Sunday, March 29, 2009

Frustration in detail

That's how I feel about this weekend.

I thought I was going to have the temps I needed to get some epoxy down. I need to do this to advance several projects. That didn't happen. Cold, wet and raw instead.

Then, the fittings I needed to finish getting fuel to my engine were mis-ordered/mis-shipped. I don't know which. I do know that I got the wrong stuff. I thought I could find a 90 degree elbow 1/4 inch NPT to 5/16 hose easily enough so I drove to my local hardare store but they were out of stock. I drove to Lowe's because I secretly wanted to check out a new 1/2 inch Porter Cable drill. Lowe's had neither the drill (which they advertise as stocking) nor the fitting. Home Despot = same result. I am considering giving up on all local purchases. I hate surfing around looking for stuff and feel like I am wasting time but I seem to waste even more time driving around looking for stuff. I find too that the 'super stores' have less of a selection than my local hardware store -plus the employees are completely ignorant about the items they sell. They have lots of stuff but its mostly of poor quality and really, I don't need 100 boxes of the same thing, I need a couple of simple items to chose between. I think I should abandon all local shopping and stick to the internet. I might keep my local hardware store in the loop just because I hate to see them go.

Anyway, two hours wasted and no fitting. McMaster and Carr will have it for me on Monday.

I started connecting the battery cables. I didn't have enough connectors to finish. I thought I had enough. I was wrong.

I forgot to bring up my drill from work so I couldn't drill any holes with my new bit I bought just for my transmission shifter. I also couldn't drill holes for my second bilge pump hose.

I decided to salvage Saturday afternoon by working on another boat that will pay me money. At least that was productive and the proceeds from that job will pay for my summer mooring. I still haven't tracked down a mooring yet.

Sunday morning was very rainy.

With my drill motor recently deceased I was a bit stuck on some small projects until I remembered this:

My great grandfather's egg beater drill. It actually worked quite well. I don't know why I don't use it more often. I liked that it was quiet too.

With this, I cut a few starter holes and then using my saber saw I cut out two frames.

The headliner in the head/hanging locker area basically fell out a few years ago. I found out when I went to put in the opening ports that the skin on the cabin side was too thin and even with the screws tightened all the way down the ports were loose. My solution is to add these spacers made from some leftover 1/4 inch okoume marine plywood. I am thinking when I get a chance to put in some automotive headliner over the area that these frames, varnished, will look quite nice and make a clean transition from fabric to port.

While I was doing this I cut out a couple of donut shaped rings for the seacocks in the head area. The head seacocks are mounted on backing pads of 3/4 inch okoume marine plywood (I would use G10 next time) surrounded by the foam insulation and a sheet of linoleum (because linoleum was easy to glue to the foam and then transition onto the platform that the toilet sits on - plus it should clean up easily). The backing pads are flush with the linoleum. Where the seacocks are cut in is kind of rough and the rings will help cover this little blemish. That's my thinking anyway.

To cut these rings out I used my rotozip tool.

I have a love/hate relationship with this tool. Its noisy and it tends to break bits and send them.... somewhere. I never see them go and that spooks me. 30,000 rpm and they simply go 'poof'. On the other hand sometimes this is the only tool that works. It also comes with a nifty attachement for making perfect circles.

And then I had a chance to try out my new router. Nice. I have to confess that I have never used a handheld router before. I was using router tables as a 15 year old at a furniture factory until OSHA had a fit when they saw me working with this tool, underage, with not a safety device to be found. I worked in laminations and laquer and stain spraying after that.

Anyway, I played around with some scrap and then I got serious and routed the edges of my teak engine instrument frame. 1/4 inch round over on the inside and a 1/2 round over on the outside. Its starting to look like a finished piece. I need to take it to the boat now and do some final fitting.

I did some updating of the 'real' website and ordered up another $200 in bits and pieces for next weekend. I am getting a little concerned about the cash flow as the launch date approaches. My monthly boat budget is being obliterated in tiny increments with boxes of screws, plumbing fittings, special hole saws etc. I can only hope that this will slow down at some point.

I need a second job...

And that concludes this week. Hopefully, better progress and more interesting pictures next week.


Tim said...

You wrote: "My monthly boat budget is being obliterated in tiny increments with boxes of screws, plumbing fittings, special hole saws etc. I can only hope that this will slow down at some point."

No. It gets worse. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but it's better to hear it from friends than out on the mean streets.

Note that expenses do go down rapidly when the boat is in the water. This is because you are sailing it instead of rushing to get it in the water. But nothing is more expensive than the final moments before completion (or at least interim completion). It's brutal, but you will get through it and recover afterwards.

You wrote: "...two hours wasted and no fitting...I think I should abandon all local shopping and stick to the internet."

You need something to do during the weekday evenings, right? Choose your online vendors wisely and just order everything. In advance. Remember PPPPPP: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. ;<)

brushfiremedia said...

You wrote: "My monthly boat budget is being obliterated in tiny increments with boxes of screws, plumbing fittings, special hole saws etc. I can only hope that this will slow down at some point.

Oh, man how I wish this were true. I spent probably 50% or more of my total refit budget during the last six weeks before launch. I know that's really not what you want to hear, but it's better to be prepared. I was doubly shocked about it because so much of what I ended up getting at the end came through my friendly boat-shop owner. I knew I was spending like crazy but when I got the bill.... OUCH!

Tim's right though, once the boat is in the water things quickly become much more manageable. But that's of scant comfort at the moment, I'm sure.

Britton said...


Since I have over $30k in this project so far does that mean having spent only half of my total expense I can expect to spend another $30k in the next three months?

Visa is going to love me.

brushfiremedia said...

Maybe. I didn't have to buy rigging or electrical for my project, but...