Skip to content

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.

Those the Gods wish to destroy…

First they make mad. No kidding. Nothing has been done since my last post. Either Mike was busy or I was busy or sick. So nothing. Nada, zip, zero. Strike one.

Next the boat tossed me a curve ball that may or may not be a simple fix. Being as the jokers who built her decided to double plate the bottom, and I’m putting in Marelon sea cocks and through hulls, one requires the two sheets to be nice and tight to each other and parallel. These ain’t. Well, 3 out of four may be considered close but one of them is skewed pretty badly. I pray that there is a special place in hell for the clowns who bodged this hull together.

Possible fixes include clamping and welding the sheets after cutting them with a grinder in a star pattern, and clamping, building sea chests for the bad one and welding the other 3, to cutting a large hole in the bottom and putting in a 1/4 or 5/16 plug large enough to give the sea cock a flat base to sit on. Currently it’s freezing and snowing, so not much is going to happen much before the new year. Strike two.

Next, the club is busting my chops because I’ve been out of the water so long and they want me in, or leave if I’m not done in 2 years. I’ve put in for a dock but still have a lot of work to do that CAN’T be done on the water. So a major push is in order. I’ve already decided that if i can’t make launch again this year I’m going to have her moved to Port Credit and hire their shop to make right the engine alignment, the controls and the fuel system, then have them launch it there.

Or I just may say F,,K it and stay ashore anyway. I’ll know more by the middle of April. Welding to be done, a lot of small welding I can do like the fuel tank mounts and what not, but getting the outside bits chipped and  painted requires me to make more  noise. Apparently they had noise complaints. As in 1 complaint. Which by the way no one said boo to me about. Strike three.

Now the piece de resistance. Apparently I had a heart attack about 5 weeks ago. So it’s off to a cardiologist and all the rest of it. Hell, I didn’t even notice it, unless it was a bit of tightness in the chest that I thought was caused by a new medication I started that day. Oh well. In the mean time I’ve lost it again and am now off work for severe depression. Given the above what would you expect. Our contract at work is history as of the end of November and the company is being prickish. So who knows. Anyway I’m off for an indefinite period. SAD has a good bit to do with it too. Dark and gloomy days don’t help. Strike four.

Who knows. I may just say screw it and pull the plug anyway, boat livable or not. With my pension and the government pension plan I figure I can keep the apartment going for a good while. I just won’t have building funds. Trying to figure a way around that now. More later.





Cracking on with the job.

Got everything together for Mike to come and finish. Some time in November,  he’s tied up on some large jobs for at least 3 weeks. S’ok with me. I can get lots of other stuff done. Probably start replacing the wood cross beams under the crawlway with angle, and redo do it a bit. Probably raise it a tad. Finally got round to removing the old cockpit drains too, those Mickey Mouse patches didn’t do it for me. So, the hole saw went at it, and today I removed the 1/8″ patches. Tedious but done. I also cut the new holes for the cockpit drains, far enough forward that they can be reached from inside the cabin. I noticed the 4 2×2 posts were starting to rust, so 3 of them have been sanded down and given a coat of Tremclad. Being inside, the Tremclad will last for years. The last on gets done tomorrow and the other three get wet sanded and a second coat.

Had a rather interesting email when I got into work last weekend. “You are now qualified for retirement with 80 points of age and service.” Well Hallelujah!  Not that my pension is that great but with savings, and that, plus Canada Pension, I figure to get about 45% of my current income. So… the smoke pouring out of my ears has been pretty fierce the last few days, calculating. Long story short, If I live aboard my monthly expense come to $1350 in round numbers. This will pretty much keep me in the lifestyle I’m living now, only on the water instead of the cockroach palace I live in now. Plus it will leave some money over for trips and such.

I emailed my fearless leader and asked if they wanted me gone, to pay me half a year’s pay. They’ve been handing out packages left and right, since if one of us leaves they save about $15-25 dollars per hour, depending on who they hire or if they ship it overseas. 3 of my coworkers just left at the end of September, and they all got packages. However they all had more than  25 years where as I only have 18. We will have to see.

The facts are simple. I can’t retire until SD is livable. That costs money. So, either the company can pay me for 6 months and I get some of my benefits as well, or don’t and I’ll hang on for another year and bank oodles of money while still getting her done. Either way, I plan on launching this coming April, and shutting down my apartment in time to live aboard for the winter. My year’s lease is up on the first of June, so I can go month to month after that. If I get a package I can keep the dump until then and move aboard no matter what shape she is in by the end of May. I found out I can get a decent retiree’s benefit package from $160-200 per month. An extra $35-40K will by a lot of coverage for a long time so staying and losing the company benefits isn’t the killer I thought it would be.

One thing I have decided is that if I do get to go by the end of December, buying a lot of materials and hardware now might be a good idea. To that end I’ve ordered a bunch of stuff from Defender, and picked up a bucket of machine screws to put the panels on the furniture when the frame is welded. I’m about to hit Westmarine in Oakville with a huge order to complete the 12v electrical system. Thankfully I’ve already picked up a Blue Sea panel,  LED lights and nav lights, a stereo and speakers, new VHF with AIS and a chart plotter with GPS. The wind insturmentation  I’ve had now for about 6 years, in a box.

I’m going to need a lot of aluminum and plywood, so I’ll start measuring as soon as possible to get the stuff ordered. My storage locker is gonna get pretty crowded. I found a place to buy plastic panels for the ceiling, so a trip to Manitoba might be in the offing next spring. It’s gonna be a crazy year.







Ah, fall, Gotta love it.

The weather has been pretty good lately, and I’m pushing ahead. Days are shorter still but going down just after noon gives me about 6 hours. Tried pushing it a bit, not good for the bod. So we muddle along, things still get done. And let me tell you, being down at the club, getting dirty and burned in spots sure beats hell out of the “Job”. Like the councilor said last time I went of on medical leave for depression, this is my therapy.

Ok. I took the pulpit apart again, after establishing a center line between the stem and the baby stay anchor. This give me a straight line of about 5 and a half feet, projecting forward past the bow. (that humungous caliper comes in hand for all sorts of things). From this I’ve determined that I missed it again when I redid the cross piece. Now I’ve broken it loose again and will wait til Mike gets here, fix it with the Mk 1 Mod I Eyeball.


I may have to buy a new cross piece, will have to wait for the guys to appear. Having cut the angles, moving it around may open up gaps too large to weld across. (I doubt it, fill it with a small piece of scrap if need be).

Now, the rudder. Taking that apart was an amusing job. Tried sawing off the shaft 3 different times, burned out about a dozen disks and got nowhere. The rudder wasn’t fabricated like the plans show, nor as I thought it would be. Finally ended up moving the cut back from the leading edge a good inch and a half, and bingo, clean as a whistle. Turns out they put a 1/4 inch strip into the rudder and then welded the shaft to the skin. My last cut hit right on the edge of that 1/4 inch strip and took it out just about perfectly. Live and learn, I’m doing much the same to put the new shaft in, only I’m using a piece of 1.25 x .5 inch channel recessed a tad into the skin for a good solid weld. It will be double welded, Channel to skin, and shaft to channel. Mike will love it.

img_0699detail Shaft nestles into the channel.

img_0704 Channel fits snugly into the rudder. A bit of fiddling with the notch at the bottom, and it’s done. And hopefully straight as an arrow.

Having the shaft and the lower bracket together for the first time, I checked out the ball bearing pivot. Works fine, with the shaft riding about 3-5mm above the lower bracket inner face. I’m off to KBC to pick up a tap and drill for 1/4-28 and a couple of grease nipples. After greasing the socket from below, the nipple comes out, into stores and the hole will get filled with a small cap screw.

The under deck structure is roughed in place, and as usual, planning went in the crapper, and I bodged it together. Somewhere in hell there is a special place for the guys who built this mess and called themselves boat builders. Anyway it is all tacked in place. Now I know why I hire Mike. He’s smaller, and more nimble. Trying to tack that stuff from below leads to interesting contortions and probably is why my back went tango uniform a couple of days ago. Thankfully Dr Eix (great guy) did the snap, crack n pop routine yesterday before I went down to the yard and this morning I’m more or less back to usual. Hadn’t seen him in almost a year, so we spent 10 minutes with me on the table and another hour and twenty yapping.

I’m going down again today, to cut the filler plate to size, cut out a few through hull holes and make up disks to fill the ones I need sealed. I’m also going to sand and paint the raw vertical tubes, the humidity has got them starting to fuzz up with rust. So time for sanding and painting with Tremclad.

I have run into a spot of bother, my insurance company needs a survey this year. So I’ll have to cough up $800-$1000 bucks for a guy to come down and tell me its an empty shell. Oh well, sucks to be me. However, this situation has caused me to think a bit on what I’ll do when I retire. To that end I’ve put in for membership to the American Boat and Yacht Council, one of the more recognizable Survey certification groups. Lots of learning, and it takes 5 years before you get the full certification but I figure it is worth doing. Either that or a thrilling job as greeter at Walmart or asking people if they want fries with their burger. Screw that.

Surveying is an interesting job. With all the mucking about I’ve done with boats and other stuff I figure I have a good sound base to start from. God knows, with all the lemons I’ve bought over the years, I’ve learned to pay attention.  Should have done this along time ago but hell, maybe I’ll live long enough to get it done. I could just print up business cards and open up a web page, ( the rules up here in Canada don’t cover any sort of licensing or certification) but if I’m gonna do it, I’ll try to do it right.

Nuff for now, burning daylight here.





So much for summer.

The days are getting shorter, half way to the shortest day of the year. Yesterday the sun was down by 19:10 and it was full dark by 20:00. It also appears that with the advent of fall, the temperatures just fell off a cliff. It’s 14:19 and the outside temperature is a balmy 60F. Good weather for me to get my arse in gear.

I’ve been working at getting all the welding pre-fab done. I’ve started to saw the shaft out of the rudder, in order to replace it with the 316 SS shaft which is now machined. Bitch of a job and it will take a while. I’ve also got a fair bit of work done on building the pulpit. This really annoys me, once more convincing me that this was the very first boat the builders ever did. Either the frame isn’t square to the center line or the bow is pushed off to starboard a bit. Anyway, the pulpit is noticeably cock eyed. I suspect it’s a bit of both. Still trying to figure out how to fix that.

img_0683        img_0686


First things first, the pulpit is removable so the ends have to be bolted. Then the tube needs to be trimmed to the funky angle needed to give a decent joint. So far so good.


Next, the first trial run

img_0673 It’s pretty obvious that this isn’t very good.



The cross piece was taken apart and welded to the tabs so that both sides would be of equal length from the #1 frame. As you can see, the crosspiece is now square (more or less) to the center line, but the two sides are intersecting at noticeably different angles. Damn.  BTW that huge aluminum thing is a humungous caliper for measuring across the hull. I will be using it to determine the distance between stanchions when I go to get the pulpit and push pit built. It will also tell me how much the stanchions are off vertical. The guys out fitting her didn’t shim under the sockets.


The last bit of welding I have is closing off the old forward hatch on the fore deck. To that end I have squared off and cleaned up the hole, and started to rebuild the underlying structure. I should be able to get all of this done by the weekend.


Bit by bit, things get done.

The heat wave just doesn’t want to stop. Currently 83F in the shade with humidity running around 65%. Oh well. Fall is coming soon. Got down a couple of weeks ago, in a minor somewhat cooler period, and  did some work on the exhaust. Using the cheaper hose I’ve laid out the runs and it appears that the plan to run it back to frame 9 and then forward on the starboard side will work just fine. The water box will sit neatly down beside the engine and the 15cm down/15 cm long minimums will be easily met and exceeded. From the water box, the hose will run just about vertical to the underside of the cockpit seats and then back to a gooseneck fitting I plan on having made up from 316 stainless tube. I’ll also replace the two cockpit fittings at the same time. Might as well get it all cut and welded at the same time. I’ll order the tube shortly.

Exhaust route 2 forward face Exhaust hose 3


Regarding the rudder shaft and log, I’ve finally settled on having the radial drive hub up. It still means cutting down the shaft log to allow for the stuffing box and clearance to put in the packing but it is decided and I just got back from dropping off the parts at the machine shop. There will still be enough room above the hub to put on a tiller arm and use that as the rudder stop, taking the drive, cable, chain and wheel out of the equation. Otherwise the stop would be on the outer rim of the drive, using that as the tiller. Still have a bit of time left to decide, but which ever way it goes, its off to the machine shop next week. If I do it right I can also use the tiller as a mount for the emergency steering shaft.

Got an email from my welder, asking if I was still alive. Can’t do much until the weather breaks but it is the end of August and tomorrow is calling for better conditions so it’s time to get my ass in gear again. I started futzing with the pulpit, spent a couple hours cutting out a pair of fittings to mount the first cross beam on the stem, the materials are all on hand now as well. The material for the closing in of the old forward hatch is also on hand. I’ve decide to fix the cheesy way I sealed off the old cockpit drains, which will require making up a couple of filler disks. And the rudder. Where to begin. The bottom fitting is a tad wonky so it will have to be redone but I’m not touching that til I get the shaft log back. Inside, I have to start thinking about replacing the crawl way frames with steel, save space and weight. The material for that is on hand for frames 7, 8, and 9.

All things considered I can see light at the end of this tunnel. The last of the welding will be done. Then the chipping can recommence, and e-coating. Through hulls all go in, as well as the depth sounder and sumlog. That will finish the hull and she will float.