“Sawadee kap” – the warm words of welcome on Dominique’s arrival in Thailand were a relief to his ears. Despite his disappointment at the lack of available facilities for fitting out Lamima in Java he knew that, at last, the trials and tribulations were at an end.
After much uncertainty, hard decisions, reams of paper-work and a long tow from Surabaya up the Gulf of Thailand, Lamima was now in a new country, a new phase. He had chosen the capable services of Italthai Marine (ITM) in Samut Prakan, Bangkok, for her final fit-out. ‘Even though we would have loved to complete the whole project in Indonesia, it is working out for the better’, he says. ‘Since the shipyard here is more suitable for our project, she will be fitted to an even higher standard.’
Samut Prakan (strategically located at the mouth of the Chao Phraya) was the ancient seaport of Siam so it is not surprising that ITM chose this site to expand its business. Despite the three-month delay experienced during Lamima’s transfer and set up in this new place Dominique was satisfied that he would find here the enthusiasm, expertise, experience and quality he sought for her specific needs.
Nor has he been disappointed – at ITM he has found a tremendous pool of talented tradesmen. The yard combines professional management, standards and quality with the renowned finishing skills of Thai craftsmen – a combination which will ensure that Lamima will be finished to the highest of international standards.
All that was missing was a project manager experienced in the particular needs of such a unique yacht – and he was delighted to find in Gareth Lewis who joined the team in October, 2013. Gareth, a shipwright by trade and passionate about wooden vessels, has been involved with many high profile projects including SY Mirabella V (which to date has the tallest rig in the world) and SY Sojana (a Farr design 115 foot ketch). He is a highly experienced project manager with over 35 years in the yachting industry and will manage Lamima to her completion. Gareth embraced Thai culture and is really appreciate by the crew.
Progress has been swift with all technical systems installed and the hull re-caulked and painted. The long job of sanding and finishing the hull’s interior wood-work finally ended and teak decking is nearly complete.
Work on the interior has started under the creative hands of Stanley Tang from Archistudio. It promises to accommodate our guest in utmost comfort and style. The rigging of Lamima will be the next and final phase and supervised by top rigging experts, Gary Suffolk and Ben wood from Marine Results.
In the interim Dominique has been interviewing and selecting our Indonesian crew with the help of Satjanu; a former captain who through his large network of contacts in this niche field, has been invaluable. We have managed to put together a fantastic team of professional and enthusiastic crew, which will start to join Lamima from June
Despite the delays and the enormity of the task ahead, Dominique’s enthusiasm doesn’t wane for a second. ‘I think the secret for such a unique project is to be able to put together the right team of passionate people’ he says, smiling with satisfaction ‘and I believe we’ve managed that’. If everything goes well, we’ll step the masts mid July and straight after Lamima will go back in the water,for sea trials. He adds, ‘then. In September we’ll be ready to cruise!’
His optimism is understandable – just one look at the activity on and around Lamima’s sleek hull indicates that his schedule will surely be met.