Checking in on Wildling

I spent a weekend with Wildling in La Grande Motte to check on a few projects that were being done before the sailing season begins again.

A beautiful winter's day in La Grande Motte, France

A beautiful winter’s day in La Grande Motte, France

Wildling is looking awesome! She has been moved to a marina berth further inside the marina, which is a bit more protected than where I left her last visit. She was spotlessly clean and all the stainless steel had been polished, which is a monthly service that Stephane at Outremer arranged for me.

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Pretty much all the projects we needed done were completed, we’re just waiting on some parts to replace the holding tank gauge that is not reading correctly.

The main items to finish were replacing the goose-neck bolt that attaches the boom to the mast, and the installation of the HF radio.

Lorima, the rig manufacturer, fitted a longer bolt and replaced the old locknut with a larger nylock nut, which should not work loose. They added a locking grub screw, just to be extra sure.

Lorima, the rig manufacturer, fitted a longer bolt and replaced the old locknut with a larger nylock nut, which should not work loose. They added a locking grub screw, just to be extra sure.

Nav station with the new HF radio installed to the right

Nav station with the new HF radio installed to the right

Our new ICOM HF radio was i nstalled. The HF allows us to communicate much longer distances than the VHF, which is important when we are far offshore.

The ICOM HF radio allows us to communicate much longer distances than the standard VHF radio, which is important when we are far offshore.

HF radio antenna tuner installed on the starboard engine room

HF radio antenna tuner installed in the starboard engine room, right below the transom mounted 8m whip antenna.

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We also made some progress on our propeller project. EWOL will be bringing the new props over and working with Outremer to run before and after tests. I’ll post results as soon as I have them.

Back to Wildling!

The wait is almost over, and we will be back on-board Wildling next week for a mini-voyage during the kid’s Autumn school vacation. This time we are planning to sail to the Balearic Islands of Majorca and Ibiza, then following the east coast of Spain northwards back to France.

In the meantime, Wildling has been representing Outremer at the Cannes boat show, under the watchful eyes of Fran├žois and Jean-Pierre. She will be back in La Grande Motte this week, and should be all ready for us to leave for Majorca when we arrive on Wednesday.

Here are some photos that Matthieu took of Wildling at the Cannes Yachting Festival on September 12th.

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

First time aboard and sailing at 20 knots!

I arrived at the factory at 9:30am this morning and Francois and I went straight over to Wildling. She is awesome! The Outremer team have built us an amazing boat! Thanks guys!!!

Welcome Aboard!

Welcome Aboard!

After the handover forms were all signed, I was given the keys, and Francois left me to explore on my own for a while. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is really excellent, and all the systems and equipment on board are easy to access, and clearly labeled. Our goal of keeping things simple and efficient has definitely been achieved.

Port Helm

Port helm station. It’s the first time I have seen the dodgers on a 5X. Francois described them when we ordered them, and sent us pictures of the frames, but seeing them fully assembled was really great! They offer lots of protection, but are not obtrusive and still give excellent visibility. I came to love them even more when we went sailing later in the day.

It was also nice to get the schematic drawings so I could see how everything was installed. The documentation package from Outremer is very thorough. Detailed drawings of every system on the boat, along with an owner’s operating guide, and binders with manufacturer’s user guides for everything installed.

Going through the delivery checklist.

Going through the delivery checklist.

After lunch we went sailing. Conditions were excellent with wind from the WNW between 15 to 20 knots gusting to 32 knots. Wildling was perfectly comfortable in all conditions with full main and full self tacking jib. We hardly ever went below 10 knots of boat speed and hit 19.8 knots on a close reach. I’ve never gone this fast on a sailboat before and it’s truly a thrill. The sensation of speed is incredible, and even though we were rocketing along, Wildling felt perfectly safe and stable the whole time.

The sail handling was no trouble at all. The new 2:1 halyard system makes raising the mainsail fast and easy. Lowering the main was also easy. The self tacking jib pretty much takes care of itself, and was no trouble to manage. I took a lot of video while we were out on the water, and will post that as soon as I get a faster internet connection.

In the meantime, here are some photos I took this morning during my first time onboard.

Cockpit

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This is the view from the hatch in the ceiling of the master bunk.

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Master suite looking forward. I have closed the sliding door on the right side of the companionway which seals off the master suite for privacy. It also allows access to the freezer.

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Port transom with the carbon pole we use to mount the radar dome. Because we have a rotating mast, we needed to keep the radar in a fixed orientation so it rneders targets correctly.

Port transom with the carbon pole we use to mount the radar dome. Because we have a rotating mast, we needed to keep the radar in a fixed orientation so it displays the position of targets correctly.

Construction update #3

Last week we visited La Grande-Motte, France and spent 2 days at the Outremer factory to see how construction of Wildling is progressing and finalize the remaining design details. It was the first time that Robin, Gavin and Lindsay had seen the 5X, so I was a little nervous. Luckily they all really love the boat and we can’t wait for Wildling to be finished!

Here are some pictures and videos of our visit:

La Grand-Motte marina. The Outremer factory is just across the road from the marina

We were able to spend a few hours onboard 5X hull #1, Addiction which gave Robin, Gavin and Lindsay their first look at a finished 5X and helped us make all our fabric and color selections.

We toured the factory and spent some time onboard Wildling.

Outremer Yachting - This is where all the boats are built. They are currently launching a new boat every month, and plan to increase the number in 2015

Outremer Yachting – This is where all the boats are built. They are currently launching a new boat every month, and plan to increase the number in 2015

This is inside the construction shed where the bridgedeck and outer hull sections are joined together and the interior bulkheads and fitout work begins. You can see the hull mold that has been pulled away in the left of the picture

Inside the construction shed where the bridgedeck and outer hull sections are joined together and the interior bulkheads and fitout work begins. You can see the hull mold that has been pulled away in the left of the picture

First time aboard Wildling!

First time aboard Wildling!

Checking on Lindsay's cabin. Looking good!

Checking on Lindsay’s cabin. Looking good!

Running the wiring

Running the wiring

Flooring being installed in the companionway

Flooring being installed in the companionway

Many wires!

Many wires!

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In the salon

Salon doors

Salon doors

Cabin floor fitout

Cabin floor fitout

Companionway

Companionway

Port engine room

Port engine room

Checking out the starboard engine room

Checking out the starboard engine room

Starboard hull removed from the mold

Starboard hull removed from the mold

Crane lifting the hull molds out of the shed. One the molds are out, Wildling will move to a different shed to continue the furniture fitout. The deck and roof mold will then be taken inside this shed so the deck section can be manufactured

The crane is moving the hull molds out of the shed. Once the molds are out, Wildling will be move to a different shed to continue the furniture fitout. The deck and roof section mold will then be moved inside this shed so the deck section can be manufactured

The 5X deck mold waiting to be taken inside the factory

The 5X deck mold waiting to be taken inside the factory

Goodbye Wildling... for now!

Goodbye Wildling… for now!

Before we left, Lindsay was able to try out the transom steps to see if they would work OK as a sundeck!

Finding your way around the boat

Before I start going over the options and design choices we have selected for Wildling, I thought I would explain the various parts of the boat and how it is laid out. Many of the terms used to describe the different parts of a cruising catamaran are used by pretty much everyone, but there are some things that are called different names by different people, which can get confusing. For example, the interior living area between the hulls is called the saloon or the salon. The lounge area around the table is sometimes called a dinette or a lounge. Robin and I call it a banquette because it’s built into the forward bulkhead like the banquette in a house, and the table in the salon we call the dining table vs the table in the cockpit, which we call the cockpit table, (even though we eat dinner at this table a lot), which may not be correct, but it works for us, so I will use our terminology on this blog. We also tend to use land based terms for the interior parts of the boat and nautical terms for the exterior parts.

Here are two drawings of the standard 5X layout with some labels to identify the different areas and features. If you click on the diagrams you will get a full sized version which is a bit easier to read.

5X deck

Outremer 5X upper deck layout. Not shown in this drawing are the structures covering the salon, which is called the salon roof, and the rigid cover over the cockpit which is called the bimini

 

Outremer 5X cabin deck layout. This shows what they call the Owner's layout which has the entire port hull fitted out as a master suite.

Outremer 5X cabin deck layout. This shows what they call the Owner’s layout which has the entire port hull fitted out as a master suite.

So now that you are familiar with the different parts of a 5X, in the next series of posts I will explain how we are customizing Wildling during construction. This is one of the great benefits of purchasing a new boat, just like building a new house, you get to modify it to suit your needs.

In the meantime here’s a great video of a 5X during the construction process at the Outremer factory in France:

Test sailing

I just got back home to Brisbane after a busy few days in France with the folks at Outremer. I had an excellent visit, and was able to spend a day on board the 5X, Addiction to really get a feel for how the boat sails and to help us make some decisions about the feature options that we are considering for Wildling.

Here’s some video I took of the test sail. I apologize for my lack of skill with the video camera, I promise to do better next time! ­čÖé

All in all, I was very impressed, not only with the 5X, she is a beautifully designed and constructed boat, but also with the Outremer team and their construction operations. The care and detail they put into building their boats is very impressive, and it really shows in the finished product.

I also really appreciate their collaborative design process. They were very happy to discuss all my ideas, and were comfortable telling me when things made sense, and when their experience has proven that something wouldn’t work. This is exactly what I am looking for in a builder, and I left feeling confident that they will deliver us a boat that fits perfectly with our needs.

So we finalized the purchase contract and locked everything in, and now we’re on our way! There are some design issues that I will need to work out with them before we start construction, and I’ll write more about those in another post.