Jan 2 2007 - Kyle
My first visit to the factory since the boat began production. I left Prydwen at 3:30am for the drive to PCI. I half expected them to be taking a day (or at least a whole morning) after the New Year’s holiday. I got there right at 9am and the place was bustling. Will and Laura were typically gracious (I always feel like I am intruding).
Will took me to the shop floor to meet the molding crew, who were all very nice and in good cheer. One guy asked if I owned the boat next to us. I looked at Will. “Yeah, that’s your boat” he said. The worker thanked me for his pay check/cheque. I also met the mold supervisor who was very friendly. I pulled him aside and asked if he was being treated well by the company. He answered “yes sir, they take real good care of me here”. He asked me if I planned to do a lot of sailing in this boat. “We are going to sail the crap out of this thing” I answered. He gave me a knowing look and then said “You are going to sail it around the world aren’t you?”. “If I’m lucky and smart enough to get that far I will” I said.
I turned to look at the boat – really just the hull and interior molds so far. It didn’t look that extraordinary – just like any other boat on the line. Actually, at that point it looked more like a dust covered extra fancy hot tub. In it sat a brand new, never been used, shiny red engine. I took a walk around it. It was solid and it looked so big. I took it in. This just wasn’t any boat-on-the-production-line tour, this was our actual boat. The one Maryanne and I would spend years living on and sailing. This hot tub looking thing would some day constitute our whole world when we were at sea.
Will told me they would be popping the deck out of its mold in about half an hour – after the workers took a break. I went to the demo model at the dock and spent some time taking measurements and figuring out how we were going to install things.
After the break, Will took me down to the shop floor to watch the deck come out of the mold. The mold was raised up, spun upside-down and then moved over the hull. The whole deck assembly, mold and all, was carefully aligned and gently lowered over the hull, touching down with a kind of sickening crunch as the edges popped into place. There was more banging as shims were hammered in to break the deck free of its mold. Finally, there was a pause. Everyone took up position to help steady, then the mold slowly rose clear. Our hot tub, suddenly became a boat for the first time in its life. Its gleaming gel coat newer than it would ever be again. I stood amazed at the transformation from about half an hour ago when it looked like a big, oddly shaped chunk of fiberglass. Now it looked like a boat, something I wanted to live in and take places. I felt very privileged to have been there to have witnessed that moment, a moment that I knew I would remember as the very beginning of all the ones that would come after.
Afterwards, I went to ocean options to speak to Jeff Hamilton (the manager) about our Espar forced air heater installation. He was very helpful and promised to get on detailed installation plans later that day. I then called Peter Kennedy to see if he had any time. He said he could give me 5 minutes, but really gave me 30. He listened very carefully to what Maryanne and I wanted and offered good advice. He promised to get a final estimate for us that night (which he did).
Having accomplished all that I’d hoped to by mid-day, I headed home feeling good. I couldn’t help but remember the mold raising up to reveal our new boat, and I had the same thought going over and over in my head; “that was soooooo… cool”