03-12 What a Girl

by

Tags: Fiction, .

Desc: Action/Adventure Story: Gerry wants to build a boat, so he does - but only after inventing the materials to make it work. Before he can build what he wants he builds a luxury yacht to test out the design. However, the major test is when he's at sea during a Category 5 storm, and has to help rescue others caught out at sea.

When eleven years old Gerry wants to build a couple of yachts. One for practical reasons and a luxury cruiser for himself. He decides to build one hull able to do both tasks with different fit-outs. The luxury yacht will be first to prove the design. He knows what he wants and how it should look. The experts say it can't be done. He studies and qualifies as a maritime designer, maritime engineer, and chemist. Doing all the studies by distance education in nine months of hard studies. He sets about designing the yacht. They're right, the materials don't exist. So he sets about inventing new materials to do the job.

Using carbon filament and Kevlar as a start point he invents Nolar. Much stronger, lighter, and versatile than Kevlar; also cheaper to make. So strong and cheap it's soon used in a wide range of products as a steel substitute. Using Nolar reduces steel imports which improves the local economy and the balance of trade figures. Nolar reinforcing rods for building with cement, Nolar cases for appliances and cars. See-through Nolar windows for security installations. Within months the company created to market Nolar makes many millions. Sadly, Nolar isn't quite good enough for the yacht, so an improved version is needed and made. Nolar Two is only 2.5% dearer and used to build the yacht.

When twelve and a half years old he buys a failing boat yard in southern Berant and refits it to build with Nolar Two. It's a runaway success. The test hull is built as a shell to prove the concept and its abilities, and then versions fitted out for commercial fishing are built. They're cheaper and safer than traditional boats. With the design proven the yard builds luxury yachts for the world as well as patrol boats and rescue boats for the Guards. Dream Boats is a huge success.

Dream Boats is located in a region where the local economy has collapsed. Reactivating the yard provides employment for hundreds and is the key to revitalising the region. They overcharge heavily on the luxury fit-outs for the yachts, spreading most of the extra fit-out money among the local workers via higher wages and bonuses. They're soon employing over four hundred people and producing fifteen boats a week for various markets. The sales of Nolar are just as good.

This series are trimaran hulls made of Nolar Two, later there are Nolar Three variants. Both use twin water jet engines mounted in the rear of the main hull. The engine size varies with the intended use and maximum speed wanted for the vessel, four engine sizes are offered for use. Overall length is twenty-six metres and overall width is nineteen metres. The main hull is six metres wide with side hulls of three and a half metres wide by fifteen and a half metres long. Inter-hull gaps are three metres. The rear wall of all three hulls are in a line. There are no rails on the deck, but there are bulwarks angled back at thirty degrees to a height of one and a quarter metres off the deck with drain holes in them at deck level. The bridge is over the third quarter of the main hull, about sixteen and a half metres back from the bow. It's seven and a half metres deep and six metres wide. The inside deck height is two and a half metres, except the main cabin which is three metres. The main hull draws two metres of water and the side hulls draw one metre. The almost flat front deck stretches over the three hulls for ten and a half metres before sloping up to the bridge roof at an angle of thirty degrees. A curved deck wall angles around the sides for seven metres, also sloping to the bridge to give the ship a streamlined look (like a flying saucer from the front) that also sheds excess water with ease. The engine room is in the rear of the main hull and the rear deck is only one metre above sea level here. Exterior hatches open outward and have water tight double seals when locked shut.

Nolar Two is a composite material made up in layers. It's naturally transparent and paint is easy to add between layers for a non-fading colour. Windows are made by not painting areas during construction. This gives a great hull integrity with any sized windows. Carbon filament is added for increased strength in any desired quantity. Cables can be laid between layers and incorporated in the hull, giving them more protection. Nolar Two for hull, deck and all fittings.

By law Gerry, as the owner, has to take 20% of the profits out of the business for himself and other uses by him. The day he steps aboard the finished yacht for the first time the 20% profits from his businesses is over a million dollars a month, despite large donations to charities and paying staff wages well above those required by the legislation and / or union agreements for their jobs. Even the 40% spent on expansion can only go so far, because no business can expand indefinitely.

It's been a hard road to build Gerry's dream boat, even if the original wasn't the exact boat he dreamed of. Instead of building the boat he dreamed of he built its hull as a luxury yacht. Three years to design and build the first fully fitted out boat, now to prove it performs as he expects. Why build a luxury yacht when that isn't what he wants. Well, he needs to prove the hull design is safe in a category five storm. If he'd made an error and it sank, then a new style luxury yacht will get a lot less adverse publicity than a more commercial version.

She's painted aqua-marine. The side hulls have four cabins with a head (maritime talk for toilet) and a shower in each cabin. The main hull has the Master's cabin, six other cabins, two showers, a galley, four heads, a lounge area, and engine room. All cabins are seven and a half square metres or bigger. The Master's cabin is thirty-six square metres at the front of the main hull with an attached en suite. Some space is lost to the bow angles and slopes, but it has spectacular views out the large forward windows. The views are exceptional when under way at speed.

The first boat built is called Dream Girl and is his personal yacht. He first goes on-board her on his fourteenth birthday, she's a trimaran hull powered by two of the larger model water jets. She's the most luxurious yacht in Berant waters, as befits his status as the country's richest individual, and moors at the View Port Marina. Many luxury yachts from around the world moor there while the owners visit the resort town of Carmel and the country.

Dream Girl is great for parties at sea or in harbour. Gerry goes out to sea as often as he can. Many clan members borrow her for special occasions. He loans her to the View Port orphanage and local schools for days out. She's also available to employees for company outings. Dream Girl is written up in the yachting magazines as the best luxury yacht of its size. Dream Boats sell many variants with custom fit-outs to owner specifications at huge profits.

She has a double crew of ex guards from the Claymore and Orcas. Gerry provides nearby on-shore housing as well as on-board quarters and they switch between as needed. In fitting out Dream Girl he puts in the Guards communications and encryption systems, computers, all the radar and other detection gear he possibly can. With enough fire-power on-board to arm a company. Also, all the sea rescue gear available. It's a mobile maritime headquarters for him.

In the first few months of use they weather many storms at sea, including a category three cyclone. No problems and a delight to sail in. The hull and deck design allows waves to quickly wash off them. She's very stable in the roughest weather they've been in so far.

An Interesting Voyage

In September, 2006 Gerry sails for a three week cruise on Dream Girl with his personal support team of Isobelle, Vicky, Deanna Chektar, and Captain Theresa 'Angie' Angelson (his personal medic since he was five years old). It's a relaxing time at sea. In theory it's a study cruise to prepare for coming exams. They do study - the sea, the weather, the sun, island beaches, and some text books at night. They spend the first week unwinding, the second week is mostly study for exams. Towards the end of that week they're closely studying the weather; it's changing and looks bad. A cyclone has blown up and may head their way.

Early Friday morning Captain David Harding, Dream Girl's skipper, calls Gerry to look at the latest weather reports. The cyclone is now a category five and turned one hundred and fifty degrees to be heading towards them at high speed for a cyclone. If it stays on its current track it'll travel the length of the Berant coast between them and the coast, since they're well out to sea. However, the Sea Watch Radar repeater shows many small vessels that haven't a hope of getting to a safe harbour, not before the cyclone arrives. They'd not headed for harbour before because all the earlier reports showed the cyclone heading away. The Sky Hooks, Otters, and Orcas are out getting those they can, but there's still several they won't be able to reach in time because they're just too far from the coast.

Turning to David he raises an eyebrow. David ponders a moment, and nods, saying, "She'll take it. Anyway, we won't know for sure how she'll handle this type of weather until she does."

Lifting a radio microphone Gerry switches to the Sea Watch frequency and he activates the mic, saying, "Sea Comm, urgent, Sea Comm, urgent, this is Dream Girl." He waits for the reply from Sea Comm, the Sea Watch Communications Centre.

They respond, "Dream Girl, this is Sea Comm, go ahead."

"Sea Comm, Dream Girl, order those seven easterly craft to head south-east, we'll head west and collect the people. Can't do a thing for their boats, but we can get them off safely. Over."

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