Monthly Archives: May 2015

Sea Trials

CapKenPurpose Built

F&S scores again with a serious 75-foot fishing machine equipped with head turning good looks and luxurious accommodations.

Story and photographs by Capt. Ken Kreisler

In the realm of big custom sport fishing boats, Blue Time is all about power, performance, and outstanding amenities.

In the realm of big custom sport fishing boats, Blue Time is all about power, performance, and outstanding amenities.

Blue Time, the latest 75-footer from prestigious Delaware-based F&S Boatworks is a single-minded, impeccably built custom boat whose function and purpose, in fact the very reason she was launched, is to be a viable player on the fishing circuit.

“When it comes to fishing, luxurious accommodations, and everything else we would need, we did as much aboard as we could do,” said Capt. Bill Wieteha. “As much as we could and more.”

A Miami native, Capt. Bill has been with Blue Time’s owner through two previous production boats. “He’s very competitive as is his circle of sail fishing friends and we were looking for a boat that could fill that need.”

In between their visits to other builders, a 72-foot F&S named Momo came into their homeport at the Cocoplums Yacht Club in Coral Gables, Florida. That visit and the ensuing getting-to-know-you-time resulted in a phone call to Jim Floyd, the company’s inspirational founding force and a respected industry personality, at F&S. Finding out a 75 jig was available, they came to terms and Blue Time was contracted to be built.


Form ever follows function is the phrase that easily comes to mind when either admiring Blue Time’s lines as she sits in the dock or even better, underway. Her design, shape, and very profile are first and foremost based on her intended purpose.

Low, sleek, and appearing as if in constant motion, she is in perfect proportion to her length and visually, whether from the landing strip foredeck, the gentle slope of the house with its familiar black brow, to the open bridge design with its massive, and fully functional, Palm Beach tower and substantial hydraulically-operated Rupp ‘riggers, and finally to her cockpit and transom, everything about Blue Time is in harmony and balance. And even up on the bow, her removable casting station and flush-mounted livewell makes sense.


Blue Time’s owner wanted the kind of creature comforts only a big boat could supply. And with Capt. Bill working closely with the F&S designers and planners, the accommodations layout delivers on all counts.

 While her exterior profile shows off her well-balanced design, Blue Time's interior is just as exciting.

While her exterior profile shows off her well-balanced design, Blue Time‘s interior is just as exciting.

Entering from the cockpit mezzanine through an actuated sliding door, and directly to starboard is a day head. “This was a necessity for us,” said Capt. Bill. “The last thing you want on a boat like this is a crew of fishermen trailing through the salon with blood, guts, and scales all over them.”

The expansive salon has C-shape seating to port with a Release-built, custom teak table featuring storage below. “They made it so we could have this space for taking meals as well,” Capt. Bill demonstrated as he showed me how easily it transforms into a dining platform. Forward is the fully found galley and opposite, a spacious dinette under which is an electrically operated rod storage drawer. Of particular note here is the distinctive overhead cutout that adds an effective and special design statement to the area. A beautiful wood console houses a 75” HD television, electrical panel, bar, and as everywhere aboard, contains extra storage spaces.

The full beam master offers comfort in luxurious surroundings.

The full beam master offers comfort in luxurious surroundings.

Blue Time has a four stateroom, five head layout with a full beam master; one that has its own 75” HD television as well. And no matter where I visited in the accommodations areas, I found superior woodwork, excellent headroom, fastidious attention to details, more than ample space for all fishing tackle and gear, including a dedicated walk-in closet forward of the galley for kites and related equipment.

Capt. Bill also made particular note of the electronics and a.v. wiring. And after looking around inside the various dedicated cabinets and closets, I could see why. All Hooked Up Electronics owner Koby Money gave Blue Time the kind of wiring job that is second to none, affording the system-savvy captain, or technician, unfettered access to any work or maintenance that may be required.


“We do a lot of live bait fishing, perhaps eighty percent of the time, so we wanted to make her, and as big as she is, complete with some innovations we feel many of the other rigs do not have,” Capt. Bill said as we reviewed the inventory list of fishing amenities.

Among other tourney equipment, Blue Time's business end features a 170 square foot teak cockpit with a pair of removable live wells to either side of her custom Release chair.

Among other tourney equipment, Blue Time‘s business end features a 170 square foot teak cockpit with a pair of removable live wells to either side of her custom Release chair.

He had the transom designed for a pair of 55-gallon live wells with the ability to run both with just one pump. The wells can also be pressurized while the boat is running to prevent any sloshing around in a big sea and injuring or killing the bait.

To either side of a state-of-the-art Release chair, with its custom reel seating back, one that Capt. Bill had designed, were a pair of above deck fiberglass wells. “I supplied those through my own company, Miami-based Offshore Bait Solutions specifically for Blue Time and, if switching over to let’s say marlin fishing, we can break them down, including all the plumbing, and store everything elsewhere in a matter of minutes.”

Other features of the 170 square foot cockpit includes the mezzanine seating area, tackle storage, three large stainless steel lined freezers, a pair of KEP networked monitors, a Freeman watertight lazarette hatch, tuna tubes in aft bait wells, and Eskimo ice maker among many other accessories.


There are eleven rocket launchers up on the aft rail of the bridge and three Release pedestal seats. And that’s just for openers. “We’re doing a lot of kite fishing right now,” Capt. Bill said. “So I had Palm Beach Towers put a center grommet here for me to just clip my line to. It’s a small thing but comes in real handy for us.”

With her busy fishing schedule, being able to transition quickly over to species-specific techniques is an important ability for the crew. There are spreaders all the way around on the tower and the entire area around the boat can be lit up at night for dipping bait. And when I climbed to the top, I found a gray painted platform underfoot to cut down on glare, all the antennas placed topside, and all the controls, wheel, and equipment set just right to allow Capt. Bill to have optimum visuals while fishing.

The island-style helm is well laid out with all Garmin screens, throttles, radios and electric teaser reels in overhead, and all switches within easy sight and reach. There is plenty of seating for guests and of course, the requisite storage areas, freezer and drink compartments beneath


Abundant room makes this engine space as special as they come for any kind of maintenance and service.

Abundant room makes this engine space as special as they come for any kind of maintenance and service.

Big boat, big engine room, big space to move around in. There’s no argument here; with a 75-foot length and 20’9” of beam, Blue Time has the kind of engine room that offers space, space, and more space. From the considerably sized 2,600-hp MTU mains, to the pair of 32-kW Cummins Onan gensets, to the M26000 Seakeeper gyro mounted in its own custom made cradle on the centerline and forward of the engines, to all of the pumps, water management and air conditioning systems, to the battery banks and electricals, FCI 1,200 gpd watermaker, and any and all critical maintenance and service areas, I found ample room to swing any kind of tool without getting into any knuckle-busting, elbow twisting, head banging, or body-contorting situation. And of course, it’s all brightly lit and faired and finished off as meticulously as is her flawless Allcraft White 2000 painted hull.


Blue Time’s build took around 20 months and as with all boats of her class, there were challenges to be met including keeping all the necessary headroom and supplying the large storage spaces aboard, especially those associated with her fishing profile.

She is built using diagonal planked Okoume plywood, three ¼” layers on the sides, three ½” on the bottom, with one extra layer of ½” on the bottom of the engine room. Next comes one complete layer of 17-ounce biaxial cloth between the second and third layers of plywood after which two complete layers of that same cloth are placed on the entire exterior of the hull. A layer of 12-ounce of Kevlar covers the bottom and another layer of 17-ounce is placed on the complete interior from the chines down. All the stringers, shear, chines, and keel are constructed of clear, vertical grain Douglas fir while the topsides, from the shear up, are of Corecell and biaxial cloth.


Running on her variable deadrise bottom with longitudinal steps, a design derived from Floyd’s SeaCraft days and one that he has adapted and evolved over the years to the sportfish sector, Blue Time is a spirited performer. A pair of M94 2,600-hp MTU diesels, turning 38 x 56 Veem Interceptor 5-blade wheels, powers her.

Blue Time turned in impressive performance numbers and offered nimble handling during all phases of my sea trial.

Blue Time turned in impressive performance numbers and offered nimble handling during all phases of my sea trial.

Being a release rather than a pressure design, the effect is a somewhat softer ride due to the aeration along the steps as pockets of air are trapped between the hull and the surface by those steps. That is transferred to the hull as it moves through the water. And while test day saw calm seas with only a slight breeze of no consequence, Capt. Bill, on his delivery run, did comment on her ability to cut through head-on and quartering waves and excellent stability with following seas.

She jumped quickly up out of the hole and settled into an impressive 37-knot cruise speed at 2000 rpm, a 40+knot turn at 2150 rpm, and flirted with almost 46 knots of speed with the throttles pinned. With the multi-keel effect of the vertical surfaces of the steps, she displayed superior directional stability and tracked straight and true during flat out speed runs.


So far, and since her launching in late December 2014, Blue Time has participated in the Sailfish 400, the Sailfish Challenge, and the upcoming Jimmy Johnson; perhaps, if their schedule allows, the Key West Tournament, some marlin fishing in the Abacos, possibly the Custom Boat Shootout, maybe a BBC or two, and a handful of others.

“That’s what we’re all about,” said Capt. Bill. With a boat like Blue Time, I couldn’t agree more.


LOA: 75.0’
Beam: 20’9”
Weight: 93,000 lbs. (dry)
Fuel: 2,800 gal.
Water: 400 gal.
Engines: 2 x 2,600-hp M94 MTU diesels

RPM                        GPH                      SPEED/kt
1500                        95                          26.1
1700                        120                        30.4
1850                        148                        33.8
2000                        160                        37.1
2150                        192                        40.1
2450 (WOT)            249                        45.8

Tested with 2 x 2,600-hp M94 MTU diesels

F&S Boatworks, 353 Summit Pointe Circle, Bear, DE 19701. 303 838-5500. http://www.f&
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Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Sea Trials


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BoatUS Report

BoatuslogoBoat Motor Oil Analysis Made Simple

I am sure most of you are hands-on boaters; that is, you take care of all those preventive maintenance items each and every time you leave the dock. My media friend, Scott Croft at BoatUS has me up on his radar screen with this latest addition to our continuing efforts to make your boating experience that much more enjoyable by being safe. -Capt. Ken

A lot goes on inside a boat engine, and akin to drawing blood, an engine oil sample analysis (OSA) can tell you a lot about the health of your boat’s motor. While a single sample may not give you the whole story, an OSA creates a “baseline” that helps you look at your engine’s health over time. That’s why some mechanics and surveyors recommend taking one sample every year. But what does a typical oil sample analysis include and what does it tell a boat owner or buyer? BoatUS, the nation’s largest boating advocacy, services and safety group has some answers.

It’s easy to take an oil sample with the right gear (Credit: Alison Mazon).

It’s easy to take an oil sample with the right gear. (Credit: Alison Mazon).

Most oil sample analyses will include the following:
-Spectral Exam: A spectrometer is used to find the quantity of various metals and additives in the sample – useful for finding excessive wear in bearings, pistons, rings, cylinders, valve train and gears. It also determines the composition of any oil additives.

-Viscosity Test: The thickness of the oil at a specific temperature is tested – useful for finding fuel dilution, the breakdown of viscosity enhancers or other contamination.

-Flash Point: Tests the temperature at which vapor from the oil ignites – contamination can cause a specific grade oil to flash higher or lower than the design flash point.

-Insolubles Test: insoluble are typically abrasive solids – higher readings are usually byproducts of incomplete combustion.

An OSA typically costs about $25 by mail or at a local repair shop. If you’d like to learn how to take an oil sample or need more information, see the story “Oil Sample Analysis” by Alison Mazon in the magazine for it’s insured BoatUS members, Seaworthy, at


About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

BoatUS is the nation¹s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS insurance program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in BoatUS Report


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Superyacht Stuff

DSC_2125Beyond The Ultimate Toy

Triton’s lineup of yacht-based submersibles is much more than the latest acquisition for the world’s superyachts.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

It was almost 230 feet long, had a double hull, and could travel at a top speed of 50 knots. With the ability to extract sodium from seawater to energize its sodium/mercury batteries, it had unlimited access to the world’s oceans. Its crew was also able to farm all the necessary food they would need from the sea.

The adventures of Jules Verne’s Nautilus and Capt. Nemo, its enigmatic creator in his 1870 novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, was the stuff that dreams were made of and for me as a young boy, started a life long fascination with submarines and the undersea world.

From the images of famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau’s diving saucer ‘flying’ underwater to the thrilling pages of Tom Clancy’s high-tech Red October and all the other films and books I have experienced throughout the years about these amazing machines, you can imagine my delight when I pulled up to the non-descript warehouse building off of I-95 in Vero Beach, Florida, and stopped in front of a door with TRITON SUBMARINES stenciled onto the glass.

Triton personal submarines can open up a whole new world for its owners.

Triton personal submarines can open up a whole new world for its owners. Photo courtesy of Triton.

“Our product line is much more than a very expensive addition to a big yacht’s complement of equipment,” said Marc Deppe, Triton’s VP of Sales and Marketing as he took me on a tour of the manufacturing facility.

With such a complex vessel having the ability to dive to depths of 1,000-, 3,300, or an astounding 5,500-feet with up to 12 hours of operation—longer dive durations are available—we began the discussion on the subject of safety.

“The most important features are the ones that prevent any trouble from happening. The all-around viewing capability is an important factor as is the way we have engineered all of the thrusters so that they are tucked in and reset to eliminate entanglement,” said Triton President Patrick Lahey as he joined us on the production floor. Lahey, the company’s co-founder, is a 30+ year veteran of the undersea world with extensive expertise in commercial diving, design and engineering of underwater vessels and systems, and is the on-site specialist for all things Triton at the Vero Beach facility.

Starting with some basic facts about the general wellbeing of the world’s civilian submarine fleet, in 27 years and numbering some 40 vessels with almost one million participating passengers, the industry has a perfect record without serious injury or fatality. “And we take our Triton vessels even further,” said Lahey.

Triton owner Patrick Lahey oversees all operations of his company's products. Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler

Triton owner Patrick Lahey oversees all operations of his company’s products. Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler

To that end, all Triton subs are classified ✠A1 Manned Submersible by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). “The paperwork for this is so arduous and comprehensive, the resulting report weighs almost as much as our 1000/3 model,” Deppe said. And while spoken in jest, as this particular Triton comes in at 14,300 pounds, his point was well taken. “Absolutely nothing is left to chance.”

For example, when Triton gets any of its certified parts, whether they are metal or not from the manufacturer, the company will then send a sample of the material out for further independent analysis, this to ensure only the most stringent and exacting specifications are met before assembly.

Rigorous and meticulous checks are done on the observation sphere before it is attached to the subs' body. The quality control continues even after launching.

Rigorous and meticulous checks are done on the pressure hull before it is attached to the subs’ body. The quality control continues even after launching. Photo Credit: Capt. Ken Kreisler

For the 6 ½” inch thick, 84” diameter pressure-tested, clear acrylic pressure hull, allowing the divers inside a 360º view of the undersea world, Triton went to the German-based Evonik and Heinz Fritz companies for their expertise. Evonik provides the raw materials and thermally forms the acrylic blocks into two rough hemispheres and Heinz Fritz machines, cuts the apertures, bonds, anneals, and polishes them. The result is the largest and thickest acrylic spheres made for a manned submersible.

“When you’re down there, the sphere seems to disappear and you feel as if you are just floating along,” said Deppe. Not only is the interior completely air-conditioned and temperature controlled but also, regardless of depth, the cabin remains at the same pressure as the surface. This will eliminate any chance of getting the bends or suffering from nitrogen narcosis. “We can descend and rise at any rate without concern.”

The ultimate toy for the ultimate toy, the Thunderbird2 by Brilliant Boats can either be a stand alone or a shadow vessel for a larger mega or superyacht.

The ultimate toy for the ultimate toy, the Thunderbird2 by Brilliant Boats can either be a stand alone or a shadow vessel for a larger mega or superyacht. Photo courtesy of Brilliant Boats.

Typically, diving and surfacing is a matter of changing the water level in the variable ballast tanks. “The Triton 3300/3’s tank contains 47gl/180lt of water and can be either pumped in or out to get lighter or heavier and regulate your position in the water column. It’s slow and controlled and the Triton can power up or down or vertically with thrusters,” Deppe explained.

Variable ballast tank pump and thruster operations are power dependent and driven by electronically controlled pumps. Non-powered dependent systems can also be put into play and will push air into the main ballast tanks, giving you several thousand pounds of buoyancy to get to the surface. In addition, the two battery pods, either one or both, can be jettisoned releasing an additional 1,000 pounds. The manipulator arm can also be released.

All of Triton’s vessels have atmospheric monitoring devices for the air conditioning system, humidity, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and hydrogen—during battery charging, this gas is vented—and sensors for water intrusion in the battery compartments. Carbon dioxide scrubbers can be utilized to supply an additional 96 hours of non-powered dependent life support. “Triton submersibles have the ability to be submerged about 108 hours with emergency water and food,” remarked Deppe.

Thunderbird2 shows how easily her Triton sub gets neatly  tucked into its own dedicated spot.

Thunderbird2 shows how easily her Triton sub gets neatly tucked into its own dedicated spot. Photo courtesy of Brilliant Boats.

The pilot uses a three-axis joystick control and touch screen monitoring and for those models with multiple passengers, a separate control is available for guest operation. The company provides extensive training and support in getting familiar and comfortable with the systems in its simulator for hands-on instruction and diving, as well as actual on-site, open water training.

“The learning curve is not steep and is quite intuitive,” said Lahey. And while all the vessels come packed with standard features, there are a few options including sonar, USBL two-way tracking system, full spectrum Chirp color sounder/GPS, a Doppler velocity log for vertical, horizontal headings, depth, altitude, temperature, and current speed and direction, a manipulator arm, deck-mounted remote operated vehicle, and a hydrophone for listening in on ambient ocean sounds. For specialized scientific work, there is an additional list for this type of equipment. And for the ultimate option, there is even a purpose-built 65-foot Triton tender catamaran complete with launch and recovery system.

Caught in Triton's headlamps on the historic Antarctica expedition, this jellyfish made a dramatic photo. -Special Thanks to Henry Cookson Adventures- Photo: Andrew Peacock -

Caught in Triton’s headlamps on the historic 2013 Antarctica expedition, this jellyfish made a dramatic photo. –Special Thanks to Henry Cookson Adventures- Photo: Andrew Peacock –

By far, the most enlightening part of my visit to Triton was left to the imagination and a sense of adventure. As both Deppe and Lahey described diving in the Antarctic, participating in the Solomon Islands deep water expedition that resulted in finding no less than 12 previously unknown species of sea life identified with the American Museum of Natural History, or with the Discovery Channel crew off the coast of Japan with noted scientists as they sought to study the elusive giant squid, my mind was filled with images of diving to depths where no light reaches but for that of the Triton’s powerful LED illumination. And then just being able to sit back and enjoy the show.

The ability of Triton Submarines to deliver far more than yet another highly identifiable piece of equipment to the superyacht sector is quite unique in the industry. This decidedly specialized vessel has the ability to provide safe and very rewarding, one-of-a-kind experiences for its owners and guests. If your adventurous spirit wants to go places where very few people can travel to, and you have the means to do so, you might very well want to consider giving Triton a call to set up a visit. If nothing else, you too will come away with visions of remarkable journeys.

The places you can experience with a Triton Submarine are only limited by your imagination. Photo courtesy of Triton Submarines.

The places you can experience with a Triton Submarine are limited only by your imagination. Photo courtesy of Triton Submarines.

For more information, please get in touch with Triton Submarines,
9015 17th Place, Vero Beach, FL 32966 USA. (772) 770-1995

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Superyacht Stuff


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Photo Op

Photo Op

Ahoy there Captain Ken! I know I haven’t sent in a picture in a long time but with school and other things, I’ve been pretty busy. Here is one my parents liked. We took it near our home here in Riviera Beach, Florida. We were walking along the beach on our way to a family dinner and I looked up into the sky and saw this cloud. I thought it looked like a sea horse so I took out my iPhone and…well, here it is. I hope you like it. If I see any other interesting things, I will also take a picture of it too. Goodbye for now!-Alicia M., Riviera Beach, FL


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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Photo Op


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