Posted by: Carol | January 14, 2009

Circa Marine

2009 New Zealand

cbpphoto_d3_20090112_whangarei-0011Monday morning it was down to business – back to Circa Marine for in depth discussions and exploration of the boat. Todd Rickard, the FPB64 project manager, had flown in from Seattle the previous day. He gave us a detailed computer-aided presentation of design details and issues to be resolved. Among other things, it’s time to pick out colors, fabrics, and all the fittings necessary for the interior decor – I have an overwhelming collection of samples – ultrasuede, ultraleather, awning fabric, rubber

flooring, deck nonskid coating, cherry wood paneling, carpet, kitchen countertops and much more – even antifoul paint comes in a rainbow of colors! I was invited to sit and lie on assorted thicknesses of foam which will be transformed into bed mattresses and sofa cushions.

Our boat hull is some 80% complete and is perched on supports in the main warehouse with workers crawling over and through it with welding torches. Next to our hull is hull number two being built for a buyer from Washington state. Off in a corner of the aluminum fabrication warehouse pallets of flat aluminum sheets are stacked – the future hull number three!

We visited a fenced-in area where all the goods purchased in the U.S. and shipped in to New Zealand via container ship are stored for future use on our boat – toilets, water pumps, generator, watermaker, wiring and cabling, pallets of insulation foam, on and on – looking like a little marine store warehouse. In another area diesel mechanics were working on the FPB’s future 250 horsepower John Deere engine, and in the machine

shop they were fabricating hand-made aluminum fittings of all shapes and sizes. Most impressive was the boat’s main entrance door to the interior which was so heavy and robust it looked suitable for a submersible! At one end of the aluminum fabrication warehouse the computer-aided plasma cutter was cutting patterns into sheets of flat aluminum plate; in another area the flat plates are stroked and coaxed into suitable curved shapes, a human labor intensive process that takes nearly a week of massaging for each panel!

In the joinery shop woodworkers were well underway with the cabinetry. Both bed frames had been completed and placed on life sized floor templates of their respective cabins. Cabinets and drawers were actively under construction; elsewhere the molded shower stall has been cast. Here we held an in depth conversation regarding the width of the master toilet compartment, aided by the accurate measurements of the template layout – ultimately deciding on an adjustment to the floorplan!

We spent two full days at Circa, ending our visit joining some of the key personnel for another evening out at ‘a Deco. This morning we’re packing our suitcases and heading off to the Tree Tops Lodge in Rotorua. The sun is shining and we’re looking forward to the recreational part of our vacation.



  1. This is incredible!! How facinating and exciting. You must feel really overwhelmed with decisions to be made on the interior design. Yikes! Is anyone helping with this???


  2. Peggy forwarded the link to your site. WHAT A PROJECT! You’re building a house…
    I’m also enjoying your New Zealand pictures and stories. We were there last January and really love the country and the people. I’m going to subscribe to your blog so I can enjoy it all…

  3. Have fun you two!! Sounds like a real adventure. Can we help you smash the champagne on the hull!! ??
    Love, Peggy and Jon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: