During my absence from the blogging on my boat build, I've come to the conclusion that's is a darn tough thing to get work done on a boat while it's in the water. While the sun's still making it's late afternoon descent, we find ourselves on the foredeck sitting in comfy chairs, using the shadow of the Portuguese bridge to keep the sun off our skin. As the sun starts to duck behind the western hills of the Ohio River, we move to the aft deck to see how many shades of purple the setting produces this particular night. Maybe we'll see the solitary Loon that's called this part of the river it's home while it searches for the last meal of the day. Either way, it's easier to watch the river slip by than work on the boat.
While I do love the idle time, I still like to keep buys albeit at my own pace, so I have been getting some smaller projects off the list. The decks took a beating from welding the super structure on along with the myriad of other work I had to do, so I was glad once I got more paint on them. I gave the decks a good scrubbing using scotch bright pads and warm water, then hosed them down. A day later, after they were sufficiently dry, I rolled on the same acrylic urethane I used for all my exterior paint. The paint is pricey at $175.00 per gallon, but worth every penny in my book as it's proven to be tough as touted. The only problem is it's also about as slippery as a paint can be once it gets wet. Next spring, we're going to put down a non skid deck paint of a slightly darker color. Along with getting the decks final painted, I also was able to paint the weld zones where the super structure welded to the hull.
The wheel house trim is 99% complete with me having fabricated the faux beam that runs down the center line of the wheel house and also is the chase for getting wires to the mast. I say 99% complete because I still have to build a small cabinet above the companion way.
The blue sea distribution panel is 100% operational, with all the functioning breakers labeled and all the blank spots covered with blue sea blank covers. I should say that this panel is one of my most favorite pieces of equipment on board, and has been nothing but great to work on. The way the panel is back lit along with the back lit labels, it's reassuring to glance at it during the night and be able to quickly see the state of things.
I finally finished wiring the automatic charging relay a few weeks ago, and while we're only taking short day trips, I'm totally happy with how it's working. The engine room ventilation fan pulls about 10 amps, and before I had the house bank connected to the alternator via the ACR, I always kept my eye on the house bank anemometer. The house bank is big enough where that 10 amp ventilator isn't going to kill it in a day, but it did give me something to think about. Now that the ACR is wired and working, it's nice to glance down at the house bank meter and see amps going in vs being drawn out.
The composting toilet in the lower head has been disappointing, while the Raritan fresh water flush in the salon day head has been stellar. We have to many bodies on board for a composter to effectively, so next spring it's going to get replaced with another Raritan.
The PYI drip-less seal has been a good piece of gear as our bilge's are dusty. I've never owned a boat or been on a boat that has as dry of bilges as we have. I've heard about dry bilge boats but I've never really seen one until our steel boat. It's big time nice and easy to have dust in ones bilge vs nasty, funky, water.
I wish I had given more attention to cabin ventilation. Because the air conditioner is on board, but not hooked up, we've had to rely upon using fans to get fresh air in to the below deck cabins. I have one axial fan pulling air into our cabin, but will have to add another over the winter. It would be for sure nice to be able to adequately ventilate our cabin passively, but the way the boat is designed makes it difficult. The 300 cfm axial fan does a good job, but another will be needed. We have two marine air conditioners on board, but they're not operational yet, so total comfort will wait another season.
My only real complaints about the boat are the lack of headroom going from the salon to the wheel house. Ducking through this area is second nature to us, but I do have to warn friends on board to watch their head. My other complaint is the steepness of the steps leading down to the below deck cabins. The headroom in the boat is great, and getting down to point B from point A is the whole rise over run thing that's just another compromise on a boat.
A few things we added that were not on the original design was the day head in the salon which has turned out to be a great amenity, and one I would ask any one building this model to consider. Another add I did on my own was making the aft deck larger by moving the aft bulkhead forward one station ( 30"). Having an aft deck large enough for a grill, four chairs and a small table make the boat that much bigger. The salon is still very large and easily accommodates our crew, so this move has proven to be a success.
Our harbor closes down in three weeks, and I've already scheduled to be hauled out the first Monday in November. The boat build will pick up steam again once she's on the hard and Winter finds us. Projects for the winter are to get the hydraulic system up and running. Fabricate the mast and handrails for above. Complete the marine air installations. Cabinets for the engine room. Shelves for the lazarette. Add ballast forward. Raise the generator exhaust outlet pipe along with the aft water line paint. Figure out what the noise is coming from the stern tube bearing ( Vesconite ).
Like I was saying a few short months ago, I need another year to finish her up, and realistically a bit longer. We're already planning a two week cruise for next summer, wanting to take her down to Kentucky lake, so I guess I'll be rushing around again next spring trying to get all the things I did not get competed over the winter so she'll be ready for a May launch. Deja vu all over again.