Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fiddles, cushions and other updates

A cushion for the forward bunk, fiddles and wood trim make the forepeak look nearly finished.
Virginia and I have advanced on two fronts this month. I continue to work on wood trim and fiddles while my wife and her friend sew new cushions.

Virginia and I made paper patterns for the bunks and settees and rough cut the foam for the cushions. We then took the rough-cut foam to the boat for the final fitting. For that we used our trusty electric carving knife. I heard an electric carving knife was The Tool for cutting foam but I was skeptical until I actually tried it out. It works pretty slick; much better than I thought.

I really like the color of the cushion cover. The pillow was a find at Ikea. I had to buy it because in the top left corner it says "Oceanus."

Once we knew the foam fit, Virginia and her friend, Joy, went to work cutting out fabric and sewing the covers. The original plan was to sew zippers in one side of the cover. After the first one, Virginia decided it would be easier and less expensive to whip stitch them closed instead. They look very professional.

Joy took the left-over fabric home to make pillows. Some of them will have zippers and nothing inside them so we can use them to store our bedding.

Most of the wood for the teak fiddles in the main cabin came from an old door.
With the cushions nearly finished, I got busy on the fiddles that will help hold them in place. In the main cabin I used teak because I had three pre-made rounded corners that I wanted to use and they were made of teak. Teak costs about $27 a board foot. The African mahogany I've been using in the rest of the boat I can buy for $3.50 a board foot. Needless to say I only use teak when I must.

I was able to get most of the fiddles made from pieces of an old teak door from the old interior. Two longer pieces I had in the shop. They were gifts from my old carving teacher when I helped her move about 10 years ago. Teak was her favorite carving wood. It is amazing wood to work with hand tools.

I'm finishing up some other projects as well, like hanging the gimbled oven and making more storage spaces. During the dry weather earlier this month we put a couple of coats of varnish on the outside teak.

Sometimes I look at my to-do list and have to lie down. Now I have a nice cushion, I'm much more comfortable.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hull number one: Part two, the inside story

David and Betsy aboard Alcyone, which they have owned for 12 years.
David and Betsy invited me aboard Alcyone for a look at her inside. What a beauty!

The boat has the standard layout, but the joinery is a cut above what you would expect in a production boat. Most of the fiberglass pan is clad in teak veneer and there are many extra cabinets and other special features.

The story goes that the first hull was sold to the commodore of the Marina del Rey Yacht Club. He was friends with the Columbia Yachts president so when he said he wanted the new 43 hull with a Columbia 50 deck, that's what he got.

It is a wonderful and unique boat with many custom features beautifully executed. David and Betsy have owned her for 12 years. Alcyone couldn't have better stewards.
Another look at the outside.