Monday, October 27, 2008

The Continuing Deconstruction Of My Boat

Well Im still at it. David kept pointing at the patch job and telling me all the caulking had to be taken out,so I finally got around to doing that. All proud of myself because I spent about 3 hours doing it only to find out he meant the whole boat not just the patch job. That was another job I wasn't expecting and a brutal one to say the least.I spent eleven and a half hours working on that the other day and got about half the job done. I figure Ive done about 730 feet of caulking removal so far. All I can say is OUCH!! Each board has an inch of candlewick-like stuffing between it covered over with some kind of silicone-like substance that is stuck on there for life. I had to pry it all out one inch at a time. My arms were killing me when I finally called it a night.I didnt sleep a wink as my right arm went totally numb and tingly with a burning pain from hell that kept me wide awake. Thankfully that resolved itself the next day but had me scared for awhile.

I took the next day off and rested all day. That evening I went to the Parade of Lost Souls, always a treat for the senses and then off to a friends for a good jam session. It was awesome to get out, its been way to long since Ive had anything resembling a social life.

Originaly, I had intended to replace all the rotten boards with new ones, but that was looking like the job from hell, so decided to do something I swore I wouldnt.Im putting in large plywood patches instead. I spent the last two days making patterns from white board and cutting out 3 layers of plywood to fit the two big holes.

Today I finally gathered the courage to suit up and paint them all with fiberglass resin. While it was drying, I put in the rest of the new ribs.It all sounds so simple on paper but each job has many steps and lots of prep work to get all the tools and supplies together and the space prepared for the task at hand. When I look at the boat, not much seems different but I have spent endless hours on it. I can hardly wait till it starts going back together, the more I remove from it, the less it looks like something that will ever float again.

David has offered me one of his Dickinson diesel stoves for my boat. It needs a serious good cleaning/rebuilding and I would have to rip out the existing area where the wood stove is and rebuild it to fit the stove. Then I'd have to figure where to put fuel tanks and vents ect. I guess part of my mind set with this boat is worst case senario and the world goes to shit, can I survive on it? I could be off the grid with diesel and propane but in a complete shutdown of services I would still be in trouble. A woodstove with a cooking surface and a water coil would be ideal, but hard to find in the size I need to fit my boat. I do have a propane furnace which means just one kind of fuel for hot water, cooking and heat but thats alot of propane connections on one boat, kind of scary. Whats a girl to do?

The transom removed

A view of some boards with the caulking removed and one that still needs work

The gaping hole in the transom filled with a sawdust and glue mixture

The plywood cutouts all laid out ready for flooding with fiberglass resin

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How I Waste Time to Avoid Working on the Boat

Ive been playing an online game called TextTwist.You get 6 jumbled letters and try to make as many words out of them in the alotted time.My best score in one run is 14,600. Im totally addicted and play half the night.Not getting much work done but sharpening up the rusty brain skills, all good.

Go ahead , try a game, its free, but dont blame me if you dont get anything else done for awhile:)

Ive always had a facination with hobbity looking houses and ever since I went to see that funky floathome a few weeks ago, Ive been checking out other cool architecture online.

One of the sites I stumbled across is about Fairy Houses. The concept is to build a tiny house out of natural objects and place them in your garden or in the woods for fairies to inhabit. It sure got my creative juices going, wish I had the time to try and make a few. Heres one site that sells them premade but I suggest you google image fairy houses to see what other people have created.

Here's a site about handbuilt houses. This is the gallery page showing a variety of houses, if you click on Home it shows the authors house.There are some great links to other sites with similar buildings and info on sustainable architecture as well

Then there is always "Some Turtles Have Nice Shells", all about truck homes and converted buses ect. Lots of inspiration here too.

Check this one out for sure. Called "Flying Concrete" It shows the most beautiful creative ways of using concrete sprayed over forms Ive ever seen. The possibilities are endless with this stuff.

The Quiet Earth Project, is a bloggish account of one womans dream to build her own straw bale house.Some good information and links on here as well

So playing games and dreaming of fantasy houses have been my way of not going crazy in this time of stress and aggravation.I think its working so far :)

PS Im so sorry, I can't for the life of me figure out how to make the links automatic, so you will have to copy and paste to check them out.

Rhianna's Folly

I alternate between wanting to work on the boat and wanting to cut it up for firewood.When I first pulled her out of the water, the thought was just replace a few rotton boards, slap some fiberglass on and be on my way.What a dreamer I am!

When we finally got all the paint scraped off( a huge job I wasnt expecting to do as the book I read said you could fiberglass over it, but was later told no..if I tried that, the paint would turn to goo under the glass and ruin the seal), we found alot more rotten wood.Once that was removed,we discovered alot of the ribs were rotten as well. I am now faced with an expensive rebuild of the boat.If I am to do it right, I would have to somehow remove the concrete in the bottom of the boat, gut the interior in the process, replace all the bad ribs and replank the boat with 30 foot continous planks.NOT going to happen folks.

We have cut out rib sections to replace the rotten bits and painted them with red lead paint to protect them from rot. Even though the hull will be fiberglassed and technically waterproof, the interior of the boat still gets moisture in it from showers, cooking ect., so I'm trying to provide maximum protection for the exposed wood.Once they are installed, I will be attaching red cedar boards to them. One whole side of my boat will look like a giant wood puzzle,made up of many joined pieces. I am worried that this will severely affect the sea worthiness of the boat, even with a solid fiberglass shell. I have visions of the boards separating at the joins and bulging out through the glass.Im taking a huge chance doing it this way.

I orginally intended to remove the decking on the back deck and refinish it, but the screws were all rusted and not coming out. Some of the boards were looking worse for wear, so in the end they all got cut off with the saws-all.Another expense I wasn't counting on is the price of new boards to redo the deck.

David has been very busy with his own projects as of late and hasn't had much time to help me. This has slowed me down considerably and progress has been slow. I really needed to feel like I was accomplishing something, so yesterday I installed a new tongue and groove floor in the bedroom. Not exactly a priority project, but one that I had wanted to do and was capable of doing myself. The wood for the floor had been left on the boat by the previous owner. I had been storing it for the last year, so finally decided to pull it out and see what exactly I had. I am quite happy with the finished result, much better then the piece of plywood that was the floor.Now just have to sand it and one day stain and varnish all the floors. That will wait until the construction is pretty much done, too much dust everywhere right now to do a good job.

Every other day , I want to walk away from this project. Not because I dont think its worth it but because of the massiveness of it all. Its not just one thing that needs doing, its everything from one end to the other.The more I do,the more I find that needs doing.I feel like Im digging a hole to China.

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly ( a huge rotten hole in the back board of the transom, we stuffed it with wood shavings mixed with glue)

The back deck stripped of its wood

An interior shot showing some of the new ribs

The new bedroom floor ( whoohoo)