So, just a few weeks after getting our new boat to Finland, it was up on the ground again. We wanted it to “go all the way to eleven”, and there was just one final push over the cliff (onto land) to make that happen. (If that previous sentence felt partly like nonsense, forgive me, but do check out the Spinal Tap movie!)
Hanse Hull Colors
It’s possible to order a new Hanse yacht in a billion different colors— but that’s only if you buy one of the bigger models, starting from the Hanse 508. The smaller models are either average white or uneventful gray, and we weren’t overly excited about either.
We could have repainted the boat, as part of the dealer’s commissioning process, but that felt a bit wasteful both in labour, paint and money.
“But the Hanse 388 and 418 aren’t white or gray in Hanse’s own photos? How come?”, I asked the dealer.
“Oh yes, I think they are vinyl wrapped”, he replied.
We learned that nowadays it’s quite common for people not to actually paint their hulls, but rather they tape them, in the same way as trucks and vans are taped.
The taping/wrapping companies emphasize the cost savings (one third the price of painting, doesn’t fade, can be removed) and downplay the potential issues (easier to damage).
All in all, we were sold on the idea that wrapping our boat would be a good way to get the non-average white hull color we wanted.
The local wrappers in Greifswald had some scheduling challenges, so wrapping the boat before the handover wasn’t possible. Luckily, we found a great wrapping company (MyDreamBoat) over here in Finland and their ever so pleasant Lassi to guide us through the event.
Is It Still White?
The actual wrapping was supposed to take roughly two days to finish. The Finnish weather, though, wasn’t very allowing with too much wind and rain to make the wrapping possible. Adding to that, the first tape delivery (from the US) had the wrong tape, so things didn’t really progress very quickly.
“Is is still white?”, I kept asking Charlotte every time she returned from walking the dog down by the water, across from the yard.
“Yes, still white.”
And Then …
And then, one sunny day, they were there!
“It’s all done now”, Lassi told me cheerfully over the phone. “And they’re supposed to lift it into the water later today”, he continued.
I had been away for work all day and couldn’t wait to see what it looked like.
Charlotte and I took our bikes and cycled over to the yard, walked to the pier, and there she was, our dear boat in her new color!
“But wait, what! What’s that?”, I said looking at the side of the boat.
Turns out lifting a taped boat without damaging it isn’t that easy after all. The yard assured me that they had done their best, but still there were a few small scratches as well as a slightly bigger one on the hull.
That was a disappointment.
Lassi from MyDreamBoat was as frustrated as I was (he even said a curse word on the phone) but he promised that his wrapping professionals would come and fix it the next time they were close by.
I was left wondering, though, if the tape really was that much more sensitive than I had thought. Well, time will tell, I thought to myself, and decided to forget my frustration.
Let the Journey Begin
I think aesthetics shouldn’t be undervalued. Useful and beautiful are good complements.
What we bought though, wasn’t just a useful and beautiful yacht, but the desire to spend time together and experience things together with Charlotte and the children.
The yacht was ready now. Time to go sailing.