Alright, I figured I'd post a bit about life on M/Y Jeremy. Well, I got a call last April about a job on a yacht, by the owners Brother to operate in rotation with a Capt they already had...cool...."Can you come to Brisbane for an interview?" "Mate, that's one really long flight from Ft Lauderdale to the opposite end of the world for a first meet....(I lived in Brisbane and Melbourne one befor for a couple of years and used to work right here in the Alloy Boats Australia-ex Shipworks shed building 4 Alloy 38M cats for the Thames). So turns out they had bought a Twin Otter and were putting it on Amphibs...hmmmmm, this is getting interesting... and was coming to Calgary to look at it in early May, so I met him there. Next thing you know, I'm on a flight to Brisbane to meet the Owner and I hung out for a week with them. Now, I rarely take long term positions because I don't like most owners well enough to,
. This guy is really good, salt of the earth type guy. Down here you'd just call him a Top Bloke. Jeremy is named as a memorial to the owners late friend and Brother Inlaw Jeremy.
So, I accepted the job, on salary starting immediately but I won't come to work until Just after Oshkosh in the beginning of August after the owner has been on his first cruise in S.E. Asia...hey, that's awfully nice of you. So cool, I head home, call my buddy whose been after me for years to come out to Reno for Pylon Racing School and tell him the flight number I had already booked in transit. I was going to have the perfect aviation summer and I was going to rent a T-6 and qualify to race at Reno, and go to Air Venture in Oshkosh...WooHoo
June 16th, 2009....A day that will live in infamy....at 2:30 am the morning after my gilfriend's birthday...were in the middle of her birthday present....my phone rings....the name pops up..."S-t, I've gotta take this..." "Hello?" "I fired him mate, how soon can you be here?" "Ummmmmm what day is it?" "Tuesday..." "I've gotta clear out my apartment, deal with my stuff...book my ticket Friday" "Thanks mate, you're legend""No wakkas, have Colleen email me my itinerary...". Now, does it make me a bad person that the first words out of my mouth after I hung up was "D_N IT! I'm going to miss PRS AGAIN! %*@# Jerry is going to be pi$$ed!..."?
So, I arrive and the vessel is about 1 week from going in the water and I am living in a hotel up the street. There is a lot to get done for her first sea trial after extensive modifications and commissioning refit work. Absorb the word, "Made in China...", nuff said there. Anyway, this owner is meticulous and wants things to be "Right", and is willing and able to spend the money necessary to make them that way. This was also supposed to have quite a bit addressed under warranty.
This is his first boat and he has a fresh baby and a lovely bride, and she is a private only yacht, no charter work. We have done our best to make things right. When they first brought me to the boat, they said "It's Lloyds Classed so..." "Lloyd's means nothing at all, ABS, DNV, BV...they mean something...". They seemed to discount my words back then, now, after countless times of them asking , "How does that get passed?" when looking at another $100,000 going out, they are seeing more of the truth of my words. Anyway we have done a lot of work making things right. The first sea trial showed us a speed of 9.2kts average of a back and forth run at WOT in flat calm conditions. Not acceptable, not even close. I call in Caterpillar to flash the engines up from 475 hp 1800rpm rating to the 550hp 2100 rating. We do that, and a half a hundred other things, we have 5 trades working most of the time. Next trial shows 12 kts, ok 11 should be our cruise, but we should make 13, plus, we aren't making RPM, we van barely hit 1800 on a 2100 rpm engine...Plus my fuel consumption is horrid 255 litres and hour... time to work the props.... I'll hand it to the guy at Rodger & Lough down here. The dude worked my 5 bladed 38" NiBrAl props over the weekend and took nearly 8" of pitch out of them. We were debating whether to cut some diameter off because I really wanted to take 9.5" off, but that wasn't going to happen. In the end thogh, we just took out the 7.9" and gave it a shot. Much better.... I now am using 175 lph and have a range of 2025 at 11kts with a 65KW John Deere genset loaded for cruise. Still not making RPM and I'm not making speed. Think about this one for a minute, because each out and in is $9200. So I'm talking to a buddy from last time I lived here, and he put me on to Greg, the Steinbauer "chip" (it's actually a box with simple plug in installation. Un plug the loom from the head, and plug it into the loom with the box, and tap some DC power to it) guy. All I can say is "Wow". What a freakin difference. Now she cruises at 11 kts at 1675rpm and 63% load. Put the handles on the dash and she hits 12.9 knots. Better yet, I calculated a 3550nm range at 11 kts, and for this boat with these big old stabilizers, that's good enough. I'm making around what I figure her speed should be when she hits 100% load. Well that was after two runs, a baseline and first tweek run with his computer logging it. Greg took the boxes back with him, and talked with the programmers in the States and brought them in with custom flashed chips tuning them to my exact useage. He said the engineers figured they pulled another 40% efficiency increase in my 1625-1700 range and set the top of my torque upslope at 1675. I'll be interested what the next trial shows. In the mean time, we have been tearing out and replacing the interior dealing with a major mold problem that was caused by plumbing issues ...which we also cured.
One other thing though, I've got a vibration right in my cruising RPM. I have this idiotic line cutter system the as a single block of stainless steel bolted to one side of my prop that I'm sure is causing the shake, but someone else brought up the shaft since it had been reworked, so I did a runout, .009 &.011 ****, but its not the shaft, off the flange it's true. I have a set of Poseidon Flexi Couplers which create an alignment nightmare. Calling the "flexi" is a misnomer because they are meant to run true, they are only there to dampen noise. So, I'm doing an engine alignment this week, and sending the spare props to the shop to be repitched and S-Classed then dynamically balanced and have Spurs installed rather than this idiotic set up we have. While we're out, we'll also install an Interphase SE-200-C 180* forward scan sounder.He wanted to get a Furuno Sonar unit, but I told him that this was mare applicable for us, and if he wanted to spend the money on something really cool, we could get a side scan towfish and I could do so much more...
So, after all that is done over the next couple of weeks, we'll be outta here finally. It's been a long hard slog, but I am determined to have the owner and his family aboard for the holidays in Indonesia. He really does deserve to enjoy his boat, he hasn't yet used it and he's owned it for 2 years. Problem is, he won't enjoy it for long because it doesn't meet his mission. She is a littoral and coastal yacht. While she she can make a crossing, she is not a deep sea boat, and his program requires a deep sea boat. There just isn't the storage onboard to feed everybody for more than 2 weeks.
I've started the designs for his new boat already...