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Old 05-15-2014, 11:48 AM   #1
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Salish Lady emerges from the plant

Well, after almost a year Salish Lady emerged from the plant yesterday. It won't be long now before we will be cruising in the PNW.

We are hoping we will be out on the water by the Memorial Day weekend. The folks at Tomco (American Tug) have done a beautiful job in building our boat and we are grateful for the beautiful work they have done on Salish Lady.

Shawn
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:00 PM   #2
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Beautiful boat. Have you enjoyed the process of building?
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:47 PM   #3
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Building a new boat.

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Beautiful boat. Have you enjoyed the process of building?
That is a tough question. To a large extent we are responsible for this new design. The adventure started with a conversation with the head of engineering at Tomco (Kurt). We had an American Tug 435 that we really loved but always felt a little cramped in the in the salon. At that time, AT had a 54 foot boat and a 45 foot boat but they did not have a 50 foot version. I wanted Tomco to take my 435 back (Ocean Mistress), cut it in half and add 4 feet to the salon. This was the time when virtually no one was building new boats, so they were at least willing to listen to me. Kurt, my wife and pretty much everyone I talked to thought I was couple pints short of a 12 pack!

However, it did start a conversation about designing an American Tug 475 (eventually becoming a AT 485). Originally, they were going to add some length to the cockpit and the salon. However, we insisted that we wanted all the new length to reside in the salon. Although on the smallish side, we always like the AT cockpit.

We also wanted to go from a big (550 hp Cummins Recreational engine) to a smaller twin engine, or at least add a get home engine. There was a lot of discussion around the type of engine and what our expectations were for the boats performance. ATs are designed to be fast trawlers. Ocean Mistress cruised well at 7.5 to 8 knots but could get up and go at 17 knots. In the 7 years we owned Ocean Mistress, she only went over 10 knots when I needed to heat the engine up. We spend the vast amount of our time cruising between 5 and 9 knots. Our cruising style was formulated with 20 years for sailing. We are the type that enjoy the trip as much as the arrival! Our cruising style is to hang-out in remote places in the PNW. Kurt came up with what we thought was a brilliant solution. We decided to install a 400 hp continuous duty engine. The engine that we selected is specifically designed to serve the commercial fishing industry in the PNW. We felt the smaller engine would suit our needs better and being a continuous duty would fit with our overnight (slow) mini-passages.

We also made a lot of changes to the support equipment, i.e., larger hot water tank, 240 Watts of solar panels, bigger water maker, NEMA 2000 electronics backbone, and so on…

Salish Lady is our home during the summer and we need to work as well as live on board. The Captain (my wife, there is no co-Captain in our family) had a lot of opinions about what she wanted to add or subtract from the boat. This led to a lot of discussion about what could be done and what would be done. Boats are compromises and being deeply involved in the process really brings this home.

So to your question, did we enjoy the process? I would have to say we really enjoyed the participation in developing what we hope will achieve our goals. My wife and I are scientists and very technical by nature and enjoy getting into the nitty gritty of the design process. The folks at Tomco were very inviting and tolerant of our, at times, crazy ideas. They also worked very hard to adapt to the new technology we were pushing into the design. This part of the experience was great.

We also love that Tomco has been able to sell 5 boats of this model before the first one came off the line (by the way we have the second off the line). However, I am not by nature a patient man. Building a new design is not a linear process with a set schedule. Waiting for her to emerge has been at a minimum painful (although mostly self-inflicted). :bang head:

Now that she has been birthed, we are very excited about getting aboard and starting the shake-down process. I am not sure I would want to get into this level of detail in designing a new vessel any time soon, but we are sure looking forward to cruising the the results of the effort.

Shawn
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:05 PM   #4
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What a beautiful tug! One of my favorites! Thanks for the photos.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:09 PM   #5
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Very nice. More pics please....
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:12 PM   #6
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The high speed version of your sea trial is a bit wild. So you're the cause of the optional engine. Should be very dependable.

I think in doing a semi-custom build or a build of the nature you did, you build a certain closeness with the people and with your boat. It's even some of the little things that you're able to look at and say, "I really like how we had them do that." And things like the hot water and larger watermaker with the solar make things so much nicer for your purposes. I suspect that once you and Tomco figured out what you wanted to do, the actual build was reasonably quick. I have patience enough, barely, for a one year or so build, but the four and five year builds I don't think so.

I also think being able to work with a builder in your own country, and in your case own community, makes it both easier and more special. Washington sure has a lot of boat building skill.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:57 PM   #7
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Did I miss something? I don't see any photos nor any videos, or links to same. Help this ol guy out, will ya?
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:02 PM   #8
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Did I miss something? I don't see any photos nor any videos, or links to same. Help this ol guy out, will ya?
Go to American Tugs site and you'll see it all. As his is the only 485, then the sea trial, the launching, the arch, the photos are all his.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:06 PM   #9
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Go to American Tugs site and you'll see it all. As his is the only 485, then the sea trial, the launching, the arch, the photos are all his.
She is a beauty! Great cruising lies ahead.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:39 PM   #10
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Beautiful boat! Great job on the design-you know for sure that it is your boat!
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:03 PM   #11
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Pictures

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Very nice. More pics please....
We will post additional pictures when we get to LaConner. We are leaving Las Vegas to drive up starting on Friday.

Shawn
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:15 PM   #12
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Building a boat

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The high speed version of your sea trial is a bit wild. So you're the cause of the optional engine. Should be very dependable.

I think in doing a semi-custom build or a build of the nature you did, you build a certain closeness with the people and with your boat. It's even some of the little things that you're able to look at and say, "I really like how we had them do that." And things like the hot water and larger watermaker with the solar make things so much nicer for your purposes. I suspect that once you and Tomco figured out what you wanted to do, the actual build was reasonably quick. I have patience enough, barely, for a one year or so build, but the four and five year builds I don't think so.

I also think being able to work with a builder in your own country, and in your case own community, makes it both easier and more special. Washington sure has a lot of boat building skill.
I should have mentioned that we already had a very close relationship with the folks at American Tug (Tomco). We had done a number of custom projects on Ocean Mistress and had gotten to know them very well. Also the American Tug owners group is a closely knit group that keeps a very close relationship with the sales, engineering and management folks at the plant. I don't think I would have embarked on the is process without having that relationship. Further, I am absolutely sure that we would not have embarked on this process if we had had to travel outside the US or Canada. Having the builder in North America and more specifically in our cruising grounds was a huge plus to us. American Tugs sell well on the East Coast and there are a few in Europe. However, this is a extraordinarily good design for the type of cruising we have in the PNW.

One could argue this was a semi custom build, with the underlying Lynn Semour design already in place. However, we made so many changes to the systems that underlie the function of the vessel that it really resembled a custom build.

Shawn
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:17 PM   #13
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>I love it when a plan comes together!<

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Old 05-15-2014, 05:03 PM   #14
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Well, yes yours is more like a custom in being the first of the model. Reverse semi, I guess, of some sort. In that yours came first. Now if someone else was to order, they'd be getting the same boat as a semi-custom.

We have a somewhat similar/somewhat different situation going on with a US builder who we've gained tremendous respect for. With my years in business, I always valued relationships and it's just great to establish the type one you have with Tomco.

As to boats being good for PNW cruising, I think that makes them good for most other areas. We didn't realize the differences until we arrived to 4' wind waves accompanied by 13' swells. I think years ago Maine had a reputation for rough conditions and good solid boat building. It's sad to see some of the PNW builders who are now gone and to see others barely hanging on looking for buyers, not for a boat but the company. But still boat building in Washington is quite big and at an exceptional level. I think part of that comes from the heritage of commercial fishing vessels which had to stand up to a lot. But off the top of my head I think about Tomco/American Tugs, Christiansen, Northern, Delta, Westport, Nordlund, Northcoast, Nordic Tugs, San Juan and that's before you add in all the shipyards, many of which are huge, plus all the small boat builders. Still people like Legendary building wood. NMI with C-Dory, Osprey, Sea Sport, Orca and Tomcat.

No other state comes close to matching them. It's like the US version of the Netherlands or something.

Of course many here have Bayliners that were built in Washington too. Quality cruisers and small yachts, not at all like their runabouts you think of today. And there is one boat manufacturer I think just should be in Washington and not half way around the world and that's Grand Banks. We went by the Northwest Maritime Center just to see it. We're also fans of some of the PNW boat designers who were in both Washington and Vancouver. We are absolutely dying to get to Mystic Seaport one day to see all the Bill Garden designs.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:15 PM   #15
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A good boat is a good boat

BandB

I agree that a good boat is a good boat. It is a little sad that the boat manufacturers have declined so badly in the PNW. Tomco has done well and is starting to grow again. Unfortunately, so many of the great crafts men and women have left the boat manufacturing it is very difficult to find the people they need.

Shawn
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:20 PM   #16
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I think years ago Maine had a reputation for rough conditions and good solid boat building.
Still does.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:30 PM   #17
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She's a beauty, Shawn. Congratulations and much joy to you both!
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:58 PM   #18
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Still does.
Yes, just not as much building in Maine as there once was nor as much as Washington, but still some great boat work there. And again, designed for conditions off the shores in Maine. Of course, many originating as Lobster Boats.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:23 PM   #19
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Looks great....and with an acre of boat deck. Lots of solar panel area, for sure.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:37 PM   #20
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Congratulations on your new boat and having the chance to influence TOMCO in their designs.

If I decide to buy a larger boat it would be another American Tug and this would certainly be a candidate. The quality of these boats is extraordinarly and they are so well thought out.

I look forward to your impressions after the launch and sea trial.
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