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Old 07-08-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
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Spec'ing a new build is hard work!

From refrigerators to stoves, from listed options to those "what if..." moments that pop into your head as you study whatever material you can find about your boat-to-be.

We've had an idea about the hull color of the "next boat" for years now. We first admired the color on a Shelter Island Runabout 4 or 5 years ago. Then we saw the same color on a Back Cove and knew it was in our future... Getting the color and making sure it is what we thought it was was more of a challenge than I suspected though, this seems to be a theme in life!

First, I made a call to the source, CH Marine. I asked about the color and boy did I get an earful! Yes, they developed the color. Their boats are delivered with Awlgrip finishes and the only code they have is for Awlgrip. Then I learned that other manufacturers have called and asked about the color saying that they only wanted it for a single boat, only to use the color for larger production runs. In other wise, they lied to get the code... The person I spoke to was willing enough to give me the color but he seemed pretty unhappy about the way they'd been treated. Can't say as I blame him...

So now I have the Awlgrip color code. That is nice but I need a gelcoat code. We'd seen it on a Back Cove so the next call was to that company (actually I called Sabre as I know them and they are really, really nice people...) we get a Cook Composite color code and the name of a Sabre that was delivered with that gelcoat so it is off to find the boat and see if it is the color we think it is. The boat happens to reside in the town next to us so it was a quick drive to verify that the color is the one we want.

Next, just to be sure, we want to verify that the code we've been given is what we believe it is. Should be simple to order a quart of gelcoat don't you think? Well, a call to the current manufacturer of the gelcoat led me to the understanding that life is not as simple as you sometimes think! 1. They wouldn't sell me gelcoat without a commercial account. 2. The smallest amount a busuiness can purchase is 5 gallons!!! OK...now I'm online trying to find a source for a quart. About 4 hours of phone calls later, I've found a source! Mini-Craft of Florida has the code in their database and they have the base colors needed to mix a quart.

Soon, we have a quart of the correct color gelcoat delivered and now I'm learning how to laminate little 8" by 8" squares of color samples. As usual, my first attempt is less than perfect but attempt number 2 is pretty nice!

I'll make a few more as it is kind of fun and I have the material.The code is correct and we like it!

This is kind of fun!
Bruce
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:53 PM   #2
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Here is the original...
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:23 PM   #3
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I love the color!
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:28 PM   #4
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Looks a lot like Sea Foam green.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:57 PM   #5
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SW6471 Hazel
Maybe 6465

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Old 07-09-2016, 01:35 AM   #6
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I like it Bruce.
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Old 07-09-2016, 03:57 AM   #7
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Very nice!
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:17 AM   #8
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Nice color Bruce . I've seen a 29 Ranger tug with a color similar to that . Looks good and easy on the eyes .
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:09 AM   #9
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Well, I'm sure that not everyone will like the color but we sure do!
It is just dark enough to give the boat some color but not too dark. A previous boat of ours was a dark green and I remember just how hot it got below! Not to mention the dificulty in keeping the gelcoat from fading...
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:59 AM   #10
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Congrats Bruce, both on the new build and on your perseverance to achieve exactly the specs you want.

As for gelcoat vs Awlgrip, In a new build I would go with Awlgrip. We did a new build for our 30' sailboat, specd a dark red as the original colour. In gelcoat it looked fabulous for the first couple of years, then started going downhill. By the time we sold 11 years later, we had painted over it twice, the first with a one pt poly, but that was a poor choice, so then with a 2 pt poly. When I saw the boat 19 yrs later the 2 pt poly was still in OK condition.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:41 PM   #11
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Koliver points out something that many of these beautiful colors of boats you see have been painted over the gelcoat. In larger boats almost all are painted.

As to new builds being difficult, well perhaps if you're chasing a color they don't offer. The list of things you must decide is lengthy. I'm curious as to what kind of list you were given. We were given detailed specification lists with dates by which we had to decide all items.

Funny how some builders have a lot of standard products and manufacturers they use, and no reason to go against it, while others just open things up completely and do make decisions more complicated. We never really had to make refrigerator or stove choices, other than finish. We could have varied but had no reason to do so. The decisions that seemed endless were more the decorating choices. It was like decorating and completely furnishing a house. Fortunately, the builder we dealt with had so many swatches. Even things like dishes had to be chosen though. Things like bed linens, towels.

Now, we did complicate matters ourselves and that is chose our mattresses and mattress manufacturer. That was unusual for our builder and on our most recent builder which is more a production model, they had no allowance for such so we just let them ship it with stock mattresses and immediately replaced them. We were lucky that there was an owner of a similar model that was several years old and he bought out removed mattresses at half what new ones would have cost him.

The semi-production model had all the choices in only 7 pages of total options vs. dozens of pages on semi-custom.

It's interesting to see how every builder differs in how they approach these items.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:59 PM   #12
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That's a nice classic color.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:06 PM   #13
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Nice colors for a boat might be hard work , but a custom build is usually for a very specific purpose.

Equipment to suit the task should be easy to specify weather its a dock queen , marina to marina runner, ICW independant cruiser , distance traveler or an actual ocean passagemaker.

The hard part is the equipment level,, electric windlass or a hyd system, 3 cheapo water pumps or 1 good one?
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by koliver View Post
Congrats Bruce, both on the new build and on your perseverance to achieve exactly the specs you want.

As for gelcoat vs Awlgrip, In a new build I would go with Awlgrip. We did a new build for our 30' sailboat, specd a dark red as the original colour. In gelcoat it looked fabulous for the first couple of years, then started going downhill. By the time we sold 11 years later, we had painted over it twice, the first with a one pt poly, but that was a poor choice, so then with a 2 pt poly. When I saw the boat 19 yrs later the 2 pt poly was still in OK condition.
My take on this is, like most things in life, there is no free ride when it comes to a shiny hull and deck. I've awlgriped a hull and deck before so I understand the cost! When I say I awlgriped a hull, I mean I personally stripped all hardware, hatches, ports, everything that could be unbolted and then proceeded to spend the next six months of evenings and weekends preparing the boat for paint. I long boarded the hull until it was fair, applied 545 primer, hi build primer sanded it all flat, filled pinholes, sprayed more 545 and finally had a friend spray the actual Awlgip. Then we sanded the color and applied a clear coat over the color. When the hull was finished, I started on the cabin and decks.
After reassembling everything, the then 25 year old boat looked new and it kept looking that way for the next 8 years that we owned it. At the end of that time, the hull had been patched from mooring ball damage numerous times and the decks were looking tired. The hull looked great! I'm sure it looksThe color was Jade Mist Green a medium dark green that got so hot in the sun that we sometimes could not stay below on hot days.

The next boat was a new one with a gelcoat finish. Having lived through the huge job of restoring a neglected hull on the previous boat I vowed to do whatever I could to keep the gelcoat looking good. We also chose a light hull color! Maintenance has consisted of cleaning and waxing the hull, deck and cabin house 2 times a season, including the non skid! Now after 11 years that boat looks great, probably as good or better than the dark green boat looked after less time...Believe me it is easier to keep the gelcoat looking good than it is to apply an Awlgrip finish later!

I will freely admit that nothing looks like a properly Awlgriped hull though. That stuff simply shines!!!
Bruce
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:32 PM   #15
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Koliver points out something that many of these beautiful colors of boats you see have been painted over the gelcoat. In larger boats almost all are painted.

As to new builds being difficult, well perhaps if you're chasing a color they don't offer. The list of things you must decide is lengthy. I'm curious as to what kind of list you were given. We were given detailed specification lists with dates by which we had to decide all items.

Funny how some builders have a lot of standard products and manufacturers they use, and no reason to go against it, while others just open things up completely and do make decisions more complicated. We never really had to make refrigerator or stove choices, other than finish. We could have varied but had no reason to do so. The decisions that seemed endless were more the decorating choices. It was like decorating and completely furnishing a house. Fortunately, the builder we dealt with had so many swatches. Even things like dishes had to be chosen though. Things like bed linens, towels.

Now, we did complicate matters ourselves and that is chose our mattresses and mattress manufacturer. That was unusual for our builder and on our most recent builder which is more a production model, they had no allowance for such so we just let them ship it with stock mattresses and immediately replaced them. We were lucky that there was an owner of a similar model that was several years old and he bought out removed mattresses at half what new ones would have cost him.

The semi-production model had all the choices in only 7 pages of total options vs. dozens of pages on semi-custom.

It's interesting to see how every builder differs in how they approach these items.
This is an interesting process partially because I always want to know my boundaries and the people at American Tug are willing to discuss modifications to what is essentially a production boat.

We have not seen a schedule of any kind yet although I'm told it is coming. Most of the questions we are asking are due to a lack of available information (subject of a previous post...) Things like the different refrigerator are driven by less than acceptable stock fridge (I'm not alone in not liking the stock unit as there is a lengthy thread on the subject on the AT owners site) and again, I want to understand the how and why's of the boat and its equipment as best I can before it is built.

Most of the time, the answers reflect the obvious thought that they have given to these boats and I'm fine with their decisions. Sometimes, I really want to steer the build in a different direction but my changes are typically little ones...

The hull color thing is something they told me they could do, I hadn't even asked! Once a door is opened...

It appears that as we edge closer to a start date more information will be forthcoming. Meanwhile, my questions continue.

Bruce
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by FF View Post
Nice colors for a boat might be hard work , but a custom build is usually for a very specific purpose.

Equipment to suit the task should be easy to specify weather its a dock queen , marina to marina runner, ICW independant cruiser , distance traveler or an actual ocean passagemaker.

The hard part is the equipment level,, electric windlass or a hyd system, 3 cheapo water pumps or 1 good one?
No question that this boat is a production boat. They do consider changing things although as I've learned there are definitely limits. No dock queen for us, we intend to use her and I'm sure the boat will be a great boat for our intended use...
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post

We have not seen a schedule of any kind yet although I'm told it is coming. Most of the questions we are asking are due to a lack of available information (subject of a previous post...) Things like the different refrigerator are driven by less than acceptable stock fridge (I'm not alone in not liking the stock unit as there is a lengthy thread on the subject on the AT owners site) and again, I want to understand the how and why's of the boat and its equipment as best I can before it is built.
They are far from the only ones with that problem on things like refrigerators and all who have it annoy me. They could offer better quality, get better pricing due to that commitment, and not have to deal with so many different units. It's like combo washer/dryer units where the one brand offered most takes twice as long to wash a load compared to another brand, or where there is space for a washer and a dryer but standard they offer a combo unit.
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:51 PM   #18
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I will freely admit that nothing looks like a properly Awlgriped hull though. That stuff simply shines!!!
Are you using awlgrip as a generic name for shiny paint in the same way many call any tablet an iPad?

Prep is key and given good prep I have seen industrial topcoats aimed at oilrigs, mining equipment and tankers sprayed on $10 million plus superyachts that produce same results as awlgrip.

I have seen amateurs who think awlgrip is the best paint in the world make a pigs breakfast on their boat, better results could possibly have come from house paint and a roller.

Dont get me wrong, awlgrip is a great product but it is over hyped and overpriced in my opinion, much like apple product.
It is only as good as the end user.
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:58 PM   #19
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Are you using awlgrip as a generic name for shiny paint in the same way many call any tablet an iPad?

Prep is key and given good prep I have seen industrial topcoats aimed at oilrigs, mining equipment and tankers sprayed on $10 million plus superyachts that produce same results as awlgrip.

I have seen amateurs who think awlgrip is the best paint in the world make a pigs breakfast on their boat, better results could possibly have come from house paint and a roller.

Dont get me wrong, awlgrip is a great product but it is over hyped and overpriced in my opinion, much like apple product.
It is only as good as the end user.
No, I'm calling Awlgrip by its name.
It is what I used 19 years ago and I'd use it again as it really is an awesome product. You are correct though, prep is everything! The final job is only as good as the work that goes in...

Here's a quick story about that mini boat restoration. My wife and I honeymooned on it the next summer in Maine. We were cruising when we grabbed a lobster pot in the prop and it exploded against the hull with a bang. Although we didn't grab the line, we did begin to hear a kind of moan when we steered the boat from that moment on. As I could find nothing wrong in the steering, we decided to have the boat hauled for a quick inspection (it was my honeymoon after all and the water in Maine is cold!). Brooklin Boatyard agreed to haul us and when we got to the dock who was standing there but Joel White.
He looked at the boat (an Able Whistler 32) and asked if she was a new build!
We hauled the boat and found nothing but the rudder was groaning terribly as we swung the helm back and forth. Finally a hard worker stepped up with a can of WD-40 and sprayed the rudder shoe and the noise went away never to return!

Joel flirted with my wife and showed her some designs he was working on while we relaunched the boat and we continued on our honeymoon...

Anyway, that's my Joel White story.

By the way, I use an iPad too and I love it! I've owned MS Surface's, Androids and Apple products. For my money the Apple stuff simply works. Yes it is more expensive but it works... After running a small busuiness using Small Business Server software for Too many years, I hope to never have to see a PC again! The issues with the Apple stuff I now own are simple to deal with in comparison. My Mac Pro runs Windows 10 in Parallels so I can cover the bases but I do not miss Windows!
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:24 PM   #20
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That is a classy, timeless, color and it will look wonderful on your new AT.

Here is a link to a vessel/listing that has a similar color. I have seen it in-person and it shows very nice.

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2007...s#.V4GyPpBHarU

GOOD LUCK
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