Summer 2019 Update and FAQ on whats been going on !
Let’s start with an apology to our current fleet members, and also all those who have been waiting for a website reply. You might be wondering what’s been happening with the project and where on earth we have we been! - well below is a quick FAQ that will hopefully answer all of those questions!
You initially launched last July with; BBC Breakfast TV, BBC Newsround TV, BBC online NEWS and multiple other online news outlets covering the project - What was the impact of this?
It was simply incredible! ...... the response was much bigger than we ever expected and that was both a good and a bad thing! To do the project justice, to do this properly we were going to need more help and more resource!
We had initially planned a Beta development fleet of perhaps a dozen boats and we now had a high caliber Beta fleet of over eighty boats spread globally. BBC news is truly a bill board for global news outlets and the story absolutely went global, with boats from every Ocean and many of the popular cruising areas signing up and wanting to get involved!
We have been wondering what is going on - why the period of radio silence?
Just as we were signing up new fleet members and responding to the huge media interest generated last summer, we also began to be repeatedly approached by a potential buyer for our Humphreys Custom 40 ft. Long story short, we really didn’t want to sell her but we discussed it with our team. The group conclusion was that it could be an opportunity to put some additional funding into the project and perhaps switch to an even more capable lead vessel in the process.
In the end it was a highly protracted and very painful exercise, which we won't bore you with! Suffice to say we are very pleased it's all over now!
We are so excited to be back up and running again! With a new energy and a new lead vessel. We know the project will now be even more impactful thanks to the expanded project structure we are creating right now! The public interest and support from cruisers, environmentalists and scientists for what we are doing has grown hugely in the last year. We are so excited to share this journey with you as the project gets properly under way!
Where have you been?
It is safe to say that moving homes is one of the most complex things we do in life. However, moving floating homes we can honestly say is way more complex again! (Especially when the boat you find is on the other side of the planet!) The sale of our boat and search for a new boat did rather become all encompassing and until it was all sorted and we were on a firmer footing to move the project forwards, we have been by necessity, a little bit quiet! Thanks again to the Paul the broker, John and Nikki the previous owners, John the surveyor and the amazing marina staff in Malaysia for making the purchase of our new boat an absolute pleasure! Full story on that process soon.
Why change boats ?
We had someone who really wanted our last boat and we had hoped that selling it would be an opportunity to further fund the project and potentially switch to a more capable Fleet Science development platform. In the end it was very protracted and painful process, but we are through it now. We are really enjoying refitting the new boat, getting her ready to host scientists, journalists and environmentalists.
Tell us about the new boat - Why choose a catamaran this time around?
We have sailed extensively on both Monohulls and Catamarans and we very much enjoy sailing both! On the search for a floating home the first time around, a Cat was actually our first choice, however we really struggled to find what we wanted at that time of searching. When the Humphreys Custom 40 Monohull ‘Alisara’ came up for sale, she was just too good a yacht to miss out on in that moment. The universe always has a plan!, if we hadn’t have owned and sold Alisara, we wouldn’t have found the Custom built Catamaran we have now! so at the moment it all feels very much like it was meant to be!
Moving to a catamaran we can; more easily host scientists, environmentalists, journalists and have a potentially greater impact as the lead vessel for the project. BTW we aren’t in any way saying that it’s not doable to be part of the fleet if you own a monohull! it’s just that for us, this time around, it made more sense to move aboard a cat. The extra deck space also makes it easier to prepare and deploy research equipment and at seven meters wide she is a safe and stable platform for us all to work from.
Having lifting daggerboards, lifting outboards engines and kick up rudders means we can now safely dry out entirely and get back afloat in just half a meter of water! This means we can access extremely shallow coastal waters, which are seldom visited by researchers and represent some of the most vulnerable marine habitats on the planet.
The Schionning Cosmos design, has narrow easily driven hull forms and lifting dagger boards. She sails really well to windward and she can make way in very little breeze. Fast, comfortable and safe she is an ideal extended cruising vessel with many Cosmos’ having successfully taken couples and families around the world.
Why go for a custom built boat again?
Having now lived aboard a yacht full time for a few years, we have developed a much firmer view on whats actually needed in a long term live aboard and that really helped and steered us in our search for a new floating home. Our new Catamaran was custom built specifically for a couple cruising long term with space to host up to four visitors very comfortably, so an absolutely ideal fit !
The new Given Time ( Yes we kept the name! ) is a Schionning 1160 cosmos design. She is stretched to 1190 in our case and is also made a little wider at 7 meters rather than the standard designed 6.7 meters - so with the bow sprit fitted she is actually over 13 meters or 42ft long. Photos HERE.
She was yard built using; West Epoxy, Durakore strip planking, Duflex panels for bulkheads and fit out. She was built by professionals, to a great standard and better still she was built by that boatbuilder, for his own long term use! Many thousands of man hours went into her production and John started buying parts to build her in 2005 with her first launching in 2011. She has been laid up for 4 years, so was only actually only cruised for 4 years. She needs a little TLC having been laid up for so long, but having been so well built and well looked after, none of the work to come is too major or difficult. So it’s routine work up maintenance for a cruiser of this age, such as; standing rigging, running rigging ,engine servicing, new solar panels and this mini refit will set her up to go back in the water, good to go for many years to come! We really cannot wait!
What’s going on with the project ?
The project is very much back on track! We have been busy having meetings that will accelerate the project! We are so excited to share the details of the new partnerships and resources very soon! Watch this space!
We have been working closely with our lead science advisor, Dr Steve Simpson, to plan out and film a selection of videos outlining the types of data you as members of the fleet can collect with our upcoming series of step by step ‘how to’ video guides.
The first of these “How To” videos is on fish dissection. With Dr Steve and Ben Williams one of Dr Steve’s marine biology masters students staring! So for when you catch a fish on passage, this video will explain the dissection process in full and outline the highly valuable data you can easily collect from the fish. That data set these dissections produce is critical to understanding local ocean health. Easy and quick to do and the great news is you still get to eat the fish as normal afterwards!
We were recently lucky enough to be able to film Ben creating the Fleet Science fish dissection instructional video in one of Exeter University’s fantastic science labs! This video is the first to form part of the multiple high quality marine research resources that will be made available to all fleet members.
What is happening with the fleet science app.?
The Fleet Science App got to the prototype stage thanks to the great work by the teams from Amsterdam University, Institute of informatics! thanks again to all those involved! The key to bringing it to maturity and making it available free to all isn’t actually the app development itself. Rather it is the back haul of data and the storage resource required for the huge amount of imagery, audio and video files that the fleet will all be generating. We are in talks with multiple potential hosting partners. We are determined to preserve a true open source, citizen science resource for anyone to access! Be that a scientist, an environmentalist , a journalist or better still a science teacher! More news on this to follow as we meet with potential partners. Do please get in touch if think you yourself, or an organisation you are working with could help with the Fleet Science project!
Again, sorry for the radio silence and we hope you now understand just a little of the good reasons for it!
Moving forward we will be reporting project updates more often and sharing refit progress on our new boat as we prepare it as the lead vessel for the Given Time Fleet Science Mission!
We are excited to have you on board and a big hello to those who have just joined the fleet!
Fair winds and following seas.
All the best,
Conor and Sarah x
Please check out our social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - @svgiventime
Interested in how you can help and thinking of joining? Please get in touch via the contact us page.