Saturday, May 29, 2010

We're Still Here. I Promise.

I thought I'd start us off with an image of actual sailing. Since our boat is still a driveway squatter, I have to hitch rides on other boats. This was taken during the 65 mile "Round Whidbey" race on Dent-de-Lion, a Morgan 30 I sometimes "race" on. Sigh. Beautiful, no? We were even in first place when I took this shot.

Anyway, back to reality...

You know you have neglected your blog space when you get a notice that it is about to be terminated due to lack of activity. After going through Blogger’s amazingly complicated system for re-establishing my account, I am proudly back up and running.

You would think that with 7 months between posts there would be a lot to catch up on. Maybe you are expecting to see that our little boat has emerged from the gray blanket of the Northwest winter ready to hit the Puget Sound and carry us to far away destinations. Nope. Not quite.

She still sits on the stands at the Boat Yard, enjoying her view of the water she will one day sail. And, despite a rather hit-or-miss work schedule over the winter, some progress has been made.


One rather anticlimactic job was to disconnect and dismantle the existing engine. The old Yanmar will have to find love somewhere else, ‘cause it can’t live in our bilge anymore. Sadly, there is no replacement option immediately available.

Still, I figure we need to take the engine out one way or another, so on a particularly dark, wet weekend I dismantled the ancillary parts and disconnected the engine from its fuel system, electrical harness, and from the boat itself. And there it sits: completely disconnected and ready to lift out. We are waiting for the weekend when we rent a lift to wash the w

inter moss off the roof of the house to lift the engine with it. Two birds. One stone. etc.

The fuel tank is out, the hoses are out. We’re ready to move on!

Having that engine out will free up a lot of space to facilitate running wire and plumbing, as well as installing the dripless shaft seal and basically cleaning up the lockers and engine room. I’m looking forward to seeing that space cleaned and painted, actually.

Maybe by the time we get done with that the new engine will magically appear on a pallet next to the boat. Maybe. So far Santa has cast a deaf ear to those thoughts.


Every wire that isn’t permanently glued to the hull (grrrrrr) has been pulled out. Every wire that can’t be removed has been cut as far back as possible. We’re going all new on this one. Old light fixtures are gone. The old electrical panel is gone. Batteries are gone. Rebuilding this ought to be an adventure.


All of the wood parts that could easily been removed have been relocated to the garage at The Shack, where we spend most of our time. This way even when we aren’t able to get to the Boatyard, we can be making progress on the boat.

All of the wood is solid and in great shape. We are sanding it down to remove any water stains or other blemishes and refinishing it with three coats of Cetol Marine “Natural Teak.” It really looks excellent on the doors, drawers, and panels. Only the bulkheads and some of the built-in furniture will need to be refinished while on the boat.


The existing set up required hauling a hose down below, lifting up the v-berth cushions, and opening the tank to fill it up. What a drag! I'd rather cut a hole in the boat and run some hose.

So I added a fresh water fill on the starboard side. The fill hose is hidden in the closet in the head compartment and runs forward under the bunk boards in the v-berth.

This is a much more elegant solution than dragging hoses around down below at every marina we visit, no? And the bonus with this job is that I not only got to slice my finger open on jagged fiberglass, I also got see first hand just how damn thick the deck of this boat is. Holy crap. They just don't make hole saws tough enough for this work. Let's see, 1/4" of fiberglass at the deck, 1/2" of balsa core, another 3/8" of glass, some foam filler, and 1/8" of fiberglass in the headliner. The hole saw bottomed out before it cut all the way through this stuff.


Because I can't get enough with the hole saws, I had to seek out a project that would let me make use of the 3". I knew I'd need it eventually!

The latest project got a little fast-forwarded when a Dickinson P9000 propane fireplace came available on Craigslist recently at a steal of a price. And it happened to be for sale just miles from my Dad’s house. Hey Dad, want to do me yet another favor? Thanks.

So a half-price fireplace spurred me on to get some heat installed this weekend. Just in time for summer.

Since it is used, I had to fire it up to make sure it worked.

Yep. She works!

Next it was time to create the space for our new best friend (it gets really cold at night around here!) to live. We long ago decided that the bookshelf nook on the starboard side was the logical location. A little deconstruction, reconstruction, and refinishing, and I had this. (By "a little" I mean 8 hours. These jobs take forever...)

The vertical piece is one of the original shelves, re-tasked and trimmed with an edge piece from the torn out galley. The hole at the bottom right is for the electrical and propane connections. I lined it with a piece of left-over sanitation hose, glued in place. Pretty slick.

I cut a three inch hole in the top of the nook for the chimney stack. This protrudes through the shelf in the head compartment closet, but is nicely concealed from the cabin of the boat. Maybe some of that residual heat from the stack will throw a little warmth into the v-berth. Yeah, right.

While I had the hole saw warmed up, I went ahead and cut the hole in the cabin top as well.

Truth be told, I drilled this hole twice. The first cut revealed a cavernous nightmare of broken foam between the deck and the cabin liner. A look at the plug that I cut out will tell you what I mean:
Nice, eh? Off to Dad's garage I went to get some "Great Stuff" foam (the stuff you can buy in a spray can at Home Depot). It's sole purpose is to fill in the voids between the deck and the cabin liner and to make the hole through the deck uniform. I taped off the bottom side of the hole and filled her right up with the foam. Thanks Dad.

After 12 hours, a few cold beers, and some sleep, I re-cut the hole. Much better. I'll seal off the core with epoxy before the stack goes in. Later.

I sanded and refinished the nook for the fireplace before all of this took place, by the way, so that by morning it was dry. I can still touch it up later, but I knew once the fireplace was installed it would be a pain to get a paintbrush in there.

Here is the fireplace in its new home:
I apologize for the low quality images. They're from my phone. Seems I forgot the camera at home. Still, you can see the finished wood in the nook compared to the unfinished wood everywhere else. I can't wait to get it all detailed out. It's going to look great.

The propane hose runs down under the settee and to the aft lazarette. I decided to run the hose up high in the locker to keep it from getting beaten up by anything we might put in there. All holes through bulkheads are lined with the same sanitation hose solution as in the nook itself. Pretty tidy installation, Greg. Thanks, Greg. You're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I was just looking at this blog title on my aggregator list yesterday and thinking to myself "gee it's been a long time since we had an update" and now look! An update complete with pics! Very nice. It's good to see the project continues.