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Weekly Update - Explorer Yacht Build

We live in strange times. I spent a while this morning watching float planes and helicopters collecting water from the Bay of Antalya and flying off up a smoke-filled mountain valley to return 20 minutes later - a consequence of daytime temperatures over 110 deg.F, perhaps.

It was about 110 deg.F in the shipyard also, so credit to the Turkish workers who kept going throughout. If our recent experience is typical, it's a time when the owner should be frequently present. Naval Yachts have provided a desk for me at the yard, so I'm now their second unpaid employee, according to my security pass! (our owner rep being the first). Let us have a look at what has progressed:


The second side has been welded in place on each skeg and sealed so that they can now complete the stern tube installation. The assembly is outrageously solid, constructed of three 12mm aluminum plate layers with a solid 24mm rubbing strake on the lower edge. Welding will take the remainder of this week. Next week, they will grind them smooth and use an epoxy-faring compound on what can't be ground into submission. Antifouling (Intersleek 1100) has arrived and is ready for application in the coming weeks.

Stern Tubes

The outer tubes had already been inserted and roughly aligned. Welding the skegs may cause distortion, so they have held off inserting the inner tubes until the skegs are fully welded and prepped.

Instrument Mast

Two Radar, Radar reflector, Navigation Lights, Comms, WiFi and Cell booster aerials, GPS/AIS aerials, and Weather Station are installed and ready for wiring. (We will fit the Satelite Compass and Starlink away from interference on the forward flybridge roof.)

Helm station

The helm is ready to fit the majority of our instruments. The structure, deckhead, and primary electronics are in place. There have been minor adjustments during installation, mainly to improve the ergonomics, as the shipyard workers are typically about 4" shorter than me; reality can bite you sometimes!

Cabins - furniture installation is now near completion. Lights and a sound system are the next on the list then they will complete the ventilation and the heads. Everything is covered up for protection, so it's a little difficult to take photos right now.

Watertight doors

Door frames to the helm station, engine room aft access, and forepeak hatch have been painted and installed. The doors have also been painted. These will be installed after the workers have finished their tasks internally. One subtly that we did not count on, the washing machine, cooker, and fridge are as standard 600mm wide. I hope we can fit them through the finished doors!


Hebbeke has installed the engine and jet drive into the tender. They will next populate the console. During the design stage, we removed the 1:1 gearbox between the engine and drive shaft to save weight (60kg). The engine produces a low-velocity jet at idle, so this switch will control the bucket to direct the jet directly downwards. Throttle control and helm pump next week, having confirmed their positions already. (Pictures are yellow for some reason, should be orange.)

Chris Leigh-Jones

A final word for this week's update. If you ever build your yacht, the last fit-out is when you must be in the yard. It will make the difference between accepting your interpretation or that of another— more on this in a later Blog.

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