Friday, November 29, 2013


As I sit and type this post the sun has just began it's climb and a heavy frost covers our front yard. In my last post, I had mentioned how Winter was sneaking up on us so I had to get the barn put back together. Well, over the last few days, Winter has made and appearance with a  heavy "thunk", as the temperature outside is a chilly 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  A large Arctic high has settled in over us, and will be planted  here for the  next five days or so keeping things on the cold side.

The ceilings in both the salon and the wheel house are #2 - 1"x6" V groove, white pine. My original plan was to paint the ceilings a traditional yacht bright white finish, but after talking to a contractor I do work for, he convinced me to pickle the wood. Pickling is a simple treatment of wiping on a semi clear white stain, then wiping it off. This gives the wood a bit of color, brightens things up, while still allowing the character of the wood to show through. If we end up not liking it, we can always scuff the ceilings and paint them a solid color. The ceilings will get a few coats of satin urethane to seal them.

The salon ceiling is completed, and the wheel house ceiling is close. When I mean close, I'm talking about one board has yet to be installed on on both the port and starboard side. In the case of the wheel house, the wall material has to go up before I can finish the lasts two ceiling boards, as those two outboard planks have to land on nailers attached to each side wall.

The salon ceiling was about as straight forward as one could get regarding installation. The salon ceiling  has a nice  camber to it which I think looks great  now that the ceiling is in place, and the taper of the width aft to forward is not that great. The salon ceiling frames connect directly to the wall frames because the windows are about a foot down from the ceiling. Because the windows are a foot down from the ceiling, I was able to create a chase without having to cut in to the steel frames on either side of the salon. I have one " in ceiling" access panel that goes from the exhaust intake stack to the mast step, and that panel is only about 4' in length.

The wheel house ceiling has a few more challenges. The wheelhouse ceiling has a slight camber as it sheds water from fore to aft on a decent grade. The tricky issue with the wheel house is that the windows and door openings go almost to the ceiling. Because of the window opening height, I could not create a wiring chase along the walls. The bulk of the wiring enters the wheel house via a chase below, with at least six spare 1" conduits ran to a junction box in the engine room. On the two center forward windows, there was room for the ceiling boards to miss the trim ring. On each of the outboard forward windows, the ceiling boards hit the trim ring. I really did not want the ceiling hitting the trim ring, so I held each ceiling board off the trim ring 1/4". Because the gap is consistent, and the trim ring is black along with the angle one has to view the install, the gap is not at all noticeable. Because of how the windows are installed, if I ever have to remove the window, I'm pretty sure I'll have to cut the ceiling to do so. I debated holding the ceiling 1" away from the trim ring, but that would have looked bad, and would have required complicated trim to make it look reasonable as the foam would have showed.

If I ever have to remove the windows, I'll deal with the ceiling at that time, and call any modifications a repair. Because of how the ceiling is framed, and the fact that I neglected to install a  nailer for the ceiling at the two forward side windows, I have a small area of ceiling that will require a little bit of work to finish the install. The fix is not really that complicated, but in order to make it look tight and right, a piece of cherry with a tongue on it will have to be fabricated and fastened to the widow frame right above the trim ring (  more on this later if I remember).

Now, I'm on to fitting the side wall material in the wheel house, and also having to finish the jambs on the door before I can wrap up the ceiling. Getting the ceilings and walls lined really makes me feel like I'm making progress because the  foam is starting to vanish, and the inside is starting to  look quite shippy.  The bad news is that on December 1, the boat  yard is only open Monday-Friday 8-5... no more weekends. The yard holds this schedule until March 1, so I'm going to loose a noticeable amount of work time over the next 12 weeks.  I'll be able to make up some of this time because Winter weather kills my for pay work schedule, and I for sure have more time, but on the flip side of that scenario, I"m covered up busy with paying work right now and am really booked solid for the next ten months.  Depending on how busy the weather lets me work for pay, and how reliable  my cash flow is, I  might end up hiring out some of the straight forward mechanical work I have to get done to some good, reliable contractors I know. Now that I've been at Washington Marine for a few weeks now, I've seen  how they work, and I for sure can tell you that they'd be at the top of the list for some of the jobs I have in mind. We'll see how all this schedule thing works out as the time is fast approaching where we have to commit funds to leasing harbor space for the up coming season.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I've started to finish

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.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Moving forward

Sometimes during the build when I would abruptly run head first into the learning curve, I would get a little discourage, feeling like I was doing two steps back for each step forward. Right now, I feel like good progress is being made and things are headed  in a good direction.

I chipped out all the burnt foam and prepped and primed the metal where the paint was burned off from welding on the super structure. This was a pretty tame job, which did not take much time and had me more convinced how easy foam is to deal with.

With all the metal now primed, I spent a morning patching in the framing and cleaning the boat to be ready for the foam crew. Once the foam job was ordered, we waited about a week for them to show up, and watched them blow through our job in about an hour.

The last big welding job on board is to weld the exhaust stack between the salon deck and the roof. I had to buy a sheet of 1/8", and some angle to build two access panels. I was tempted to not sand blast this last welding job, but I've blasted every piece of metal in this boat and there's no reason to start doing things wrong now. All the chimney parts are cut, fabricated, blasted and primed, waiting for me to weld them in the chimney. I'll post a blog on that job after I get it finished this weekend.

All the lumber to finish the ceilings is sitting in the barn ready to get primed. 4" bead board will be used for the master cabin and dressing room. 6" V groove will be used for the salon and wheel  house. The ceilings will go in before the wall material. The ceilings will get painted.

When I started on this build I did a lot of reading on what  trawler is, and what makes a trawler a go anywhere type boat. Naval architects use ratios to qualify their work, and one of the important ratios for me was the displacement to length ratio or the D/L. This ratio tells one what the heft of the boat is. How much fuel you can carry, how much water, food, parts, tools, toys, etc... can be put safely on board. For me having a go anywhere boat meant having a relatively heavy D/L. The D/L ratio has sort of been relegated to my brains back burner until the boat yard put a 38' Marine Trader next to me. True, I'm a 44' boat vs the 38 Marine Trader, but the difference in the D/L between the two vessels is stark.

This time next week, I should be full blown back in to wood working. Winter is sneaking up on us, and I'm looking forward to how easy it will be to keep the boat warm, and the sweet smells of the freshly milled Cherry lumber.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Window installation

The windows for the boat came  from Motion Windows, and after over year in the barn they are finally installed. There's a link to Motion on this page to the right.

All the windows in the salon are of the same size; tinted, and sliders. The wheel house has two fixed windows, and two top hinged windows on the forward wall. Also in the wheel house, there are two sliders and a fixed to starboard, and one slider, the passage door, and a fixed window to port. The windows on the front of the wheel house are un-tinted, 1/2" tempered. The only tinted windows in the wheel house are the two small fixed  units aft.

All the windows are held in place using a clamp ring. The window has a flange on it that gets a bead of sealant applied, and lands on the outside of the boat. The clamp ring flanges against the interior trim, and is held in place with 15 or so screws that thread in to a groove in the window. The screws pull everything tight, and the sealant makes a water tight seal. The boat side of the window flange has six or 8 dados extruded in to it, so that a gasket is made by the sealant, which prevents metal on metal contact along with a water tight seal. The trim ring method is the best way in  my opinion to install windows like this as no drilling or damage to the hull sheathing happens. It is also an extremely fast install, and minor alignment is possible. The fast installation was due to me spending three days while the super structure was in the barn fitting the interior trim piece for each window and making sure all the openings were dead nut. I"m pretty sure I blogged about the interior trim fit up so if anyone cares, there's more detail in that blog post. Sika-Flex UV resistant marine sealant was used and recommended by the window manufacturer.

After the first window went in, we had to make a decision on how to deal with the squeeze out of the black sealant. I started to tool the joint, and attempt to wipe things clean, but I soon found things getting out of hand. The sealant was on my hands, and clothes along with getting on the powder coated window, and finding it's way to the boat quite a distance away from the window. The stuff seemed to jump! So after getting that mess cleaned up, we decided it was going to be best to deal with the squeeze out once the material cured. I messed around with it a bit the other day and to my pleasant surprise, it does pull away from the paint ( with some effort ) at the paint/ window flange joint. A hard plastic tool or plastic scraper will be needed to coax the material off of the boat.

I'm very happy with the quality of the windows, and how secure the installation feels. With the type of sealant we used and how much squeeze out we're seeing, I'm extremely confident we have a water tight seal. Some of the smaller windows with tight bends we found the groove that the trim ring screws in to had distorted a little bit. The manufacturer included a bag of the next size larger screw with my package which worked out most excellent in the larger groove, thus keeping everything nice and tight. This is the second boat I've used Motion Windows on and I am for sure a happy customer.

Now that the window  install is complete,the next order of business is to finish painting the salon wall weld joint on the aft deck, then scuff, and paint the weld joint on the inside. The salon door and wheel house door will then

be installed.  Once this is complete, I'll bolt on some wood to the few frames that need it, then get the foam finished. Some fairing and priming on the outside weld along with the intake and exhaust louvers on the stack, and we'll be weather tight.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Weather tight ( for the most part )

I'm going to need to get back to work to get some rest. The last couple of days have found me dodging my paying work obligations in order finish welding the super structure to the hull and making her weather tight. Dealing with the heavy dew forces one to finish certain jobs in the afternoon or deal with repairing some rust damage the next day from the dew.

When we landed the super structure to the hull, the initial fit of the structure just sitting there at first glance could have been better. My friend Ollie, who's helping me fit out the boat, was a  little freaked out and later told me he figured we'd have two or three days in getting the structure to fit. Because I'm working off of plans, and CNC cut parts, as long as the super structure itself fits together, there is no other outcome available but to have it fit to the hull. When building the super structure, if I had deviated from the plans, and had cut on the parts of the super structure, it probably would not have fit the hull without major modifications.

With the superstructure just sitting on the hull, we had a 2" gap where the forward wheel house wall hits the deck, a 0" to 3" gap where the port side wall lands on the salon hull flange, and the whole thing had to be pulled back more than an inch. We had one corner, starboard,  where the salon wall turns 45 degrees to head aft that was pretty close to the mark... here is where we started the fit up. Welding a cleat to the deck, and using a ratchet puller, we pulled the structure about 1/4" to hit a mark, and tacked it. After a few tries, we finally found the right angle and location for a welded cleat to pull the salon wall forward to land on the 45 degree 8" long wall,  and laid in some heavy tacks. Those two seemingly insignificant  pulls un-twisted some of the salon, and we now found part of the wheel house starboard wall firmly on the fore deck vs the two inch gap we had only 2 hours ago. Now that the wheel hose was down on the deck, we  used the Port-A-Power to push the wheel house over to locating points and tacked it down. All the CNC parts had lay out lines etched in them upon arrival from the cut shop. Before I had painted the wheel house deck, I had drilled dimples about every two feet on the  layout lines so I could locate the wheel house layout lines through the paint when the time came. Being able to locate a part is critical and having referenced locating points saved the day. With the starboard side of the wheel house now tacked down and in it's exact position, we moved to the salon and began pulling the wall to meet the flange joint at each frame. After we had the wall tacked on the frame joints, we moved between each frame, and pushed the flange up to meet the wall, then tacked.  Moving over to the port side, we used the Port-A-Power to push the whole structure back, and were feeling pretty good as it just about fell in to place. Having the starboard side right on the money was forcing the port side  in to  place. Once we had both port and starboard side tacked in to place, we then worked on the end walls, which was just a matter of making sure they were straight with no bows or bellies, and tacked them down. Getting the super structure fitted in to place, and tacked welded, took the two of us about eight hours.

Finish welding the structure to hull joint took a long 12 hours with two welders running. Because of being outside, and not wanting to deal with moving the MIG welder around, I decided to stick weld the job. We used a Miller Bobcat, and an Everlast inverter based multi process machine running off of an 8000 watt generator to get the job done. Stitch welding using 2" welds, and moving around a lot was the schedule. I had spray foamed the inside of the hull prior to all this work, so we had to be careful about catching the foam on fire. The foam is fire rated, and it for sure lived up to that description. Keeping  an eye on the foam with plenty of  fire extinguishers ready was about all we had to do as it self extinguished once the heat was taken away. 

Once the welding was complete, we knocked off the slag, ground the welds for fairing, and brushed two coats of epoxy primer. The boat yard does not allow any spraying of paint.  Before the weather gets real ugly, I'm going to get some fairing compound on the welds to finish the joint and give it two more coats of primer. This is all I'm going to do until next Spring in regards to painting the outside.

On both the port and starboard side, we burned off about two feet of hull paint where the salon wall ties in to the hull. This will have to be faired and blended back in to the green hull next spring.

The only paint patching I have to do is on the aft deck of the salon. We've had two days of steady rain,  and this is the only area we did not get primed. Once the rain stops, I'll finish priming this area and scuff and prime the weld zone inside the super structure. Once all that's finished, I have to bolt some lumber to a few short frames, then patch in the foam.

The decks have been blasted, two coats of primer and three coats of acrylic urethane before we moved her outside. I had all along planned on re painting the decks, and after the beating they took on welding the super structure, they for sure will need painting before launch. There is also a lot of soot on the side walls from the stick welding that is going to  have to be washed off. The whole boat is nasty dirty, and once I have the paint patch to a point I'm happy with, I might take a day and give her a bath. 

I'm going to have to get back to work this week coming, although this monsoon we just had will probably rain me out half of the week. This flurry of boat building has me feeling a bit tired, but a happy tired as we're getting things done in big gulps.



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Looks like a boat

I had stopped by the boat yard on our way to a job yesterday and found the crew blocking her up. Gregg, the yard foreman asked me if I had time today to lift the super structure? So, lets see, work on the boat project, or go to a job site??? Anyway, we were back at the boat yard in about 90 minutes after unloading the service truck, andloading up the welder, some chains, and a spreader bar.

The yard  had some issue with the crane, and we decided to put another pass on the lifting rings that were welded to the cabin top. Once we had the crane in the right position and had the chains rigged to lift level, the lift went quick. We re lifted it a inch or so to push the structure closer to the lines, then unhooked her and cut the crane crew loose. What was left of the afternoon was spent moving tools on board, and eyeballing what was going to be required to pull the structure around to fit on the lines. Things are close to fitting, but need some tweaking.

In  terms of my building this boat, this is probably the most rewarding day of the project. It finally looks like a boat, and while I'm guilty of being biased, I think she's a fine looking vessel.

Paying work is going to have to wait another day as I'm headed down to the boat yard to finish fitting the structure. I doubt we'll get all the welding done today, but we'll be close. If all goes well, I should have the windows installed and have her protected against the weather by the weeks end.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Moved to the boat yard

Having the boat moved to a boat yard firmly places our build in to the next phase, and knowing that all work we do from here on out will be final fit out for our Spring launch has us feeling superb.

Putting the move together represented about six weeks of patiently planning and trying to make all the parts come together. I had decided to have a complete brake job done on the truck, the CAT track loader needed some work, the barn door needed to be modified, permits needed to be procured, signage and safety gear needed to be found, etc... The reason I had to go to all this work vs paying a boat hauler,  is that in our part of the world there are no boat haulers that can move a boat of this size and configuration, and the grade steepness of our driveway scared away the one hauler I talked to.

The boat moving crew was made up of a few close friends: Ollie, Bud, Dennis, Pat the mayor, and Bill. The night before the move, Ollie and I were getting things ready, and as I moved past the hitch bar of the dolly while on the bulldozer, the bulldozer track grabbed the hitch and tore metal giving us a late day welding repair.

The plan to get down the drive way was to  have the boat hooked to the the tow truck, the track loader in front of the truck in case of a catastrophic event, and the 40,000 lbs excavator in the rear holding the load. The biggest problem of moving a hay wagon type dolly down such a steep grade with such a heavy load is that the steering axle is going to want to jackknife. We could not  have done this without having the excavator holding tension on the load to prevent a jackknife. The driveway is gravel, and while we did grading work on it prior to moving the boat, the gravel is like marbles, and the truck could not get traction. To much brake pressure on the truck, caused the rear of the the truck to begin to jackknife and the load began to move dangerously off course. The end all solution was to have the excavator hold every thing while the truck was used for steerage with no braking at all. I was able to control the excavator, but it was tenuous at best as it just at the point of breaking free on the marble like gravel driveway. I had guessed it would take 20 minutes to get down the driveway, and three hours later, we finally made it out to road.

Once out on the road, and having the road blocked, one of my neighbors stopped to see how things were going and to tell us there was a wreck in town with two state troopers working the accident. I had obtained an over height/over width permit, but one of the permit rules was that we hire a state trooper as an escort. Given  the home made dolly, and the basic unsafe look of the dolly, I felt a state trooper escort would not let us leave, so I decided not to contact the troopers for the move. I had a permit in hand, so I could not get fined for not having a permit, and if I did get pulled over, the troopers would have no choice but to let us proceed. I was betting that a trooper pulling us over was not going to want to deal with having the boat by the side of the road for a day or two while another tow vehicle was brought on site. The trip was only Twelve miles port to port.  We were basically asking for forgiveness vs permission with only a reduced fine for not following the exact parameters of the permit if caught. Given that we now knew that troopers stood between us and our only route, we decided to use the time to jack the boat up and re adjust the dolly as it had shifted due to the extreme forces placed upon it as we came down the hill. The "time out", we as we waited on the road gave all some time to calm down and double check what we were doing.  We live in a rural area, and our road is narrow and not heavily traveled. We moved the boat over as far as we could to one side of the road, allowing cars to pass  with one set of wheels in the grass as we worked on the rig. We sent Dennis down to the area where the troopers were to let us know when they left. With us blocking most of the road and working on the rig on a drop dead gorgeous Saturday morning, our work site soon became a social hot spot as neighbors pulled over to see "wass up?".  Two  hours later, the rig was aligned, the troopers were gone, and we were moving towards the boat yard.

The rules of the permit were that we have an escort vehicle in front checking wire height, and an escort vehicle in the rear ( along with a state trooper). The Mayor and Bud were in front dealing with traffic, and pushing up low wires as we wound our way down state route 132 towards the more open state route 52. Because our front tires were so severely over loaded and were afraid of heat building up and blowing the tires, we crept along at 10 - 15 mph. Given that it was a Saturday, and with people out and about, the spectacle of moving such a large boat began to feed back to us. Shannon was riding in the dump truck with me, and she began to start seeing pictures of us showing up on face book. It was kind of funny watching people pulling over and taking pictures of us with their phones. Once out on the open US SR 52, the mental pressure on us subsided, and almost an hour later we pulled in to Washington Marine. Hugs, handshakes and some back slapping were had as we quickly unhooked the boat from the truck for the return trip back to our place to get the wheel house.

The night before, Ollie and I had backed the trailer under the wheel house, so all we had to do was jack it down on to the trailer and bind it down. The wheel house is almost 15' wide, and was a little off center on the trailer, so I had to stay pretty much in the center of the road. The good news is that I was able to get up to speed, so the trip down to the boat yard only took 1/2 of an hour. Once down at the boat yard, we backed the trailer up to hull and unhooked it so we can deal with it on Monday. Job done.

I had touched base with the yard about getting the wheel house craned on to the hull early in the week so Monday morning I'll be confirming our schedule. Hopefully, she'll be joined together early in the week, and by this time next week, we'll have made the transition from a dream in the barn, to a legitimate boat inching closer to launch. Heading back home in the dump truck with the windows down and the river shining as the sun was closing in on the horizon, we noticed all the boats anchored in the river on  this fine Saturday night, and we felt good knowing we would be joining them next Spring.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Ready to move

The day after we pulled the hull out of the barn, we moved the wheel house over to side of the barn with the now  modified door. The rest of that second  day was spent jacking the wheel house up high enough to allow our trailer to get underneath it.

Using a floor jack, the wheel house end of the super structure was  lowered down on to one of the 6x6's that were removed from modifying the barn door opening. 2" steel  pipes were first  placed under the 6x6. The aft side of the super structure was raised up enough to get pipes under it by using a block and a crow bar. For some reason, I thought I'd be able to move the super structure by having  Shannon and I push on it. After about 5 seconds of pushing, we figured another source of power was going to be needed. The John Deere tractor we use to mow was the perfect tool for the job. We move the structure as far as the tractor would allow, then used the skid steer loader to bump it over the rest of the way from the other side.

Jacking the super structure up for the trailer to fit under it was pretty straight forward. Using the skid steer loader with a set of forks in the front, and a floor jack in the rear, it took about 4 hours of lots of moves to get the job done.

The nice thing about building in metal is how rigid the structures are and how things don't rack when you pull on them. When I hooked the tractor to the super structure on one end, and pulled, the whole structure moved.

The wheel house is ready to transport as is the hull. I spent the last weekend doing some work on the dolly, and tidying up the inside of the boat. We  had about three inches of rain the other day, and while we had spent some time taping and tarping openings in the deck of the hull, we  still got some water inside. The good  news is that all the water tight bulkheads are indeed water tight below the sole, the bad news is that I had to spend Sunday getting the bilges dry. It's really no big deal as this is still a construction project, and it's not weather tight yet, but I hate seeing the weather getting to her.

I have the permit to move in hand, and for the most part I have the strategy we're going to use to make it happen. The permit expires this Sunday, so the move has to happen between Wednesday and Sunday. So, this time next week, I should have both pieces down at the boat yard ready to join them together.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Out of the barn

The hull is out of the barn and another big milestone has been achieved.

The hull is wider and taller than the 12 x 14 doors I have in the barn so a overhead door company had to be called in to remove the door. Once the door was off, it was up to me to remove some of the siding, the purlins, and two posts. It took me about two nails to remember that pole barn siding nails are not meant to come out. It took me about 30 more nails to realize that a cat's paw and a hammer is really not the preferred way to remove these nails. My right angle die grinder with a cutting disc used to cut the nail head in half, then a punch to knock off the nail head is the fastest, cleanest way to remove pole barn siding nails ( if any one really cares ;-0). Because the 6 x 6 posts are on the gable, and I had bolted them to the foundation when I built the barn, I was able to easily remove them for salvage on the re build of the door opening.

I had to use the swim platform of the boat for scaffold while I removed the door header. Using the skid loader to pull the boat back and under the door header had me realizing just how easy she moved across the barn floor. Walking around on the swim platform with demolition tools and using a chain saw to cut the posts out had me reminding myself that I can fix the dings I'm creating later on down at the boat yard.

For some reason I've long forgotten, I decide to build the boat in the barn facing the wrong way. Building her in the barn backwards ended up causing some more work in getting her out.  Because the parking area outside the barn is on a grade I had to use a I beam with one end chained to the boat dolly axle, and another end chained to the dozer blade so I could control the hull and prevent her from rolling down the hill in to the dozer. The I beam idea worked good and getting her in to the barn  yard was really no big deal.

Once out in the barn yard I backed the dump truck in to position so I could get a measurement on the length of the hitch. Once the hitch was welded to the dolly, and the pintle ring was bolted to the hitch, I again backed the truck in to place and hooked the dolly to the truck. For the most part, she's ready to leave our property.

 This morning I'm going to chain her down, and move her further away from the barn using the dump truck. I need her away from the barn door so I can back a trailer in to the barn and load the wheel house on to the trailer. Hopefully, this time next week, both pieces will be down at the boat yard ready to weld together.

As she sits on her dolly, she measures 14'3" above the road.

Getting her out of the barn was a pretty big milestone for me. This is the first time I've really been able to see what she looks like. It feels amazing not having to duck under the truss's. To say I'm happy would be an understatement.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Odds and ends

I've worked out a deal with the boat yard where the final fit out is going to occur and I now have a list of things to get finished before I can move her out of the barn.

The boat yard, understandably, wants me to carry a builders risk insurance policy in case I damage others property. The folks who handle my commercial policy for my excavating business do not handle anything marine, so I've had to look at another agency to  help me find a policy. I've been dealing with a company up in Mystic, and they are putting some effort into my project. Hopefully this will work out and I'll start a long term relationship with this insurer to handle my yachting needs.

I had to find another set of tires for the front steering axle for the transport dolly. The tires that I had on the axle would not handle the load and were going to cause us problems. The tire vendor I use for my trucks is hunting two used tires with more ply's that should be up to the task. It's taken a little longer than he had figured, but he's still looking and I'm sure he'll come through. 

Once I get her to the boat yard I'm either going to be running off a generator or I'll be using some sort of shore power from the yard. Either way, I want to be able to plug the boat in at one area and distribute AC power from that one point. I've never been a fan of having a rats nest of extension cords so I decided to start the boats shore power connections. I have two 30 amp inlets for the boat, and they reside on the front of the wheel house. For my shore power connections, I've decided to use the smart plug system. By the nature of the old style twist lock connections, I've always felt like problems were designed in to those connectors. Twisting on the metal spades to make a connection... metal wearing out... resistance no thanks. The smart plug system is a well built, well thought out way of connecting the boat's shore power. Another builder I confide in recently told me insurers offer a discount for using the smart plug, and it makes sense. The bottom line is that the smart plug is a far superior way to connect your boat to the shore power link.

Another item I needed to take care of was getting the air compressor in the lazzarette operational. I had purchased a 3 hp, 8 CFM, 30 gallo

n, 120 volt, 20 amp air compressor for my on board life. Why the air compressor?  The first thing I do when I get in my shop in the morning is turn on the air compressor, the last thing I do when I leave is turn off the air compressor. Air compressors are for sure on my top five most important tools and I've always had my mind set on having one on board the boat. This boat is large enough to handle a small air compressor such as this and it will get it's fair share of use. I'm figuring that there is going to be some fit up work required to land the super structure, so having the air compressor operational to run my plasma cutter is important. I wanted to have an air outlet on the aft deck, an air outlet in the lazzarette, another outlet in the engine room and one more outlet in the wheel house. I've never been a fan of using " T's " in any kind of line, and I for sure would rather create a manifold to distribute the on board compressed air system. Besides using air tools on board, and being able to inflate floating things, I'll also be using an air horn for sounding. I had contemplated using air to shift the transmission, but I think I'm going to stick with a cable type control for that.

I think getting her moved in August is doable. I do believe I was blogging these same words last July, so I must defer to the old saying of "never say never". The boat is darn near ready to move, and I am for sure ready to move her. A few details need to fall in to place, and at this point, there's no need to push it. This will happen, it just needs to  happen the right way.