Antipole cruises

First visit to the factory

We have just got back from our first visit to the Alubat chantier to inspect Antipole in build.  We took the night ferry from Portsmouth to Ouistreham/Caen and then drove down to Les Sables d’Olonne, north of La Rochelle.   We got a good tour of the factory, which is impressive, with lots of boats in various stages of build.

The aluminium work and welding of Antipole is just being completed.  As well as the hull and deck structure, the various fittings were being attached. We are having as much as possible in the way of cleats and hand-holds etc. welded on at this stage both for strength and to avoid the usual problems when fittings are screwed on later.  We returned the next morning for another look and were surprised by how much progress had been made by the evening shift.  The supporting struts had mostly been cut off and the welding joins were being polished off.  You can see the shiny aluminium in this photo of the deck.

In this next photo you can see the sugar-scoop stern, which makes for easy boarding from a dinghy and also serves as an excellent bathing platform.  On the left side is a recess where the bathing ladder will go.  Note the stern arch, which will carry equipment such as radar, the wind generator and aerials well out of the crews’ way.

Inside, the cabin space is, at this stage, just hard metal ribs and it is not at all cosy.   Only the engine is already in place, having been installed before the deck was fixed on.

On Thursday we drove back to Caen before taking the night crossing to Portsmouth.  It seemed curious to arrive back this morning with the whole day ahead.

That’s it for now – more news in about a month!

5 thoughts on “First visit to the factory

  1. heleen

    Heee sailors,
    Wat een schip!!! Geweldig. Mijn zeilgeschiedenis was op een (stalen) schip van 12 meter en dat vond ik heel groot. Kan mij voorstellen dat het echt een “antipole” is met jullie vorige zeilboot. Trouwens, heeft jullie Santana inmiddels een nieuwe eigenaar?
    Ik blijf de ontwikkelingen rond jullie schip via de blog volgen. Liefs vanuit het Amsterdamse

  2. Sue Bloom

    Wow it must be great having a new boat made to your own specifications. I like the fact that you can lift the bottom bit (I don’t remember what its called) and go into very shallow water like a barge. Do you have to lower the mast so as not to tip over I wonder. Good luck Sue

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