Friday, September 12, 2014

Newport Boat Show: Part 4 - Show Time (Photos by Billy Black)

Outer Reef commissioned Billy Black, the renowned yacht photographer, to photograph Guided Discovery for use in their marketing materials.

The exterior photos were taken while we were returning to Fort Lauderdale from the Passagemaker Trawlerfest in Lake Park.  The interior photos were taken in March just prior to the Palm Beach Show.  Black chose to do the shoot at sunset.  The effect is spectacular.

In honor of our final boat show we present for your enjoyment Billy's photos.

Photographs by Billy Black

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Newport Boat Show: Part 3 - Getting Show Ready

The title of this article implies that I had more work to ready the boat for the show.  Well, this was clearly not the case.  Except for the installing the "formal" bedspread in the master stateroom, removing the canvas covers and putting a few item away, all of which are done in the morning before the show opens, the only big item was detailing the boat.  Outer Reef contracted with All Class Detailing for that project.

All Class Detailing and especially its president, Paul Minnucci, are all class.  They had team members on the boat from Tuesday morning to Wednesday evening. I can say with confidence that they cleaned every inch of the boat, inside and out.  Talk about attention to detail.  Beyond a very thorough exterior cleaning, they restored the teak on the aft deck and swim platform (a two step process), cleaned the gas grill and detailed the tender. Paul closely supervised the project and made sure the finished product exceeded his expectations, which quite frankly were more demanding than mine.

The bottom line was that starting on Tuesday morning Kodi and I were free to explore and enjoy Newport and that is exactly what we did.  Tuesday morning we walked west to the New York Yacht Club, a distance of 3 miles.

Two historic homes

Mega yachts along Newport's wharves.  View looking northwest

A Newport mansion overlooking the water

The New York Yacht Club

View of Newport Harbor from the NYC porch
Wednesday we headed east, crossed the bridge and explored Goat Island, a distance of 4 miles.  On the way we passed the Newport Shipyard, a yard with a 500 metric ton Travel Lift giving them the capability to haul mega yachts (see photos below).  At noon Lesley and Amelia joined me for lunch at the Midtown Oyster Bar.

Lesley, Amelia and I had a two hour lunch here

Large sailboat on the hard

80 plus food Nordhavn ocean cruiser

Mega yacht

Goat Island is reached from a causeway
Thursday Kodi and I headed east again this time walking all the way the Newport Naval Base, a distance of 4.4 miles.  This route took us past an entire block of historic homes.

Before leaving on the walk I took a photo from the flybridge.  It has been fun to watch the process of transforming a bunch of boats into a sparkling in-water boat show with manufacturer banners and perfectly detailed boats.

View of the show looking northwest toward the Newport Bridge

Guided Discovery ready to show

Guided Discovery is the third largest boat in this show (center of the photo)

And Kodi ready to go with her official show credentials
The next article, "Show Time" contain a complete set of interior and exterior photographs taken by Billy Black, the renowned yacht photographer.

Written by Les.

Newport Boat Show: Part 2 - Wickford to Newport

Wickford was the perfect place for staging the boat for Monday's cruise over to Newport.  It was convenient for Scott and Lesley to leave a car (i.e., not requiring them to cross the bay) and only 11 nautical miles to Newport across Narraganset Bay's protected waters. Additionally, Wickford Shipyard gave me a good deal on the slip ($1.50 a foot with power) and had a pump-out.

Explanatory Note: Dockage in New England is very expensive, often $3.00 or more and pump-out facilities are not plentiful. Remember Nantucket at $7.50 a foot PLUS $55 for electricity.

Kodi and I started the morning with a 3 mile walk from the Wickford Ship to the Wickford historic district and then to the Wickford Marina.  It was a lovely morning and the historic district was worth the effort.  The 63 was across the harbor from the Wickford Marina and I took the photo below from that vantage point.

Guided Discovery as viewed from the Wickford Marina
Wickford, settled in 1637, is a small village in the town of North Kingston.  The village is built around one of the most well-protected natural harbors on the eastern seaboard, and features one of the largest collections of 18th century dwellings to be found anywhere in the northeast. Today the majority of the village's historic homes and buildings (most in private hands) remain largely intact upon their original foundations.

Wickford Harbor

North Kingston Town Hall

Art shops in the Wickford historic district

A 1795 historic home

View of Wickford Harbor from the Wickford Marina (which is across from the Wickford Shipyard)

End-O-Maine Lobster Company

End-O-Maine's house overlooks their boat

Narraganset Bank and former Bissell House circa 1768
First Baptist Church circa 1816
The walk was followed by several hours of work.  My goal was to be fully prepared for the Boat Show with a full water tank (300 gallons) and an empty holding tank (100 gallons).  I also needed to catch up on maintenance having been away for two weeks.  High on the list was cleaning the HVAC sea strainer, one of my least favorite tasks.

Explanatory Note: The HVAC sea strainer operates 24/7 filtering thousands of gallons of seawater containing numerous varieties of sea life, which if unfiltered would clog the HVAC's cooling lines. The trapped sea life must be least monthly.  Unfortunately, Outer Reef installed a Groco SA 1500 unit that is particularly difficult to clean and tricky to seal. At least it is accessible.

I contacted the Newport Boat Show's operator at mid morning to get an update on our arrival time and learned that they would not be ready for us until after 3:00 PM.  This was good as it gave me more time to accomplish my maintenance tasks.

Narraganset Bay
Wickford is 2/3rds down the left side
Newport is in the lower center
I departed Wickford Shipyard's fuel dock (after pumping out) at 2:00 PM and motored slowly east across the west side of the bay toward the north end of Jamestown and then south along the east bay toward Newport.   The 11.2 mile trip took a little over an hour running at 1350 RPM.  I was operating single handed for this leg.  While enroute I positioned fenders and lines for a port side tie

Goat Island Lighthouse on the south end of Goat Island

Massive Fort Adams

Large yachts along Newport's numerous wharf's
Hurry up and wait.  The show operator was not ready when I arrived requiring me to hold station while they finished their preparations.  Notice the photo of the antique tour boat passing moored dock fingers awaiting installation

Antique tour boat passing moored fingers awaiting installation

The Newport Yacht Center at Commercial Wharf
Notice the boats already locked into the show
Now to the docking situation.  Once I made VHF radio contact with the show I learned that the docking maneuver was going to be very tricky.  This was not a great surprise as I had seen this movie before in Lake Park and Palm Beach.  Fortunately, I now have 6 months and 2,000 miles of experience with numerous docking situations.  I've also learned how the 63 handles and have developed a moderate degree of confidence.  The 63 is very maneuverable, which is made even easier with the remote that controls both engines and thrusters (bow and stern).

The photo below shows the problem.  They want the 63 port side to in the slip where the two guys in blue shirts are standing. Note the the round fender ball between them.  Also notice the black and white runabout and finger floats tied to the wall on the right.  I estimated that I had 30 feet of clearance.  Given the 63's 17 foot beam, I would have at least 6 feet on either side.  I asked them to move the fingers and they declined saying "it is what it is."  The position of the runabout and fingers required me to back the boat down the fairway followed by a clockwise spin while backing toward the pier between the green fishing boat to the north and the fingers to the south.  This would position the 63 for forward movement into the slip. Complicating the problem was the finger to which the runabout is tied.  It extended 4 feet north negating a straight in approach.  I also had  a 15 to 20 knot wind from the north east (pushing me toward the runabout).

A mega difficult docking situation
Explanatory Note: In principle the backing maneuver was no more difficult than backing the boat into a regular slip where I would have maybe two feet on either side.  Here I had six.  Hence, no big deal.

When I pointed out that I was operating single handed they sent a dockhand out to the boat.  He agreed that he would use a ball fender to prevent contact with anything and give me feedback on distances.  Show time! I executed the maneuver flawlessly.  The photo below shows the 63 safely in the slip.  Notice that we are now locked in with a finger installed astern.

Notice how the dock to which the runabout is tied juts out.  This blocks a straight in approach

The 63 next to a Hackercraft replica
The open water was filled with boats as the afternoon progressed
Good news!.  Unlike Miami and Palm Beach, where there was no power for 24 hours, here there was power on the dock and I immediately was able to plug in.

The day ended with the 63 safely in the slip and a beautiful sunset.

The Newport Bridge at sunset
Written by Les.