Friday, November 21, 2008

much needed update

Ok, I've been scarce with blogging, but my mind was completely elsewhere. In July my sister came down for two weeks with my niece and nephew, so I went a week off with them to show them a bit around South Africa. They loved it, despite the rain and cold.

Since July I've been working hard, trying to sell some boats, so we can finish our boat quicker.

Ataraxia moved from Strand to Paardeneiland, where mainly Peter works on her regularly. The hull is painted and they will start with the decks soon, which is now finished with sanding and smoothing. Peter is organising the inside; we have a carpenter working for us to make lockers, drawers etc. Peter did most of the painting inside, that stuff is just vicious and I don't know how he can do that.

Am feeling guilty, mainly my weekends are spent hiking or running in the mountains, while Peter is doing most of the work, but I really need my weekends to get some rest. At the moment since October I've been working regularly the weekends too, but as it looks like, things are coming together.

In December we will slow down, since we're going away together for a week and after that, have a big party in the Eastern Cape. The son of my friend Tabisa has been in the bush, so we're going there to celebrate his safe return and his crossing into manhood! There will be lots of meat and alcohol, so we'll probably need Christmas to recover. Oh wait, then a friend from The Netherlands is here, who will take us out for more food and wine....

At the moment I'm on a strict diet, since I'm suffering from Candida. This means no wheat, yeast, sugar, alcohol, mushrooms etc... Have already lost 4 kg's and am losing more at the moment. I combine this with a Bi-com resonance therapy, so I only felt sick the first week.

The major change is getting out of the rythm of having a glass of wine in the evening, have my ups and downs, but will get there.

Hopefully I will write something before our holiday again, Cheers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

sorry friends, we do listen

Peter and I are truly blessed with very good friends who care about us. They are always willing to listen and come with good advice too. In the case of building the boat, we haven't listened to you guys, sorry. Even now, with the boat over budget and late delivery, we still don't follow your advice... Is it stupid? Perhaps.

At the moment, or even a few months ago, people asked why can't you place the project on hold, so you have a chance to save some money before you allow them to continue working. Alas, the problem is that even if the builder wouldn't work on it, we would still need to pay money for rent etc to them. Furthermore, the builder already accepted a new project after us, so wants us out of there rather sooner than later.

Both Peter and I know a number of boatbuilders, but as well a number of amateur builders. We learned that as soon as the project loses momentum, it is very difficult to re-start it. We had sort of this experience when we had problems with the delivery of wood. Only after much blaming and arguing, the project started to get going again and is making good progress now.

We got offered a place on the hard, to finish the yacht off while still comfy living on land. We refused this, since we know ourselves. I know that as soon as we're not confronted daily with a problem, like get running water, we will be lazy and work will progress slowly. As well one thing that is bothering us a lot at the moment is the fact that we don't have an overview, or control of the expenses. A supplier faxes you his invoice and we have to assume it is delivered and will be used for our boat. The moment the yacht is out of our influence, we run the change of having this experience again. We want to be able to be more in control of our budget and want and need to do it in our time and pace.

We knew when we started, that it would take years before the yacht will be finished. It is not great, but something we can live with. She will be comfortable enough without all the nice finishes and we will have running water, a toilet, a matrass to sleep on, places to chill or lounge, lights and bought a whole lot of plastic containers for our stuff. We will have our crying moments, especially when trying to remember where you left what, but hey, it still beats living in a house.

Cheers, N

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


ok, I admit it, I'm Dutch and like to sit on my money. Boatbuilding is the opposite, so I still wonder how I got myself involved in this. Despite all our good intentions, yes, the way to hell is paved with these, we have gone over budget and just got a mail describing how much more we will be over budget...

Yikes, panic, major panic. Normal people could ask a boat builder that they could put the project on hold for a few months, but for us it is impossible. We have no extra funds to pay for the storage and they have been pushing this project since they have another one coming up and need the space.

The major complaint for holdup is the lack of drawings from the designer and from the designer you get the answer that he has never received emails from the builder. In between we try to come with solutions to problems, but how should I know how to attach the deck to the hull...

All I want in this stage that this nightmare is over. Euhh, if somebody has some lose money, let me know, since we really need it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Wow, visited the yard today and you see it progressing with every visit. They have laminated extra stringers in on the floor and all the standing parts of the interior are being busy laminated in.

they had to make adjustments to the height of the kitchen worktops, I know, no comments please and we discussed the layout of the kitchen. The builders have a number of problems issues they desperately need the advice of Tad for, like the wood capping on the deck, but the work is going quick.

The hull will be finely sanded one last time before they will put the top coat on, but that will be done as one of the last things. Up to us is now to put in some more money, get the fuel tanks ready, get the hardened glass and paint ordered and chase up Tad for solutions. Well, sounds easy enough.

Cheers, Nix

Friday, February 8, 2008

things I've never thought of

Ok, did I mention that this boat building thing is really like another dimension? It seemed like it took forever to do the hull (hmm wait, it did take forever!) but now the builders are going for a medal in the sprint races.

Peter was at the yard yesterday and they've been busy with epoxy etc on the inside and reinforcing the bulkheads. As well they want to start next week on the stringers for the floor and the two further interior bulkheads that need to be placed. We're worried about the hours and the cost, but hey, that feeling is not new anymore.

We agreed with the builder that we want him to do the bulkheads, stringers, tanks and floors and then close the boat. We really want to avoid having a nice interior, but no funds to pay for the glass to close up. I'd rather then camp a bit primitive for the first few months. Besides, the moment we can stop renting a house, we can already spent that money on things for the boat.

There is no doubt in my mind that people who will see how we are going to live, will declare us insane on the spot. But in a way it does make sense: we wanted to place a new product on the market here, had not enough funds to buy a second hand boat of our choice and the moment we saw the design, felt that this was the sort of boat we wanted. I still have my negative moments, but now that we've come this far, it all seems more worth the trouble.

At least it is a nice feeling that when we come on the yacht club, we can show pictures of a boat and the progress they've been making.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

A real boat

Ok, today we visited the yard again and our boat is becoming boatlike... if you understand what I mean. Suddenly there is this huge boat and now the dimensions are starting to feel right.

For the latest images, click on this website:

We have a lot of decisions to make, will email Tad as well, since the builders are going to start with the interior, yeah, the tanks and the floor. Our funds are disappearing rapidly, so we will need to decide what can be done while in the yard and what we must do ourselves later. In two weeks we will go again to the yard and then have a long discussion about various details. Am intending to go next week any way, just since I'm really getting curious and excited!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Decisions, decisions

OK, I managed to solve today a long outstanding issue at work: so our budget is now from nil to existing. It will still not allow us to finish the yacht completely, but at least it should allow us to live in it and work on it in the next few years. Now only to sell a few more boats, then it can go quickly.

Hope to drop in at the yard on Wednesday, together with David, after another meeting in that area. It will be nice if he gets interested as well, financially seen, so that I can actively market the yacht through him. Will have to wait with marketing until there is more that can be shown and further agreements are made between Tad, the builders and me.

Been looking at colourschemes the whole weekend; it is so hard to imagine how a yacht should look like, but ok, it is a fun thing to do as well.

Am busy getting quotations for items ranging from a matrass, fenders untill portholes and a sink.
Hope to see most of you at the club this Thursday and watch out for me if you're on Chappies at 6 in the morning, you will probably see me cycling past, since this is my new training ground for my Argus Challenge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Year Spring clean

yip, suddenly this blog is very empty: I decided to delete all the negative muck and blahblah from the old blog and start afresh.

Since the beginning I had to face the fact that building a boat is a complete different story than selling or buying a used, or new ready built yacht. In our case the thing is as well that nobody else has built a yacht like this before. I must admit, most of the time I have no clue as what is going on and why something is so important. People I ask explain it a lot in a way like I should have known. Hellooo, no guys, my interests as a woman are in an entirely different category. Suddenly I have to face the consequences of a lamination schedule, heard of it and got the basics and just as I think, aha, something else is happening. And when I start to talk about a subject I think I can talk about, they say that that is still far away, oops. Yes, unusual enough for me, I feel ignorant. Add to this the stress of my very busy work and you have the perfect recipe for doom, oh and a boss, who pays me, but only small amounts at a time adds greatly to the stress as well.

I had to agree with the fact that, in our case, building a new yacht, unfinished, in stead of buying an old second hand, could be just within our budget and we would be better of, since this design has all the things we find important. Peter was more into the technical and I liked the queen-size bed idea, large open galley, pilothouse and extra salon in the aft. Yes, especially since we won't go cruising shortly, but living on her, I long to sit in the pilothouse with a cup of coffee and see the South Easter howling around me... We lived on a sailing yacht for 5 years and were always in the cellar. With the winds in the Summer here in Cape Town, it is very frustrating if the sun shines and you can't sit outside, or look outside. Going cruising is still a far, very far plan.

Anyway, this is the new year clean, before Christmas we had a good meeting with the builders and we try to get all our noses pointing in the same direction, thank you Piet for your patience. We will have to avoid to start accusing one another and instead work together on the project. In December everybody was thoroughly frustrated and disappointed with the lack of progress and the holidays were a good break for all of us.

Peter went to see them this morning and hope to see the pictures this evening of our baby. According to the builders, they should be able to turn the hull the end of next week! When that job is done and she's in a cradle, we then have to decide the places for the interior layout, I understood. In this stage it is still very difficult for me to realize what is going on, so I hope that this will improve if we make more progress.

Happy new year everyone, please sent us instead of good wishes one, or more of the following items: s.s. screws, bolts, cables, batteries, calorifier, matrass, cushions, paint etc. We can sent you the whole list upon request ;)