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Selene 6043 is Born!

Selene 6043 is Born!

The day has finally come when we get to see our new Selene for the first time and we’re excited to be able to witness the release of the hull!  We have no idea how that works and are looking forward to learning.  The Jet Tern driver picked us up at 9am as promised and we battled through the traffic to get to the factory which took around an hour and a half!  Candy thought we would want to be in the city to be able to go out at nights and indeed, the hotel she had booked us into was really well placed for that – but to be honest we are here for the boat, and don’t have much energy left over to go out on the town!  Next visit, we’ll stay closer by so we can get more time working with the team.

Anyway, we arrived at the Selene factory to a great welcome from Candy and spent the morning working hard going through the first layout plans bit by bit to discuss and agree what we wanted.  This is just the first step – where do we want things located, and how is the kitchen laid out for example.  The hard part comes later when we have to design the electrical installations and the plumbing system, and work out where all the power sockets have to go!  With Selene, it really is at that level of detail and it’s amazing they can work so brilliantly with the owners to produce the perfect boat for each individual person.  The objective for the week is to have the 15 page basic specification completed so the experts in the factory have a plan to work to.

Selene Factory Tour

One of the first things on the agenda was to go and look at the hull – at this stage, she was still in the mould and the plan was to release that afternoon.  We got a guided tour of the factory and got to look at all the boats that are currently under construction at various stages.  They are building 12 at this point – including some in the new Guido de Groot design which is a stunning look, but not so practical for the long range cruiser, at least not in the smaller boats like the Selene 60 which is the smallest of the new Explorer range.  We had decided to go for the “Classic” Trawler after looking at both Selene designs – there’s a JACUZZI on the front deck of the Guido version !!!!!  Really nice thought – but Ed has had enough of jacuzzis after supporting the chalets all these years, and it would be a bit impractical for what we plan to do with our boat.

 

The factory was impressive – everything is made by hand with the most amazing carpenters and woodwork you’ve ever seen.  The Selene guys are so skilled and there’s no automated production line in sight with every boat crafted by hand and when you look at the images of the results of their labour it’s very impressive.  We got to see the stunning Selene 103 Guido design Ocean Explorer yacht that is the star of the bunch right now and in the stage of interior carpentry construction – as well as the 72ft being built for the guy in France whose 62 we wanted to buy.  He is just one stage in front of us and his hull is sitting next to ours.  And of course, our own hull which is the latest addition to the factory’s workload.

Everybody was fantastic and we got a really good feeling that they cared about the work they were doing – I just wish I knew a few words of Chinese so I could have thanked them or commented on what they were showing me.

Our Selene 6043 Hull is Released from the Mould

So Selene 6043 is all ready to be released and in the early afternoon Howard arrived at the factory from his meetings and he watched over the release.  He had just bought a drone to make video footage of their work to support their marketing efforts, but unfortunately didn’t know how to fly it.  Ed volunteered to give it a go and as its the Mavic Pro the same as ours, that shouldn’t have been a problem …. until, of course, he looked at the control screen and it was all in Chinese 🙂  Together with the design guy from the factory, they did manage to get some footage – and he also shot footage on the GoPro which we’ll need to edit and post when we get a chance.

Releasing the hull means hooking up a fork lift to one side of the mould and basically pulling it off – it involved some quite violent shaking of the boat up and down and it was a bit scary as by now we already feel attached!  The hull is suspended from the ceiling by chains on a runner track and the idea is that they pull one half out with the fork lift, then run the hull along the rails a little bit to free the other side.  It didn’t quite go according to plan as the remote control for the track decided to pack up after one half was released – but this was fixed overnight and the 2nd half was released the next day.

Shiny New Hull!

We can now stand proudly in front of the makings of our new Selene yacht – well half of it anyway!  The boat comes in two pieces – the hull is one half, and the top decks are a 2nd mould which is just being started now.  The next major manufacturing milestone is when the two halves are joined together, and that should be in a couple of months time.  Hopefully we’ll see the boat looking whole on our next trip.

 

Work … Work … Work !

The rest of the trip was spent in intense work with Candy – looking at the sample room for the type of wood we wanted, the leather for the seats, the wood trims, the chairs, the curtains, the granite for the worktops … it’s never ending, and we haven’t got to the technical stuff yet!  That bit is Ed’s forte and I’m sure over the coming summer we will be having endless discussions about electrical configuration and how to get the boat running efficiently and smoothly with the combination of engine power, two generators, inverters and battery systems.  He already has a pretty good idea of what we want and this will certainly keep him happily researching and planning all summer – I doubt if we’re going to get much sailing done 🙂

New Style Interior Design

We talked at length with Howard about what we plan to do with our boat and the things we like and don’t like – we would really like to choose a modern interior design, but we’re afraid that we will make mistakes and end up not liking it!  We had started to agree that we’d play safe and stick to the contemporary interior we had seen many times and not try and design along the lines of Howard’s more recent projects.  Howard, however, had other ideas!  We talked a bit and he decided he’s going to create a new Selene interior style based on what we want and he introduced us to his chief interior architect who demonstrated his software to us and showed us how he could mock up the interior electronically.

We’ve been promised that on the next visit we will have a questionnaire with Yes/No answers – do you prefer this one or that one type of thing.  They think that with 30 questions, they can design us the perfect interior.  We are more than delighted with this, especially as Howard is going to produce mock-ups in cheap wood first as examples.  We can have the confidence we’re going to love it when it’s finished – I hope!

We finished the basic specification document just in time for us to leave for the airport again on the Wednesday.  It’s been three days of work but a lot of fun and we’re both delighted about how it has gone.  Can’t wait for the next trip!

And another very long journey home

So it was back to the ferry port for the crossing to Hong Kong airport with the last ferry.  We had a VERY long wait in Hong Kong as the flight didn’t leave until 01h30 then another horrendously long 12 hour flight back to London.  Arriving at the crack of dawn without any sleep, we then had another VERY long wait in London.  Finally 36 hours later after no sleep we parted again in Gatwick airport.  Ed got on the plane back to Preveza to carry on preparing Liberation and I got on the plane back to Malta to do some work.  Down with a bump!

Ed is having trouble motivating himself to get Liberation ready with the same love and care he normally does as the heart has been won elsewhere now ….. counting the days to the next trip in October but I think we need to save up some extra pennies for Premium Economy seats next time – or I need to lose the 40kgs I’ve put on in the last three years in a bit of a hurry and Ed needs to shave down his shoulders 🙂

chrisvanz
chrisvanz

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