Category Archives: AT 395 Construction

Shakedown – Part 4 – Generators, Autopilots, Dinghies and Bellingham

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Squalicom Marina, Bellingham.

We didn’t really want to spend three days in Bellingham, but we are realistic about shaking down a brand new boat and understand that a certain amount of delay and cruising interruption is normal.  This is actually our second interruption, as we already spent three days in Anacortes for the same reasons: our dinghy and our generator. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 4 – Generators, Autopilots, Dinghies and Bellingham

The Maiden Voyage

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Bruce savors the moment.

On Saturday, April 1st we officially took delivery of our new boat.  (April Fool’s, anyone?  We hope not.). We moved aboard that afternoon.  It was kind of a heady moment, something that we had anticipated for roughly a year.  And now it was real.  Unbelievably, the sun magically came out from behind the clouds.  We took a bottle to the flybridge to try to relax and let it all soak in.  The next morning the sun came out also.  Good omens of times to come. Continue reading The Maiden Voyage

Pulling It All Together

IMG_2614The hull is a gentle green – the gel coat name is Sea Shell Green – and the decks and superstructure are a soft white.  The name on the transom is gold and black, understated but with a touch of fun in the font choice.  The pinstriping detail around the eyebrow, upper deck and stack is a muted red.

So what would one expect to discover upon stepping aboard and peeking inside?  Well, if this were just any boat one might find a muted natural-color upholstery, a soft tan carpet, and perhaps some throw pillows with a splash of color to remind of the Sea Shell Green hull.

But No!  Not on ESMERALDE!  That would be boring! Continue reading Pulling It All Together

The Big Day

Right on schedule: she splashed.

From the very beginning of this project, the folks at American Tug described the completion and launch of the boat as “late March”.  And what do you know? On March 30 they dropped her in the water.  That pretty much describes our entire experience with American Tug: 100% on everything.  More on that later.

Here is a video of the launch, which took place at 8:30 am, and the sea trial, which started at 9:45 and ended successfully at 11:15.


Continue reading The Big Day

Pre-Launch Boat Video

Esmeralde is within a week of being launched and sea-trialed.  Naturally, we are jittery with anticipation.

We have tried to document the build process along the way as best we could from a distance (across the country).  Now that we are literally sleeping and eating within a stone’s throw of the boat, we are going a little nuts.

Here is some video of the boat yesterday, Sunday, while the builders were taking a well-deserved break in the action.

(For those of you who migh not be able to see the video on YouTube, you should be able to see it on Vimeo.)

Meet The Tug

D4AB0153-240C-49F1-8EC0-2EE3AB57BBAAThe new ESMERALDE.  We met her in person for the first time today at her birthplace in LaConner, WA.  A very exciting, long-anticipated day.  We probably look totally goofy and giddy in some of these pictures, but the reality is that we felt a little but that way as we explored our new baby.

We also met some of the great folks at American Tug/Tomco Marine who are building her: Kurt Dilworth, who has been our ever-patient and wise counselor throughout the process, Cheryl Stinson, Mike Schoppert, and a bunch of the men and women on the factory’s floor and in the purchasing and supply offices — all great people who have done excellent work as our oat has come together over the last seven months. Continue reading Meet The Tug

One Month and Counting…

Our boat is scheduled for completion in less than a month.  While the good folks at Tomco will not (understandably) put a pin on the calendar, they have consistently targeted “late March” and are still holding to that goal.

These photographs are from early this week — the last days of February — so we are truly in countdown mode.

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The galley takes shape.  Our VitriFrigo is an upgrade from the standard NovaKool, and we think we will enjoy much better performance from its two compressors, additional insulation, a freezer drawer and better space.  The countertop has been installed and is weighted down with cement buckets. The sinks are in, and the stove is ready to go.  I can smell dinner!

Continue reading One Month and Counting…