With the tooling of the Summit 54’ hull mold now complete, it’s time to document the work happening by the hands of our master craftsmen on the production floor. It is an exciting time! At the helm of SUMMIT MotorYachts’ production team is Tom Button, president of Kadey-Krogen Yachts, and he has penned our first production update with photos. Catch a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in manufacturing—by a builder with more than 40 years of experience.
Tom Button, what is your role?
For more than 15 years, alongside the great team of people we have, I have managed production and service for Kadey-Krogen Yachts. Now, I will be coordinating the SUMMIT MotorYachts project with Michael Peters Yacht Design (MPYD), the Kadey-Krogen in-house architectural and engineering staff, Asia Harbor Yacht Builders (AHYB) in Taiwan, and the new owners of these fine boats as the project continues to move forward.
In simple terms, how did we get to the point of creating the tooling?
It all began when the Kadey-Krogen Yachts team sat down with MPYD to create the concept for this planing hull model (a true departure for us) and the future model line. Careful consideration went into whether we wanted to enter the planing hull motoryacht market or the semi-displacement genre. Having closely watched the market and industry trends move towards ever-increasing speed and power, we all agreed planing was the way to go. The Summit 54’ is designed for those who prefer to cruise quickly.
MPYD then worked-up several conceptual design ideas, with us ultimately settling on what you see today—the Summit 54’. Then, the construction drawings were started to enable us to create the tooling at the yard (the pre-production construction of the molds to make the yacht) and allow us to get to this point where we are now ready to build!
What happens while tooling is being created?
Drawings are completed and issued for items, such as the production of the tanks and electrical and mechanical layouts, so components can be ordered and prepared to be installed as soon as the hull is released from the mold. The boat is built from the bottom-up, so essentially, we are working on completing all the drawings to accommodate this.
The tooling for Summit 54’ was hand-constructed. Why?
We prefer to build tooling by hand, so we can easily make changes while the molds are being constructed. For example, as the house section and deck molds are being constructed, we physically walk them to check to see if the width is adequate—before the boat is ever built, we know exactly how it will feel for someone walking the side decks to the bow. On the flybridge or bow, we sit in all the seating to see how it feels. Is it comfortable? Does it need a better angle for the back rest, etc.? Hand-construction allows us to make these changes quickly and easily. Other methods make it very costly and laborious to make changes.
What else was happening while the hull mold was being laminated?
We are now finishing-up the house section female plug with a crew wet-sanding it to perfection, so we can soon laminate that mold. This one process in the making of this piece takes about two weeks. At the same time, the carpenters are finishing up the details on the flybridge/boat deck plug—because it, too, must be wet-sanded and then laminated to make the mold. All must be well-orchestrated to stay on course for a timely production line.
Thanks for reading our first production update!