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Old 16-04-2015, 18:56   #181
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

The cost is more than a standard head but if your building a new boat it should be equal or less. No holding tank, hoses, thru hulls and sea cocks and deck plates.
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Old 18-04-2015, 13:49   #182
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Hugh,

So your expected total build time is how long?
Six months, give or take. They like to build three of these a year, but some stage can be moving along while another is finished. The deck was already laid up and the hull in the mold when I put the deposit down back at the Miami show, and they're looking at July/August to finish.
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Old 18-04-2015, 17:28   #183
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Not bad! Love the new window "extensions".


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Old 19-04-2015, 21:32   #184
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

I'm here in St. Francis Bay, South Africa to check out the build of my St. Francis 50. Incredibly amazing to see the boat in person. And I have to say, this is one of the prettiest places I've ever visited. The cape is absolutely gorgeous, and the people here are amazing. This has been an incredible bonus with doing a build here, to get to come down and be shown around the area.

First, the video, then some notes:



Notes:

The cockpit modification looks AMAZING. The builders love it so much, that this will be the standard going forward. Not only does it make the seating arrangement much more comfortable, it also has the benefit of making the cockpit feel twice as large. It's hard to describe the difference here. I've spent a lot of time in SF 50 cockpits, and this doesn't even feel like the same place. Not only that, but it just looks a lot better. More modern. I never thought it would look this good.

The new saloon windows. WOW!! The difference is unreal. With the side windows pushed back, you now look out from the sink straight over the "water." (For now, it's a boat yard, but you get the idea). And the view forward is greatly improved. You can see the bow and deck much more easily from the saloon. Love how all this came out.

The portholes below are superb. Even larger than I imagined. I climbed up into the master bunk and enjoyed the view between my feet. This is a massive change from the cabinetry that used to lie here. Love it.

The settee layout is going to be ideal. Very cool to see it in person. I'm going back over today to lay it out further. I should have more pics soon. So far, I'm just blown away with how the boat is coming out, how the builder was able to incorporate my ideas, plus the fact that they love the changes enough to carry them forward to future models.
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Old 19-04-2015, 22:05   #185
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Cannot believe how those simple changes totally transformed that cockpit! I was on the previous hull in Miami and can see the difference! Well done.
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Old 19-04-2015, 22:19   #186
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Cannot believe how those simple changes totally transformed that cockpit! I was on the previous hull in Miami and can see the difference! Well done.
Thanks, Owen. It's really night and day, not just the aesthetics, but the comfort. There are so many places to sit with your back square and your feet up. And nothing is lost, as those voids were not used for storage.

Also: The way they went about making this modification was just superb. They didn't simply glass in some walls and try to polish it up. They created a mock of the new corners, took an impression, created a female mold, and then laid the new inserts up in those molds. Now they can take those molds and use them to modify the tooling for the deck, and new St. Francis 50s will just pop out of the mold with the modification in place.

It's fantastic work.
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Old 20-04-2015, 06:05   #187
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Congrats Hugh, looks liek theyre doing a great job. Cockpit looks a lot more user friendly and nice to see you can see foreward through the galley window when seated. Im curious why they dont gel coat the hull mold the same as the deck mold, do you know the reason for that? BTW I used to build boats and that has to be the cleanest job site Ive ever seen. Normally there would be stuff going on everywhere, messes to clean up, components half fitted. Im guessing they had a clean up before your arrival but still, very impressive to see how neat and tidy everything is mid build. It certainly helps to get the best fit and finish possible so well done SF!
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Old 20-04-2015, 08:30   #188
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Congrats Hugh, looks liek theyre doing a great job. Cockpit looks a lot more user friendly and nice to see you can see foreward through the galley window when seated. Im curious why they dont gel coat the hull mold the same as the deck mold, do you know the reason for that? BTW I used to build boats and that has to be the cleanest job site Ive ever seen. Normally there would be stuff going on everywhere, messes to clean up, components half fitted. Im guessing they had a clean up before your arrival but still, very impressive to see how neat and tidy everything is mid build. It certainly helps to get the best fit and finish possible so well done SF!
Hey Monte,

Thanks for the congrats! Today was one of the best days of my life. Spent the entire day around the yard, laying things out. What a blast.

The reason the deck has gelcoat and the hull doesn't is that the deck is laid up by hand while the hull is infusion molded. In the future, they want to do infusion on the deck as well, which is a nice upgrade. It means less weight and more strength. Every one of their boats is better than the last. So each owner (myself included) gets to feel envious of the next buyer, becasue they are going to get an even better boat.

As for the neatness around the yard, I was told by George, their sales rep, that I wouldn't believe how clean the yard was. He said the builder ran the tightest ship imaginable. I believe it, having seen the place. And I don't think it was just because of my arrival. Every worker locks their tools away at the end of the day (they are all responsible for their tools. I've been careful to return every tape measure and pencil to where I found it!) And they also take the time to vacuum, sweep, and clean up at the end of the shift. There's no walking away from a job with stuff lying everywhere.

I've gotten to spend time around the crew while they work, and it's an impressive bunch. I mean, they feel like family after two days. We were working with the paddleboard compartment today, and when I arrived with the paddleboard, they had a massive roll of bubblewrap and worked together to tape the entire board up to protect it. I commented on how everyone coordinated without even needing to talk, and how efficient and professional everyone was, and one of the workers mentioned that most of these guys have worked here for ten years or more.

Ten years!! That's a lot of boats built together, and it shows.

As a side note: The paddleboard went into its compartment today for the first time, and the nose intrudes on the galley FAR less than I thought it would. Far less. So we won't have to modify much there. I'm shocked that we're going to get two paddleboards INSIDE the boat without much modification. Just amazing.
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Old 20-04-2015, 08:44   #189
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Originally Posted by Hugh Howey View Post
Hey Monte,

Thanks for the congrats! Today was one of the best days of my life. Spent the entire day around the yard, laying things out. What a blast.

The reason the deck has gelcoat and the hull doesn't is that the deck is laid up by hand while the hull is infusion molded. In the future, they want to do infusion on the deck as well, which is a nice upgrade. It means less weight and more strength. Every one of their boats is better than the last. So each owner (myself included) gets to feel envious of the next buyer, becasue they are going to get an even better boat.

As for the neatness around the yard, I was told by George, their sales rep, that I wouldn't believe how clean the yard was. He said the builder ran the tightest ship imaginable. I believe it, having seen the place. And I don't think it was just because of my arrival. Every worker locks their tools away at the end of the day (they are all responsible for their tools. I've been careful to return every tape measure and pencil to where I found it!) And they also take the time to vacuum, sweep, and clean up at the end of the shift. There's no walking away from a job with stuff lying everywhere.

I've gotten to spend time around the crew while they work, and it's an impressive bunch. I mean, they feel like family after two days. We were working with the paddleboard compartment today, and when I arrived with the paddleboard, they had a massive roll of bubblewrap and worked together to tape the entire board up to protect it. I commented on how everyone coordinated without even needing to talk, and how efficient and professional everyone was, and one of the workers mentioned that most of these guys have worked here for ten years or more.

Ten years!! That's a lot of boats built together, and it shows.

As a side note: The paddleboard went into its compartment today for the first time, and the nose intrudes on the galley FAR less than I thought it would. Far less. So we won't have to modify much there. I'm shocked that we're going to get two paddleboards INSIDE the boat without much modification. Just amazing.
Hugh you can infuse with in mold gelcoat, so I don't know why they aren't. Are they painting these hull's then or post mold gelcoat? (lot of work)
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Old 20-04-2015, 08:49   #190
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

Hugh,
I visited the yard many years ago - literally dropped in on them without any notice - the yard was clean - it was such a surprise that I can recall it clearly. The other yard that was always clean was Fred Scholtz Marine who used to build the Mayotte catamaran.
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Old 20-04-2015, 08:59   #191
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Hugh you can infuse with in mold gelcoat, so I don't know why they aren't. Are they painting these hull's then or post mold gelcoat? (lot of work)
Post mold gelcoat. Not sure why they don't do the gelcoat in the mold, then. I imagine doing it after might be more work but a smoother finish? I'm glad for it, whatever the reason. It means the gelcoat isn't getting beat up while work is going on. I'll ask.
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Old 20-04-2015, 09:00   #192
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Hugh,
I visited the yard many years ago - literally dropped in on them without any notice - the yard was clean - it was such a surprise that I can recall it clearly. The other yard that was always clean was Fred Scholtz Marine who used to build the Mayotte catamaran.
Good to know. It was my impression that it's business as usual for most of the crew. Several seemed surprised to meet me, like they didn't know I was coming. I think they're so busy with the build, that my visit is a distant concern.
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Old 20-04-2015, 09:27   #193
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Post mold gelcoat. Not sure why they don't do the gelcoat in the mold, then. I imagine doing it after might be more work but a smoother finish? I'm glad for it, whatever the reason. It means the gelcoat isn't getting beat up while work is going on. I'll ask.
Man that is going to be a lot of finish work sanding and buffing, post mold gelcoat normally looses some of its gloss retention properties when post mold applied. In the boats I have built I would say the hulls were not beat up during the process at all. Maybe you ought to consider going to a hull color and using Awlcraft 2000, got to be less work than post gelcoat and you could add some pizazz to the boat.
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Old 20-04-2015, 09:45   #194
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Man that is going to be a lot of finish work sanding and buffing, post mold gelcoat normally looses some of its gloss retention properties when post mold applied. In the boats I have built I would say the hulls were not beat up during the process at all. Maybe you ought to consider going to a hull color and using Awlcraft 2000, got to be less work than post gelcoat and you could add some pizazz to the boat.

I think they are using a two part polyurethane on the hulls, they did on mine anyway.


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Old 20-04-2015, 09:49   #195
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Re: St. Francis 50: "Wayfinder"

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Man that is going to be a lot of finish work sanding and buffing, post mold gelcoat normally looses some of its gloss retention properties when post mold applied. In the boats I have built I would say the hulls were not beat up during the process at all. Maybe you ought to consider going to a hull color and using Awlcraft 2000, got to be less work than post gelcoat and you could add some pizazz to the boat.
I agree - post mold gelcoat is a LOT of work. If it was my boat, and I had the choice between paint and gelcoat, I'd go with paint. Paint will also save some significant weight. I actually think you have a great opportunity here.

If they intend to do the same with the deck in the future, I don't understand how they will do the non-skid. Also, the labor involved in gelcoating a deck and cabin would be so high that I can't understand how it makes any economical sense.

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