Part 2: Mixing old technology with new in what he admits was the ultimately unrealized hope of saving money.
By Capt. Bill Pike — September 2005
Edson’s next call was to former Garden employee and famous designer in his own right, Greg Marshall. I had met Marshall at his design studio outside Victoria, British Columbia, in the course of one of several visits to LaConner as the 85 project matured from a calm, collected beginning in December 2000 to a frantic, round-the-clock finale in October 2003. Having flown up to Victoria from LaConner in a small Cessna with Edson in the morning, I had all day to talk with Marshall and his employees and figure out precisely how their drawings would inspire both the exterior lines and the interior layout of the 85. Again the reasons were simple. Marshall had state-of-the-art electric modeling capability, a creative staff, and offered one other significant advantage: He was open to suggestion. Some designers would have declared it absolutely impossible to create a finely balanced, sweet-running big sister to the 65 that featured four en suite-head-equipped staterooms (master aft, VIP forward, plus guests port and starboard) forward of the engine room and two more staterooms and a lounge aft for crew. But not Marshall. He sensed challenge and laid in extra stores of midnight oil.
Edson pulled a bunch of subcontractors into the mix as soon as Garden and Marshall had done their darndest. Thanks to virtual models transmitted via 3D modeling software, the five-axis mills of Janiki Industries in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, soon began work on plugs for bow and stern sections of the hull. Mixing old technology with new in what he admits was the ultimately unrealized hope of saving money, Edson also hired Townsend Bay Marine of nearby Port Townsend, Washington, to loft and fair by hand the part of the hull plug that would fit between Janiki’s computer-milled bow and stern sections.
The dust began flying at Townsend Bay as soon as the parts came from Janiki. Courtesy of stacks of MDF (medium-density fiberboard), a two-story, dinosaur-like skeleton of frames, an array of three-man fairing boards, numerous five-gallon pails of fairing compound, an old-fashioned water level, and an assortment of plumb bobs, the midsection began taking shape. Then finally it was fitted and faired into the inboard ends of the Janiki parts and used to create a complete hull mold, which was then stabilized in a cradle of crisscrossed steel supports and installed in Edson’s big white tent.
Janiki did the deck mold solo. Because Edson’s philosophy for the 85 specified a solid one-piece deck molding that would include virtually everything forward of the swim platform and above the hull sides—i.e., cockpit, superstructure, side decks, and bulwarks—the deck plug and the mold made from it were incredibly, almost scarily, complex. And while Janiki’s engineers ran computer checks for areas of “negative draft” that would preclude pulling the part from the finished mold, Edson once told me the anxiety he felt while overseeing the first iteration of the process in his freshly minted lamination shop was considerable. “There was a pucker factor to it,” he admitted, “No doubt.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.