Sorry for the "hiatus" with blog posts over the past week. We did a family trip to SoCal with our adult kids.
Today it is off to San Juan Island for the annual Hampton Yacht Rendevous. We are going by plane, not on our boat, of course.
But next year Mahalo will make her first appearance there with the other awesome Hampton Yachts.
The pictures of Mahalo started coming my way around 8:30 am. Here she is in the hold of the ship. The ship was docked in Seattle.
And away we go!
Seconds to splashdown!
Underway in the Ship Canal. That's a nice looking boat!
And while that was going on, Deb and I signed up for this dock space.
Well, I guess the "build phase" is now officially over and we are in commissioning. It has really been a fun process. Let's hope commissioning is too!
It seems one of the inevitable facts of PNW cruising life... is The Pile of fleeces and coats. Every boat I have been on, you just end up with "The Pile." That's because we need several kinds of outerwear here. You need fleece for warmth, a shell for rain. When there's four of you, it's easy to end up with 10 garments of various kinds.
You come in from say anchor duty, it's time to depart the anchorage, so you don't go below and hang up your coat, you put it on The Pile. Same with PFD's. They go on The Pile.
Building our boat with lots of customization possible, Deb and I wanted to do something about this. If you know Hampton Endurance boats, you know that they have bar stools in front of the galley. In the Youtube video, Captain Steve makes a big deal about the clever way Hampton captures the front legs of the bar stools to prevent them from falling in a seaway.
But even on a boat this large, the bar stools create something that has to be walked around. We didn't think they would be that useful in our situation, so we decided to eliminate them and use this space for The Anti-Pile.
We thought we would just buy some kind of hooks at Home Depot and attach them underneath the bar counter (since they aren't really seen anyway). But the factory insisted on making something custom. This large hook Deb is placing is for PFD's. It can hold perhaps six inflatables or two/three standard ones.
The factory made a mockup of the hooks, which we approved. Then in less than two hours they had made these beauties.
Installing the hooks at our desired spacing. Factory owner Jeff Chen looking on (talk about hands on...).
First demo of our new coat hooks! We see this usage for cruising. Obviously when not cruising we won't have a bunch of fleeces just hanging around in our nice pilothouse.
I am second guessing the no barstool idea. I think one there in the corner would be nice. So someone can have a seat and talk with the chef. We can always have the factory make us one and ship with another boat heading to Seattle, no biggie.
What's the other Pile you often find besides coats/pfds? That's right, shoes! Well see those shelves at the end there? That's right, sized to store "outside shoes."
When we first really determined we were going to move forward with building a Hampton Endurance, the Hampton guys told us we would really enjoy our trips to the factory. I'm always up for travel, and having only been to Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia, I was looking forward to seeing China.
But we ended up enjoying it much more than we thought. The people are just great. Very easy going, easy to laugh. And of course the yacht engineering and craftsmanship is top notch.
I'm going to do a couple of posts just with pictures and some descriptions to give you a flavor of what it is like to visit the Hampton Yacht factory in Shanghai.
What a feeling, seeing your yacht nearly ready to ship!
Debbie is a six footer. She draws attention wherever she goes in China!
Tools of the trade. They use these traditional brooms all over the factory.
In many cases, women do the most intricate work. She makes small stainless parts with her lathe.
The polishing work seems endless.
No shoes in the boat!
Factory approved boat shoes!
They waited to mount the "bar" granite until we got there, so we could determine our own overhang. Here I'm checking out the sliding windows. I wanted to be able to get fresh air in the galley. We went through quite a few different ideas, portholes and such. In the end we went with sliding windows on each side of the boat. It's a very protected area. Hopefully they will work out well.
The timing of our visit coincided with the China F1 race, sooooo, gotta do that. The factory supplied our driver so dealing with getting there and back was a piece of rice cake.
Debbie doesn't think I make a very good Leo DiCaprio...