Atlantic Boat and Marine News and Information
Captain Favorite Returns from Finland
PALMETTO, FL (12/10/07) --

Atlantic Boat and Marine's Captain Merab Favorite returned yesterday after a visit to the Nautors Swan shipyard in Pietarsaari Finland. She will be participating in the delivery of a Swan 42 from the Tampa Bay area to St Barts in the West Indies. From there it is on to Trinidad to check on another vessel. We asked Captain Favorite to keep us up to date on her travels and her contribution of her visit to the Swan shipyard follows.

Looking out over the frozen bay, I wondered just how the Captain thought he was going to get the boat out without scratching the hull of the brand new 75’ Swan on the ice . Beautifully designed, these boats draw attention wherever they go. Sleek and sturdy, they claim to be the best sailboat there is. Just then, a red coast guard vessel arrived to break up the ice so that the boat could leave. The 75 was being delivered to England, from Pietarsaari, a small town located in Northern Finland and the home of Nautor Swan. The crew looked hopeful and nervous as they departed from the canal and headed toward the Baltic Sea, in December, one of the roughest months to do the passage. We stood on the dock and waved goodbye, thankful that it wasn’t us out there in that frozen bay heading out in uncertain circumstances. We turned and headed back to the factory, careful not to slip on the ice that covered the entire surface of the ground surrounding Nautor Swan.

The Nautor Swan factory is new. It was just relocated closer to a power plant so that the water stayed warmer in the winter months and the production line doesn’t slow as much in the harsh weather. The offices were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Modern and minimalistic they are unmistakably where these boats begin. Beautiful boat plan drawings hang over all the desks but vary in content. There is an interior designer, plumber, electrician, electronics consultant, deck designer and as boat project managers we had to meet with all of them. We then toured the construction area and got to see these plans in live scale. There were about five boats being built all at different stages of production. We toured them all and I listened to comments on different things that made each one unique. Touring boats under construction can yield a multitude of ideas. Unfortunately, there was no photography allowed in the factory, all construction is top secret.

When one builds a multimillion dollar boat it is a good idea to hire an independent boat project manager. Of course the company provides a project manager themselves, but it is the independent one that is paid to think up custom details that the company would otherwise not provide. It is the project manager’s job to know everything about the boats and their history. They have to know what warranty issues the boats have had in the past and how to avoid them. They have to know what hardware/products fail and how to upgrade to the best. They have to know what building materials the company uses and how they hold up in whatever climate the boat is going to be exposed to. After all that is decided, the boat project manager then goes back on a regular basis to oversee the construction and make sure the company is doing it as planed. It is a really neat process, that of seeing those boat plans come to life and each aspect included as a whole in the process. It is a wonderful experience and I’m glad I have the chance to be a part of it.


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