Our project Vanguard is near completion; holiday greetings for 2024!
Some journeys are long, their continuations seemingly interminable, yet it is like these things that an end is inevitable. We are now at this point with Vanguard; Naval Yachts have moved to a higher gear, and we can see, smell, and almost taste the end of this project. It was a good end to a difficult year, and we look forward to the promise of 2024. We'd also like to wish our subscribers and readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year for 2024.
I apologize for the delay in this update; Christmas got in the way! So, what has been completed in the two weeks since our last blog?
John Deere Engines
Praxis Automation sent their commissioning engineers to link up our systems, concentrating firstly on connecting the drives. This is the first time they have connected John Deer engines, so it took some effort to decode the J1939 CAN signals and secure the remaining hard-wired voltage and transducer input. That could have gone better, though I must credit their Commissioning Engineer with the skill and fortitude to see this through. Both engines are running; fuel systems are "air-free," hybrid drives and clutches function as intended, and twin disk gearboxes engage in both directions.
Praxis and Wills Ridley steering
We are moving on now to the steering system. We have three ways to steer: emergency manual hydraulic, Praxis Automation, and Wills Ridley direct control. All three are working though there remains an electrical niggle in switching between the latter two; the switch only works one way, though, that can be corrected in the New Year when the commissioning engineer arrives to check it out.
MIMIC Diagrams and reporting systems
So, with both engines and steering under control, we now have a functioning helm station. Further systems also came live at the helm. We installed BEP non-contact ultrasonic tank gauges throughout. These are currently working and reporting to the MIMIC systems. Calibration within Praxis systems uses tank-sounding data from the RHINO CAD design software: another job for the New Year. The fire alarm system and all access point limit switches are also live, as are the Navigation and Work Lights. Security cameras are functional, save for one, which is probably a wiring issue. The fuel transfer system is working, and we are circulating fuel between the two-day tanks via large Cummings Sea Flow filters to remove any construction
debris picked up from within the tanks themselves.
Any other business
Internally, the cabins are almost complete, with the final floors going down as I write. 3000kg of lead ballast is on order, and the MCA Surveyor is on notice for our Category (0) survey in January. CE survey is already passed with a few small observations to be corrected.
Initial sea trials are also now scheduled for early January. Planning has started for heading west, away from the Turkish coast, in February "inshallah."
We spent the Christmas holiday with family, part of which was on the Isle of White. I took the time to look at the western entrance to the Solent, past the Needles Light.
The passage between the channel marker and the West Cardinal buoy was obvious from the cliffs. Wind Force 4/5 on the elevated cliff, maybe three at sea level, the tide was still generating some significant breakers; our way into Berthon International, Lymington, where we will have our first engine inspection and overhaul.
Photo of our son Jeff and his partner Dawn plus the dog!