I know it has been forever since I’ve done any kind of boat work or boat related post, and for that I apologize. With things like a failed computer that had me only publishing long ago saved drafts from my tablet, to the Florida summer heat leaving me incoherent at the end of every night to, honestly, becoming too addicted to our Instagram account, I’ve let the ball drop. I’m going to try and pick it back up because there’s a lot that’s been going on over the past few months, and I’d love to keep you updated on it!
Just to start you out with a couple of the small things before I really catch you up, I’m posting a ‘Random Happenings’ post before I get to the down and dirty work that has been keeping us busy for the past few weeks.
- We’ve purchased our canvas for the dodger & bimini!
Colors. Just as much as renovating a home, picking out colors for a boat is just as much of an overwhelming task. What do we think would look good? What colors do we want to stay far away from? What might clash with our bare metal hull? And mostly….what can we afford?
As I’ve said before, I’m so lucky to be married to a man who’s biggest source of entertainment is researching items online. Whether it be boats on yachtworld.com (how we came across Daze Off), eBay (how we were able to double the size of our winches for half the cost), or the fabric we’ll need to outfit the inside and outside of our boat. We knew that Pacific Blue was out. We had already done it on Serendipity, and as the number one canvas color out there on boats, we wanted something that would help us stand out a little more. As if that would be an issue anyway on this new boat.
We had been toying with the idea of a light or bright green for quite awhile, thinking that a lime green would give it a nice fresh look and give this old boat a more modern feel. After searching for months and months, because we have that kind of time on our hands, he came across a remnant roll of Ginkgo Green by Sunbrella. It was a situation where we were not able to request a sample, but instead had to take a gamble buying the remaining 16 yards on the roll and hoped we liked it. Although at the amazingly low price of $6.95/yard, we were willing to take that gamble. At a 70% discount, we were sure we could like it enough.
When the roll came in the mail we hurriedly ran it over to Daze Off and unwrapped it from the plastic to hold a corner of the fabric against the pilot house and see how the color looked in the light of day and between the white deck and silver hull. A huge sigh of relief was released when the bright green matched the two perfectly and gave us the modern yet slightly funky look we were after. It may be months down the road before its turned into anything, but at least we have it and won’t have to worry about hunting down a color later on.
- We’re building up the pilot house…finally
This is the moment, at least I personally, have been waiting for forever. It means that our construction phase is nearly over. The last major renovation to the boat. Sure, there’s still a million things to be wired and plumbed later on, but at least once this is complete it will look like a home. Not to mention ALL the storage space we’re going to gain once this area is built up. Can you imagine what it will be like when I don’t have to keep spare soda and chips in the van because its the only place to keep them safe and out of the way? When all of our tools will have a home to be put away in? It will be heaven. I can’t say I’ll still love being in the work yard at that point, but at least our living conditions will be much more comfortable.
We’re starting on the port side and then moving to the starboard side once it is mostly built up, hoping the disassembly of the nav station and tool drawers can wait until we have a new surface to put them on. The first step is framing in the curved area of the hull, which on that side, will eventually turn into storage units that will sit behind the back of our L shaped settee in the pilot house. Just as much of a pain as ever, trying to template these odd curves comes with it’s difficulties, but we’re still doing just fine with our 1/4″ pieces of wood attached together instead of using foam. We’ve had this suggestion from many people, but we can easily take apart the template and reuse those strips of wood, so we think this way works out for us best.
The next stage of this project will be to build up the seats and what will be the storage units underneath them, before eventually moving on to the upper parts of the walls, covering the three sides of windows.
*I had photos of this part of the project, but lost my memory card before I could transfer them to my computer, so you’re going to see a huge jump in this project. Sorry!
- Storm season is upon us once again
Oh yes, the reason it feels like we never got anything done last summer. Come 3:00 pm, cue the storm clouds and heavy rain. A few things have changed since last year though, and hopefully our summer will be at least 50% more productive than it was last year.
The first reason for this is most of our work actually happens indoors now. If we’re given a few good hours in the morning and afternoon of decent weather, we can make all of our major cuts with the table saw and circular saw outside, and spend the rainy hours of the afternoon indoors assembling what we’ve just cut. Another is that we’re just doing many of our smaller cuts indoors at this point. Once the big cuts to the plywood are made, most of the cuts from that point on are little cleats which we can easily tackle indoors with our oscillating tool or circular saw.
The other major reason is, other than a few big storms in May, the rest of the summer so far has been relatively dry. I don’t even know how many days we’ve seen dark clouds come rolling up to us in the afternoon, winds beginning to gust…and then nothing happens. Mostly we’re left with overcast skies and a bit of wind, but you won’t hear us complaining about that one bit. In fact, if we can keep a dry yet cloudy a cool way of life all summer, we’d be on a fast track to get A LOT of work done by this fall!
- We bought an arch for the boat. It didn’t work out.
This is an item we’ve been hemming and hawing about practically since we’ve purchased the boat. We know we don’t want davits on this new boat, but we do need a system that will keep our radar and solar panels mounted. Do we spend the money on an arch? Do we even like the looks of a massive arch back there? Or do we go much more simple with two vertical poles to house the radar and wind gen, and a horizontal one suspended between the two for our solar.
Having such a different setup on Serendipity where A.) our davits supported our solar panels, B.) our radar was up the mast, and C.) there was never a wind generator to deal with, I was at a bit of a loss as what to suggest for a solution on the new boat. Will the three pole system work out? If so, Sure, go for it! If not? Get an arch. Easy peasy. I don’t like to be bothered with details like that. Whatever works, just get me the hell out of this yard.
Unfortunately it doesn’t always work like that on our boat and we need to think smartly about all of our options. In the end…the arch did seem the better option. It would be stronger and give good support in all the areas we needed. As far as looks go? Well, hopefully it looks good, and if not….at least we know our goods are secure.
So when a 7′ wide arch popped up on Craigslist in Coco Beach within our price range, we figured we may as well bite the bullet and pick it up. Choosing a random Friday night, we made the 2 hour dive north on I-95 to the boat yard where the seller lived. Eventually finding it propped up against a gate (the owner was not there when we arrived) we noticed right away it looked very large for 7 feet. Taking our measuring tape to it, we immediately found out why. It was actually 9 ft wide. We were half tempted to walk away from it right then, but we figured we may as well get it back to the boat and give it a try before we made any decisions. If it didn’t work out, we could easily pawn it off on someone else.
Making a now 3 hour drive home on US-1 with this gigantic piece of metal hanging off each side of the van, we arrived back near midnight and didn’t even bother to take it off the van before passing out in our bed. Over the next day or two we eventually did get it on the ground and even up on the boat with the help of one of our neighbors, only to find that the extra two feet of width made it too wide to fit on the aft end of our boat, especially with the angle of the feet the arch sat on. We toyed with the idea of having our welder make a few adjustments to it the next time he was out working on our boat, but in the end, we decided it wasn’t worth the trouble and we’ll probably go with the other idea of the two vertical posts with a connecting beam.
Luck was on our side though in the fact that we had a neighbor in the boat yard that was more than happy to take it off our hands.