Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tops in Quality

This is a special photo for our friend Jerry at Tops in Quality. He has nursed us through many stainless steel projects. He has built our new chain plates, mast guards, radar mount and (pictured here) a table stand which attaches to the hull instead of the floor. (Let me know if I forgot anything important Jerry.) This allows easy access to the bilge below. During a recent phone conversation he mentioned that he checked out our blog and was disappointed that a picture of this work of art was not included.

Here is a photo of the table attached to the hull.

(Here is a plug Jerry – Tops in Quality Rocks! We recommend this company to anyone who needs custom Stainless Steel.)

Engine Room Air Conditioner

One by-product of all this work is that the other old air-conditioner has been left in the engine room (where it was originally installed) and now it becomes an air conditioner for the ENGINE ROOM! This will be a big help when it is hotter than hell and…Mark needs to work on something in this even hotter spot. It is kind of hard to see in this photo but the silver duct toward the right side of the photo is where the cold air comes from.

Engine room cold tower

This is what I call the ‘cold’ tower as it has two air conditioner compressors on the bottom shelf and two refrigeration units on the top shelf (which can barely be seen in this photo). Refrigeration is our next big project – scheduled to begin 2 weeks from yesterday…so that would be…November 21….let’s see if we meet that target date…

Engine room instead of hanging locker

Mark put all of the compressors in the engine room this one is just to the left of the clothes washer.

Air Conditioning bilge work

The electrical wiring, 2 copper pipes, (one small one a bit larger) foam insulation, thermostat and control box wire all has to go through the bilges. Holes are drilled and epoxied through all the stringers and bulkheads. Oh, and all the 3, 4 and 5 inch ducts had to run from to blower units to the vents. We are close to being almost done with this project.

Though this photo shows Mark in the bilge removing an old bilge hose as I did not have the strength.

Most of the work below the floor was done by me as I fit better in the small spaces – drat!

Foward Air Conditioiner is completed in time for cold weather

We are now working on the air conditioning installations and have been for some time but should soon be done. Mark has put all the blowers in very inconvenient places (for us) but in the long run they will be totally out of the way. For instance, we have a total of 3 hanging lockers (closets) on this boat and one was in use when we bought it as an air conditioner locker. Since that unit was on it’s last legs, we took it out an purchased 3 new units. The blower is taking up about a foot at the top and back of the now empty hanging locker.

New Thru-hulls

New thru-hulls; easy huh? Well, first you cutout 8 4” round circles, epoxy them all together on top of a Ziploc bag which has a 4” round of wood inside. Screw the whole mess to the hull where you want to place the thru-hull. Wait one day. Drill the hole through the center, drill out the wood sandwiched between the fiberglass and fill with epoxy. Wait one day. Sand, dry fit and pre-drill all the screw holes. Apply the Groco thru-hull using 3M 5200 (one person flat on his/her stomach on the dock with the mushroom thingy that fits the outside part of the thru-hull) and screw it in. Then, you guessed it wait 5 days till the 5200 totally dries and now the thru-hull is ready to use. I did most of the work on these thru-hulls but am sure I forgot about 10 steps….

Groco Rocks

The hanging locker in the aft cabin had only one thru-hull (of the plastic variety) but we needed two more so added them and fixed the plastic one by removing it and making them all Groco (Groco Rocks!).

New Instruments installed

We mounted some of our more important (much used) instruments on the hood over the companionway where they are visible from anywhere in the cockpit.

Mark added warning lights to the left, the top two are for bilge pumps and the bottom one is for the fresh water pump. If we spring a leek (sailor joke, what veggie is not allowed on a sailboat? A leek!) the person on watch will notice the light and investigate. The light to the right is tied to our ‘boat’ alarm system.

Aft head countertop is DONE

During the big move effort, Mark was furiously trying to finish all parts needed on the boat. The aft head countertop was made and installed and looks wonderful, but I did not get a picture of it till the other day.

Below the counter is a new door into the cabinet, (the door needs to be varnished) which provides access to three new thru-hull outlets. This and a few other projects are awaiting varnish queen (that would be me). A varnish brush has not been touched since July….ahhh, heaven.

Chris does laundry

Since the boat came furnished with a washer (no dryer) I decided to give it a tryout in the last several weeks and have done laundry. I haven’t hung laundry out to dry since…hmmm…the early sixties.

So far things don’t seem too wrinklie but to pays to be an anal-retentive folder. Maybe I won’t have to be a slave to an iron but time will tell if having just a washer will work. Since the lake is not salt water the results on the ‘big pond’ may be different.

Time out for play

We took a day off during the fine weather of September to anchor out with Marks’ longtime friend Mike Crossland and his daughter Kathleen (not pictured here). They brought two kites with them. We had a fine time flying them from the stern of the boat, this one is a crazy looking octopus. It was wonderful weather and a much needed break from ‘boat work’.

Electricians with the old panel

Should the photo caption be ‘Old Engineers with the old panel’? Oh no wait, I seem to remember that they are both younger than me so I better just keep still about the age of things.

Support Group CEO

I nominate MARK LIGNOUL as Electricians Support Group CEO. Here he is with a spool of 250 feet of 12-3 AC wire which he purchased thinking that we would have leftovers. As of today (11/05/2008) this last bit was used in the starboard bilge to re-wire the outlet in the V-Berth.

Support group for Electricians needed

This is the wiring ‘nest’ at the back of the new panels. Hmmm, and I don’t think we are done just yet. Perhaps we need an Electricians Support Group?

Wire exceeds Panduit capacity

Naturally, as we are redoing the panels we are also wiring the new air conditioners, instruments and replacing the old wiring to electrical outlets. All of these new wires have to go through the boat to the panels. Mark bought a butt-load of Panduit (similar to ‘conduit’ but flat vs. round) and most of it has been put to good use in the engine room. But, in some cases it looks like the wiring has exceeded expectations and our Panduit runnith over.

Have you hugged your panel today

One of the happy electricians…

Front of both panels

The front of the new panels is a HUGE improvement

DC Electric Panel view

This is the DC panel ‘mostly’ done.

AC Electircal Panel view

I know I am going on a bit about the electrical panels, but I have to admit that the amount of work done has been staggering. This is the AC panel ‘mostly’ done.

Battery Switches Anonymous wiring

Of course the wiring behind the scene is confusing to us non-electricians. But as you can see the wiring has just started. Now it looks like a nest of snakes (done in an orderly fashion of course).

Battery Switches

The battery switch bank is AWESOME. We have a total of 6, House, Main Engine, Generator, Outback Inverter/charger, Xantrex Inverter/Charger and last but not least the Thruster/Windlass.

Chris the EH (Electricians Helper)

If nothing else I am relieved that the house is sold and the big move has been accomplished….whew! Now down to work on the boat and no house work in two places!

As the Jane of all trades I help where and when I can, here I give Jack a hand with the BIG crimpers. Who woulda thought we would use these things as much as we have?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One family project

During our visit I organized the items in our crawl space (did I mention that I kept a spreadsheet containing all the box numbers and their contents?) and made a schematic of where everything is located.
Mom wanted to reduce her desk in size and move it from the hall to their bedroom.
Here are the happy carpenters getting ready to saw apart the desk.

UHaul arrives in Ohio safely

We finally arrive in Ohio late Monday night, visit with family for a bit and fall into bed. My sister Sharon and her husband Carl put and addition on their home and we are storing our stuff in the crawl space underneath. The crawl space is about 5' so my Dad made a couple of rolling work benches that saved our backs. Also we 'hired' our nephew, Robert and two of his friends to carry stuff out of the truck, thru the breezeway, down the stairs to the basement, then up 4 cement block steps into the crawl space. In this picture we have just opened the truck, Mark, my brother Bob and Roberts' friend Cody were available for this photo....

Char and Chris

and let's not forget Char and Chris....

UHaul visit Marvin and Char

On our way to Ohio we stopped in Kansas City to visit Mark's Uncle Fred and Aunt Yvonne the first night (Saturday, August 16th), then continue to Illinois to visit Marvin and Char. For those of you have followed this blog from the beginning, Marvin was our cabin sole guru and put in weeks of effort with Mark to make it beautiful. After which, I put in hours of sanding and varnishing...I'm still glad to have that task behind me!

The tired packers go to dinner

On Thursday we go back to the house for the final clean-up of the garage and make the final trip to Jack and Karen's with all the cars and trucks full. Have I mentioned that Jack generously gave us use of his workshop to store stuff until we are ready to load it on the boat? And the spare bedroom as well?

Not much payment for all the hard work but we did go out to dinner (on us) at Jack's favorite dive bar. (I suggested the Mansion, but he wanted the Moose...)

DONE....but not gone

The morning of the 13th, I got up at 4:00 AM and started cleaning out the fridge. The cleaning lady was arriving at 1:00 PM. and the new owner at 5:15 for the final walkthrough. Karen and Jack arrive late morning with two grandsons in tow. We used those young muscles a lot that day and were very grateful they were available. We were done in the house about 3:30 - I as packing the last few items just ahead of Susan (the cleaning lady).

Every square inch of that truck was used...the barrel chairs were the last to go (Mom wanted them for their living room) and the guitar pick shaped glass top from the living room 'coffee' table was stuffed in the memory foam from the bed and Mark jumped on the handle of the truck door to close it...whew! I don't know what we would have done without the considerable help of both family and friends...

Almost done....

Here we are with the truck, it is almost loaded. But there is space so it means we aren't quite done yet....

Keeping the help refreshed

Rose worked her butt off but had to leave on Saturday August the 9th just 4 days prior to our due out date of Wednesday the 13th as we were closing on the 14th. Our friends Jack and Karen come over every day to help do what needs to be done. Here, Mark helps Karen to a beer as she is (you aren't going to believe this one!) is washing engine parts. Oh, and have I mentioned that we had daily temperatures over 100 degrees during the first part of August? And, the day after the move was totally done it was only 88....figures.

Friday, September 5, 2008

No such thing as TOO may Ziploc bags

Rose was very patient with me but had fun at my expense. Here we see she is taking exception to the number of Ziploc bags (the Ultimate Storage Facility) I had. She also made me realize that I was more of a packrat than I thought - drat! She really helped me really clean out file cabinets and paper work not needed for years.

With Roses' help (and maybe many years of therapy) I hope to squelch this of behavior in the future. I am making progress, this years birthday cards were tossed the trash yesterday and not filed in the 'Cards and Letters' fact, I don't even have a 'Cards and Letters' penda flex in my new filing system!

Cleaning the attic til midnight

One Tuesday evening we went to a favorite spot (Gloria's) for dinner to celebrate Bob and Roses' 32 ond anniversary and Mark and my birthdays. Dad and Mom sent cash for the occasions. We had a great dinner and a Rose and I had couple glasses of wine while Mark had beer.

When we got home we decided that we had not worked hard enough that day so decided to clean the garage attic. The next day (Wednesday) was, in our neighborhood is 'big' trash pickup day.

As you can see, we had 'big' trash to contribute.

This sailboat will be safe

During the packing endeavor Rose and I learned a new trade - how to make boxes. I must admit that my Dad was instrumental in showing me how to construct boxes a few years ago. I took the lesson to heart and between the two of us we became really proficient at the task.

We had some huge sailboats that needed special care in packing and we had no boxes big enough, so had to make our own.

In our next life Rose and I may be come 'house packers'!

Time out with the girls

We did get a chance to go out to lunch with the 'girls' shortly after Roses' arrival. If we had known how hard we were going to be working we might have stayed out longer.
As it was, we had lunch at 'Houston's' with Mary and Vicky. Rose enjoyed her first ever 'Veggie Burger' then continued on to another establishment for a glass or two of wine.
Fun was had by all.

...the packers learn

The first task Rose and I took on was determining out how to pack all of our pictures and canvases for safe travel and storage. Mark had wisely asked that I save the dunnage from Dell computer boxes I obtained from work prior to retirement. The Styrofoam came in very handy along with the shrink wrap he bought but I thought we 'did not need'. (Now, where is the crow I need to eat....again?)
Notice the house goes to 'trashed' status...again as the packing begins.

Rose to the rescue

Much to my delight my sister-in-law, Rose offered to fly to Dallas to help us move. In fact, Rose said she would only come if or when we had some work to be done. I jumped on that offer like a duck on a June bug. She flew in on July 29 and left August 9 - 65 packed boxes and 35 crated canvases later. Needless to say she was a god-send.

Time out for a tooth ache

I put off seeing about a needed root canal and one Thursday my tooth began to show signs of distress. Popping ibuprofen 3 at a time all weekend by Monday morning my face was swollen so I showed up at the dentists' office without an appointment. When I got home with 2 prescriptions and orders to come back on Tuesday all I wanted was my bed...

Much to my surprise, the stuffed animals all had toothache bandages wrapped around their heads.....even in pain I had to laugh.

Bilge work continues....

Most of the time I am flat on my stomach drilling holes. Did you know that it is impossible to drill through fiberglass when you have the Makita driver drill in reverse? Also, I am really glad that I cleaned and painted all the bilges a few years back!

Bilge work

My wonderful neighbor Angie and I celebrated with a bottle of White Star Champaign the day the varnish booth in the upstairs bedroom was dismantled. Too bad I did not get a picture of that happy hour! We signed the contract to put the house on the market on July 11. I told the agent that I needed until the 15th to have the house ready for showing....well, darn it all wouldn't you know they showed it one day early (much to my near panic, but my other dear neighbor Megan came to my rescue thank heavens). And, the first lady that saw it made and offer and bought it! So much for my worry about the real estate market.

Now that we have 95% of the wood projects done we start on the plumbing for air conditioners AND getting ready to move. Here I am in the bilge cutting holes thru the bulkheads and epoxying the same for the copper tubing runs.

Table installed (open)

For your viewing pleasure, here is the table in the open (aka dinner party) position. Though truth be told it has been installed about 2 months now and guess what? It has been in the closed position the entire time unless we are showing it to one of our sailing buddies....who woulda thought?

Table installed (closed)

Tra-la! And after months of work the table if finally on the boat. And just so you know, it was worth it. In the folded position (shown here) we can get to the back of the settee and into the storage underneath with little fuss. Not to mention that it looks so much nicer that the old table.

Table to the varnish booth

The table is done and I have applied about 8-10 coats of varnish to all visable sides. Now it is time for the varnish booth. Though I have now been 'trained' on how to apply varnish via a spray gun Mark is the expert so I allowed him to apply the 3 final spray coats. (OK, so I begged him.). Mark tell me that now I can help him restore and old car when our travels take us back to land.....not sure that I want to but we shall see.

Electrical Panel Cabinet installed

And here is the finished product (minus the actual panels of course....). Next step is to cut the holes in the cabinet doors for the electrical panels...then of course the wiring begins in ernest. Though we have been pulling wires for newly installed items as we go along.

Electircal Cabinet on the wall

We dragged the new cabinet to the boat and hung it on the wall of the Nav Office. Wow, what a tight always amazes me to see how closely Mark makes the wood fit the spaces.

Electrical cabinet varnish

As summer gets under way the varnish booth moves once again to the dining room. The electrical cabinet is too big to be hauled up and down stairs safely so the house once again become topsy tervy. (I wonder if this is spelled correctly...spell check no help here!) Here I am with the unwieldy thing in the driveway sanding it in preparation for another coat of varnish

New Stereo Shelves done

And here are the shelves done. One more item deleted from our punch list!

New Stereo Shelves installed

The shelves and cabinets are done and installed on the starboard (right) side of the main salon. We used all the components from our home stereo on the boat rather than buying new. They aren't exactly water proof but they should be out of harms way in any event...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Karen and Chris installing the starboard cabinets

While the guys were working on the nav cabinet, the gals (Karen and Chris) were working on the stereo shelves (to the right) and the cabinets.

Actually, Mark was supervising and Jack, Karen and I were installing. The next day was Memorial Day. We were taking the day off and going sailing - after all the hard work we needed a 'sailing fix'.

Jack and Mark with Nav cabinet

As we arrive at the boat with the new parts Jack and Karen meet us to help with the install. Here Jack and Mark are moving the Nav/office cabinet into place.
It was a perfect fit (go Mark!) and all that had to be done was screwed into place.
Oh, and the order for louvered doors was lost so that is why you can see Mark peeking through where a door SHOULD be...and the sliders for the drawers have been ordered for the THIRD time...