Miranda Merron: April newsletter
Miranda Merron: April newsletter
It is proving difficult to find the time to write news while fully immersed in boat building.
We get to play week in week out with a wide variety of tools, including brushes and rollers for laminating and painting, the jigsaw, the orbital sander, screwdrivers, sandpaper and the many other implements commonly found in boatyards, and which bit by bit transform a hull into a boat.
However, we now have the satisfaction of seeing that all this work is indeed paying off, even if the process is rather lengthy and meticulous.
We are still without a title sponsor which means that we are having to cover all areas, and it is quite a challenge to juggle the boat build, design of certain pieces, decisions on equipment, daily management of the yard including ordering supplies… as well as devoting time to the search for a title sponsor for the campaign to see the light of day.
Despite all this, and as ever thanks to our technical partners, the boat is progressing and taking shape.
One of the signs of progress is being able to paint large parts of the interior, and it is amazing what a difference a few hours of painting makes (and especially the many, many hours of preparation prior to painting!). All of a sudden we feel that we have taken a big step forward.
We are lucky to count International amongst our technical partners and you can see what a difference their products make in the before and after photos here.
International has supported Halvard in various campaigns since 1989. Half Tonner, Figaro 1 and Figaro 2, Imoca Open 60, 60’ multihull, Maxi catamaran, Maxi monohull … It is a pleasure to be able to rely on the expertise of a loyal partner. Beyond the quality and reliability of the products themselves, we particularly appreciate being able to draw on the advice of a team we know well and who always know which product to recommend for which particular use, as well as tips on how to get the best out of each product. We would like to thank Vincent Deloof and the various distributors, such as HDS in Le Havre, with whom we have a long-standing relationship. And there are the “men in the shadows”, the technicians in the laboratories, who are always available to address specific requirements and concoct the right product. Over the years, Halvard has often had the opportunity to confer with these “alchemists” and trial new products. These exchanges have been beneficial to both parties, since some of these experiments have led to a competitive edge, and there is no better test bed than a race boat which probably covers more miles in a season than average cruising boat does in twenty years, and in diverse waters.
While the boat build itself is underway in the yard, there are also some essential components in build elsewhere. In our last newsletter, we talked about the uppermost part (the mast), and now it is time to divulge some information about the underneath part (the keel).
And on this subject, we are delighted to announce that a major partner has joined our project. We have the honour of welcoming DCNS to our group of technical partners.
DCNS is recognised worldwide for its expertise in shipbuilding and its mastery of advanced technology with steel, and it builds some of the best submarines in the world. This partnership is a huge contribution to our project, as DCNS is to build our keel. This crucial item, both in terms of performance and safety, will be built in high strength steel, and DCNS’s expertise with this material guarantees that the keel will be perfectly built with impeccable workmanship.
In our next newsletter, we will revisit this partnership and show how the keel is manufactured step by step at the DCNS Cherbourg facility.
Not only do we have an illustrious, efficient and competent partner in DCNS, but we are also fortunate to be geographically close to one of their sites. It is in Cherbourg that the submarines are built, and that is also where our keel will be built. The Cotentin peninsula (Cherbourg Peninsula) is home to some serious technological expertise and it augurs well that our project is able to benefit from this.
Our yard in Barneville Carteret is only thirty kilometres from Cherbourg and it is there that we will fit the keel and launch the boat for the first time. For that final part, we are lucky to have the services of JMV Industries, another Cotentin company with a solid reputation worldwide, and whose many high tech composite boats have excelled on all the planet’s oceans and in the greatest of ocean races… However, we still have a fair amount of work ahead of us before we can transport the boat Cherbourg.
Other than that, we sincerely hope that a title sponsor will come on board in time to show what can be achieved with all this effort. Despite the fact that the start date of the Global Ocean Race is fast approaching, we remain optimistic and we are making progress.