any relevant advice that is offered.

Thanks again,

Dan

I work for the construction industry while for really big projects you need complex organisations for relatively small ones lean teams work better. If you start from an existing boat, refitting a boat isn't a massive project like building or refurbishing an hospital. May be you need some kind of project matter then it is a matter of jfdi!

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21 minutes ago, HotSnail said:

If you think about a Bestevaer you should also talk to KM about the refit. They do refits on their own boats to a very good standard and know the boat very well (since they build it) so should do a better job at it.

Seen a refit under way at their yard and it was like it was build as new.

Thanks HotSnail.  I will reach out to them.  

I think the key takeaway for me is that I need to reach out to "Marine Service Providers" that specialize in refits.  I've already found a few candidates that I'm going to call in the next week to start understanding if my project is a good fit.

Thanks to all for the good advice.

Dan

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I'm just going to put this out there, that a wise person once told me that if you want a new boat, buy a new boat. If you think you're going to buy a used boat, refit it, and have it like new, you're just buying a new boat in stages.

I guess if you get it REALLY cheap, that's one thing, but realize that, on some level, it's still not a new boat.

I also realize that you're doing passages, chartering, doing a lot of sailing on larger boats, all great experience. It's still not quite the same as owning and skippering.

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