vendredi 13 septembre 2013

The CIGALE 18 building keeps going ... That's good!

"La cigale ayant chanté tout l'été se trouva fort dépourvue lorsque la bise fut venue".

This extract form on of the most famous La Fontaine's fable is well known, all french kids probably learned it.  
The difference is that, at Alubat, the Cigale is not completely abandonned yet and that work continues. The 'cold wind' definitely increases, but it has not destroyed everything yet. So, as I said in a previous posting, I went for a ride to the site to see the progress of work after a month of closure of summer. The hull and the various elements of the bridge are welded and the boat has entered the 'painting phase.' I  already visited this workshop in the past but today it is getting too small. You almost have to squeeze yourself between the door frame and the the boat transom to enter. Looking at the bow, it almost touch the front door of the shop and you have get very thin to  be able to tour the ship. Under these conditions, it is difficult to have an overview of 'the beast'. However I have done my best to get some shots 'seen from the ground.'
The huge transom is what you bump into first when entering the room.
The hull, seen from the bow. It is protected with brown paper during the paintinf as only the top part will receive paint .
In all likelihood, the boat will keep an aluminum hull with the conventional ALUBAT treatment (circular light surface grinding) but there is another technique used for a previous first generation Cigale 16  that is to stick a plastic film on the hull. That boat (built in 2007 I think)  is currently for sale and can be found on the last issue of the Voiles et Voilers magazine for 450 000 Euros (these boats keep a relatively high second hand price as they are rare, fast, lightweight and comfortable). There are also a few visible on the net. On the same Cigale 16, at the time,  they also installed a cooling system for the fridge using a coil placed at the sink drain level with excellent results in terms of power consumption and cooling.
Once on the bridge, looking from what will be the port helm, the 'landscape' changes a bit and you have an idea of what the helmsman will perceive when it comes to the size of the boat.
The 2 Cigale 16 I sailed seemed big on the water but there that's really impressive, even if the workshop walls  distort sensation.
The cockpit does not seem to be different from that of otherOVNIs and Cigales: the  wooden benches are here, raised from the top of lockers with the handy storage compartement behind them.

 The companion way remains classic, compared to the OVNI  Evolution 52 one but  we are not on the same type of boat. From the bridge and going forward we discover the hatches and the space in which all ropes will travel from the mast to the cockpit so tha we will have a clear, unobstructed roof. Very visible too are the fillings at all angles of welded parts: air vents, handrails, various angles. After all those parts are polished (which is work intensive) the last painting activites will take place: undercoat, paint ...
Here the puttying of welding of the air vent boxes  before being polished and painted
Here the toe rail located well inside is clearly visible and it is easier to juge the size of the boat
Looking back the future two  helms post, the mid lockersbut the usual ALUBAT arch is not there..
Further ahead, other future hatches and openings for the sail locker and the anchor locker. A picture being worth a thousand speeches is best to look at them and take some pictures. Here the  bow almost touches on the entrance shutter.
Here the sail locker in which two people stand at ease. It has side storage and will host the bow thruster
The anchor compartment below which the watertight compartment is found as on all ALUBAT boats. On the right compartment of the windlass.
Seen from the sail locker the opening  through which the bowsprit  will pass with its 'guide'  located in the anchor compartment as visible on the previous picture.
Having toured the bridge it is time to go inside. Of course, at this stage everything is empty and the location of water and fuell tanks, diesel engine are not visible. Only a layer of gray primer paint was applied and it appears that, thanks to the numerous hatches (I counted 10) and windows (26 I think, in 2 rows) the inside will be very bright. Here again the sensation of size is obvious and it is better perceived thanks to to the presence of one of the architects of this achievement, both on deck and below.
Well, that's the current the status of what I believe should be a beautiful and fast boat but, unlike most other Cigales this one will won't have rear saloon with a large square table behind stairwell and above the engine.
There will be two large aft cabins I believe . Once the painting phase is completed, the interior design phase will begin: plumbing, electrical, engine, carpentry and a few other I forget while, outside, the installation of windows, deck panels , fittings, cockpit equipement  etc. are the next steps.
 It seems that on this model the rear frame so typical of ALUBAT won't exist. Probably it would have been too big.

 I hope this building will continue until the boat is finished and ready to leave a pontoon and that in the mean time ALUBAT's order book will begins to fill, albeit slowly ... but surely.
Budapest Marathon, Octobre 2001: "Il était un petit navire, ..."
A suivre ...

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