Now that the salon is fabricated and welded to the wheel house, I will officially call this the super structure.
The wheel house was fun to build because it has such cool design elements and it's the wheel house. The salon was fun to build because building these structures goes so quickly that you really feel like you're getting something done. Now that I've been welding on the super structure for the last week, I'm ready for this part of the build to be finished. I can tell you that 90 % of the welding is finished, and if I didn't run out of welding wire this morning, the job of heavy welding would have been almost complete. I say almost complete because once I'm finished with the heavy welding I still have a few small jobs to complete including: all the window stiffeners and nailing cleats need to be installed, the doubler plates for the hand rail and dingy cradle, the vents for the composting toilets, the mast step, mast framing, and mast rigging pad eyes. I also need to weld future brackets for paravanes, and bushings for the ladder that will be used to gain access to the roof. This is still a fair amount of work, but the hours and hours of heavy over head welding are behind me and whats left is not really that much. to do.
The salon measures about 14 x 14. The original design had it measuring 14W x 16L. I wanted more space for a larger cockpit so I increased the size of the cockpit by 2' which shortened the salon by 2'. Was this worth it? I think so. For me, lounging in a chair under the cover of the cockpit roof will be a great place to hang out. I also think I can now have a hot/cold shower in the port side corner of the cockpit by using a curtain on tracks. The extra shower will be a huge asset. There is now enough room for a small table and four chairs along with a moderate sized grill. This is a wide body design, so there is no side deck to get from the aft deck to the fore deck. Because of this the salon bumps out from the wheel house by about 24" on either side. The deck from the wheel house terminates in the forward salon wall. Using the step up to the wheel house, I'll gain access to the salon roof via a ladder that will be mounted on the wheel house deck ( more on this later).
To build the salon, I had to jack up the wheel house to get things in the relative position on how the boat decks step up as you move forward ( raised pilot house design). The wheel house is now pretty high above the barn floor, so I'm going to have to install a temporary floor to paint along with scaffolding on the exterior of the wheel house.
The door in the salon is off centered to port because the salon table/settee goes on the port side. That port side corner will be nothing but table, so by having the door favor that side, we have more room on the starboard side for other things.
To increase the size of the cockpit I had to alter the bulkhead where the salon door and windows is. Because this wall move forward, I needed to install a 1" filler piece on either side of the bulkhead. This was a fairly small change that has required a little bit of noggin work. The real challenge with moving this wall and the small design change I made to the cockpit was the starboard boarding door I added. Adding the boarding door now requires me to cut the starboard salon side panel in such a way as to not offend the very cool line the designer had originally drawn. I need to put some good though in to cutting this panel to make panel look as if it was not some aborted afterthought.
The other change I'm going to make to the salon aft wall is I'm going to increase the size of the door going in to the salon. Right now, the door width is 25 1/2". I'm going to increase that door size to 32". 32" is not a huge door, but it does feel much better walking through vs the 25" door. The larger door will also make getting the stove and fridge through the opening much more doable. I'm still debating on making the door a 36" but that seems large. Since I"m building the doors myself I should probably go larger. I open to suggestions.
The salon roof over hangs the salon wall by 5". The design has a piece of trim that forms a soffit similar to a gutter board on a house. The ceiling I'm going to install for the cockpit roof will tie in to this soffit on the same plane and make for a nice, neat looking finish. The ceiling will have about 4" of clearance so I"ll be able to install some LED cans for some nice lighting.From a construction point of view regarding the clearance allowed for ceiling material, I wish that the designer had allowed a
little more reveal so that using 3/8 ceiling material would still allow
1/2" of the metal trim piece to be seen. Right now, using 3/8 material
will allow less that a 1/4" of reveal, and in my opinion, that's
cutting it too close. The last thing I want to see for aesthetics and maintenance, is the ceiling material below the metal trim. I also don't want to use 1/4" ceiling material, but I will it means seeing the ceiling below the trim. Some of the push boats that work up and down the Ohio river have taken to running some accent lighting as they move at night. I think I'm going to install three LED cans in the soffit centered above the salon windows for accent lighting. A lot of the push boats use a blue light that I think would look sharp as long as it's not to bright.
The salon has 8 windows and all of those are sliders with screens. I went with a dark tint on these windows as I feel the tint helps with the heat.The windows are about 37 x 23... not hatefull huge, but a nice size. Before I paint, I'm going to test fit .
I"m a little behind on my schedule as I was wanting to be starting prep work for paint this week. Being realistic, I won't be fully into paint prep work for another week and a half. I still think I'll be finished with painting the super structure by the end of August but it's going to be tough. My plasma cutter went down on me today and that's going to slow me down. When you operate on a shoe string as I tend to, small problems can cause delays. I guess the positive aspect of operating on a shoe string is that when small problems pop up, I'm flexible and easily able to switch modes.
All in all the super structure has been fun to build, but like I said above, I'm ready to be done with it. Another week or so, and I"ll be full blown into paint prep and that will be a good thing. I'm sure, as I'm now singing the welding blues, I'll be singing the paint prep blues in a few weeks. As you might be able to tell from some of the pictures, the shop is about as full as it can get. There's still room to work, but it is very tight. I'll be able to take the gantry down once the funnel is in place, and that will help with room. I not so sure I'm going to know how to act once the good ship Conall leaves the barn with all the room I'm going to inherit.