It took 22 days at an average of about 9 knots, but Thorwald Westmaas completed one of the first major steps in seeing his dream come to a reality: Take the North Sea trawler he bought in 2006 across the Atlantic Ocean, from Holland to Columbia, for her conversion into a yacht.
The marine mechanical engineer details the trip on his Expedition Yacht blog, where he’s also taking friends, family, and other interested readers step by step through the construction process. From his first post in November 2006 to his most recent post this month, he describes everything from how he came to buy the 40.2-meter (132-foot) trawler to how he’s peppering expert with questions to learn all he can about this big undertaking. For example, through both words and dramatic pictures, Westmaas explains how this type of trawler is known for seaworthiness and durability. He also reveals that a naval architect from the trawler’s original design firm is helping him put his ideas on paper and amend them when necessary.
And amend he has. In a post just a few days ago, Westmaas describes how the galley has been reworked to add ports for the chef’s pleasure as well as a door to a stern platform to ease loading provisions. (On a side note, if you’re a yacht chef, he welcomes your input on the design.) In another post, he describes how MCA safety regulations on damage stability–to which his megayacht will comply–have led to the decision to make the large engine room smaller.
Expedition Yacht is filled with photos and detailed drawings of the hull and various rooms. It’s an interesting look into what’s clearly a labor of love.
As for his choice of a shipyard in Columbia–specifically Cartegna–Westmaas acknowledges that the region isn’t known for yacht conversions. But it is home to the country’s navy as well a Dutch-owned shipyard, Navtech, which he visited and was impressed by. He has great hopes for a good working relationship.
I do as well. I’ll be following the conversion and post updates accordingly.