Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Christmas Message

One of the things we love about this project is that it that Askari is being built just for us and the guys that are working on her know us. When we were last in the UK we left a message on the bulk head to thank the team for building our beautiful boat, and we just received an email with pictures to approve the chart table layout and got this included.....

We like the chart table layout but LOVE the Christmas message.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Shipping News

We have had highs and lows this week - lows being Andrew having a lot to deal with at work and Carolyn riding over a huge venomous snake on her bike (luckily it didn't attack - but it did make me stop and think you never know where the risks are in life). The high's being attending a cocktail party with our fab new Prime Minister but more importantly shipping stuff to Askari.....

The shipping drama has been ongoing for a while. We had a great AB rib and Yamaha 15HP outboard that we thought we'd like to ship as they were nearly new, but it all just got too hard trying to a) find someone who would take them and b) wouldn't charge more than the replacement cost for doing so.

In the end we sold both and turned to Seven Seas Worldwide to ship a few things; mainly treasures from ReVision II, including Andrew's precious boat tools, galley equipment, some bedding and a few pairs of shoes - Andrew didn't know about the last one til now (of course every girl needs a pair of pink patent high heels on her boat). Oh and of course the spinnaker that Andrew traded for our kayaks and a bit of cash with friends - always the Yorkshireman looking for a deal!

Simon loading the boxes
So far Seven Seas have been excellent and very easy to deal with, so I hope the stuff all arrives okay - apparently it's going on a ship that leaves Fremantle next week and we'll get to track it online.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Video Update - 150 days to go!

It's always such a highlight when we get a new video from Oyster and now that she's really starting to shape and we can see some of the fitout decisions we have made being put into practice it's even more exciting.

We received a video overnight from John at Oyster and as it's a bit rainy today Carolyn has had her first play with iMovie to turn it into this.......

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Deck view

Just found this picture in a file from Oyster - quite a nice view of the deck!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Insurance - arghhhhhh!

Today I have been trying to figure out which insurance company to use for Askari - trying to compare the terms and conditions is one thing, then you get onto the fact that they all have different cruising areas. So I have done the sensible thing for reviewing latitude and longitude positions and get a globe out....

This very technical globe was given to us by Richard Ayers (a fantastic surveyor and friend) who surveyed our last two boats; we have a great story about him as he flew to Mallorca with Andrew when we bought ReVision II and they ended up sleeping the night on a balcony in the middle of winter after a 'bloke in a bar' found them accommodation....

We love this globe and have actually used it for passage planning - here's the proof!  A very young looking Andrew mid Pacific on Rev2 in May 2006; with the same beach ball globe and Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes - both which will of course have to be packed up soon for Askari....

Enough of memory lane - back to the insurance spreadsheet!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sprayhood Options

Today's first world problem is whether or not to have an opening window in the sprayhood/dodger. These small decisions can actually be quite a challenge - the idea that you can zip open the front to let the breeze flow through sounds like a good one, however it does mean a reduction in visibility and the potential for leaks. The consensus appears to be keep it simple and just drop the sprayhood when you need to feel the breeze - but then which one looks better (even though all sprayhoods are ugly)???

Maybe see the options next to each other on the blog will help.....  Ours will be graphite grey though.

Update: We are getting a window......

Sea Sickness

We can't help but feel a bit sick when it's a gorgeous weekend, our boat's being built on the other side of the world and then Karen post's this picture of our favourite spot on Rottnest Island on Facebook - just think one day we'll be there with Askari.....
Stark Bay, Rottnest Island by K Jackson SV Aquavitae

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Surprise - anyone for dinner??

Quite early on in our build process we decided we would like to change the table on our boat. The standard 475 table probably suits most as it's huge and opens our right over the saloon so we starting talking to Oyster about something that would better suit our needs. 

When we eat inside, which is rare as we like sailing in the warm, there is generally only the two of us. We also liked the idea of something that didn't take over the saloon, which we use more for lounging than eating..... So having an opening table that takes up less space, looked chunky and stylish was the solution we came up with. It has a folder out leaf in the middle and drinks storage underneath.

Oyster provided designs and a plan to show how it could fit and we took the plunge to make the change a few months ago. However, when you make a big change like that there's always a thought in your mind that says have we done the right thing....

But look we are delighted with how it looks and our project manager says he thinks it fits neatly and allows a good amount of room for people while being able to open the steps.

It's just been put in place so they can cut the floor boards today so we were not expecting to see it just yet - what a nice surprise and a perfect treat for Andrew after he just completed a 16 hour working day when he got in to see it.

The process of making the change......
The standard
Oh wow - we liked this but no drinks storage.....
Not for us...
Ah this is what we like
Andrew and John making plans on a 575
at the Southampton Boat Show 2014

The plans

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Our New Crew Member

Our last boat had both a wind vane and an electric autopilot, this contingency gave us a lot of comfort given we usually sail with just the two of us. The self steering system acts as our extra crew (they were named Arthur and Malcolm on ReVision II).

As this boat is bigger and we really wanted to have dinghy davits we will have to rely on just one self steering system, which will be a Raymarine Evolution autopilot with linear drive and a spare arm ready for a quick switch over should a failure occur.

We just approved the following installation of the spare arm, which is underneath the bed in the aft cabin and tucks neatly alongside the ducting for the air-conditioning. Now we just need to think of a name for this new member of the crew with his spare arm.....

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cockpit Pedestal

We have just approved the final layout for our pedestal - we have opted to move the Autopilot control to the panel that sits in the companion way and under the spray hood. Given we can control that from the chart plotter at the helm we thought the idea of being able to take control from behind the spray hood made sense..... 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Transom Design

We have just approved the design for the transom vinyl - this is how it will look, complete with the Askari swirl!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A special anniversary

Today is special day as 9 years ago we pulled into Bundaberg on our previous yacht and started making plans for a land life in Australia. We came to Australia with just enough money to make it back to the UK if we couldn't manage to get jobs and a visa, looking back what a great choice we made as the last nine years have been one amazing adventure. We have been to every state, lived in Sydney and Perth had some incredible experiences and met some fabulous people, whilst managing to keep in touch with a lot of special friends from back home plus some we have met along the way.

I shared this memory of the day before we arrived in Queensland (coming from Vanuatu) on my FB page yesterday and got the most likes ever.....

We had planned to go our for an evening sail with friends at Fremantle Sailing Club tonight - however despite being an electrician the batteries were flat (see I am not naming you Mike!) but we had a lovely toast to the last nine years in the cockpit of AV.

Then we got home and yes a video had arrived from Oyster of progress with Askari  - here are some screen grabs.....

You can see they have made amazing progress with the joinery and we are very exciting to see the Washer Drier and Freezer installed - these two items were something we dreamed of having on our last boat and two of Carolyn's three conditions on buying a new boat - the other being the walk around bed. I just don't want to do launderettes of the world again and I have a bit of an obsession with fluffy towels; especially after diving.

The joinery get's put in place and then much of it gets removed for varnishing - probably late January.

Chart Table Coming Together

It's essential on a boat!

Side window in place and water maker control

Galley taking shape - complete with freezer

This is the desk in the aft cabin

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Askari is Registered

We just received confirmation that Askari is registered on the Australian International Ships Register, subject to the SRO receiving the builders certificate when she is complete. This was not a cheap exercise at $1,554 however it is only a one off fee and is a requirement so we just had to pay and move on. Next up we need her MMSI and call sign so they can all be updated on the register.

This does mean the team at Oyster can engrave our electrical distribution panel and start sourcing the imagery that will appear on her stern and boom.

Carolyn is also planning all sorts of customised outfits.... just to wind Andrew up!?! This is fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chart Table Layout Finally Agreed

It's funny, some things we can make decisions on pretty quickly and others have our poor project manager pulling his hair out I'm sure. This has been work in progress for a month but now we have figured it out - phew!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dive Bottles in situ...

When we went to the UK, with quite a lot of drama we took our dive bottles on the plane - seeing them installed on Askari is pretty cool. The first of our belongings to be on the boat.... how exciting....

Friday, September 18, 2015

UK Yard Visit Sept 2015

Just beautiful - our Askari!
Our steering - pretty heavy duty!
We couldn't decide what size Rocna to go for, so John had 3 sizes mocked up for us on the front of Askari - he tries so hard to accommodate us - what a star!

Demonstrating the lift for the TV - you need one of those don't you?!

She's in there....

The cockpit table - we refer to it as the small car.... it is custom made so costs as much!

Perfect Joinery
Aft cabin - port side
Stern - or cocktail deck
Nav Station
No wonder she's so heavy

Yes I can see me spending a lot of time sitting here - maybe with a GnT
We left the builders a little note......

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Good enough for the Grosvenor....

After a really long day at Southampton Boat show yesterday we took the train into London and checked into the Grosvenor Hotel and as soon as I walked in to the room I recognised the fabric on the sofa cushions - yes it was Bronzo!

Bronzo, Sparks by Dedar Fabrics is what we have chosen for our bedhead in the aft cabin, our kick panels in the saloon and the side panel in our bunk cabin. Carolyn particularly loves it as it has a metallic weave which picks up the light and gently shines. It took many hours of working through the books at Passmores to find this fabric and then there it is at the hotel - spooky!

I couldn't resist rearranging the bed to get an impression of what it might look like as a bedhead fabric - we think it will look great.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Just had an amazing day at the Southampton Boat Show and managed to dodge the showers. It was a fun and pretty expensive day but we got some really good stuff!

- 4 Crewsaver ErgoFit 290N Lifejackets - two with automatic AIS beacons for Andrew and I - Crewsaver through in a bag and a knife for each.
- 2 pairs of leather Dubarry Boots (we only sail in bare feet in Australia so this was a bit strange)
- Hot Orange Musto HPX suit for Carolyn - we got a good deal as apparently the orange is being discontinued but I love it.
- Yellow Henri Lloyd Ocean suit for Andrew - who wouldn't conform to team colours (nothing new).
- A gadget hose that shrivels up - no idea if it's any good but we liked the idea.
- Ocean Cruising Club Flag - we love the OCC so will be proud to fly the flying fish on Askari
We also spent some time with many suppliers and learned lots about the equipment we have spec'd.

Andrew always loves to spend lots of time at the Raymarine stand - today was no exception and as a result we have further upgraded our chart plotters.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sails... yes we are going grey

We have been struggling with our sail choices - after all the dacron sails on R2 lasted for years, the main that sailed us all the way from the canaries to Australia and was on the boat when we sold her was made by a tailor from Lanzarote.... we had a lot to learn. We had quotes from a number of sail makers, chatted with friends, Oyster owners, sailmakers and finally after a great Skype call with Jon from Dolphin have settled on DYS with tenara thread and sailkote to make the sails easy to furl away.

Then we saw this and the grey obsession kicked in.....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Name Graphic

This is the draft name graphic we just designed - introducing the Askari swirl..... which in my mind combined with the name means this boat will protect us as we journey in the sunshine....