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Old 08-26-2016, 03:26 PM   #1
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American Tug 395, hull #12...

We got the call today, they begin laying up our American Tug 395 next week!

We have spent months now considering colors, options, modifications and everything we can possibly think of concerning this boat. Other than a few items that we still have some time to mull over, we have made our decisions. The final order spreadsheet had over 100 items detailing what will become our new boat! We should take delivery in early April.

I'm sure I have driven them out of their minds during this process as I have great desire to understand as much as I can about every part of the boat and her systems. Kurt has gone out of his way to answer my questions, explain the why's and how's of what is done and he has entertained each of my requests for change. The man is a wealth of experience and knowledge. Often, when given the reasoning behind a certain system, it makes sense to go along with the status quo. They really do want to build an exceptional boat and it shows! I have full confidence in their abilities and I believe they have our best interest in mind.

Anyway, the nature of the project will begin to shift now. I will take the fall to focus on electronics and stereo, otherwise, I will sit back and enjoy the process.
Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming...

Bruce

P.s. As this build gets going in earnest, we will begin to post progress reports to a personal website that I will share here too.
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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Great news Bruce. Looking forward to seeing the progress.
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Old 08-26-2016, 05:00 PM   #3
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That's really awesome Bruce. I can hardly imagine how exciting it must be. I'm pretty sure I'd drive them crazy, too.

That American Tug is a great boat. Please keep us posted.

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Old 08-26-2016, 06:10 PM   #4
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Having gone through the process some 5-plus years ago, I'm familiar with your excitement and dizziness with choices.

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Old 08-26-2016, 06:21 PM   #5
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Great to hear. And when building a boat it makes perfect sense to insist on understanding why they prefer various alternatives or how to decide those that are options. 100 items sounds like a lot but we topped that on what is basically a production boat. A lot were simple yes or no and others that you could only choose one in a list of five or six. Even those items on which we had no choice were listed.

I like your making of the decisions up front and I'm sure the builder does. Builders I've worked with really wouldn't do it any other way. You had certain things, mostly cosmetic, that could be made later but they all had due dates listed.

I agree with you on a lot of "status quo" too. We went on generators with the builder's standard choice. Not our preferred brand, but a good brand and the one they have extensive experience wiring and setting up in that specific boat.

Look forward to your real excitement in about 8 months.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:31 PM   #6
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Bruce

Not sure what your current plans are for deck rails - I seem to recall you had a question in this regard. We were visiting with a fellow a few weeks ago that has a 395 with good height side rails and a matching dinghy cradle/lift on stern. Looked great and very functional. The side decks with the rails look quite safe and usable.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Bruce

Not sure what your current plans are for deck rails - I seem to recall you had a question in this regard. We were visiting with a fellow a few weeks ago that has a 395 with good height side rails and a matching dinghy cradle/lift on stern. Looked great and very functional. The side decks with the rails look quite safe and usable.
Thanks for that.
The height was never an issue for us, rather it was how far aft the rails ran.
American Tug makes 3 different rail sets for this model.
The standard set goes from the bow to just aft of the pilothouse doors.
A second design goes all of the way back to the cockpit with a gate just aft of the pilothouse doors and the third set goes straight from the bow to the cockpit without a gate.
We elected for the standard gate as we felt that the side decks were simply too narrow for maneuvering with the longer optional rails.
We spent some time on a 395 with the standard rails both sitting still and under power before we decided the stock option.
Bruce
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Great to hear. And when building a boat it makes perfect sense to insist on understanding why they prefer various alternatives or how to decide those that are options. 100 items sounds like a lot but we topped that on what is basically a production boat. A lot were simple yes or no and others that you could only choose one in a list of five or six. Even those items on which we had no choice were listed.

I like your making of the decisions up front and I'm sure the builder does. Builders I've worked with really wouldn't do it any other way. You had certain things, mostly cosmetic, that could be made later but they all had due dates listed.

I agree with you on a lot of "status quo" too. We went on generators with the builder's standard choice. Not our preferred brand, but a good brand and the one they have extensive experience wiring and setting up in that specific boat.

Look forward to your real excitement in about 8 months.
I like to believe that I have a better than average handle/understanding about both mechanical and electrical systems. It is simply the way I am wired.
That being said, speaking to Kurt about the various systems was incredibly enlightening. It often showed me just how little I know...

As I said, I feel as though we are in very good hands!
Bruce
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
I like to believe that I have a better than average handle/understanding about both mechanical and electrical systems. It is simply the way I am wired.
That being said, speaking to Kurt about the various systems was incredibly enlightening. It often showed me just how little I know...

As I said, I feel as though we are in very good hands!
Bruce
The reality is they've done it a long time and they do things for a reason. If after hearing their reasons, you have a situation which makes an alternative better and worth pursuing, then great. Then you get them to change only those things that are very material to you. The other thing I found was that on things where they feel you need to have options, they generally offer them. I also never want to push a builder out of their comfort zone and some have a narrower comfort zone than others.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:25 PM   #10
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My builder followed my instructions for the layout of the helmsman's station. With a starboard helm, preferred readouts important to helmsman (rudder angle and fuel consumption, depth readings) to starboard and those displays/controls important to lookout and helmsman (horn, radar/gps, search-light control) to the left.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:28 AM   #11
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Congratulations. I can't wait to see photos of the finished product and in-process photos if available.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:33 AM   #12
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We've been thinking about the photo thing.
One of the things missing from the photos we have seen from the factory is the inclusion of the people building the boat! People make the photographed seem real and we are not sure how we will get our shots.
We live on the east coast so somehow we need to manage this from afar...
We are on it though and expect to figure something out...
Bruce
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:42 AM   #13
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"I like to believe that I have a better than average handle/understanding about both mechanical and electrical systems. It is simply the way I am wired.
That being said, speaking to Kurt about the various systems was incredibly enlightening. It often showed me just how little I know...

As I said, I feel as though we are in very good hands!"

That's nice,

BUT be sure to have a good survey before passing over the last 10%-20% or so.

It is the last time you will have any leverage to have building , outfitting mistakes cured.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:13 AM   #14
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We will survey the new boat. It is a good idea that is not often followed through on.
One problem for us will be that we will be taking delivery on the west coast and thus we know none of the surveyors in that area. We will figure it out though...
Good advice.
Bruce
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Old 08-27-2016, 01:23 PM   #15
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Congratulations, that will be an excellent boat. I second the desire for high and solid hand rails, especially if they are high and sturdy the whole length of the boat's walkways. Also, helm layout is important to me too and with a custom build that is a huge plus.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:11 PM   #16
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Congrats on the new build.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:40 PM   #17
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congrats,looking forward to your progress reports.Its a beautiful looking boat,definitely on my future short list
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:38 PM   #18
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Call this guy for a survey in that area. Comes highly recommended:

Marine Consultants Inc.
Marine Surveyors and Consultants
Bellingham, Washington, USA
Worldwide Service
Call: 360 815-0535 - Email: M_DBA@msn.com<mailto:M_DBA@msn.com>

Matthew L. Harris, NAMSŪ-CMS, SAMSŪ-AMSŪ
Principal Marine Surveyor
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacopico View Post
Call this guy for a survey in that area. Comes highly recommended:

Marine Consultants Inc.
Marine Surveyors and Consultants
Bellingham, Washington, USA
Worldwide Service
Call: 360 815-0535 - Email: M_DBA@msn.com<mailto:M_DBA@msn.com>

Matthew L. Harris, NAMSŪ-CMS, SAMSŪ-AMSŪ
Principal Marine Surveyor
Thank you! I will call him and see what he says.
Appreciate the tip!
Bruce
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:44 PM   #20
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Another good surveyor choice is Mike McGlenn out of Bellingham. Not only does he have all the letters after his name but he was in intimately involved with all phases of boatbuilding for one of the largest boat builders in WA. He knows the larger FRP boat building process inside out.
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