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Boatbuilding in Vietnam - page 4

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Long Ranger, by Capt. Bill Pike, Photography by Jim Raycroft (continued)

The First Cape Scott

Cape Scott 81 under construction

At press time, Fritz and his colleagues had a letter of intent, positing the construction of an 81-foot expedition yacht (above) to be completed at Song Thu in the near future. “We don’t have a check yet,” Fritz said, “but we trust we soon will. There’s a confidentiality clause in the contract so I can’t tell you much more than that.”

Cape Scott 81

See more about the Cape Scott 81 here ▶

The Cape Scott 81 will be a rare beast if all goes as planned. She’ll lead the way, Fritz predicted, for further launches, some smaller, some larger, but all with Seaton’s salty take on naval architecture and styling and engineering by Song Thu’s experts, with peer review by Donald L. Blount and Associates of Chesapeake, Virginia.

“I want to be able to look an owner in the eye,” Fritz said, “and tell him he can go virtually anywhere in the world and be as safe as you can possibly be in a boat.”

Preliminary specifications support the sentiment. The 81’s hull will be built to Lloyd’s 100 A1 ice-class 1C standards, a rating that bands the entire waterline area with a 3-foot-wide, extra-thick, super-strong swath of steel. Moreover, the propulsion system will feature a couple of commercial-grade, 330-horsepower Cummins QSL9 diesels, turning radically deep, torque-rich, long-haul 3.95:1 ZF marine gears. And the props will be protected by massive, box-beam-type steel grounding shoes, as well as a central keel that’s massive and box-beamy as well.

One final feature, however, will likely push Fritz’s claim to superior seafaring safety over the top—a bilge-dewatering system that is four-ways redundant. Not only will it have Y-valved crash pumps on both main engines, it will also have a bilge/fire pumping system hard-piped into each of the hull’s six watertight compartments (powered either by engine-driven PTOs or a separate, dedicated donkey engine) and an additional pair of conventional 12-volt bilge systems, one for high water and the other for low.

“We expect to begin this coming March,” enthused Fritz,  “which means we’ll probably launch her in the early summer months of 2016—a nice time for you to revisit the shipyard and do a sea trial, eh Bill?”

“Sounds good,” I replied. “I’m guessing Mr. Hai would be pleased to see me again.”

Read more of Capt. Bill Pike's adventures in Vietnam here ▶

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