February 12, 2004
Feeling like we're in the home stretch now! The lists are much more complete and contained, although still dauntingly long. We've actually made a timeline/schedule of our best guesses at how long things will take and when we might be able to launch. of course, we made the schedule in early January, and, only a month later we've already had to revise it by 3 weeks since things are, as usual, taking longer than expected. You'd think we'd know better by now how to estimate time for projects, huh? Anyway, at the risk of jinxing it further, we're hoping for a late May/early June launch.
Although it was certainly predictable, given the way boat work goes, we're disappointed not to be able to move aboard sooner. There have been some unforeseen crises in our family and our daily living situation is anything but ideal. We're quite anxious to move aboard and start settling into our new life. To that end we are working harder than ever and really scrambling to pull things together as soon as possible. If anyone is dying to help out, we'll be having plenty of projects upcoming -skilled and unskilled alike- that we'd be happy for help on!
Projects are coming together quickly, now. Things that have been ongoing for months or years are getting tied up and crossed off the lists. Our dodger was delivered and installed. It felt like the boat was getting a new prom dress: so fancy and dressy (and expensive!!!). The new cockpit coaming lockers and shower box are finally installed. The DC installation is 99.9% complete. Plumbing is 99% complete (just waiting for the heads to be rebuilt and re-installed so we can plumb them in. We're hoping my Dad can help us out with that projects, since Neil rebuilt the heads for HIS boat during his big refit several years ago!) Our batteries should arrive next week. Neil is installing the new refrigerator, which was the last big engineering project hanging over our heads. I'm about to order the foam and fabric for the interior cushions.
We've taken a bunch a photos but I can't find the cable to download them to the laptop.... we'll post them as soon as I find it! I did just update our "LIST" today....
Okay, pictures!!!! Here are pix of projects we've been working on...... first, here's the cockpit manual bilge installation. Originally, the pump was mounted so that one had to open the cockpit locker lid in order to operate it. No good. We turned it sideways and installed a Whale through-bulkhead fitting for the handle. Now it can be easily operated from the helm. This shot is looking down into the cockpit locker with the lid open. And the second picture is of the nifty cover. (For you Cruising World Bulletin Board-ers, that thing next to it is- gasp!- a cockpit light!!!!!! One of these days I will post a pic of the cockpit speaker installation that y'all got so riled up about, too!)
Here are the lovely new coaming boxes Neil built and that we just finally installed. There are two locker boxes, and a shower box:
A few more random shots of projects coming together: here is the back of the main house battery switch, with it's lexan cover (we made similar covers for the main negative buss bar in the engine room, lighting busses, and the back of the main breaker panel.) Here's a shot of the back wall in the engine room, showing the washdown pump installation, some of the Whale hot/cold tubing, the blower, and the cockpit drain and manual bilge pump discharge. The manual pump and the small, secondary electric pump share one of the two large (2") cockpit drains; the large electric bilge pump will have it's own through-hull.
Our biggest current project is the refrigeration installation. You might recall that Neil's had the basic box liner built for quite a while now. We painted the interior with Interlux Brightsides and installed the shelving system (aluminum L-bracket pop-riveted to the sides which holds clear acrylic shelves and sliding baskets); the floor grate ("eggcrate" material meant for fluorescent lighting fixtures, held up off the bottom with small stand-offs to allow air circulation; the circulation hole and shutter between the freezer and refer side; and the custom made evaporator panel. The panel, of course, didn't fit, and we had to carefully rebend it to work.
Next, Neil sealed the top (he'll cut through it when the hatch frames are in place) and - after carefully sanding and fairing any bumps or burrs - installed the VIP vacuum panels and foam board insulation. It was a frightening moment when we manhandled the box up the steep ladder and held our breath to see whether it would fit in the companionway. It just made it, and with no damage to the delicate VIP panels or coiled tubing... hooray! Here it is just set in place; and a close-up of the insulation:
Feeding the tubing into the hole sawn in the 6" of foam under the box, through the sole, under the sole (with only some very inconveniently placed access panels to reach into, and up under the nav desk where the compressor lives- all without damaging or kinking the tubing- was not easy.
Finally, the cabinetry panels being dry fit.
Of course, during the construction of the box things got out of skew a bit, so it was not a perfect fit into the available space. Luckily, nothing on boats is ever perfectly square and true anyway, so small discrepancies do not stand out. With some careful measuring and cutting and judicious filling in of voids with spray foam, it's looking really great (more pix to follow soon...)
A few other odds and ends: I am painting all the berth tops (formerly just raw plywood) with white brightsides; here are the lids. Also here's a big pile of interior trim that has 2 coats of Epifanes gloss and is sanded for the next coat. It was so sad to sand them, since it WAS a big pile of gleaming, beautiful, varnished teak only an hour before!
Meanwhile, it's been COLD out here. Sea smoke many mornings for the morning ferry commute: