Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The end of the beginning!

So, the boat show is over - we had hundreds and hundreds of people looking over Calypso. Many were lovers of the Contessa 32, had owned one, or sailed on one or had admired them from afar. We found there were plenty of people who looked rather relieved to be resting their eyes on Calypso's beautiful lines and we were regularly treated to the compliment - "at last, a proper boat".
Lots of people had read about Calypso in the Summer and October issues of Practical Boat Owner . As always, Jeremy was in hot demand from Contessa owners past and present and he and Fiona's encyclopaedic memory of boat names and owners came in handy on lots of occassions. "Ah yes, I remember, Triador, 1974 - he was a hairdresser"! Calypso's green features created a lot of interest from the general public and the press - we even had the style editor of the Shanghai Times on board!
On Sunday, we took an order for another new boat and on Monday, Kit and I had our first sail on Calypso. We motored silently off the pontoon under the proud gaze of Graeme Hawksley from Hybrid Marine - very cool. My sister, who has been looking after our children for the boat show, came too. It was her first trip in a sailing boat - and she took to it like a duck to water, steering the boat upwind in 25 knots of breeze. It was a beautiful end to one hell of a project. Thank you for following - and thank you to all those who've helped to make it happen. Of course, it's not really over, we've still got to put the hybrid system through its paces, and give a proper trial to all the gear we've put on the boat. There's a plan to make a video of cooking at sea with the guys from GN Espace, (I thought cooking with kids at sea could be fun - or at least, chaotically amusing)! So, next stop - see you there!
Thank you!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Star of the show!

The Southampton Boat Show is in full swing and Calypso is arguably the star of the show! Well, maybe I'm a little biased but we certainly have had more than our fair share of visitors. People are really interested in all the green features - I reckon we've definitely saved a fair few rainforest trees by converting people to Kebony, and the electric drive on the Hybrid engine is being put through its paces, as we motor back and forward on our mooring in stealth mode - it really is unbelievable quiet. There 's a lot to show to people with so many different project partners (see list on the left for links) but it has been great fun and immensely satisfying to show it all off to the public and the industry, not to mention meeting so many people who appreciate and understand what a great boat the Contessa 32 is. Today was the fifth anniversary of The Green Blue so I went to the party at the RYA tent - it was great to hear the head honchos of the RYA and the BMF embracing so warmly into their bosom what must have been viewed by some as a bit of a whacky add-on when it first started.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


The day we've all been waiting for. Calypso is where she belongs, in the water! She was launched by Jeremy and Fiona's grandchildren (or most of them). A bottle of finest Gospel Green was smashed very firmly over the bow by Hattie - the eldest grandaughter. Why the beanies?? Well, it's the Calypso connection - they're a tribute to Jacques Cousteau and his Calypso. Work still continues, mast up, sprayhood fitted and final touches completed by an army of workers scurrying over the boat. The Hybrid Marine engine is working perfectly, with futuristic looking buttons embedded into the tiller. Tomorrow she goes up to the Southampton Boat Show - she looks gorgeous, the Kebony deck and toerail is just beautiful - all in all, a very special yacht - well done all of you involved. More soon!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Release the foul!

This is the way forward, it has to be - instead of covering the boat with toxic paint every year or couple of years, you cover the bottom of the boat in a two part paint which is so slippery nothing in the foul family can really get its toes in. This technology is called foul release and is widely used in shipping and by the military. The reason isn't because they are particularly concerned about the environmental impact of putting copper based paint into the sea - although they recognise that legislation will be coming and it will be good to be ahead of the game - no, it's because the fuel savings on boats treated in this way are gargantuan! Calypso is the first yacht to be treated with a new product by Hempel called Hempasil X3 - a four part process including two coats of epoxy, a tie coat and then the X3. Hempel take the application process extremely seriously, we had to employ a Hempel expert for 3 days to oversee the application and a dedicated sprayer with special airless spray equipment came to do the coating. Our 20sq metres seemed like an absolute doddle, as his last spray job had been a ship in a dry dock of 7000sqm! The product is guaranteed for 10 years, and although it works on the principal that anything green slides off when you move at around 7 knots, it should work fine on Calypso. It's so slippery that a simple rub with a sponge on a pole every so often will remove anything determined enough to try to grow on her hull. We are really intrigued to see how it works, and we'll also be trialling an Ultrasonic Antifouling system recently installed into the boat which can be switched on and off. I'll keep you posted on the next blog "Sailing Calypso".

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The writing's on the boat!

It may seem like a detail but getting the right colour, font, sizing, positioning for the name took a bit of thinking about. We decided on gold because, although it sounds a bit blingy, (I did take a bit of convincing)! it's traditional and I have to admit it looks really good on a boat with classic lines like a Contessa 32. Trevor the local signwriter is a real artist - and as worked away on Calypso he lamented the fact that he spent less time doing free hand, creative work and more and more time doing transfers on the computer. The rest of Calypso is coming on at a fast pace, blogging will have to increase to a rate of Kit - at least twice a week - as the Boat Show fast approaches - 10th September - (for any one who's interested, and is close enough, we are berth number M502). More soon!