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Mitigating Risk in a Remote Explorer Yacht Build

Updated: Apr 17

An Explorer Yacht is not a “production yacht” with all systems pre-specified or, at a maximum, the option for relatively minor customization. Therein lies the trap of believing the specification will develop itself and integration will magically materialize during the yacht build process. It won’t. The specification for Vanguard explorer yacht is currently running at 500 plus lines of spreadsheet and growing. But its not that complex!

Steering around risks is simple navigation.

There is no optimum way to do this. Yacht hull XPM-001 is to an owner specification where the owner became the project manager and the system integrator. Our circumstance is different with Hull XPM-002 Vanguard. We neither have the time and, in part, the expertise to do that. We need to handle the build remotely and mostly at arm’s length.

What you can do is develop ways to handle and reduce the risks in this process. Our strategy here is to understand the Yard is NOT omnipotent. We developed a specification that puts possible problems into the hands of those most capable of defining the solutions; the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer).

Read also: Risk in buying yacht equipment overseas

Risk and project cost are often a balancing act.

With that in mind, as we developed the specification, there was a constant thread of consolidation, bringing a more limited number of suppliers to the table – each OEM with increased scope and budget. We thereby improved our chances of accessing their expertise, gaining and keeping their attention in a busy market place. I think the primary example of this will be Praxis Automation.

The initial scope of supply from Praxis was just the Hybrid drive system. In this, they competed against four other potential suppliers (see Blog). However, as that conversation developed, we realized that their scope could be more comprehensive. They also manufacture mainly commercial marine Type Approved equipment that complimented our design philosophy. So now their supply includes:

  1. Hybrid Drive (motors, the mechanical drive comes from Esco

  2. Power batteries and battery management charging systems

  3. Power and energy management systems, including transformers, inverters, shore isolation.

  4. MFD navigation displays, Time Zero Navigation software and radar integration. Furuno will supply the rest and is compatible with TZ software that they also market.

  5. MFD Displays for MIMIC diagrams, automation, and control inc Nav light auto-switching, fire detection, security and steering controls.

  6. User controls for the Dynamic Positioning system, the engines and the hybrid drives.

“Buy cheap buy twice” often resonates.