Altisa VII 1/2 — By
Labor of Love
|Part 2: “If there was a problem or a question, Stanley would literally yank his cellphone out of his pocket and get the answer.”|
On May 15, 2002, the Hanins shook hands with the younger Bronstien and left the yard without signing on. It was a clear, sunny day, and they wanted to head up the coast a bit to think things over. “We were ten miles north of Fort Pierce when we hit a massive underwater object,” Stanley says. “It was the worst I’ve seen in 33 years of boating. It was the first time I ever hit anything that made me say, ‘Where are the life preservers?’”
And so the Hanins found themselves back at Rybovich Spencer, seeking a haul-out. “They used that time to convince us that they were the yard for the job,” Stanley says. About two weeks later, the Hanins were ensconced in a Fort Lauderdale condo they rented to be close to the yard. Stanley visited every single day. “At first, we thought they’d be intimately involved for the first month, then get bored and take a few months off,” Bronstien says. “But that never happened.”
Interior project manager Al Genduso says the Hanins were the most involved owners he’s known in 31 years in the business. “If there was a problem or a question, Stanley would literally yank his cellphone out of his pocket and get the answer,” Genduso recalls. “He’d call whoever you needed, anywhere in the world, to get that answer on the spot. Had it not been for that, you couldn’t have done that project in nine months.”
Simultaneously building the aft-deck extension and the new interior meant the yard had to block the inside of the boat to keep fiberglass from flowing inside during renovations. Only after the extension was in place could workers knock through the rebuilt bulkheads to build the crew quarters, the aft-deck dinette and seating, and the three-burner Jenn-Air “aft galley” Frannie wanted to keep the grandkids well fed but outside while dripping wet in the Bahamas.
Meanwhile, the saloon underwent structural changes—adding a formal dining room and moving the day head, closet, and entertainment system to create a more open space—and a dramatic makeover that carries through the yacht in mahogany and anigre. “The other boat had 29 colors of paint,” Frannie says. “This one has three.”
The staircases that lead from the saloon to the pilothouse and the master cabin were among the most difficult tasks, Genduso says. Workers had to build them over the existing open-frame aluminum stairs, then add veneers, molding, and shapes that felt soft to the hand. “The one transition from the top of the newel post to the handrail, Al (Genduso) must have done at least four samples just to get that transition right,” Pirofsky explains.
Below decks, workers from Williams Detroit Diesel in Savannah, Georgia, majored both engines, installing all new parts except the blocks. Stanley also had Naiad upgrade his 25-hp, 12-inch bow thruster to a 62-hp, 16-inch model. “I can go ahead and move sideways in a hurricane,” he says.
He’s most excited, though, about the new electronics, which he had Electronics Unlimited in Fort Lauderdale deliver to the condo so he could learn the systems. (“I never went aground,” he says with a smile.) His two favorite new toys are a C. Plath gyrocompass and an Integrated Shipboard Information System (ISIS), which monitors everything right down to the seal on the bridge’s freezer door. Stanley can even view ISIS from the new 42-inch flat-screen TV in the master stateroom, where he also has new electronics just above his nightstand—an owner-operator’s dream. “It’s very comforting to sleep at the anchor with the radar, position, and depth right there,” he says.
When the Hanins saw Altisa VII 1/2 finished this February at the yard, they knew they’d gone over budget and spent more than it would have cost them to build new, but they didn’t care. The couple had the second dream home of their retirement, and they made sure everybody knew it. “The quality, the workmanship, the attitudes, and the helpfulness that have been displayed in the past nine months have been absolutely the best,” Stanley told 225 Rybovich Spencer employees at a farewell barbecue he and Frannie threw. And with that, the Hanins invited all the workers and their families aboard for a tour before serving up a roast pig and passing out hundreds of Altisa VII 1/2 T-shirts.
A short time later, the Hanins left the yard much the same way they had arrived: just the two of them with their baby, and with tears in their eyes.
This article originally appeared in the August 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.