A Busy 10 Days

Summer vacation is usually a time to head downriver, spend a lazy week or two on the Columbia River.  Not a usual summer, so ours was sort of a busman’s holiday.   We spent ten days working on the boat and actually got quite a lot accomplished.

One of the projects was the engine cover.  The old one involved carpet covered plywood panels that were sort of held in place by the ladder, which was also part of the whole contraption.  We now have a new and improved, standalone Rube Goldberg construction that fits together nicely.  And no carpet at all.

Bill fitting the template for the side of the new cover. There is half of a split shelf on the top right that has cutaways for hoses and wiring to pass through. The piece of plywood on the right blocks off the galley and has a cleat for the front cover.
Cardboard pattern being fit.
The new plywood panels being dry fit.
Painting all the parts.
Painting all the parts back home in the garage, a multi-day process. They are now finished on one side.

Another big project: we now have have an instrument panel!  With instruments!  Um, well most of them. Our old setup was three separate panels for three separate small compartments.  The new configuration has no dividers and is a single panel that swings down nicely with easy access to the wiring.  It also allowed us to get the AC and the DC switches to be in the same general part of the boat.  The AC panel used to be across from the head, next to where the shore power plug is.

Bill is starting to wire the panels here. It’s early in the process, but the AC on the left is live, thus the temporary cover over it. He’s also labeling all those wires as he goes so it will be easier down the road to figure out what is what if things need work.
This is the instrument panel with almost everything installed. The holes on the right are for the VHF and SSB radios. Originally we had talked about putting the SSB on the top since it doesn’t protrude too far into the space behind, so the panel would be able to swing open and closed. Somewhere in the time between the conversation and the cutting of the holes, this was forgotten. The VHF is getting a lovely, varnished additional face plate to help facilitate the opening and closing of the panel. The SSB will someday be a reality.

All the big cables have been run, cut to length and had ends banged on and finished off with heat shrink tubing.  The batteries and engine are now wired, but for some reason it won’t start. Just click and nothing more. We have a call in to Norm who will help us sort it out. So leaving the dock is in sight!

Meanwhile, Nina had a couple of projects.

This is the finished project. Both settees’ backs storage compartments now have doors, complete with piano hinges and barrel bolts and lots of screws holding it all together.

The other project was to get battens installed in the ceiling so that we can insulate it.  It began with cutting all the long bolts in the ceiling back to their nuts.

Newly shortened bolts. We masked everything off nearby and used a die grinder for all the ceiling bolts and a dremel for the bolts at the top of the cabin sides.  It was a messy job.
Sometimes you just have to use the tools available to you. We cut battens at home on the table saw and they then got cut to length and kerfed on the boat using Nina’s step stool mitre box.  This helped them match the arc of the ceiling. They were glued up with a poly adhesive and one inch screws.

cleats_2 overhead_cleats

Battens in place with the first piece of foam glued in. The ceiling foam is half inch Armaflex (neoprene) and is the same material we’ve used in the rest of the boat. 
A miscellaneous project – the rest of the rub strips were installed. Our neighbors were off cruising, so we moved the boat over to their slip and picked the hottest afternoon to finish off the job. Fortunately, with both of us working on it, we got it done pretty quickly.
And this is how we left Gypsy at the end of the day. Instrument cables are starting to be run. They only come in odd, expensive lengths, so Bill is getting them roughed in with blue tape. It’s back to work for both of us tomorrow so they will have to wait to be finished up properly.

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