Marco Polo Progress
December 9th at Cheoy Lees' shipyard in Doumen, was the day when the two halves of the second Marco Polo project became one. Until that time, the steel hull and foam cored composite superstructure had been underway, independently at separate ends of the shipyard. With both portions complete to the stage to allow them to be joined, the components were drawn out of their respective fabrication halls to see daylight (albeit overcast) for the first time. The placement process was quick and successful, and the more lengthy process of sealing and mechanically fastening the large components together followed.
Combining a steel hull with a composite superstructure is fairly common place at Cheoy Lee. Typically used for commercial vessels whose hulls need to withstand the rigors of their daily work, yet requiring a lighter weight structure for operating efficiency and stability, Cheoy Lee has also used the configuration on a number of yacht projects, notably, the first Marco Polo and the 52m yacht SeaShaw. Compared to the more typical steel and aluminium combination (which other yards find easier to do), GRP avoids all corrosion problems associated with dissimilar metals, provides for better thermal and noise insulation, and offers considerably lower maintenance.