A couple of months back you may remember we featured a story about the AJ Wanderlust on our blog page.
The Wanderlust was a stunning 45 foot rigged sailing boat that suffered severe damage to its tie rod right before a key race and the team at Mylor employed all our expertise and passion to this project to get the boat to the start line of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race.
Following our work on the Wanderlust, and the boat's incredible success in the race, we received this wonderful testimonial from their crew that we'd like to share with you...
"My first interaction with Mylor was on Saturday, June 30th at about quarter to 5 in the evening. Upon explaining my situation, Mylor promised to contact one of their riggers and see if an immediate visit could be arranged. A return call was soon received and within AJ Wanderlust landing on her berth in Falmouth, Dan was aboard within minutes. To me, that action spoke volumes. Immediate reaction, to a new client, on a Saturday night. Dan seemed confident of the ability to fabricate the broken tie rod, but was more concerned over the cracks in the deck gel coat. Within a couple of hours, the tie rod was out, sails were removed to lighten the mast, and I had formed a plan with Dan to move AJ Wanderlust to Mylor in the morning. Dan had listened to my plight, living in the Isle of Man and needing to return to work, and had agreed to project manage the tie rod and any necessary related work for AJ Wanderlust.
Monday, 2 July, after a surveyor had been aboard, the news was not good. The damage was much more extensive than originally believed. The bulkhead had fractured and separated from the deck. The tie rod was now only a small portion of the repair, and about a 10 foot section of the port side deck needed to be reconstructed. I asked the question for the first time that I would ask many times over the next weeks - when will the work be done? At first, I was thinking I did not want to miss the Round Isle of Wight and St. Malo Races, but then when the scope of repairs became known, the objective became the start line of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race on 12 August. A special race as it only happens once every four years.
Dan, as well as the shipwrights, were always honest with the news. No one thought being ready for this race was possible. Maybe end of August as a best-case scenario, AJ Wanderlust would be ready to come out of the shed. This was a major repair. Even though the news was disappointing, I always felt like the Rigging team and the Marine team were on my side. Trying their best, but absolutely committed to quality and pride in a job well done. I decided to make the best of a bad situation, and went about getting other items on AJ Wanderlust fixed, serviced and upgraded. Things there was never time for. May as well sandblast the keel and re-epoxy, and bottom paint her, refresh the hull graphics, replace the standing and running rigging, fix the refrigeration that was not working, service the winches, and on the list grew. I worked closely with Dan as I did not want to add work that would lengthen AJ Wanderlust’s time in the shed, only work that could happen concurrently with the structural repairs.
Despite Dan and shipwrights honest assessments revealing that the repairs to Wanderlust would take longer than my deadline of 8/9 August, I never stopped asking if the boat could be ready for the Round Britain and Ireland race. Dan spoke with me almost daily while AJ Wanderlust was at Mylor, sometimes multiple times a day if quick decisions were needed, and he was always the man getting this question. But I could tell, he wanted to help AJ Wanderlust make the start line as much as I wanted her there. This was beyond just good professional service, this was actual heart and soul and dedication being put into the work on AJ Wanderlust. The frequent communication was key, as it kept me as an owner informed of how work was progressing, and also kept me informed as work scope changed, or increased, as a result of the findings. To get to the end of a project like this and not have any “surprises” is a credit to the management of such.
Suddenly, on July 30th long awaited news arrived. AJ Wanderlust just might be ready for the race. I was delighted, and very conscious that things were now in over-drive. It was going to be a push, Dan’s calls no longer stopped at 6pm. They were stretching to 8pm. It was still touch and go through the weekend of 4/5 August and even the next Monday/Tuesday. I booked my plane tickets to come to Mylor on Thursday morning, the boat would be ready at 1 pm. Stepping on board, I was immediately impressed by the new tie rods. They looked sturdy, which I prayed they would be as I was about to take this boat around Britain and Ireland, a significant yacht race with potentially heavy weather.
Dan was sadly on a pre-scheduled vacation, and so Paul (Mylor’s MD) stepped in for the final push. This included being on AJ Wanderlust for a short shake down cruise Thursday evening, and then departing with myself and Neal to deliver the boat to Cowes at 5 am on Friday morning. With Paul and his contacts on board, I was hopeful that any issue which arose could be quickly addressed so as to not prevent AJ Wanderlust from making the start line, which for the first time seemed possible. In the end, not much tweaking was needed and AJ Wanderlust was able to compete in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland.
I cannot say enough positive things about the service I received at Mylor. Or their commitment to making a ridiculously tight deadline, but always being upfront about ensuring quality work even if it meant not getting the yacht done for this race. I guess the evidence is that AJ Wanderlust will be returning to Mylor in late October to finish off a few more projects to be sure she is 100% going into next season.
A prologue to this story is that in the initial days of the race, AJ Wanderlust had a copper fitting sever from the engine’s lube oil cooler. Without the engine, we had no way to charge ship’s batteries, and so that would have been race over. The copper fitting severed at about midnight, just south of Falmouth/Mylor. Neal and I pointed the boat toward Mylor after informing RORC we had an issue and would need to port. I waited until a respectable 4 am before beginning to use all the mobile phone numbers I had for Mylor folks. I am happy to report AJ Wanderlust was met at the fairway to Mylor, towed to the dock, where two engineers jumped on and took her lube oil cooler away. They returned within two hours having machined on a piece to send us on our way within the same tide. Once again, that is what I call show-stopping service."
If you want to find out more about the story, read 'Mylor Rigging Team Save 'Wanderlust' Racing Boat' with a full breakdown of the work we carried out, race details and more.
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