standing over open floor

Odds & Ends Projects

Wednesday August 12, 2015

Matt varnishing cherry

So we go through all the work of ripping apart the galley, ready to get ourselves started on it so in a month or two we’re able to cook meals on our own boat instead of the marina’s grill, and it turns out we can’t do a d&^n thing in that area.  What we couldn’t see behind the cabinets and wall was that there is a large area of pitting in the aluminum that is going to have to be replaced by our welder.  And until that gets done, this area is basically untouchable.

In the meantime we’re now looking around to other little things that can be done.  The good news is the welder has started this week, but we know it won’t be any time soon before he can get to the area in the galley.  Just like us, he’s starting forward and working back. We’re thinking it will be a few weeks before that area gets touched.

Trying to do what we can, we’ve thought about making the Eurolite pieces for the wall and then removing them once the welding gets done, but there’s only a few areas we can because wherever we decide to put the new fridge (we’re debating leaving it where it was or moving it to the back corner) we’ll be using foam instead. Unfortunately the whole galley area is turning into ‘We can’t do this until this gets done, and that can’t be done until the floor is installed, and we can’t install the floor until the welding is done’.  Which is why I’m still in the frame of mind that we should have scrapped August in the boat yard and went back to Michigan.  Not that it would have helped with the welding though, because we still need to be here for that.

So now we’re scratching our heads and coming to the realization that what we can do at the moment are a lot of the finishing touches we had been hoping to put off until we could either A.) Do a larger area at one time, or B.) Hopefully won’t make a mess of while we’re still using the area as a construction zone.  We still don’t want to do the final coat of paint to the walls since based on what’s happening to the primer that’s already been applied, it will become extremely dirty and have to be done again. This has now left us with varnishing and working on a small area of the floors.

First job was the varnish.  We haven’t done incredibly much yet with the cherry, although with the hours we’ve (Matt has) put into it by now you’d think that there would be piles and piles of wood to be varnished instead of only the cabinet doors in the v-berth and the fronts to the settee in the forward salon. The debate is still on for if we want them to have a gloss or a matte finish in the end, but we know that it will be a total of about six coats and we needed to get something on it soon to protect it.

After hours and hours of research on Matt’s part we landed on Epifanes Clear Varnish with an ultra UV filter to get ourselves started.  If we decide to go glossy we’ll stay with that and if we want to go matte we can change it for the last few coats. From what we have seen, the varnish is taking the cherry and almost turning it into a honey color.  Not what I was expecting it to look like at all, and honestly not exactly what I’m hoping it will stay like.  To me it looks a little too much like oak.  But Matt tells me that with time the wood will darken and maintain more of a cherry color.

The floor has been another fun project and something we know won’t be finished until the interior of the boat is 95% done.  When everything is finished we hope to have a 1/4″ maple wood laying on top of 3/4″ marine plywood, but we won’t be adding the maple until the very end. For the moment though, we can go ahead and lay down the 3/4″ plywood.  Originally to me this seemed like the easiest project we’ll have taken on yet because I thought we could take the existing pieces, trace them on to the new board, cut it out, and voila!, new floor.

Turns out things aren’t exactly level on our frame though and there was one good day Matt spent on his hands and knees, measuring, leveling, moving around the fronts for the settee, and basically getting everything to perfectly match up.  I felt so bad as this part was a one person project and all I could do was sit on the ledge for the centerboard and watch, while singing along to Pandora.  Which I’m sure really helped his concentration. Have I mentioned lately what a great husband I have and how much work he’s putting into this boat as I usually sit on the sidelines?  There’s no way anything would get done around here without his knowledge and focus, that’s for sure.

What did end up happening is he found out how to take the original floor boards that weren’t fitting perfectly, where to add a little extra oomph on some sides, and where we might have to add a few wedges below to level things out.  Then we did trace the existing boards onto the new ones, added the extra where it was needed, cut a little big just in case, and then fit them into place, sometimes shaving off an 1/8″ here or there.

While they may not still fit perfectly until we can work with all the surrounding boards, but it is a huge improvement from where they were and it no longer sounds like a 300 pound man is lumbering toward us when Georgie walks across them.  No joke. It scared the hell out of us the first few nights on the boat.  Cheers to small improvements!

Matt varnishing settee front

panels waiting to be varnished

Matt measuring floor space

construction zone of boat

standing over open floor

torn apart galley

Mission Demolition – Galley

Saturday August 1, 2015

Matt ripping apart galley

Today we ripped apart the entire galley.  Which must mean that we’re close to beginning work on it, and that makes me very excited.  After having ‘planned’ for the v-berth and salon area only to take 4-5 weeks to complete, and here we are moving on to week 8, I need to see a noticeable sign that we actually are moving in the right direction.

The only issue I had with this is we’d just gone through the boat to make it presentable to guests since our welder will be starting any time now, and this means that all the pots and pans and tupperware containers that had been sitting all willy nilly throughout the pilot house were actually placed in cupboards and out of the way.  Don’t ask me why this took so long, I think I had issue with putting things away into these filthy spaces until I realized that we won’t be using any of them for quite some time anyway.  So my mixing bowls might get some dirt and grime on them.  That’s ok, it’s not like I’ll be pulling them out tomorrow to make a culinary delight!  Which means I had to once more find a place to put all of these things and they eventually ended up in the storage area in the pilot house that runs under the cockpit.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Once everything in the galley had been cleared out though it was time for demolition.  Not quite as fun as easy as the forward salon though since this area was a little more complex.  In fact, instead of handing me a screwdriver and letting me loose on taking things apart like had happened before, I was set to stand back and watch Matt as he began taking a crowbar to the cabinets and shelves, ripping them out with abandon.  Since none of these items of wood are going to be reused for templates, furring strips, or anything else we can think of, there was no reason to keep them all in once piece.  As soon as a piece was torn out it was handed to me where I then placed it in the cockpit for later disposal.

This first part went fairly quickly and easily although I was soon called into action to help with the removal of the fridge.  Once the counter top was pried off we still needed to get this chunk of metal out from the multiple layers of foam in which it was encased. The outermost layer was only sheet insulation, and with a few good stabs from a chisel was pretty easy to get out.  The real trouble came when we needed to remove all the sprayed in foam that was sitting between the back of the fridge and the hull.  Hardened over many years, this stuff did not want to come out.

Each taking a side, we attacked it with whatever tools we had at our disposal. Chisels, pry bars, and even a bread knife.  Which surprisingly did the best job of all. Slowly we made progress as the extra foam fell away and we were doing well until it came time to find the wires for the fridge hidden in the bottom layers of the foam.  After a long game of hide and seek between the foam and the Dremmel we did finally locate them and found out they had melted themselves into the material since they were not in any kind of casing.  Of course they had.  Why should we begin expecting now that there was once one good spot of wiring on this boat?

The good news is A.) We’ll be replacing it all anyway, and B.) after this point the rest of the galley became extremely easy to remove again.  Working aft we took out the rest of the cabinets, the kitchen counter, and even the sink.  Everything was dumped in the cockpit until we could decide if there actually was anything we’d like to spare.  The sink?  Possibly.  Cabinet doors? We’ll take off and save the hinges.  The rest though could be trash.

A trash I was hoping to get rid of the next day since it was now raining, but someone felt it prudent to get out of the cockpit right away. So through a light stream of water we pieced out the items in the cockpit and tossed everything to become trash over the side of the boat and onto the ground. When everything was sorted it was tempting just to run back inside and leave the mess for later, but I figured that I was wet already so why not bring everything to the dumpster at the other end of the yard?

Back inside and toweled off we went through the work of cleaning up the remnants of our mess.  Garbage cans full of foam pieces and lots of vacuuming of the floor and the areas underneath where the frame of the boat collected bits of our destruction.  Soon enough the area was spic and span, or as much as it’s going to be at this point, and we were staring at the blank canvas of what our new galley will be.  I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of hard work and a total pain in the butt to build, but we’re both extremely excited for this next step in boat building.

Matt ripping apart galley

Matt ripping apart galley

ripping apart fridge

taking out fridge in galley

ripping apart galley

torn apart galley

torn apart galley

galley ripped out