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Been some time since I updated…

The boat has been in the water now since the end of April. I worked on her in bits n bites, until the heat got too much. July and August, and most of September were a bust, way too easy to end up with heat stroke, as it was running 85-90 degrees below deck. Hell, most of the time I never left my apartment, other than to go to work and get groceries. Even so, heat cramps were a nonstop thrill.

Now that the fall has come, I have about 5 weeks to get  a bunch more done before she comes out of the water again. I hope to get the engine running. I’m still working on the fuel system, and both the AC and DC electrical systems. The steering is apart again, as I can’t get the engine controls in with it all together. I still have to machine the rudder stop, and fabricate the fitting that works with it. Once that is done and the cables are in, I can finish the steering for good. This week I expect.

In the mean time I’ve been roughing in the interior and it is coming together. I no longer have access to 240v power for the welder, so I picked up a new style 110v machine which is tiny, weighs next to nothing and seems to do the job quite well. So I’ll be back at working up the interior fittings again this week. I’m using crap wood plywood for the furnishings. The stuff you get at Home Depot is just that, crap. The materials I salvaged as I took the boat apart are light years ahead in quality. Amazing how people call the steady slide backwards in quality “progress”. I’ve stopped working on the settees, and am concentrating on the electrical panels. I was hoping to spend a few nights aboard before lift out but haven’t get the bunks built yet. Oh well, next year.

No photos at this time, I’ve got a lot of shots of partly completed furnishings and what not but nothing worth showing.

Post Splash Check…

Went down this morning, and after 20 hours, there is no noticeable difference in the water level in the deep sump. Had a tot of rum with the Sea Gods, and all  is well in the world. At least until I get organized and start phase 2. To that end, three things need doing asap. One, get 120v power on the boat so I can continue to work. Two, organize the 240v cord set that is supposedly available via the club. And three, clean up the friggin’ mess. After 4 weeks of  nonstop work, it’s a pig sty. Anyway today is done, I’m gonna sit back and relax til tomorrow and then get going again.




Worked steady from the 19th on. The surveyor came down on Saturday and checked things out. Was impressed with what I was trying to do, and wrote it up accordingly. The report got to the insurance company by Thursday and I had the papers by evening. Good to go for launch.

Here’s a blow by blow of everything since the 19th.

Finished the waterlock mount. Welded and bolted down. Located the manual bilge pump. Still need to overhaul it. Take parts down tomorrow. Need hose 1 ½ for that. Cut up piece for the chart table. Replaced the long screws for the filter. Mounted. Need 1 inch hose clamps. Tried to use the plastic bit for the fuel fill. No joy. Will use new inlet relocated to directly over the tank. Poured a beer into the bilge. Unless the surveyor has a really good sense of the funnies, I”m screwed.
Survey done. Got hole drilled for the cables, need to epoxy the base plate. Rebuild the Whale pump. Retightened the stern rail. Installed the anchor hawsepipe in the fore deck. Set 2 of the 3 bolts in the lower bracket. Last one was too short by ¼ inch. Tried to set the forward cleats, need new screws.
Epoxied the back up for the steering pedestal. Bought Batteries.
Bow cleats and anchor hawse pipe installed. Garbage off, winter frames off and stored. Lower bracket now completed. Need grease. Whale pump and hose installed. Fabed up the large washers for the under deck plate. Cleaned up the underside of the cockpit sole and painted. Unsnarled the anchor line. Needs replacement.
Pedestal in place. Missing two bolts. Holes not aligned. Pulled cables, Very little clearance on one, marginal on the other, will need to disassemble and clean out the holes. Picked up ¼ key stock and #8 screws for the 120V inlet and the electric bilge pump. Installed the 1 1/8 elbow and attached the hose for the electric BP. Tried to fix the boarding ladder, broke off again, can’t remove it as it was sprung into position. Worry about it later. Worked on electric BP mount, broke drills. Need more. Started setting up the stanchion, need to bring down sand paper. Perhaps polish a couple of them. Got 5 done ready to install.
Picked up 1 ¼ mandrel to cut packing. Packed the stuffing box, put in too much, almost stripped the threads. Put together the steering. No key way left underneath, brake will have to be top mounted. Put together the electric bilge pump and temporarily mounted it. Hoses are all in place. Cleaned up and reset 8 of 10 stanchions. Two need to be dressed down a bit, they clamped them and made them out of round.
Hauled batteries up into the boat. Painted the bottom.
PSS seal and vent installed. Coupling rough aligned. Radius bolts in radial drive installed. Anodes in place. Float switch mount partly completed. Last two stanchions still fubar. Most bases missing set screws. Sling marks in place, anchor tied down on deck. Rode inside, chain lashed down. Steering tested, OK but need rudder stop. Mooring lines in place, fenders in place.
Installed the DS and Sumlog plugs. No leaks. Pulled the shore power cables back into the boat. Had to re tap the drain hole at the bottom of the keel. 5/16 bolt wouldn’t hold. Opened it to 3/8. Not sure if it is leaking. Water in the bilge, up to the top of the bilge pump platform when I left at 1630. Both 2 inch marelons are leaking at the starbord to body joint. The 2 piece hose leaked, tightened up the clamps. Have to replace that hose asap. PSS seal is tight, Stuffing box is tight. Boat rides higher by about 4-5 inches at the stern. Bow still high, will change with the chain and the mast installed. Went into the water with no problems just after lunch. 1300.

I had a chat with the crane operator, who made note of his readings. His gauges showed 24,000 lbs, less the 5400lbs for the lifting rig. So, she is down around 18,600 lbs. Not bad at all. Approximately 3400 lbs removed by changing the engine, fuel system and ripping out all the interior.

Sweating about the lifting of the cradle wasn’t needed, they lifted her without any problems. When I walked past the place she had sat for 10 years, the fill had been replaced, and a new boat was sitting there.

A little bit angsty here, there are leaks that can not be fixed without pulling her out again. They don’t appear to be very large but they are steady. I’ll have a better idea of the rate when I go down tomorrow and see how deep it is in the sump. Hopefully not much over a foot. Other wise I’ll have to be down there every day to pump her out.

Anyway, some photos.


This is the engine coupling and dripless seal. I sweated buckets getting the engine mount aligned to the shaft centerline, put in  a bushing to hold the shaft centered, slaughtered a sheep, prayed to Odin and cussed a lot. It paid off. With the bushing holding the shaft in line, the motor was off by a 1/16 of an inch low. A few turns of the mount jack screws and all 4 bolts slipped in. It still needs to be precision aligned but for a first go round I’m ecstatic.


The bilge as I left it at 1630. I’ll take another photo when I get down there tomorrow.


Looks good back in her element. Got a lot of cleaning and painting to do this summer.


Bow shot. The rusty stubs on the side are where the bowsprit bolts on. Later this summer for that. I have to redo it, as it sits cockeyed.


As noted she is riding higher at the stern. You can see the rudder and the anode below the boot top line. She used to float with the boot top level with the water. I’d say she’s up by 4-5 inches.

Time to take a break. Back at it again tomorrow.



Racing against time…

The surveyor is due at 2pm on Saturday.

As I am putting things together, I’m finding the little things are the ones that are trouble. Got the vent hose for the fuel tank, but no hose clamps. Went to mount the fuel filter but don’t have the right machine screws, so it’s jury rigged. Miscalculated on the length of exhaust hose, (By 6.5 feet no less) and need a straight fibreglas connector for the hose. Can’t mount the manual pump until I have a panel installed to bolt it to. These things get added to the book, and I move on to the next bit.

The weather is pretty bizarre, lost 4 days to ice rain. Got down yesterday for 6 hrs, got a lot done. Went down today and lasted an hour working outside and humping things up on deck and into the boat. Had my brother to help, won’t be doing that again. Tomorrow is supposed to be the start of warmer weather, I’ll be down there early. In the mean time some photos for you all.

First, the fuel fittings for the tank. Shutoff valve on the fuel supply line.

Second, the goose neck with the exhaust hose running back to the stern from the waterlock. I need to drill a couple more holes and tap them but for now it is in place. I have hose for the last bit out the back but this is where I need the straight connector. I also have replace the outlet hose as it is decayed and sort of destroyed from  having the electric lines running through it.

Third, the fuel tank mounted, with the filter on the side. Note the really long mounting screws for the filter.

The furniture framework for the starboard settee/pilot berth/chart table.

The electric bilge pump, hangs down into the deep sump.

The deep sump, hose is from the manual bilge pump, the bracket hangs down against the forward face. Its a good 4 feet deep, full of boiler punchings and was a great place to lose tools before I got round to making a cover for it.

I’ll bring the camera along again tomorrow. TTFN


Work progresses at a fair clip…

Since my last post I’ve been doing nothing but cutting, fitting and welding. For some reason I can’t weld for shit anymore and a lot of the welds are pretty pathetic, but they are still solid and will do for now. Me and the MiG machine can’t get together and put out decent welds. I’m actually thinking of going out and buying a stick machine and go back to using rods.Them at least I can still do.

The port side settee was finished 3 days ago, with all the pieces in place and solid. I can go and get the plywood for the seats, box bottoms and back rest when I have time.  The last hanging shelf that I kept for tools is now gone as well. A left over chunk of plywood sits in the same position on the port pilot berth and all the tools are now resting there.


It’s still looking pretty trashy, but there is now order appearing out of the chaos. The welder and other bits are sitting on odd bits of plywood, and the small tool shelf just under the deck is more of the same.

From there I moved back to the stbd settee which has been (admittedly) mickey  moused together in a hurry to make up the storage I was ripping out. Compared to the port side, there isn’t one square joint  anywhere on it. But with a bit more mickey mousing, all the bits that were missing are now in place, and all the plywood that was cut for seat covers and box bottoms  has been redone, and works better. The backrest and the pilot berth are now solidly welded in place, and I’ve reused some of the old 3/4 inch planks from the crawlway as shelf material for the pilot berth.

The chart table was boxed in, with adequate access to the crawlway left. I now have rough dimensions for the cooler, which looks to be about 4.5 cu ft. I was going to use 6 inches of foam but that won’t leave much interior space. So a compromise of 4 inches will do. The cooling unit will just work a bit more. Considering most boats have 2 inches as a factory build I’ll live with 4. It should be possible to add more once the box is in place and fill the voids with more foam.

The galley opening for the stove was also  boxed in, but there are a few more parts to put in place there. I had to make up the template for the stove  so I could finalize the exact placement of the pivots. The template was made up last night and is ready to go. I’ve also priced out sheet stainless steel for the surround. Each piece will cost roughly $50 but can be custom sheared to fit once I provide the templates. We have a guy here at the club who is a wizard on a TIG machine and he can weld the box together. Again, later this summer.

With more space now in the main cabin, I finally emptied all the steel and other crap  from the forward cabin and its all sitting on top of the stbd pilot berth. That will remain material stowage until all the welding is done. Come launch anything there can be lashed down. Speaking of space, I cut the legs of the workmate down about 6 inches, shifted the plastic feet to the new ends and it now sits quite happily on top of the stbd settee. It’s just tall enough that the steel angle I’m working will will project over the top of the chart table frame. So now working outside yet. 🙂

With most of the main cabin welding done, it’s time to work on the final bit, the forward cabin. The material was picked up yesterday. It’s sitting in the back of the truck along with a load of gear I need to get on board for the survey. Unfortunately it is calling for 3-4 days of ice rain. I was planning on going down today, but the idea of skating on a tilted deck 15 feet off the ground put paid to that idea. So today at least will be spent on design work for the two electrical systems and having a look at the composting toilet. I need to figure out the dimensions for that space but I fear my original placement is not going to work. It may end up moved under the head end of the bunk in the forward cabin. Thank god for the constant air flow from the vent fan.

I have to take more photos, the ones on my camera are from work stages long past. I have to say that at the end of every day I can see things coming together. The main cabin is starting to look like living space. The only real worry I have is the survey. That should take place next Thursday or Friday and I still have a bunch of stuff to get done by then. Hopefully the weather will try and be at least a bit agreeable.

More later.



Back at it again…

I took another leave of absence, as I have to be ready to launch by the 28th of April. Under the new club rules, they may toss me out after 18 years because I’m not in the water. Anyway, I got a lot of stuff done last September, but lost October for various reasons and then my pickup truck was munched in a collision at the beginning of November. So no truck, no tools for almost 3 months while the auto body shop played games. First they fixed half of it, and had to start again when I told them they missed stuff, then they gave it back and had missed even more. Anyway, the insurance paid out $20k to fix a two year old truck that cost $25k brand new. Should have been scrapped but then they would have had to by me a new one under the terms of my policy. Cheap SOBs stiffed me (as usual for an insurance company). Anyway, I was off with a monster bug half of January and  all of February as well, so there’s not been much done.

I got the rudder hung, with the bushings and bearings that were missing the first time round, the rudder swings like a barn door. The stuffing box is in place, (need to put in the packing though) and the radial drive is fitted. Currently drilling holes in the cockpit sole for the pedestal and the engine controls. The pedestal has been rebuild with all new components, and freshly epoxy coated.

I just spent the last couple of days fabricating the hanger bracket for the exhaust gooseneck, its ready to be primed and painted. This afternoon I got started on the dinette seating, framing it with 1x1x1/8 angle. There is about another full day worth of work on that. The starboard side setting is roughed in, that was done in September, and I have put in temporary floors so I have someplace to put all the gear that used to live on the shelves on either side. Those are now all gone but  for the tool shelf up forward on the port side. It can sit there as it doesn’t interfere with anything I’m fabricating now. I have a bunch of flat strip to weld into the stbd settee, and the whole chart table has to be framed.

I’ve cut up the old plywood pieces and used them for temporary cabinet tops, so I have work space again. My work mate is fast running out of room on the cabin floor, and will end up over the side shortly. I suppose I can cut down the legs and put it on top of the stbd settee, and still use it. I’ll have to see.

I’ve been puzzling out the 120v system and picked up a isolation transformer, galvanic isolater, a 120v 2 circuit panel, some duplex receptacles and other odds and ends. Wire has yet to be ordered. Again, it should all be put in by the time the surveyor is due. Or maybe not. Less for me to worry about under time constraints. I’ll  have to see how it goes.

The basic 12v system is also under design, and I have wire, panel, lights, and other bits. What I don’t have is batteries, and battery boxes. The navigation lights are on hand but without a mast this year (needs to be overhauled) I plan on mounting them for power motoring only. I’m going to build a small mast for the white steaming light that will simply bolt down on the mast step. The bow lights will be mounted on a small pylon on the fore deck as the pulpit and bowsprit are not going to be ready in time. This has to be in by the survey.

Anyway, so far so good. I’m pushing hard, and should be ready for the survey in a couple of weeks. My to do list runs something like 15 pages, thankfully about 80% of it is done, and a lot of it is small stuff. Just have to keep banging away.

More photos to follow.



Things progress.

Went down this morning for a couple of hours, and fabricated the tool needed to set the upper bushing for the rudder shaft. That is now snugly in place, and the rudder turns freely. The through hulls and seacocks were put in last Thursday and I was going to connect up the hoses between the cockpit drains and the seacocks but for some dumb reason I cut the second hose too short by about 2 feet. So I can either buy new hose (good idea as this stuff has the external helical skid strip and makes it hard to get the hose clamps on.) or purchase a fiberglas coupler, and use the two smaller pieces. Being as I am now over $75 thousand dollars into this project I think I’ll use what I have and get the coupler.

I cut and fitted the two struts that keep the fuel tank mount from twisting, they’ll get welded next time Mike is down. I have Thanksgiving off tomorrow so I am planning on getting some more furniture frames, especially the locker bottoms. With all the port side shelves gone, I’m piling stuff up in heaps on the floors. Time to bring some order out of chaos. I’ll also schlep the radial drive down to the boat, and see about finishing the plywood plate that is under the pedestal. It needs a few more holes  drilled and the holes opened for the cable to pass through, then get sealed with epoxy. When that is done I can put a second coat of epoxy on the cockpit sole and set the pedestal in place.

I guess it’s time to puzzle out the throttle and transmission connections now, and see about ordering the cables and fittings for that. Last week I ordered all the parts for my AC electrical system, less the cable and receptacle boxes. They should arrive shortly. Thankfully, I’m coming to the end of the expensive bits, and soon will only need to deal with finishing materials.


So far so good…

I finished my leave of absence on the 30th. All the major welding is now done. I still have a bunch of minor stuff to do, but that can wait til later in the year. Right now I’m pushing to get all the through hulls and the depth sounder and sumlog housings into the bottom before it gets too cold. The weather is truly bizarre, one day it is in the high 80s, a day later down to the 60s and a few days from now it’s going to bound back up to the high 70s. (but don’t worry, Trump says climate change is all bullshit anyway!)

The rudder shaft log is now welded in place, the piece of tube between the hull and the lower bracket has been cut free and it looks good. I’ve finished the lower bracket, and the bushing is installed into it. I ran a hone up through the hull section to clean out any rust and burrs, then the rudder Was lifted up into position and blocked. The lower bracket went on, and it is now supporting the rudder. The upper bushing has been half inserted with a bit of effort and the rudder swings like a barn door. I’ll need to build a tool to get the upper bushing bedded down. I’ll do that tomorrow.

Yesterday I picked up the last of the exhaust hose I need, the fuel fill hose, a new fuel filter with a metal bowl (as is now required by ABYC specs), a transom outlet for the exhaust and a Vetus gooseneck for the exhaust. I’m still not certain where I’ll mount the gooseneck but the parts are now all on hand but for the clamps.

The fuel tank mount is just about done, I just need to cut a couple of diagonal braces and weld them in place. The fuel fill has been cut down by 3 inches to allow the hose to follow a more gentle curve. I’ve glued down the plastic insulation strips with 5200, and the tank is ready to go in place. Putting on the proper fill hose is gonna be a bitch as it is as stiff as hell. I still need to determine where the fuel filter is to be installed and get a fuel shut off valve.

The holes for the through hulls are just about done, still need to put on another coat of epoxy, and clean up the blobs of sealer that hold the pads in place. The DS and sumlog are also ready to be installed after I put one more coat of epoxy in that area.

One thing though, as I frame up the interior bits, I’m running out of room. I expect at some point in the near future I’ll be doing the cutting and fitting in the cockpit or on deck. The starboard  settee is framed, and the galley is also framed. The port side settee parts are being cut and fitted, and that is the end of the floor space for my workmate. So out it has to go.

A trial fit of the fuel tank onto the mount.

I’ll take some more photos on Wednesday and update.




Finally getting something done.

I’m under the gun at the club, if I don’t launch this coming spring I expect I’ll be asked to move on somewhere else. To that end I just took a 4 week unpaid leave of absence and have been banging away since the 3rd of September. So far we’ve got a fair bit done, and tomorrow we put in the rudder shaft log. Beyond that there is still plenty of odd bits to be welded, and I’ve already started to set up the framing for the interior furniture. Heading back down there in a few minutes to continue setting up that stuff.

Well another summer starts…

Been a while since I wrote something. It hasn’t been a good winter. The winter cover is in shreds, and as usual, piles of other peoples’ trash litter my work area. Spent the last couple of days cleaning up the mess.

On the plus side, the rudder, stanchions and the reducer for the raw water inlet are done. I still have a good deal of welding to get done, hopefully before the end of May. I’ve decided to let the contractor do it all. I’ll start work on cleaning up and e-coating the exterior, chipping rust and painting. The pedestal is ready to be sprayed white, just waiting on the weather to stay above 60F. There are spots on deck, particularly under the fairleads for the mooring lines that need to be chipped, blasted and e-coated. They also need a bit of reworking so the rust won’t be as hard to clean up if it comes back.

I started to  clean up and organized the interior, you’d be surprised at how much junk has accumulated below. So a couple of wheelbarrow loads are headed to the waste bin. One thing I need to do is find out where to dispose of stale gasoline.

Anyway, I’ve been off work for the last 6 months with severe depression, just can’t wait to get back at it, and actually  get something done. Retirement is closing in awful fast, even though I may continue to work after 65. Having a heart attack and with retirment coming at you like a freight train does tend to focus one on more important things. I may even contract out the lining of the interior. We’ll just have to see.