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To be safe, it has to be Seaworthy.

The last 5% of the build was the most difficult when we built large custom homes. The crew was tired and more enthusiastic about the next contract than the current one. Yet, this period also makes the difference between a great project with a happy client and one that is remembered for rancor and general incompletion. We find ourselves in the latter position, which is a pity, as much good work has been done, so it should not be like this.

This has got to be fixed

However, we see our way through to the end by concentrating on the good aspects and becoming very intolerant of the missteps. Some fixes are owner preference; they would work ok untouched, others are leftover from previous lists long since forgotten, and yet others represent the difference between "works for now" and "seaworthy." Building your own yacht, you would experience your own and hopefully a lesser version of this as an inevitability; building yachts is not for the faint of heart.

Shown, what is left of the original Fresh Water recirculation manifold (clear pipe). Also shows random pipe runs in the bilge spaces. See below for our fix.

Our solution

We may have chosen to snag list and work through the yard in a perfect world. This has yet to work, so we brought in subcontractor labor and supervised ourselves. Our time in the Antalya yachtbuilding 'Free Zone' has generated a wealth of good contacts. It is quite surprising how much progress can be quickly achieved under these circumstances when mixed with a little singlemindedness, humanity, and gentle persuasion.

The new Fresh Water recirculation manifold (green pipe) is shown. The black/red looped fuel pipe underneath has just been rerouted and represents a spare length yet to be shortened. Bilge spaces are now accessible, and green pipe tie wrap supports are temporary.

The fallout is in a relationship, but we must handle it. I'm out of time and patience and probably not the only one feeling so.


Plumbing repairs are continuing well. We have removed many of the unsupported, seemingly random, flexible hoses that were installed. With the benefit of hindsight, some systems have been rationalized, and the pipes run more logically.

New Water Glycol supply manifold. Grundfos Scada pumps (domestic water pressure pumps) provide for ongoing flow rate control and pressure management as systems switch in and out of use. Note the double clips and use of short hoses to isolate vibrations.

A few more horror stories were found, such as double pipe "creation" to reduce the internal pipe ID, but overall, these systems can be fixed to a good standard. (See photo below; our plumbers spotted it; we removed every fuel pipe in the engine room and remedied each such incidence).

Final furniture fitted

We also retrieved the remainder of our fixed equipment from storage, mainly helm chairs, tables, and safety paraphernalia. The yard had done a good job of the tables, and it was great to see it all finally come together. We began stripping protective covers from the less used spaces and salting away our equipment and stores in appropriate locations.

Electrical systems

Electrical repair and finishing were the subject of some focus. The modus seems to be "install," "commission," and "tidy." It may not be the most efficient, but it works, and the final product from METZ, the electrical subcontractor, is to a good standard, so I put my own opinions on hold. See below; neat works in logical runs, date separated from power, and both are supported by cable trays.

Order from Chaos

We invested in a Brady label maker. This tool has been instrumental in our project, as it allows us to label everything we could logically see, including tanks, valves, pipe runs, and pumps, plus the contents of some compartments hidden behind furniture. This will make it much easier to understand how Vanguard works, especially for the new crew, and when. It also seems to have a calming effect, introducing order where only chaos previously reined. A window on an otherwise ethereal logic.

Off to the UK for a week now, as it's a religious holiday in Turkey so nothing will progress. The propellers should be delivered on Tuesday, fitted on Friday, and recoated on the following Monday, ready for sea trials. We then have two weeks to test and commission, assuming our vibration problem is solved. So close now that I can almost taste Freedom!

Off to Easyjet!

Chris Leigh-Jones

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