Idioma Italiano

PHILOSOPHY OF THE REFITTING

It is the strategy adopted for the completion of the refitting of the last great yacht to belong to the ìGreat Age of Sailî, the last existing yacht still in a recoverable state.

The idea to create a project which is free from any ship building constraints could, at first glance, suggests that the choice was made on economic grounds only. But the thinking behind this solution was that the INVADER project could benefit from the best craftsmen available for each type of work at each phase of the refitting and thus the decision was based on technical and qualitative grounds. This is the best method for ensuring that the refitting would be carried out to perfection.

In order to arrive at this ìtargetî it is important not to be tied to a heavy ship building structure but rather to be free to modulate the progress of the work at first hand. This formula allows us to take the best advantage of the firms judged most suitable for each sector and at the same time count on the readiness and ease of adjustment to a rhythm of work, which is not always constant, and the ability to react in the face of unforeseen events and planning changes which such a complex refitting requires.

The dry docks of Fratelli Bertolucci in Via Petrarca, Viareggio, were identified early on. This firm has decades of experience and is renowned for its carpentry skills, particularly those for bridge covering and fittings.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESTORATION. THE HULL

Work on the plating of the hull is now, finally, complete. It took longer than was originally estimated because of the delicate work required by the restoration of the floor plates and ribbing during the rebuilding of the structure and plating of the extremity of the stern, including the transom. The renovation of this part had initially been in doubt but the discovery that the structure was not the original and was insufficiently robust called for a radical solution.

This is merely a brief description of this fundamental stage of the restoration and belies the work involved. Operating surgically on the structure, with the exception of the stern is a painstakingly slow process but it has guaranteed that profile remains true to the original. The lack of the original plans and waterline has meant that a complete analysis of the hull needed to be made before the profiling of the frame, the cutting of the new floor plates and the calendaring of the plating could be carried out.

Throughout the restoration work, great attention was paid to the load factor. This can be measured precisely thanks to the data registered at the beginning on arrival in Viareggio, when the nude hull had been weighed immediately, and then again the during the removal of the cement ballast.

It was important, at the end of this phase, that this value should be completely reliable so that the distribution of all future loading will not affect the displacement line of Invader when she is launched. Just as the profile has been kept faithful to the original, so the weight of the hull has been controlled, kilo by kilo.