I have shown our beautiful doors in a previous post. They call this "diamond pattern" and our Endurance model will be the first with this particular style.
Pretty incredible to see how they are made. At the factory, there are just a few women that have the patience and skill to select the veneers and make these beautiful creations. She cuts the pieces with a press, then fits them together with tape. When this outer layer is completed, it is bonded to further layers of marine plywood (in that press you see in the back) to create the main element of the door.
Each veneer layer takes an ENTIRE DAY to create.
NAt last year's Trawlerfest, we attended a "Safety at Sea" seminar, given by Mark Bunzel of Waggoner guides. He told a harrowing tale of a PNW cruising couple. The husband fell into the water. He was able to make it to the boat's swim step. But he wasn't able to crawl out. (You would have to be like a college athlete to accomplish this.) His wife wasn't able to do anything to get him out of the water. Eventually hypothermia took over and he succumbed.
I decided when I had a boat I would make sure this would not happen to anyone on our boat. We would have to have a swim ladder that can be deployed by someone that wasn't expecting to go swimming.
Hampton boats have built in swim ladders. This is the first one I saw. To deploy, you twist that lock, lift up that hatch, then lift-pull the ladder and put it in the water.
I judged the success of doing this from an in the water position as less than zero.
We wrote it in our contract that the factory had to provide "a swim ladder deployable by a person in the water." Factory owner Jeff Chen said we would review the options and design our ladder while at the factory.
This was the first iteration, and is how they used to build them before the "hatch" version.
There are two small hooks which slide over posts. Then you put your fingers in that recess to pull out. Another owner had already told me he lost one of the hooks. The whole thing looked a little too delicate to me. Keep in mind this is constantly being splashed with salt water when underway.
So all of us put our heads together. Of course I'm the only one that doesn't speak Chinese so there were lots of drawing and motioning. We looked at all the other latches on the boat. We decided that anything with a spring just wasn't going to work as it would rust and become fixed.
After about 3 or 4 tries we had a design I thought was pretty good (was actually my idea). Also, I wasn't happy with the process of pulling the ladder out. Inside the frame you see is a box. There were two nylon blocks to kind of keep the ladder in place, but it was clunky. I asked them to add a long nylon blocks the entire length of the box, so that the ladder would slide better. I left them to go to work.
A short while later Jeff Chen caught up with me and said "that one is not good enough, I have something better in mind." He showed me his idea and sure enough, much more simple and foolproof.
A while later we visited the stainless shop to see the progress.
They decided to take the idea of nylon blocks a couple of steps further and built channels with blocks into the box so that the ladder would remain perfectly oriented when sliding. Check it out in the video.
Finished implementation. That teardrop shaped piece holds the ladder in. No springs, just gravity keeps it in place.
To deploy from the water, you would get your hand on that big handle. With a finger, you swing the teardrop clockwise until it hits the stop. Pull out that ladder and climb on out. That's the idea anyway. I plan to try this out so I can see what it would be like should the unthinkable happen.
Factory owner Jeff Chen has engineering degrees from USC and Stanford. He loves to problem solve and make every boat better. I appreciate his commitment to building the boat the owners want. And in this case, a life may depend on it.
Hamptons come with a beautiful cockpit table and seating area. On all the builds I have seen, there is a small refrigerator located in the base of the table. Having had several of these small fridges in our last house, I'm generally not a fan of them. And we have plenty of refrigerator space in the galley.
Also, the boat I crew on regularly has a built in pressure washer, and it sure makes cleaning up the boat a lot easier. So naturally I wanted one too. Working with HYG, we sourced an appropriate pump that would be located in the engine room. For this application, you don't want pressure high enough to damage teak or force water where it shouldn't go. We aren't cleaning concrete driveways here. I forget the actual pressure, but it is something like 300psi.
You might be wondering what these two things have to do with each other.
That's right, we located a 100' hose reel in the base of the table! Also seen at the top is a quick connect for the air compressor. The hose feeds out of the port side, because that's where the stairs are going up to the flybridge deck. With 100 feet, I can reach every place on the boat.
I gotta say HYG sourced a great product. It's a Glendinning reel and hose. By default the switch to power the reel is mounted on the reel itself, which wasn't very convenient.
Lu disconnected the switch and we tried several locations, settling on mounting on this door. He's taking a picture to email to his tech to do the work. High-tech!
We are also adding a little shelf above the reel to take advantage of the storage space. I just have to get the wand and I'm ready for wash down time. Just another way Mahalo will be special.
Received this pictures yesterday from the factory.
The HYG factory is located right on the Huangpo river, the largest river in Shanghai. There are boats and ships constantly moving along the river transporting all kinds of goods.
Mahalo will ride on this barge down river to the container ship.
There is a tradition when a boat leaves the factory - fireworks and a blessing.
Safe travels Mahalo! A rep from the factory will stay with the boat until she is loaded onto the container ship. Debbie and I are very excited. Mahalo will be here in two and a half weeks!
Anchors need to have some kind of "stopper" to hold them securely in place when underway. You don't want the windlass to be holding the weight.
All the previous Hamptons I have seen had a "claw" type setup. The unit was fixed to the roller assembly at the back side. At the front was a claw you would place on a link, then you'd turn a center piece to tighten. I haven't heard any complaints about this part, but I could see it being a bit cumbersome, or a two handed affair.
When we got to Shanghai we saw they developed this new one. Use the windlass to snug the anchor up, then just drop the hasp over the anchor. The screw assembly is very easy to do with one hand. Nice work HYG! (Anything to make anchoring easier, right?)