The Amazing Journey by Stephen Seal

Queensland, Australia: I’m just flying back from Australia, where I went to see our new boat.  In case you haven’t heard, we are naming it BOOYAA!  We closed on the boat this week and I flew to Australia to take a look at it before it is shipped to Seattle.

This has been about a 2 ½ year project, and has been a really fun, amazing journey.  When I first learned about this boat, it was a mere CAD drawing on the architect’s computer.  It has been really cool to see it develop from concept to reality.

I cannot begin to express my excitement over how good the boat looks and how much fun it is going to be to actually get to use it.  Riviera, the company building the boat, and my Broker, Rob Scott, have done an absolutely amazing job throughout the entire process, and it has been a PROCESS.  It would have been much simpler if we had just ordered a stock boat. But, since we know how we will use the boat, and we have some specific needs (did I mention TUNA fishing?), we made dozens of custom changes.

The boat has three engines, and they use a new technology called IPS which allows you to dock the boat with a joystick.  There is a “pod” under each engine, and the propellers rotate 360 degrees, so thrust can be applied in any direction (left, right, forward, back), so you can literally drive the boat sideways. 

This is the second time I have visited the factory.  I have been shocked by the number of craftsmen it takes to build a boat like this (electricians, fiberglass workers, plumbers, stainless steel craftsmen, wood workers, upholsters, glass workers, painters, etc…).  The number of systems, and the amount of wiring, controls, breakers, plumbing, etc… is astounding…  It is basically a highly functioning home, that floats, and makes it’s own water and electricity.

We will have a SeaKeeper stabilizer installed in Seattle. When you turn it on, it takes 30 minutes to warm up, rotates at well over 10,000 RPM, and keeps the boat from pitching and rolling when you are in choppy or rough water. It is basically a large, very heavy gyro.   Instead of the boat rolling around, the boat sits still and the stabilizer rolls.

I say it’s nearly-finished because, once it reaches Seattle, there will still be 2-3 months of work to outfit the boat with things like navigation electronics, water maker, ice chipper, radar, satellite TV, antennas, radios, etc…

Master stateroom.  One of the cool parts about the Pod drives I mentioned above is that the engines can be moved way aft of where they would normally be, leaving lots of room for a huge, full-beam master.  This is very rare in a boat this size.

The galley comes with three refrigerators and a freezer, ice maker, dishwasher, microwave, stove and oven.

Neil, the guy who designed the boat from the waterline up.  He has been great to work with.  Rob and I made many suggestions and custom changes which he gladly accommodated.  I can’t say enough good things about the way they have handled all aspects of the custom changes we made.