I can't think of a better way for someone to start the new year than with the arrival of their new Kadey-Krogen. That was the case for Mike and Dyan Warren as their new Krogen 52' arrived in Savannah, GA on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately for the Warrens, offloading of their new Kadey-Krogen, Suite Judy, would have to wait a few days as the port was closed for the holiday until January 2nd.
Bright and early Tuesday morning, 06:00 to be exact, the delivery crew arrived at the port to commence offload operations. Led by Gregg Gandy, our Service Manager, the offload crew ascended the gangplank of the containership Ever Dainty. (At 965 feet long and 55,000 tons she is anything but dainty!) After checking in onboard the ship, the crew was led through a series of corridors and metal stairs and ladders to the hold where Suite Judy was securely lashed to her cradle. Two members of the team quickly worked to remove the lashings and some of the material we used to cover the boat during transit while Gregg ascended a ladder to Suite Judy and began to make her ready for sea.
Battery switches on. Check. Open seacock for engine and generator. Check. Check fluid levels in engine and generator. Check. Verify fuel in tank and fuel valve positions. Check. Crank engine and genset to test. Check. Test bilge pumps. Check. I could go on and on but you get the idea. Within a few hours Suite Judy was ready for her maiden voyage.
Maiden voyage? Yes, maiden voyage. Every Kadey-Krogen is shipped from the yard as an operational vessel. When the longshoreman were ready, the crane operator lowered the gantry crane into the hold and the cradle was secured using nothing more than four enormous shackles. It was then an "E-ticket" ride up and over the remaining containers on deck and over the stern of the ship. (Having participated in several offloads I can vouch for the ride!) From his perch high above the water, the crane operator lowered Suite Judy to the water with the precision of a surgeon, stopping just before she floated on her own. Engines were started (Suite Judy has the optional twin engine arrangement), engine oil pressure was verified, and the thumbs up sign given to the crane operator. Down a few more inches and she was afloat.
The delivery crew motored from the Port of Savannah to Thunderbolt Marina where the remainder of the exterior cover and protect was removed and Suite Judy was given a bath. She then underwent more initial system checks, water tanks were filled and fuel provisions were taken on board for the trip down to Stuart, FL. That afternoon a portable radar system was set up to make for a safer offshore delivery trip as owners typically have electronics installed locally. Wednesday morning brought near gale force winds out of the northwest. What better way to see what she was made of? After a few miles of running the circuitous waterways of Georgia, Suite Judy finally took to the ocean out of St. Catherine's Sound and made way nonstop to Stuart. Thirty hours later she arrived at the Fort Pierce inlet covering the distance at an average speed of nearly 9 knots thanks to big following seas.
Mike Warren, who is fortunate enough to have the professional credentials to be able to participate in the actual offload summed up the maiden voyage this way, "I have previously made offshore passages aboard the Krogen 48' North Sea and AE, Krogen 55' Expedition and the Krogen 58'. Trust me, Suite Judy is pure Kadey-Krogen. Her wineglass stern allowed the three of us to settle right in and effortlessly hand steer the 30 hours down to Stuart with winds that started out as 25-30 knots on the rear."
You can read all about the construction of Suite Judy on the Warrens' blog at www.suitejudy.com
I hope your New Year will be as enjoyable as it will be for Mike and Dyan.