put it together

There’s a new race boat yard in Lisbon, and they’re flat out finishing off a ‘new’ fleet of round the world race boat. The latest from Seahorse…
nick the builderSeahorse Magazine: What was your brief right at the beginning of the refit process?
Nick Bice: VOR director of boats and maintenance: The priority was reliability. The VO65 created a lot of reliability for the stakeholders in this race, for the teams, sponsors, sailors and of course us at Volvo Ocean Race HQ. In originally selecting the VO65 the criteria were reliability, performance and safety, which is paramount… and these boats now need to do another 70,000 miles. So my brief to the team was identical to when we were servicing these boats during the stopovers in the last race: always be proactive, not reactive.
SH: How many are there in your team?
NB: I have managed to keep our core team from last time and the head of each department. Then we’ve built onto that family, so we currently have close to 30 people in Lisbon. A significant number of those are in the paint team, as with new sponsors and branding there is a lot to do there!
We estimate the whole job will take 3,500-4,000 hours, with 2,000 hours just allocated to painting the boats. We have these 30 people on site but a lot of the components go back to the manufacturers for servicing, so there are many more people involved than you see here in Lisbon.
SH: And there is a huge amount of work just in pulling these boats apart…
NB: Over 700 components are coming off each boat, so there is a boat captain for each VO65 who is responsible for their boat as it goes through the refit process. Part of that is ensuring that every single part of the boat – however small – gets catalogued, then is sent off to the supplier or serviced on site. Read on.