Welcome to Our Blog

Thank you for sharing in our journey of building a Fusion Catamaran! We are so excited to be able to chronicle our adventure for our family, friends, and supporters, from our initial decision to (hopefully) a successful launch and beyond. Please post your comments, questions, and cautionary tales-we love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

Since our last post, the XYZZY build has made tremendous progress, albeit in the face of numerous small detours.  The best sailing advice I've ever heard is to never, ever sail to a schedule.  Don't promise to be in a port, at an airport, or on a plane at any scheduled time when the means of travel is by sailboat.  Do not attempt to use any prepositional phrase that commits you to a schedule in the same sentence as "sail". And the same goes for building a sailboat, as well, I have discovered.

Shortly after our last post, we met with our carpenter to review the installation schedule, only to find that his projected costs had somehow left out a number of steps that we'd counted on, including the installation and finishing of the carpentry in the boat! Not sure how you bid a project and leave out the installation, but now our antennae were raised. Now he wanted additional amounts to really finish the job. So we pressed a bit more to obtain a final cost commitment, and at the same time began looking for another carpentry firm to take over in case we ran into a dead-end. What a surprise to find when we walked into DoveTail's shop, that they were already working on our project! It seems that our carpenter had taken on another (apparently more lucrative) job, and subbed ours out without telling us!  The good news was that they were already familiar with the project and their work is the work we'd been seeing all along.  The bad news was that they were unaware of the schedule. (There's that word again...) When all was straightened out, we found ourselves several weeks behind where we need to be to make a late September launch date.

Our sights are now tentatively set on bringing XYZZY to the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show at the end of October, which means a mid-October launch date. Stay tuned on this; I refuse to use the word "schedule" in conjunction with this plan.  Oh yes, "plan" is another word to avoid when discussing sailing :) .

We did a test raising of the mast and rigging on July 7th; here are some of the photos from that day:

Riggers from Mack arrive right on time!
Our mast and roller-furling boom
Where do all these lines go??


Everything went very well and the riggers from Mack Sails completed all of their preparations for a later, final mast-raising without issue.  It seemed too good to be true.  It was; a few days later, with the mast safely tucked away along the yard fence, Dennis decided to measure it.  (He has had a burning desire to know the eventual height of the boat off the water since Day One, to reassure himself that we'll be able to navigate under the 65' fixed bridges of the ICW without a problem.  To accomplish this, we had ordered the mast to be 54' tall.)  Guess what?  The mast was NOT 54' feet; it was 59'!  It had been ordered through Mack from Selden, in France, and somewhere along the way the height detail was lost, and they made it the "standard" Fusion 40 height.  Fortunately, we realized it now, and not when we were approaching the first bridge, so we were able to have them trim it by 4 feet and bring it within acceptable range.  Another bullet dodged.  But after a few of these, you begin to wonder about what you don't know or haven't thought of, and confidence gets shaken (at least mine did).

Since the majority of the labor-intensive fairing, fiberglassing, sanding, buffing, polishing has been completed, now the biggest challenge is to manage the vendors who are arriving to install their portion of the project.  Each sub-project requires the right parts, the right completed materials, and often, the right weather to proceed.  There is a daily dance of readjusting what will happen next and who will be working at the yard as we deal with rain, mis-delivered parts, unavailable parts, etc.  Watching this from our vantage point can be frustrating, and we've learned to sharpen our meditation skills, to achieve a degree of equanimity about the situation!  But bit by bit, the whole comes together from the pieces, and as fewer and fewer puzzle pieces are left on the table, the way forward becomes clearer and more certain.  (As my kids will tell you, I've never been much of a puzzle person; just don't have the patience!)

Here are some pics of recent progress:
Front salon windows
Galley Window
Sliding Door
Hull Windows and Rub Rail

Salon Windows from Inside
Bamboo Veneer being Installed
More Veneer
Hatches and Headliner Preparation Inside


Hatches from Outside

Targa Bar Goes Back On Permanently - Last Piece of the Kit
Deck Hardware Being Mounted

Installing Sail Tracks

Cork Flooring Gets Installed
Cork with Grout - Master Bath

Salon Flooring Being Installed

Cockpit and Helm Station

Bow Pulpits

Handrails along Sugar Scoops

Stanchions for Lifelines

Laying out Helm Station
Helm Station

Corian Countertops
Guest Bath Sink & Cabinet Door

In the coming weeks, we will be finishing the interior, exterior, systems and rigging, getting ready for a launch date.  Did I say "plan"?  Nope! But the tentative date is October 9th or 10th, so if you're in the area, let us know and we'll tell you when the show begins.

What a View!




  1. We remember this stage well!! Please keep us updated on the launch party as we would love to be there for yours as you were gracious enough to be there for ours! Tom and Cas

  2. Wishing you both nothing less than best of luck and warm wishes on your dream yacht.