Fortunately the inspection goes well, as Jack tells me a few weeks after my yard visit: “I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we wanted in that boat, and Vripack designed it right on, and Burger finished it just so,” he says. “It’s exactly what Marilyn and I had in mind.”
Indeed, the craftsmen feel they’ve never seen anything better. Millwork manager Mike Mitchell leads me into the space that will become the new finishing room. It’s 17’L x17’Wx10’H, big enough to accommodate a downdraft spray machine and curing booths. The idea is to get a more precise finish than even the best craftsman can attain by hand, even with the estimated 15 coats of polyurethane called for in Time for Us. That, plus using Burger’s new four-axis router to make raised panels the way they’re done in Europe and finishing all corners of the dovetailed drawers beyond the builder’s usual standards, is what lies ahead for Mitchell’s team.
Anthony Forward, left, was hired as director of fitout. Among his many tasks is to ensure that internal components and equipment such as plumbing runs are more carefully aligned than they traditionally have been on Burger builds. Here, he looks over plans with the company's director of design, Ron Bellman.
HAPPY OWNER, LOOKING AHEAD
For all their involvement and unprecedented demands, Jack and Marilyn truly love the yacht that they see Burger building.
“They’re working two shifts, they’ve brought in new people, and I know they’re making progress,” Jack says. “I think probably the scariest thing is time schedules. I have no question about quality; everybody’s very happy with quality. I want [the yard] to have the ability to show it. If they miss Lauderdale, it’ll probably be wandering around the world where people won’t get to see it.”
To his mind, getting the yacht right is more important than getting her done quickly. He’s still looking forward to celebrating the launch with a party for the craftsmen and their families, a celebration that he and the key players seem to feel is not just a christening for a new yacht, but for the yard’s future.
“Building a boat can cause a lot of confusion,” Jack says. “There’s always tension. But these are good people. I’ve talked to people who are building boats, and they turn into messes. But we’re all in this together. When some of the workers were talking to some of the crew when we laid the keel, they were really excited about it. The welding crew, some of them had never been on a finished boat before. They’re good people, and it’s amazing how many say, ‘Hi Jack, how’s it going?’
“I told Marilyn, ‘I’ve looked at a lot of boats, and I’ve been on a lot of big boats. I think they’re accomplishing something really unique with ours.’”
Burger Boat Company
BUILDING BURGER'S BIGGEST
Part One: The Vision
In the first of a three-part series, we go inside to follow a 155-foot yacht from concept to completion.
Part Two: The Construction
Team turnovers and learning-curve delays threaten the delivery timetable for the 155-foot Time for Us.
Time for Us = Time for You?
Time for Us is available for sale.
This article originally appeared in the February 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.