The last few weeks have found me rushing around to get the boat weather tight, and starting to organize my thoughts on how best to manage the build to the finish. Like most things on this project, a lot of work needs to be done in a certain order before progress becomes visible.
With winter sneaking up on us, I had to get the barn put back together. The mornings are getting colder and with the heavy dew making it's way in to the barn, some of my tools are showing signs of rust. It took me a weekend to frame the opening back in, find the correct insulation, and trim the door opening to be ready for the crew who were re installing the door. I have to be able to fabricate much of the wood work for the interior in the barn, so having it weather tight and able to be heated is a big deal to keep the boat build moving. As I write this post, the barn is now back together, and while it's still a mess, it sure feels good to have all the space back.
The dry exhaust stack for the engine room is one of those deals that not much else can be started until this part is finished. Getting this finished turned out to be a bit of a pain as some poor measuring on my part had me doing a few things over. I framed access panels on both the port and starboard side of the stack. The port side panel is larger as to allow me to install the exhaust pipe through the panel. I also had to configure the panel opening to work around the microwave cabinet so I don't have to remove the cabinet to replace the exhaust pipe.
The exhaust stack was the last big welding job I have to do inside the boat, and it feels good to be able to take the big generator out of the back of my truck and leave it in the shop.
Now that the foam is all finished, I wanted to get the ceiling in the master cabin, and get that room pretty much wrapped up. The ceiling is 3 1/4" pine bead board painted an off white. To make things easy on myself, I primed and painted one coat of top coat paint on the boards to prevent bare wood from showing once things start moving around. The ceiling job was pretty straight forward, and the only tricky part was building the removable access panel on either side of the center beam. The access panel is for throttle and engine controls, hydraulic lines for the anchor winch, hydraulic lines for the steering system, and some conduit. The center beam is about 3/8" lower than the ceiling, and instead of wrapping it in bead board, I decided to wrap it in Cherry. I needed a board over 10' long, and instead of joining two together to get the length, I found a long one on the bottom of my now air dried stack of lumber. The longest boards I have also happen to be the widest boards. As you can see from this picture, this particular board is over 19" wide and dried pretty darn straight. After I finish milling the faux beam, I'll install it in a day or so, and the master cabin will have a finished ceiling in it.After the master cabin ceiling is finished, another day of work should have the guest cabin dressing room ceiling completed which will also mean all the ceilings below will be finished.
Another small detail I needed to get squared away was building a proper set of steps to get in to the boat. I've been using a ladder, and given the amount of trips and quantity of material I have to get on the boat, the ladder was the old accident waiting to happen. I also have a lot of people who like to stop by, and any thing I can do to prevent them or me from getting hurt helps everyone in the long run. I also want to do right by the boat yard, and keep my operation in such a way as to minimize any exposure.
The tooling I need to finish the job is also getting to the point where I'm comfortable. I wish I would have built all the engine room cabinets before we move her, as it would be nice to be able to start organizing the floating shop. Once in a while I do find myself borrowing a tool off of my truck, but for the most part the boat is now tooled up.
Boat building and schedules don't seem to get along in Conallville, but I"m going to take another stab at it. My plan is to have the bulk of the wood work finished by sometime in January. Once the wood work is finished and coated with urethane, I can focus on getting the needed systems up and running for our May/June launch. Without going into a bunch of detail, the systems I'm talking about are AC/DC electric, hydraulic, and engine controls.