It’s May, It’s May – Oh Wait, It’s June Already!

Well, you may ask, what’s been happening?  They get out on the water and the blog falls by the wayside.  Not so!  We’ve actually been plugging away.

Stuff everywhere. The big white box is the house bank battery box.

It all starts with a jumble:  parts and tools everywhere.  Still cutting away parts, we got the sink cutaway finished.  Using a combination of coping saw and saber saw, the sink will now fit (once in we finally get to the countertop in the galley).

The edge was too close for the saber saw, so Nina got out the coping saw.
The left side got cut using the saber saw.

Working on the surround for the engine, we decided to smooth out where the hull rises up from the floor.  This part of the boat was roving and pretty uneven.  We decided to flatten it out with a piece of plywood.  A pattern was made, plywood was cut and epoxied in place and we weighted it down with whatever we could find – tool rolls, jugs and cans of various fluids, a bucket of large washers, a ship sized shackle and a circular weight we had in our backyard.  To smooth out the transition, bondo was applied and sanded and applied and sanded.  This will make the engine cover base easier to shape and will create a flat surface to glue flooring to down the road.

Weighing the plywood down after epoxying.
Bondo and elbow grease.

Meanwhile, while Nina was messing around with bondo, Bill tackled the bin opposite the head.  This has always been a space that has been a bit frustrating.  We stored wet gear in it but there was no real drainage and the bottom was impossible to reach if you do not have extremely long arms.  Cleaning it?  Ha!  In a last fit of cutting things out and apart, Bill cut a reach through and then sliced about a third of it off.  This part will have slide out bins.  The other side will house wet gear.  A bulkhead template was made and much discussion occurred about how to configure the bins.  The bulkhead was dry fit and will be tabbed to the hull.  More on all that later.

Bin across from the head before getting attacked by the saber saw.
Reach through cut out. We can put sea boots in here.
Bill cutting the bin.
Bin with the forward end cut off.

Other projects we’ve been working on:  getting the house battery box installed.  The box was fitted.  We moved it slightly to provide access to a couple of bus bars on either side of it.  A new bracket was made out of aluminum angle stock to beef up the current one.  Bus bars were installed and really big wire was run from the box locker to the locker where it will connect with all the other equipment that runs off the battery.  This is a fanfare moment.  Getting the batteries connected means that we will be able to leave the slip this summer!  Well, once we get them actually connected to the engine, that is.  The batteries, both starter and house set, are now residing in their respective boxes.  We are officially installing gear now.

Bill drilling new bracket holes for the battery box.
House batteries back in their box with wires attached.
Switches installed! These were the first switches we installed.
Black and red wires from the house batteries. They run through the bilge and pop up on the other side of the boat.

One of the big installation hurdles is the question of how to block off the engine.  Boat diesels are noisy creatures and hard wood surfaces really amplify the noise.  Our original engine compartment was a Rube Goldberg, uninsulated affair.  It was not effective in noise reduction and it was comprised of awkwardly sized and shaped pieces of carpet backed plywood.  Part of the reason for smoothing out the hull rise was to make the installation of a drop board track much easier to install.  Shaped and dry fit, we glued it down on one of the hottest days we’ve had yet.  Early June, and the temp was close to 100 Fahrenheit.  Epoxy smokes when it gets to hot and is too hard to use.  Get it out of the sun and work fast and things go much more smoothly.  It’s now sanded and waiting for the side templates to be made.

Frame for the bottom of the engine box epoxied in place. it’s all nicely sanded now and waiting for primer. The engine is wrapped in an old sheet in an attempt to keep sawdust out of it.

Other things in the process of being made: upholstery and drop boards.  We picked out fabric for the cushions and ordered it from Sailrite.  It’s arrived and Nina has started making piping for new salon cushions.  Waking, another Cascade 36 at Rose City, let us borrow their bottom drop board to see if it would fit.  It did, and made the process of creating new drop boards for Gypsy much, much simpler.

Yards and yards of upholstery fabric waiting to be cut into strips for piping.
Bill showing off the new drop boards. They will be held in place with stainless sliders. And yes, they will be red! If you were wondering the doors are going away. Solid and secure beats easy opening.


6 thoughts on “It’s May, It’s May – Oh Wait, It’s June Already!”

  1. Nice work champions ! It looks good.
    Nina, piping ! It is so satisfying to make that but yes, it does take yards.
    Don’t forget that a jar of marmalade is here for you.


  2. Glad you’re painting the washboards red – it’s a nice pop of color. I’ve got a friend at our marina who just went back to PDX to visit family. I think she thought she was going to escape the Florida heat while there. Who would have thought it would have been so hot, too hot for even epoxy.


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