Commissioning the latest Kraken 50, Sofia Marie
Through this series, we have extensively covered the build of the Kraken 50 from the creation of the new mould to the yacht first touching the water. You might be forgiven for thinking the hard work is over at this point, however, at Kraken due to our extensive 30 day sea trial and commissioning program there is still a way to go. The main focus is on testing and running equipment, systems,rig and sails, but every inch of the vessel is checked and rechecked.
Prior to the boat launching the mast is spliced together and rigging attached in preparation for mast stepping. The new Kraken 50 is motored from the launch point to the rigging dock where the mast is craned into position, it’s lowered into position above the deck collar and the electrician takes the navigation and lighting cable looms and lowers them through into the yacht.
As each Kraken yacht is keel stepped, the mast is lowered down through the deck collar to its final position. The rigging and forestays are attached and the rigger works his way around the yacht connecting up and tensioning the bottle screws. The boom is then cradled over and attached to the gooseneck.
Once stepped and rigged, the first test is water tightness of the mast boot. We use Spartite in the deck collar with a tough vinyl boot over the top. The rigging team ensures the rig is well tensioned. The sailmaker bends on the sails and checks their fit (see photo above, left).
Next we begin our test sail program to check the various systems and equipment and we then stress test each element of the rig, the deck gear and the running rigging. A few trips around the bay in light airs is simply not enough, so we take all Krakens and sail them on a four day liveaboard passage.
The deck gear is heavily tested at higher than expected loads to ensure any weak hardware is discovered (see above photo, right).
At sea the yacht is put through her paces and all sail configurations, and points of sail are tested and the sails are set and reefed or furled dozens of times in all conditions. She must be tested in both light wind and heavy weather until we are satisfied she is fit to take her owners wherever the wind will take them.
This owner chose to include the Code K foresail with sprit and pole. Its an excellent sail for lightwind cruising and it can be set in wind angles from 180- 80° and has a maximum wind threshold of 18-20 knots, dependent on the wind angle.
We run and use each and every system in our unique engine and equipment room. Everything has full and easy access.
All light switches and plug sockets are tested on the dock and then again after running on engine and heavy weather to check if vibration has affected them.
We use fastmount clips not velcro on all ceiling panels and we check they are aligned and secure.
Drawer fittings and cupboard latches are checked when the vessel is hard heeled to ensure the catches are holding safely at all angles.
The engine is run at full speed and maximum RPMs in both forward and reverse. Temperature and oil pressure is carefully checked and recorded.
The watermaker is run to totally fill the tanks and the generator and air conditioning is run overnight as it would be in normal use. To illustrate the benefit of our extended testing regime it was only after four nights of running that we discovered a slow freon gas leak in the saloon aircon.
The bilges are flooded and tested, float switches and pumps are checked to ensure they run well and are not blocked by debris from building materials.
The emergency steering system is checked to ensure it fits easily and can be quickly broken down and stowed.
We take steps to protect elements of the interior by using specially cut out rubber carpets to protect the solid wood cabin sole.
While this is just a brief summary of our sea trial and commissioning process. We hope it gives you an idea of what it takes to release a Kraken yacht to a new client. Only once this exhaustive process is complete are we then sure the yacht is ready to be sailed off the delivery dock to the far horizons our owners want to explore.