Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018


Knotical Knews #14: Some Assembly Required. Pts. I, II, III, and IV.


  So dear readers this post finds yours truly, Capt. Patrick, currently sitting in a Holiday Inn Express hotel room in Holland, MI. banging out with two fingers this edition of Knotical Knews after making the drive from Orlando, Fl to my current location in 18.547 hours. I hope you all are duly impressed but I cannot take all the credit as during the drive up I had the opportunity to put the Cobra XRS 9970G Maximum Performance Digital Radar/Laser/Safety Camera Detector with Touchscreen Display to the test and it passed with flying colors as evidenced by the fact that I am not sitting in a jail cell in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, or Michigan. This is the same type of detector that you can enter for a chance to win at http://www.scubaradio.com/.

    So who do I have to thank for this trip to Holland, MI.? Its not really a who as it is more a what and that would be the gulf oil spill. Please allow me to elaborate….as if you actually had a choice whether I do or not. We were set to deliver a new 52′ yacht to the west coast of Florida and the owner was going to take it back home via the Mississippi River, however the ongoing environmental disaster in the gulf nixed that so the decision was made to transport the yacht to the Eldean Shipyard ( http://eldean.com/  ) in Holland, MI. The transportation of this particular unit is no small undertaking as it ships in two parts which are oversized and require pilot car escorts in order to safely and legally transport it to its end destination. As this all came bout at the last minute I found myself scrambling to put together a competent crew that would be able to leave with just a few days notice and on a Saturday night. I was blessed with being able to do just that and so began our trip at 11pm yesterday which culminated with our arrival just a short while ago and to which I find myself sitting in front of my laptop instead of getting some much needed rest but that's what I get for chugging four or seven, or perhaps  it was 12, Red Bulls.


    So early tomorrow morning we will head over to the shipyard and await the arrival of the yacht. When it arrives we will prep all the parts for the installation of the “cap” or hardtop. As soon as that is done we will have the yacht lifted with a travel lift and install the props onto the Volvo IPS drives and then we are going to get it in the water. If I'm lucky I will be able to take a quick shakedown cruise on Lake Michigan tomorrow afternoon. If not, then Wednesday for sure.

   I will be continuing Knotical Knews #14 as a series covering the delivery, setup, and seatrial of this yacht. If all goes well Part II will be posted by Wednesday.

               Capt. Patrick

                             Knotical Knews #14: Some Assembly Required Part II. The Wait Begins.



    I am sitting on the dock behind the Eldean Shipyard Ships Store ( http://eldean.com/), once again banging away with my trusty two fingers on my aged Dell laptop. Banging may be too nice a word at this point as I am doing everything I can to be Fonzie. If you’ve seen “Pulp Fiction” then you know what I’m talking about but if you are one of the three people on this planet that haven’t seen it I bring you the following interlude of  masterful movie dialogue.

Jules: Nobody's gonna hurt anybody. We're gonna be like three little Fonzies here. And what's Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda what's Fonzie like?
Yolanda: Cool?
Jules: What?
Yolanda: He's cool.

   Fonzie is cool and so will I be as well…..maybe. And mind you things could be worse than sitting outside looking out on Macatawa Bay with the temperature hovering around the 65 degree mark. So you may be asking yourself why do I need to be like Fonzie?  So glad you asked. So sit down pull your seatbelt tight….tighter! Its going to be one hellacious ride.

   How sad is it that when I go out on a delivery like this the unexpected becomes the expected and I now find that it is a normal way of conducting business? My crew and I get to the Eldean Shipyard first thing this morning expecting to see the hardtop and yacht waiting for us. So I was not the least bit surprised when we pulled in and the parking lot was empty. Now this is a fairly large complex so we searched from one end to other and nothing, nada, zip. I went into the ship’s store and made contact with Matt Eldean to see if maybe it arrived and they have it sitting somewhere else on their property and of course the first thing he asks is, “Where’s the boat, what time do you expect it?” I am pretty sure that the blank look on my face was absolutely no comfort to him. Out came my cell phone and I started making calls. The first one was to the owner of the transport company who did not answer. Bad omen and I left a message. Next call was to our transportation manager and he didn’t have any information other than to say “WHADYA-MEAN-ITS-NOT-THERE?” This is getting worse and is quickly turning into a “Transportageddon.”

    Our transportation manager is frantically making calls and tells me he will call as soon as he hears something and with that I holster my phone and look at Matt and give him what is known worldwide as the “I don’t know” shoulder shrug. He sighed, turned around and went into his office with his door closing rapidly behind him.

    Fifteen long minutes go by and my cell phone literally jumps out of its holster. I love the “jump” feature that this thing has. I can usually grab it just as it hits the apex of its jump. On the other end of the call is our transportation manager and he has news! O’glorious news! First words out of my end of the call are, “Patrick, you’re not going to like this.” I think that with those seven words my facial expression changed, the room temperature dropped 30 degrees, and my crew and the Eldean employees started looking for cover.

 I am cradling my head with one hand while staring down at the floor and through clenched teeth I push out past my lips, “Just tell me”

“The truck is in southern Indiana and he didn’t get the required permits so the state is holding the load there”

At this point I could hear him take a very deep breath and I knew that the worse was yet to come.

“And?” I asked.

“Even if he had his permits now it would be seven or eight hours before he gets there.”

   FYI dear readers: The load left Orlando last Wednesday. Covered wagons pulled by epileptic horses have made the trip quicker than this outfit.

   You know those seven words that caused my facial expression to change earlier? There were another seven words that came to mind and I wanted to say them, sing them, and feel myself become drenched in an indecent shower of all consuming warmth and richness of Carlin-esque foul language. But I didn’t…out loud that is.

“OK” I said, “That effectively makes today a wash as far as getting anything done here.” A cautious breath on my part as I chose my next words carefully and asked. “Does the driver have his permits for Michigan?”

A slight pause. “I’ll call you back and let you know”

   There are several reasons why I carry one of the cheapest cell phones ever made and all of those reasons became readily apparent to everyone present. By the way if cell phone tossing ever becomes an Olympic sport I will take the Gold, guaranteed.  This one is wound up somewhere towards the middle of Macatawa Bay although I was hoping it would have made Lake Michigan. Fortunately I buy them by the case so a replacement slips quickly into my well worn holster.

   Unreal and yet so very real and as I stated at the beginning of this post, expected. So on to “Plan B” and if I am being honest, and I will always be as honest with you dear reader as long as I feel it is warranted and serves a purpose namely my own, I had a Plan B, C, D, E, and F.

   Plan B is currently in effect and I have my crew on their way to Chicago to address some issues with another yacht moored at Burnham Harbour.

   Now you may be asking “OK the thing is late. What’s the big deal? Chill”

   The problem is that this isn’t the first time that this has happened with this particular transport company and I find it absolutely ridiculous that we continue to reward them with business when we receive substandard service. They get paid whether they deliver early, on time, or late.  It simply comes down to the fact that they don’t have a vested interest in this boat getting to its end destination. This isn’t like there was an accident that shut down a major road, or a snowstorm, flood, hurricane, or oil spill. This is your job, your business, and you suck at it.

   The impact is far reaching. The yard was expecting us today and cleared their schedule in order to help facilitate the yacht getting in the water by the end of the day. Now they have to scramble in order to squeeze us in for tomorrow and as of the writing of this update there is no word that the load will be here. The customer showed up and was wondering where the rest of his yacht was. There are other Eldean customers that will be inconvenienced because of this and in case you weren’t aware a good ship yard runs a very tight schedule. If the yard is sitting idle there is something wrong and in this case there is.

Capt. Patrick

           Knotical Knews #14: Some Assembly Required Part III. No Boat, No Problem, On to Chicago!

  O' so the saga continues. Looks like I will make this update a bit shorter than the previous entries as the day is early and the hours and my patience grow shorter with each passing tick of the clock. Speaking of clocks, watches, and other types of timepieces. Have they become a bit outdated due to the fact that almost everyone carries a cell phone or some other electronic device that shows the time? Sad to think that the wristwatch may go the way of Blockbuster.

   Back to the subject at hand, the missing yacht. To start its not really missing its just not here yet. It may be in Indiana or waiting at the Eldean Shipyard as of the update of this post. No phone calls or messages into the evening hours telling me that the load had arrived so I approach the ride to the shipyard with a mix of optimism and trepidation.

   Since yesterday was a wash we tried to salvage what we could so we headed back to Chicago which is about a three hour drive from Holland, MI. It was a fairly succesful trip and we were able to complete about 80% of the work on the other yacht. Depending on what happens this morning we may be heading back today or tomorrow to finish.

   Despite the setbacks we have encountered yesterday was a pretty nice day in Chicago. Our customer keeps his yacht moored at Burnham Harbour, which is located across the street from Soldier Field, home of Da' Bears! The view of the city's skyline was  fairly impressive even for someone like me that grew up with a view of Staten Island from our backyard.

   Capt. Patrick

                             Knotical Knews #14: Some Assembly Required Part IV. Top Down!


  O' what a day! It was a day that started out with an unknown, a gamble, and a leap of faith walking into a bar…..no, not really, that would be just plain ridiculous but then again so is waiting three days for a load to arrive that left its departure point six days ago. But if you have read this far you know the story and I will not rehash all of the unpleasantness that has taken place up until this afternoon. Let me just wrap this up by saying that the yacht did arrive and it is now sitting safely at its new home at the Eldean Shipyard ( http://eldean.com/ ) on Macatawa Bay.

   And let me just say (and not because I know they are reading this post) what a pleasure it was working with the great staff at Eldean. I was asked by Matt Eldean how their yard stacked up against the other yards that I have delivered these yachts to. I told Matt that they were definitely in the top two and then I revised that to the number one slot. You may be wondering why I did that. First let me say that I was not paid off in any form or fashion especially in the form of some of those great Eldean Shipyard shirts they have for sale in their ships store (size XL by the way) ahem…  

   It simply comes down to this: We have never worked with their staff before and of course their staff had never worked with us on a project like this. It was a testament to their focus on customer service even when their customer, namely me, kept changing the delivery date of this yacht. Another and much clearer example would be that two hours after we started to unwrap the yacht it was in the water and I was moving it into its slip. TWO HOURS! That's about as well as we do with the yard we frequently work with at Cape Canaveral, that being Cape Marina.(http://capemarina.com/)

   If you, the readers of this post, ever find yourselves in Holland, Michigan I would strongly recommend that you stop by the Eldean Shipyard because it is, of course, much more than the name implies. From the people and staff to the surrounding area with the scenic waters of Macatawa Bay and Lake Michigan it is a beautiful place to spend a few hours, days, or months. At least until it starts snowing.

   So tomorrow I send my crew back to Chicago to finish up with the yacht at Burnham Harbour and I will be spending the day going through systems checks and radar setup on the yacht at Eldean. If all goes well we will be on our way back home Friday morning.

   Many thanks to my crew for their patience and perserverance as we battled one setback after another but they stuck it out and we accomplished what we came here to do and for that I thank them.

   Capt. Patrick

Surprise!  Capt. Patrick's “Hidden In Plain Sight” bonus feature rears its ugly head once again.

Click the link below to watch “Top Down!”



One Response to “Knotical Knews #14: Some Assembly Required. Pts. I, II, III, and IV.”
  1. Hey — why didn’t that boat roll down a ramp after the champagne christening??? NIce video !

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