Sunday, November 18, 2012

Plumbing the Depths...

I really need to get a scrub brush into the bilge sometime. Or a pressure washer to get into all the crevices.  I have cleaned a time or two down in the bilge but it never really gets completely 'clean'.  I was thinking about that today as I was getting the plumbing hooked up.

Two foot pumps in position.

And just to see how close they are to the steps here is a picture looking straight down on the pump levers.

Yeah. Not perfectly aligned.  Oh well.  Maybe I set them slightly off  center to compensate for the different standing angles that are created by the user using opposite feet for each pump. Or maybe I just goofed a bit.

My last order of plumbing supplies was delayed so I couldn't move forward on the freshwater system.  I was able to bring the saltwater galley supply closer to be finished.  Funnily enough, I ordered the hoses I thought I needed only to find out later that I already had the hoses in stock for the past two years or so.  Now I have plenty of hose.

So, I repositioned the strainer last week and this week I installed new hoses to replace all the hose that I disturbed.  I also added in the 'T' fitting  to provide salt water to the foot pump on the port side.  I fought with the half inch hose for about 20 minutes, first trying to stretch it to fit the barbed fitting, then heating it (with the utility light used to light up the cabin) and finally by making a quick run to the hardware store for some silicone spray.  After all this I realized that in the catalog the hose fitting was described as fitting 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch hose. I figured they meant that it is a little tight for 1/2 inch and a little loose for 5/8.  As it happens, the fitting is actually stepped so that the 1/2 inch hose connects on the outer end and a 5/8 inch hose slides up further on the fitting to the bigger section. That was a 'duh' kind of moment. 

I am not terribly happy with this fitting because I have been attempting to follow the practice of putting two hose clamps on every hose connection below the waterline.  In this particular case, there isn't enough room on the fitting for two clamps.  I am not terribly worried. Those AWAB clamps are great and none of them have shown any signs of getting old or failing.  As a matter of fact, the hose seems to weld itself to the fitting long before I notice any corrosion on the clamps so even without clamps I don't think the hose would leak.  It still isn't how I wanted to do it however.

Turns out I was tricked and a lot of the hose clamps I have on the shelf are not the superior AWAB brand but common and questionable hose clamps from ... somewhere else so I didn't finalize all the connections.  I did run the lines to the saltwater foot pump though.

It would have been nice of the Whale brand pumps to label the inlet and outlets of their pumps.  I will have to bring some water next week so I can do a test pump and figure out which is which.

I will probably curse myself later for positioning the starboard freshwater pump so close to the aft edge of the storage locker.

The hose fittings reach into the bulkhead and I will have to attach the hoses and then slide the pump into position afterwards.  That is why I had to make the holes in an oval shape.

I spent some time researching filtration systems for the freshwater supply.  I was looking at a few boat/rv systems but I wasn't happy about how they hooked into the system.  They all had special faucets and used a clamp fitting that clamped around the supply and  cut into the supply hose to get to the supply.  It got complicated figuring out the hardware I would need to set it up simply, plus they were rather pricey at around $100-$150 so in the end I went to Home Despot and picked up a GE brand filter with fittings for about $35. Buying from Home Despot also means getting replacement filters should be as easy as visiting my local hardware store rather than having to order from marine specialty houses. 

Oh. I almost forgot.  I found this bronze cowl on sale by a former Triton owner. I am going to install the cowl on the aft deck port side to ventilate under the cockpit.  It won't match my low profile cowl on the starboard side but any cowl is better than no cowl and I will keep looking. The cowl is well used but in decent condition.

I think I am going to position the filter under the sink right about...

...there but I am not 100% sure yet.

It is about time I cut an access door in the front panel to gain access under the sink. 

I just need my latest plumbing supply order to come in plus another box or two of AWAB clamps to get salt and freshwater to the sink. 

As long as I don't eat too much at Thanksgiving this week I just might have a working water supply next weekend.  No more leaning over the side of the boat to wash my dishes. 

That will be nice...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pump it up

Last weekend was a bust but this weekend I managed to get to the boatyard for a few hours.

Firstly, I spent some time cleaning up leaves that had accumulated on deck over the past month or so.  The last time I was working on the boat was all about getting her covered before the hurricane.  I didn't take the time to clean her first.  I fixed that.

Then on to more interesting thing; like water pumps for the galley.

The tools of the week that I forgot to bring were some nice sharp wood chisels.  I had a rough chisel that I don't care about for bashing old fiberglass and whatever and that is all I had to make the slots for the pump arm.  I used the dull chisel long enough to make sure the pump was going to work .  The second pump will be mounted opposite the one here.  I started making the slot but didn't finish it.

This is ugly I know, I didn't clean the locker before I started and it had some old... stuff... that needs to be cleaned and probably over painted.  This is looking down through the settee locker lid.  There is just enough room at the aft end (top of photo) to connect the supply and output hoses through the bulkhead/panel that separates the under areas between the galley and settee.

The sink drain was easy.  I had a seacock underneath the sink area that I used for the engine raw water intake for my first sailing season.  I picked up a lot of crud from that location (had to clean out the strainer every few hours) so I moved the engine raw water intake lower down and on the other side of the keel.  This left an unused seacock right under the sink so I put it to good use.  I just needed to change the tail fitting from an angled one to a straight one.  Yeah, that little hole has accumulated a lot of grinding dust and gunk.  Add it to my cleaning list...

I decided to try taking my raw water for the galley off of the engine raw water supply.  Other people I know have done this with no regrets and it looked to be the easiest solution.   I don't expect to need raw water in the galley any time I am running the engine so I think I am okay. If not I will make my 'service' area even more cluttered with another seacock later.

Here is how the area looked before I started.  Yes. Messy.  Anyone noticing a trend here?...

There is the engine raw water strainer on the left (red antifreeze liquid inside the clear strainer). The engine fuel filter is on the forward edge (bottom of photo) with the electric fuel pump right next to it.  Coolant overflow tank is on the right side of the photo.  The hoses... never mind.. it is getting crowded there...

So my first idea was to move the raw water strainer to the forward end of the area opening up that whole side (left on the photo).

Nope.  Clearly that wasn't going to work.  The strainer takes more space than I thought.

Instead I shifted the strainer forward leaving room for the 'T' fitting that splits the supply between the engine raw water pump and the raw water galley pump.  Those hoses in the photo are just to help line things up.  The original hoses were frozen on so I cut them off.  New hose is always a good idea anyway.  They are cheap enough.  The input hose to the strainer was too short and will be replaced too.

Because I had to change plans on the raw water system I didn't have enough fittings to complete the fresh water supply.  Truthfully, I had a bone head moment and ordered a normal 'T' fitting to combine the two fresh water tanks rather than a proper valve so I can select between the two.  I ordered the valve and the extra fittings I need to finish the project.  The hoses are standing by waiting for final cutting and fitting into position.

I didn't bring the right sized drill for the galley faucets so I didn't install them either.  Just basic telescoping faucets for now.

Believe it or not I also did some general clean up inside and that is where I left off for today.  Hopefully, a working water system next weekend.  Oh... maybe not.... I just remembered that I want to put a filtration system into the freshwater side and I haven't even looked into that yet.  Those nice new custom made water tanks have been sitting in the boat for ... maybe four years now(!?) and I am sure a lot of dust has managed to get inside them.  I can use the access panels to clean them but I am willing to bet there will be a lot of gunk to filter out for the first few tank fills.  I want the filtration system for that and for those dodgy water supplies one occasionally stumbles across while out cruising.

And that is it.  I have a lot of loose ends on the galley at the moment and hopefully I will be tightening it all up soon.

Spring cruising season is coming soon. Realistically what?.. ten weekends maybe?  What with holidays, bad weather, family plans, taking half the winter away from production.? I should hire myself a whip cracker...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'nick of time

Hurricane Sandy just flew past and Jenny was put to bed just in the nick of time.

The tarp was tied down just as the rains started.  We had some strong winds but the cover survived just fine.  This new boatyard is a 'normal' yard where the boats are absolutely crammed in. I miss my old yard already.

Boats are buried three rows deep and they are still coming in.  Good thing for me I am not looking for an early launch as I am back in the first row against the outer fence.  Too many generic looking power boats around Jenny for my liking to.  Oh well. It is only for this season.

This month has been mostly about working on other-peoples-boats.  There was a natural convergence of my recent change of status to 'unemployed'  and the needs of a few friends of mine hustling to get work done on their boats before they headed south for the winter.  I guess it was a good thing but Jenny was neglected this month.

Now with my friends safely along their way I shouldn't have many distractions until I find other gainful employment again.

I did manage to get the stove cabinet finished and ready for varnish.  Waiting for varnishing weather or a place to varnish in an indoor environment is holding that project up.The final panels that go  behind the galley countertop are cut and ready for varnish as well.

The boat cover is pretty much the same as what I had last year.  A pair of tripods to support a ridgepole.  Two side braces at the front edge of the cockpit and slats every three feet to keep the tarp from sagging too much. I assembled the same frame around the bottom to tie the tarp down with.  It is a little tight for working inside but it was quick and easy and works.  It passed the hurricane Sandy test just fine.

I have a box full of plumbing fittings for the sink and fresh water systems so I think that will be my next focus.  I also need to figure out how to mount my propane tanks.  I am thinking of hanging them off of the windvane.  I need to check out what sort of clamps and hardware I can find for that. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If the first one is good...

... then the second one will be even better.

Being admittedly dimensionally challenged.  I didn't have a perfect plan in my head when I started building the stovetop 'cabinet'.  I just figured it out as I was going along.  In retrospect.  I probably would have been better served if I had made a fully functional mockup because I ran into a snag just before completing the project.

The stovetop has a non moveable fitting for the propane line at the side of the unit.

When I built the tight fitting pieces that the stove rests upon I didn't take that little fitting into consideration.

My initial solution was to make a cut out to allow for the fiting.

The stopping point came when I realized I had no idea how to make the cabinet blend into the surrounding structure without this awkward hole and exposed propane line.  It was just ugly.

So, the solution was to do it over again and this time shift the stove outboard an inch to accomodate the fitting.  If I had used different joinery I might have been able to take the pieces apart and just replace the end but since I used a generous supply of waterproof glue on all the joints there was no way it was going to come apart easily.  The easiest and best solution was to do it over again.

So now I have version two.  One thought I had was to fill the gap on the left end with a capping piece that would also go over the edge of the stove and lock that end down.  Then I realized the flame from the stove was going to run right past that cap and setting the cabinet on fire probably wouldn't result in anything good.  Instead, I glued a filler piece into the space on the left hand side.

Other boat activities involved doing a thorough review of what was left before I could hook up the water tanks to the pumps and the pumps to the faucet and sink drain overboard.  I have a bunch of bits and pieces to order for that but the actually installation should go easily enough.  At first I was planning on putting salt and fresh water pumps on the starboard side which is the side with the sink.  This puts the forward most foot pump lever in a great location for snagging an ankle so I have decided to move one of the pumps to the port side opposite the other.  This way both pump levers are just forward of the first step and almost underneath the step where it is much less likely to cause harm.  My only question is which side should pump which water source; salt or fresh.  Minor details I know.

In order to install the foot pumps I made a template with some left over stock from my first failed attempt at an engine instrument panel.

The three mounting holes are non concentric (scattered around) and the template also allows me to cut the hole for the level acurately.

And that's it.  As always, I had intentions of getting more done but with my new found lack of employment all my local friends have been asking me to help them with various projects.  Looking for my next big career also takes a fair bit of time out of my schedule.  The weather has also been iffy.  On that note, I think a winter cover is moving up the priority list.  I really want to finish the interior panels so I can spend the winter making storage bins around the  galley area.  That could happen over a weekend plus a few days of varnishing.

It is always good to have a plan.

Until next time, keep the dirty side down.  ;-)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dimensionally challenged

I think that is it.  I am dimensionally challenged. 

I am starting to settle into the new lack of work routine and carving out some time for the boat amidst my job searching.  Most of my time has been spent fiddling with the stove top frame.  It has proven more time consuming that I imagined.  What a surprise...

Oops, that doesn't quite fit.  Oops, that piece is going to interfere there, Oops, if I set that screw there I will have no room for that other screw there... You know the drill.  Despite my incompetance, the project has been moving forward.

Just before I found out I had no job and no money I had ordered a pocket hole jig made by Kreg.  It is really nice.  I don't think the strength of the angled screw joints are as strong as the advertising suggests but they are adequate for the application and dead simple to do well.

 To use the jig, you simply clamp  one piece of wood into the blue jig thing in one quick motion. Then you drill down the alignment holes using the special step drill until the depth collar bottoms out. There is a little gauge on the side of the blue clampy thing that sets up the collar to the correct position.  Then you screw the pieces together permamently.

I am a little proud of myself for inventing another jig that probably everyone else in the world already knows about.

My 'invention' is just a piece of scrap plywood with two pieces of wood screwed in at a precise 90 degree angle.  To make nice square corner joints you simply butt the pieces together and against the wood guides, clamp then down if you want, and screw then together. Perfect 90 angle every time.

When you are done the joints look like this.  Pegs or mortise in tenon would obviously be stronger but for quick and easy this method seems to work just fine. 

At this point, the stove top frame looks like this in the boat.

The back edge will be bolted to the plywood panel behind.  The inside face against the removable steps will have a recessed piece of cherry plywood to fill in the hole.  There is a small gap on the outboard edge that I am going to leave for now and let the boat tell me how to fill it in. I am still building in storage and that little detail is up in the air.  The front legs will be screwed in as well. 

One issue I ran into was that the frame sits too far forward and interferes with the cabinet door on the settee back.  It just can't be helped. I am either going to modify that door or secure it and leave it as a fake door with a top opening or something.  To be determined...  I can't make the frame any smaller because the stove top just barely fits in as it is. I guess I measured the stove top and figured it would fit forgetting that the frame takes up some space too.  I did mention I was dimensionally challenged didn't I ?

At this point, the frame needs some sanding, maybe some finish work, the inside panel cut and be secured in place.  The last detail will be the connection to the gas line.  There is a notch on the back inside edge of the frame for the fitting, one of those 'oop's moments, and I am not 100% sure there will be room for a for a fitting to connect the gas line.  One way or the other I will make it work but the final solution isn't quite there yet. 

Other than that, I have been pretty much taking inventory of what needs to happen and setting up in my new surroundings.  There are oak trees behind the boat and they have already started shedding leaves and plugging up my cockpit drain scuppers.  I will have to cover the boat soon so that I can free myself from that annoyance.  I have created a list that keeps growing but the details are boring and I never seem to do all that I intend anyway so there isn't much point in listing it all here.  Its all subject to change.

And that is it.  I have had a few curve balls thrown at me and the project has faltered a bit but progress keeps happening which is good.  I am getting pretty close to a working stove and draining sink.  Water pumps and faucets aren't far behind.  The weather is good and I have more free time than I expected.  Pretty good deal I would say.

Em tasol wantoks ;-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lost and Found

So I went to the boatyard last weekend and found... empty spot where Jenny used to be.

A quick drive over the bridge into Salisbury ...

... and I found this familiar looking nose peeking out.

So two weeks ago Friday I got a letter telling me the boat yard had been sold and recomending a new boat yard nearby.  If I chose that boatyard the move would be paid for by the current yard being sold.

I did some checking around again over the weekend and had some past offers recinded unfortunately so the best course of action seemed to be to take the offer of a free move and simply move over to the other side of the river; at least for this coming season.

I am glad it didn't take long to make my decision because the following Monday, I got a call asking if  I had made a decision to move and could they move Jenny TODAY.  Seemed a little fast so I stalled them for a day while I cleaned and straightened the boat in preparation for the move and cleaned around under the keel.  I hauled a lot of stuff out to be tossed in the back of my garage...

It is amazing how that stuff just piles up.

So the move is done.  I have barely introduced myself at the new yard and haven't started any work there because they seemed quite eager to have full payment up front and I wasn't expecting to pay that bill for a few months.  The old yard usually asked for a deposit with the remainder before Christmas. 

And just to make life that much more interesting, my current employer decided they didn't need the help any more and so I found myself unemployed with no advance warning.  That little disruption has messed up my routine a bit too.  Last time I found myself in this situation I spent the spring and summer prepping Jenny  for paint which worked out well except when I did start looking for new work I found a big economic depression  in my way which meant I was under employed for much longer than expected.   While I would like to sit back, collect unemployment checks and fit out the boat for the next few months, my past experience suggests I should get right to work getting right to work.

Now that I am in the routine of looking for regular employment and doing the self employed thing on and off I should be able to get back to the REAL work of taking care of the 'love of my life' as Jenny as sometimes been referred to as.

I attempted to continue with the stove cabinetry this past weekend only to realize I had forgotten some of my measurements so I am off to the yard later today to get that going again and kick the whole project into gear again.

Lately this blog has turned into a mess of non productivity and excuses. I am trying to change that.  The new cherry stock I bought last week looks great.  I should have it all cut up in no time :-)

Laters Taters,  ;-)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hot like an Oven...

Well, maybe "Stove" would be more appropriate.

Its been hot, very hot, and the weekends have been swelter fests at the boatyard.  It seemed like a good time to take a break, maybe a little vacation, catch up on some other chores and just fuss with little stuff in the mornings before it gets too hot inside the boat.  My sweat has been staining all the lovely woodwork...

... and I think the heat has cooked my brain a bit.  Most of my efforts have been towards installing the stove top; that and finding a new home for Jenny but more on that in a bit.  First ideas for mounting the stove was to simply install a fiddle around the edges of the paneling and sit the stove on top.

My problem came from trying to tie in the trim and make it all look good.  Those raw plywood edges were tough to make smooth and straight enough to butt up to an edge and dissapear. Both the side edge and top edge needed to be hidden and it just wasn't working out well.  Then those pesky screws on the left side were interfering with the removable step.  "Damned that it was all connected" is what  friend of mine says.  Doing one thing has ripple effects on everything else around it.  The outboard side was proving tricky too and I just didn't like where it was going to I returned to the drawing board.

Currently, I am working on my second attempt.

This involves more "real" wood and I expect that side panel alongside the ladder in the companionway is going to be cut away. 

The other issue on my mind is moving Jenny. There was an issue with the sale of my current boatyard and it looked like it was going to be around for another year which was a good thing. Just last week though the decision was made and Jenny will have to move in the next month.  All the business is going to another local boatyard that is currently making room for the additional boats.  I stopped by this morning to check it out and I wasn't too impressed.  Its a parking lot with limited power and no water and from the looks of it all the boats are jammed in inches from one another.  It isn't the kind of yard that favors project boats.  On the plus side, as a nice gesture from the current yard, all boats moving to the new yard will be done at the curent yard's expense.  That would save me a nice little bundle of money that could pay for something nice on the boat.  But as I mentioned, I am not too impressed with what I saw.

I was also looking at the old port of Gloucester where I have spot if I want it.  Its a great harbor to launch out of and the yard is highly recommended.  The problem is its probably the dirtiest junkpile of a boatyard I have ever seen.  Random bits of wood, boat parts, travel lift parts, etc. scattered everywhere and once again, only inches between the gunwales.  Its also about half an hour from where I live which makes running back for that forgotten tool even more of a chore.

I have a few more options one of which includes parking Jenny on a local farm where the owner is friend of mine.  It would be close and I would have some room.  Hauling costs twice a year might  make it it a bit more painful on the wallet but that's what I am looking at.  I hope to scope that out tomorrow.

Pretty sad update for a sadly neglected blog I know but that's all I got.  This weekend the heat seems to be breaking and hopefully the weather trend will continue.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Do or Do Not...

... there is no try. I Did Not this weekend. 90+ degrees and 100% humidity turned the boatyard into a sauna. I made the attempt but it didn't last long. The killer is when I found that I left my fan in the cockpit exposed to the recent rain which apparently is not good for electric fans. Otherwise, I have been driving around looking at empty lots of land and a few 'fixer-uppers' (just a little TLC will have this beauty... blah blah blah). I am also narrowing in on a boatyard not far from me that would work out. Further and less endowed than my current boatyard but with some advantages.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Right Turn Clyde..

I realize not many are going to get the reference to the blog title but I will give it a chance anyway... So... I was away for a weekend visiting other boats and people. I was trapped by all the household errands that were put off the following weekend. This past weekend had some holiday party plans and general recuperation. In other words, I haven't done a damn thing in three weeks. There is a bright spot though. I received some goodies in the mail.

My new stove arrived and it looks beautiful :-) Two foot pumps for the galley also arrived plus some miscellaneous shop supplies. Even better is that the stove fits quite well.

I was worried the side locker door on the settee back was going to be blocked by the stove but it looks like it just squeaks into place. The idea is to mount the stove low enough so that a removable section of the countertop can be placed over the stove, extending the counter top area. Unfortunately, this means I won't have enough room under the stove to really stretch out my feet if I choose to lie down on the port settee. I could raise the stove, losing the counter space, or lower the stove, losing my toe-wiggling room. The toes lost and the stove will be mounted below the level of the countertop.

Actually, there is a little more to my 'got nothing done' story. It seems the boatyard where Jenny sits and where I have been almost happy paying my two thousand dollars a year in storage fees is being sold. Or rather it has been sold. I haven't had the official notification but I ran into an employee at the grocery store who filled me in. I drove through the yard today (Sunday) and saw that all the yard heavy equipment is gone which confirms what I heard about things moving fast and being sold off. So... I am paid up through September but Jenny doesn't have a home after that. What makes this a bit more difficult is that the local area is already over capacity and there simply isn't room to re-locate 150+ boats. Prices will go up and some boats will move farther away. In the meantime I have been scrambling to sort out my options.

My situation isn't totally dire. I have friends that will let me put the boat on their property but the ability to work on her will be a bit... constrained. I could put the boat in my yard (I rent a small house) which will solve the short term problem but I am quite sure my landlord won't be too happy with that plan so once it gets noticed I won't have very long to move her again. This weekend I spent some time looking at bare land for sale. The idea is that I spend around $2000 a year for storage anyway. If I could find an unbuildable lot for around $20k then in ten years I have more or less re-couped by purchase cost. (Sort of- I have to ignore my economics degree a bit to convince myself). I could spend more if the land could have a structure built on it but it gets a little gray deciding how much of my total assets should be put into boat storage when I really don't have enough to store myself (in other words home ownership)

One could already argue that I put more of my assets into Jenny than I should but for the moment I am pretty effective at ignoring that argument. I will also start calling around to boatyards for availability but I am not sure how far I need to go, how much I need to pay, and how little permission I will have for boatwork. Land ownership would be the ideal but I will be covering all the bases; especially since nothing in the real estate market has jumped out at me yet. With all this going on it has been hard to think about what the next little project is on Jenny so rather than fight the worry I have been looking straight at it and trying to find a solution to the biggest problem at the moment. I have no doubt that there is a solution I just don't know what it is today. And that's all I have. Anyone local want to rent me their backyard?...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Attack of the Gloss Monster

The plan for this past weekend was more exterior varnish. The weather, however, was a bit too cool on Saturday with a seabreeze. Since I had a carload full of varnishing supplies, I shifted gears slightly and applied varnish to all the interior wood. Stepping inside the cabin this morning was quite a shock. The woodwork had previously been coated with a single coat of varnish thinned 50% to seal it. It looked like wood but nothing special. The new coat of only slightly thinned varnish created a huge increase in the gloss factor. The interior was very bright. It looked nicer for sure but it was bright bright. Too bright. This morning I applied a third coat to the slightly tacky interior varnish which was tricky because it was hard to see the surface with all the gloss. I was applying more by the feel of the brush than by any wetness I could see. It looks much nicer but I will be happy when the rubbed effect coat gets applied. Not much more to say. Quite a few hours with a varnish brush in hand. Next week I will be away so there won't be any progress to show for at least two weeks. Hopefully I will have a new stovetop to show off for next blog post. Em tasol wantoks.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Varnish weather

A retired boat friend of mine has often told me that when varnish weather comes, I must drop everything and varnish. Those days are just too rare to waste. Everytime I wait for a good varnishing day I remember this. I am convinced that a well varnished boat, ready for launch in May, working solely on the weekends, is an impossibility. All the more reason to find that spot of land and build the boatbarn with a radiant heated slab floor so I can varnish at will; preferably in February. Last weekend was a total washout. Literally. Rained cats and dogs all weekend. Even the basement was flooded so I couldn't work there. (not that I have much to do there other than cleanup and I save that job for a 'rainy' day... After a week of rain, the weather broke and we had beautiful weather. Heeding my friend's advice I started varnishing. The toerails were getting desperate, particularly along the top edge that sees the most sun. Given the time, I would probably consider a complete strip. Given what I had, I spot sanded the worst areas and gave myself a year or two before I need to reconsider a complete strip. The toerails, companionway entrance, engine instrument panel and compass holder all received two coats of varnish. While I had the brushes out, I gave the saloon and V-berth soles two coats of clear urethane. There is a bunch more small stuff that is begging for the varnish brush and I hope to keep at it all summer and maybe get ahead of it a little. There is always something more fun to do but I am going to have to devote the time or else face the wrath of the Neglected Varnish Gods. They are never fun to deal with. It is a pretty boring week picture wise. Hours of sanding and brushing. That about sums it up. On another note; I have been agonizing over the choice of a galley stove. I think I have finally decided on one. My inital thought was to go with a three burner drop in stovetop. I always knew I wasn't going to give up enough space for an oven. I would love an oven to bake those cookies on rainy/foggy days stuck on the coast of Maine, but I am afraid I will, like Pooh, eat too many cookies and cakes and have trouble exiting the cabin when the time comes. After some investigation I realized three burners was out of the question for the same reason. Too big; and I really won't need the third burner all that often. Plus, I have a gimbaled sea swing stove that I can use in a pinch if I really HAVE to boil the pasta, stir fry the vegetables, and warm the sauce all at the same time. At that point I still had a bunch of choices left which I narrowed down to either a Dickinson or Seaward model. I was looking at the two dual sized burner models but even they were a little too 'thick' and were going to restrict the length of the port settee berth. The Seaward: And the Dickinson After a fair amount of searching around for what is deemed the 'best' or 'mimimum' btu output to look for. I settled for the Seaward 2276 with dual 7000btu burners. By all accounts they are big 'enough' to do the job and the stovetop is quite thin and there is still a chance of a full length berth (sticking my feet under the stove) on the port side. I expect to be placing an order for one, "any moment now". Along with the foot pumps for the water supply which will make the water system 'nearly' operational. Until next week then, ;-)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Counters, Panels, Soles...

Well, when I took a look at my pictures I realized I hadn't posted in a few weeks. Here is the update as of today. First, the counter tops are in. Finally. Mostly... The countertop structure and surrounding panels were fussed with for a good solid fit and then the countertops were screwed into position. I stopped with screws in case I need to open things up again. One of the rare occasions when I left the epoxy in the can.
I ordered the wrong sized bungs so the screws are still exposed at this point and I haven't oiled the top yet. The starboard two pieces were epoxied together where they mate up. I know I said I didn't use epoxy but all I really did was turn the two pieces into one piece. Screws are still the only things holding the countertop in position.
After the countertops were in, I really wanted to start playing with the storage lockers. However, before I could do that I needed to sort out the the interior 'ceiling' or paneling behind the countertops. To make that happen I started with cardboard mockups that were transferred over to cheap plywood mockups.
I also cut up some blocks to anchor the panels too. I oiled the blocks and then epoxied them to the hull. I learned this great trick from a pro for securing stuff like this without elaborate clamping / positioning techniques. The trick is to apply the epoxy over *most* of the surface and on the remaining free area apply a dab of hot glue. The hot glue sets up in ten seconds or so and holds the blocks adequately until the epoxy can set up.
With the blocks in place (can't find those photos) I used the same plywood templates to cut up the foam insulation that has been applied to the rest of the living area of the hull interior. Once fit, I glued the insulation in place with contact cement. I didn't use the proprietory glue this time. Once again, I opened the can to find the glue had hardened. At $70 a gallon I decided I needed to buy something easier to obtain and in smaller quantities so it wouldn't go bad before the project ended. I have worked a lot with a 3M product called 1300L at my 'real' job so that is what I used this time. Looks and smells the same which is to say, very yellow and sticky with strong overtones of MEK. Only use this stuff with good ventilation. The fumes in a closed boat are unreal...
The side panels were cut and oiled but I didn't get a chance to secure them in place today. Here are pictures showing how they look at this point. Trim and concealing cabinetry have yet to be installed...
The panels are one of those things that once they are in place it seems like they have always been there and one wonders why it looks like nothing has been done lately. Now for that final aft panel.
My battle with mold in the bamboo sole continues. It is in the same location and this time I was more aggressive with the sander and the chlorox. Hopefully this will be the end of it. Otherwise, a small throw rug is going to become part of my interior decorating plan. To be fair, I must admit that I have had some help at the boatyard. So while I was hogging the aft end of the cabin I have been overseeing some work in the V-berth area and doing some of the critical cutting stuff. For a long time I have been looking at ugly undersole.
Now I have new bamboo plywood sole with a nice cherry kickboard in the V-berth :-)
Thank you 'L'. So that's the update. Next should be a little more paneling aft of the galley countertop. Perhaps some galley storage. I need to order and install the water foot pumps and connect the sink drain. I need to settle on a stove top and get that coming so I can move forward with that side of the cabinetry. The V-berth project is gaining a bit of momentum and I hope that will continue (hint hint...) When the weather gets more reliably dry (thankfully the warmth is finally here) then varnishing and the rubrail installation will become the top priority. Interior cabinets are more fun then varnish but when varnishing weather comes then that becomes top priority. Someday I will have a dry heated boatbarn so I can do my varnishing in February... That's it. Nothing more to say. The End. ... until next weekend... Laters, Taters ;-)