For the savvy boat owner keen to improve and optimize – plus have fun along the way – look no further than the example set by Reimagine, now in the third winter of refit at the Lyman-Morse yard in Thomaston, Maine.
When built as Tumblehome in 1997, the C. Raymond Hunt/Peter Boyce designed 90-foot luxury motoryacht was Lyman-Morse’s largest project, showcasing the company’s capabilities and kicking off bigger undertakings. The yacht had been commissioned by philanthropist Elizabeth Noyce, who died during construction; her estate oversaw its completion in part to support the boatyard and its workforce and it was later sold.
With an FRP balsa core vinyl ester resin-infused hull, the boat was originally powered by two Detroit 1450 hp engines; today they’re twin CAT C32 1800HP diesels.
Reimagine can accommodate as many as seven guests in three staterooms as well as a crew of three. Amenities include a flybridge dining table, a classic saloon with a combination of cherry, teak, holly and red birch woodwork, and a semi-enclosed aft lounge space.
With the current owner, who stepped aboard in 2020, the boat leisurely cruises along the U.S. East Coast. Sojourns in the Bahamas and perhaps the Caribbean are planned.
At the outset it was clear to the owner and the captain that an extensive refit was needed. The hull had dings, some plumbing was failing, hoses were worn out, decades-old systems had grown obsolete, and a few components, down to numerous televisions and speakers, weren’t desired.
“Because it’s a new boat to the owner and to the captain, they wanted a baseline,” says Chet Mayo, Lyman-Morse project manager. A tiered refit schedule, combined with the periods of summer cruising where improvement opportunities are discovered, has quickly proven its worth.
“It’s a little more time because we’re pulling the boat out of the water every year to work on it,” Mayo says. “The flip side of that is there may have been modifications the owner thought about making, but once the boat was in use, realized weren’t really needed. Conversely, there were also some things that weren’t considered that did need to happen. Honestly, the approach was smart.”
The work, split among three winter seasons, requires complete staff immersion. Every Lyman-Morse division, including the composites department of the technologies group, was involved. “Electronics, electrical, mechanical, carpentry, paint—everyone,” says Mayo.
“Thankfully we were able to hit our target dates and that’s a testament to the team here,” he says.” It’s still challenging, with pandemic-related personnel issues, but labor-wise, this is one of the largest years we’re having.”
Aside from project management, Mayo, whose background is as an electrician, presided over the boat’s rewiring. “We upgraded a seamless transfer,” he says. “That was a big deal. It was hundreds of hours of work that needed to be done.” Every single wire was pulled out of the main a/c and d/c electrical panels and all connections were remade.
In summer, while the boat is in use, Mayo is also drafting a full set of systems drawings. “They have operator’s manuals, but they don’t have the systems layouts that also show how things are plumbed,” he says. “I’ve been creating that as we go.”
The topic of sketches and drawings ignites reminiscence about how build projects were documented at Lyman-Morse in the pre-computer years, and illustrates just how far the company’s capabilities and processed have evolved.
“Most documentation we have on Reimagine/Tumblehome is hand sketches from 1997,” Mayo says. “If I wanted to see what’s behind a bulkhead I looked through this book and found sketches of a bunk being built or another component all done by hand with handwritten notes in the margins of what they changed on the fly.
“Nowadays of course everything is modeled in computer world,” he says. “That’s how we did the helm. We modeled it so the customer could see how it would look before we executed the process. That’s the major difference between 1997 and now. It showcases our abilities there as well—we have a full-on design team. We can create anything in 3D and present it to the customer ahead of time. It helps people visualize what it is we’re trying to accomplish.”