Saturday, April 26, 2014

The salon shrank

My goal was to  have all the wood work in the salon completed by the end of April, and while I'm going to be close, I won't be finished in a week. I'll be close, but not finished.

This weekend I brought in the cabinets I built last year and got them fitted. The range cabinet along with the 36" sink base and the 18" drawer unit are in their final resting spots, and things are looking good.

With the cabinets in place, I'm able to finalize the air conditioning ducts that feed the salon and wheel house. Along with those two six inch ducts, a six inch return air line is getting installed in the salon. Getting these ducts installed required giving up some real estate, but I've had my plan in my head for a year now, and I think it will work. The only less than ideal strategy is that I don't have a return air line to the wheel house. The wheel house is open to the salon, so I'm hoping the air will get pushed back in to the salon's cold air return.

The other issue that's been thrown in this mix is how I'm ventilating the lazzarette ( the room under the aft deck, aft of the engine room). The air conditioning unit for the salon and wheel house resides in the lazzarette. I had originally vented this room with two three inch ducts that ran up and out the salon aft bulkhead. This was really a poor design on my part, along with having too small of vents. As it turns out, I had to cannibalize those two vents to get some plumbing in to the lazzarette, so on to plan B. I'm talking about all of this because this is going to impact the forced air cooling of the salon and wheel house, and this is what I 'm dealing with today. It's really not that big of a deal as I'm going to locate some 6" cowl vents and use the plasma cutter and hog out two holes in the aft lazzarette bulkhead three feet above the swim platform. This will be adequate ventilation for the lazzarette helping get rid of the  heat from the AC unit, which will help with the cold air return..... air in needs air out.

Before the cabinets can be landed for good, the range needs to be located off of the starboard wall. Again, no bid deal, but the gas connection needs to be landed  once I haul the range to the boat precisely locate it.

Unlike a  house, where things are plumb, level, and square, a boat with its descending and ascending angles and dangles, everything needs to hit a specific location.  In a  house, if one needs to frame in a square chase in the corner of a ceiling to route some plumbing or HVAC, it's no big deal as the space's are huge, and likewise easy to square things to each other. A boat on the other hand is 30 times more robust than a house yet her spaces are delicate and need to be treated that way.

I can now say that I'm closing in on completing the salon. All the major components are in their places and I'm totally happy how nice the space feels. Two people can easily navigate without tripping over each other and no area of the salon has me feeling cramped or claustrophobic. With the tinted windows open, the breeze moves through nicely, and there's plenty of light. With the tinted windows closed, the sun getting through and washing over the darkening Cherry wood , gives the room a warm and rich feel. The table saw has moved to the aft deck along with the saw horse cutting station. For the first time, the dust of a build is on the retreat.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Closing in on completing the salon

I'm making steady time in the salon, and it's close to getting finished. All the sheathing is finished, all the windows and doors are cased, and the half bath framing is finished. All the cabinets, including the settee drawer unit are finished and waiting in the shop. The settee bench's are going to be site built, so that job has to be completed but I think I'm going to get some urethane on the walls and trim before I bring in the drawer unit and the rest of the cabinets.

Once the day head was built, I looked at the space created between the day head and the aft salon wall. There's a boatload of plumbing and fuel tank related parts in the starboard aft corner of the salon, so building an access panel for future access to these parts was necessary. Since I was looking at that corner, I decided I wanted to house the stereo in that same access panel. Once I had the stereo in my mind, I started looking at a book shelf, and once I got the book shelf was stuck in my head, I realized we  had no place to stash garbage. Designing by need, or seat of ones pants, is my MO, so now the small planned access panel morphed into a multi-use, built in cabinet with doors, shelves, and wiring . Going with a larger inside dimension of a built in book case, I decided to make the interior 13" deep, which gives an overall depth including the face frame of 13 3/4". The built in is 41" tall.

With the now 13 3/4" built in planned, I looked at the remaining space  between the built in and the day head and was happy to find I still  had 6'7" of space.... plenty of room for two comfy reclining chairs.... I think. Measuring some  chairs at  home had me feeling good about the space, but a field trip to the furniture store was in need, and once that was completed, we settled on a reclining love seat with a console between the chairs ( chairs recline independently). The recliner can be as close to one inch off of the back wall vs 8" for reclining chairs, and measures 6' wide. I've been on too many boats that don't really pay much attention to comfortable seating, and I don't want this boat to be one of those.

The built in lays out with the garbage closet, with a door, on the end,  and the stereo above it. There will be two or three DC receptacles next to the stereo for charging phones or other devices. The cabinet top, which is 14 1/4" deep, is large enough for a lamp, along with being able to lay IPods or IPads can on the cabinet top so they can plug in to the stereo. The book case is is in the center, and will probably  have three shelves, possibly four. Next to the book case is the plumbing access panel on the bottom and another cabinet with door above that. The holding tank vent exits through the roof of the boat in this corner along with sharing space with the water feeds for the day head, and washer/dryer. The garbage bin should be closer to the galley, but it is what it is, and it's not that far of a walk to reach it.

Because the aft wall is only 2 1/2" thick, I'll be fabricating a trim piece to apply for these two windows, so no sill. The other six windows in the salon received a sill, jambs, and casing. The casings are 1/2" thick, but the head casing is 3/4" thick. I did this so I could butt the side casings in to the head casing and have a 1/4" reveal. The joint looks good as I rounded over the head casing on the side casing edge. On the top of the head casing, I cut a 45 degree bevel to give the trim that's going to hide the access chase's some place to sit. This detail works nice as the chase cover has a firm place to land and only will require a few screws through the board in to the ceiling to  hold it fast. Because the board lays in the 45 degree bevel, it also gives a nice tight fitting joint with no fussy fitting. Holding the head casing down 1/2" gives a nice place to hide the rail that the window curtain will slide in.  This detail worked out nice and the best part was how easy it was to fabricate and how tight fitting it is going to look.

There's still a day's work left before I'm ready to put some finish on salon, but like the post title say's, I'm close. Once there's three coats on the walls, I'm going to glue down some floor underlay and bring in the remaining cabinets. With the rest of the cabinets installed, the the six inch air conditioning duct can be finalized along with  installing the already built settee parts.

Wrapping up the bulk of the wood work by April's end is within reach, but things could creep into May. What's important is that the table saw is moving out of the salon, and I'm getting ready to start eyeballing some mechanical work, which I"m ready to dive in to.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Spring has finally sprung in our part of the world, and this salon sheathing boat builder couldn't be happier. The weather last week was a little raw with some rain snow mix, and lows in the 20's, but today skies were clear blue with the thermometer hitting 80 F. This might sound foolish, but the downside to spring arriving is that my phone is ringing off the hook, and for all practical purposes, I'm booked solid with work until at least September. Being booked so far in advanced is a nice problem to have, but getting the boat in the water this season is important to me so, work and the build are going to have to get along .

I hit the salon pretty hard this weekend past, and I have it sheathed. The rain/snow storm we had on Friday gave me a day on board to finalize the water line runs for the washer, the 1/2 bath, and the galley sink. I also was able finish the behind the walls AC and DC wire runs along with finishing the hard piping for the waste lines.

All the waste lines on board are 1 1/2" SCH 40 rigid PVC. I have a little bit of flexible PVC, but not much. The galley sink gravity flows either to the aft holding tank or overboard via a Y valve. The 1/2 bath sink also gravity flows to the aft holding tank or overboard. The 1/2 bath toilet is a macerator, and that is forced to the holding tank via an 1 1/2" SCH 40 rigid PVC. Below deck, in the cabins, is another toilet that is a composter. In case the composting unit does not suit our needs, I have another 1 1/2" forced main run from the below deck head to the rear  holding tank via the starboard salon wall. So before I could sheath the salon, I had to finish these pipe runs along with the galley sink pipe run that runs behind the port side salon wall. On all the forced pipe runs ( a pump is doing the work), pressure fittings have to be used. On any gravity line, one is best to use DWV fittings. DWV stand for drain, waste, vent.  DWV fittings have a smaller shoulder to glue, but have a more gravity friendly flow line.

I had originally planned on running the water lines for the salon macerator toilet, sink, and washer dryer behind the salon walls, but that space was getting crowded so I chose to run these lines in the wall/ceiling chase.

The 1/2 bath is one of those deals where some compromising had to be made. I had the 1/2 bath mocked up in the shop when I built the super structure, and knew it was going to be tight. Now that I have it framed in real time, I'm happy with  how roomy it is. The width of the 1/2 bath at the toilet is 30". The 1/2 bath tapers to an 20"w x 18"d square cube where the sink resides, so the 20" wide entrance door will be in the taper between the two above measurements. My  biggest concern was the width of the passage between the 1/2 bath and the wheel house steps as one heads below deck. The width of this passage ended up being 21", but to make it feel better, I think I'll radius the treads on the wheel house steps, or maybe clip off the corners. The wheel house steps are pretty wide @ 26", so there's plenty of room to work with. This picture shows the door layout line along with the temporary construction steps leading up to the wheel house.

The 1/2 bath was built out of 1/2" cherry ply. The corners are joined with laminated posts that I plowed 1/2" dado's in to. To finish the outside edge of the outside corner post I cut a substantial chamfer. It's hard to see the chamfer in unfinished wood, but once a finish is applied, the chamfer really pops and gives some nice detail.

Another weekend, and I'm fairly confident I'll be ready to start getting some finish on the salon. I also feel pretty good that I'll have the table saw out of the salon by the end of April with 95% of the wood work complete. With this wood working schedule now attainable, I have May and June to work on mechanical's , which gives us a July launch date. If I was a patient guy, I'd spend another  year getting her 100% finished, then launch her. Maybe giving  her another year is the right choice, but I'm ready to spend some evenings on board doing what this project was meant to do . When she hits the water in late June or July, I"m going to guess her at 95% complete. Hopefully we'll get  her to 98% complete.