The skeleton becomes the Philippines Liveaboard
Hey guys, it’s been some days now that I have provided you with news about our new Philippines Liveaboard the M / Y Azalea. Now that we are at the target levels with the construction of our yacht, I will gladly update you on the status of the construction site. As usual, I will not aware to let you know about the peculiarities in the course of such a project in the Philippines.
Knowing that a shipbuilding in the Philippines is very subject to the country-specific customs, we are now well on our way to finish our boat with some delay.
Perhaps you can call it naive to assume that after eight years of project experience in the Philippines, to know all the imponderabilities of Filipino logistics and the Filipino mentality. No, here everything is different than what you have come to know and appreciate is European project management and not to forget a functioning logistics will not work over here.
Here is just one example that currently makes my daily life between computer, phone and the boat’s construction site 20 hours a day.
The hull of our boat with its total length of 22 meters was built with 64 ribs. Each of these ribs has seven connection points which have been connected with stainless steel screws. My foreman for the boatbuilding, who is by the way a very economical man, got the task to determine how many screws, nuts and washers we need to build the hull. As a thrifty man, he estimates that only 250 screws are probably quite enough and bought them.
At this point, I must say that the nearest hardware store is about 250 km from the site and a drive there takes about five hours.
So said done, 250 screws are ordered and the construction starts. After three days when I came to the construction site, the carpenters are sitting on the skeleton and to my question what’s going on came the info: “The foreman is in the city and buys new screws we cannot continue.”
Now you do not have to believe that the foreman drove directly in the morning, no he tried until midday to calculate how many screws are missing and then went on the long tour.
Result of this, the foreman came back the next day with another 250 screws from the city and said proudly: “Sir, we have screws again.”.
Not that he had asked before his ride what additional materials are needed, no, he drove the track and bought the screws.
From then on I saw it as my challenge, to ask every little order for demand and quantity and to carry out the orders myself.
But I wanted the boat and that’s why I daily have to remind the advertising slogan of the Philippine Tourism Association “It’s more fun in the Philippines” .
But you also have to acknowledge that the construction progress after a learning phase on both sides is considerable. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, we acquired a half-finished hull and wanted to convert it to our needs. The challenge was to extend this hull by 6 meters. For this we had to transfer the existing hull from a Palawan offshore island to the mainland.
We mastered this challenge with excellent and were able to extend the hull by the missing 6 meters.
Task accomplished and one step closer to completing the Philippines Liveaboard , the M / Y Azalea.
The boat now has its stately length of 22 meters and a total width of 5.30 meters. After completion of the skeleton for the hull this was planked with stable wooden planks and then covered with GFK.
As soon as we finished this work step, we began to build the floors in the upper and lower deck.
Also at the risk of repeating myself but all this work was done in a traditional way and it is remarkable how accurate the carpenter build in plank by plank with only use of a chainsaw and a plainer.
After completion of the floors we could finally start designing the superstructures. Cabins, kitchen, dining room and dive deck take shape. When designing the superstructures, we often faced great challenges together with our marine architect. Here an additional bar that was not foreseen before, there the realization that the surfaces in reality often did not meet our expectations despite a long detailed planning.
We also mastered this work and say with pride: another big step towards the completion of the Philippines Liveaboard can be considered as done.
Tank, Tank and Tank again
Parallel to the work on the superstructures, work has started on the necessary storage and disposal tanks. A large tank for the fresh water supply with 2000 liter capacity is installed in the bow of the boat. Another two tanks for the diesel supply with a total capacity of 2500 liters will be made of GFK and installed in the engine room.
We paid particular attention to the construction of a collecting tank for waste water from the toilet and kitchen. The implementation gives us the opportunity to pump off the collected wastewater in the next port. A small contribution to environmental protection, if the infrastructure in the Philippine ports will be ready to realize the pumping and disposal of the wastewater.
The next steps
The next work that has already started is the commissioning of the engine and the controller. A lot of technology that draws my full attention and that I will cover in my next post.
Parallel to this work, the electrical installation and the installation of the bathrooms in the cabins are currently taking place.
I’m looking forward to the day when we replace the dull gray of the current coat of paint with the final coat of paint in white and we went to sea.
Not much longer and our Liveaboard Philippines, the M / Y Azalea, brings you to the most wonderful dive sites around Palawan.
As always, I am happy about your suggestions and comments and I am pleased to welcome you on our yacht.
With sunny regards from the Philippines