Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wrapping up old projects, starting new ones on Oceanus

The ceiling in the forepeak got two full-strength coats of varnish along with the rest of the interior brightwork.

Yesterday we took a big step and ordered frames for a bimini for Oceanus. Dean, our local canvas guy, came by the boat and spent an hour discussing the pros and cons of bimini design. Before we met him a few weeks ago I considered trying to bend the frames myself, but I'm glad he's doing it; there's a lot to the design and getting everything to fit and look right. If he has all the parts he might install it this week. If not, he'll get it done after Thanksgiving.

Eventually, I want to do is install solar panels on top of the bimini. Its a good place because most of the time it is out of the shade of the mast and sails. Dean assured me that the dodger frame will be strong enough to support two or three solar panels.

Virginia is eager to start sewing the bimini. She likes big projects. She already received the fabric from Sailrite and the how-to video on bimini construction. The bimini will be simpler than the dodger she made.

Speaking of solar panels, our daughter and son-in-law will be here for Thanksgiving followed by a couple of days spent wiring the boat. Tony, a marine electrician, is a great help with this project.

Before the final varnishing, I installed the bookshelf above our double bunk. The fiddle for the shelf is ripped from the same board as most of the ceiling strips.

Last week and the week before we spent doing final varnishing on all the interior wood. It really looks nice. It has a deep shine that seems to open up the inside of the boat and make it feel bigger.

Virginia was pleased with the way it turned out. She was excited by what a big difference it made in the appearance of the boat. She had complained that all the hard work we did this summer stripping old paint off the deck didn't seem to make a difference. That represented much harder labor, but did nothing to make the boat look better. A shipwright friend of mine says that's the way with boat projects: you work and work and it seems like you don't make any progress at all. Then, all of a sudden, it seems to come together.

I also spent some time with Henry, a diesel mechanic that has a boat on B Dock. He helped me design a fuel system for Oceanus and offered to rebuild the engine's raw water pump that's leaking.

Speaking of leaking, (do you like my stream-of-consciousness transitions?) I think we can declare, if not total victory, a cease fire in the war on deck leaks. We recently had 10 days of rain and the boat's interior stayed dry, dry, dry! The toilet wax seal trick is working perfectly on the mast and so are the rebedded chainplates. In the chain locker we stanched the flow of water when I filled the holes for the old bow roller with epoxy. I then I installed a new bow roller with lots of butyl rubber bedding. So far so good.

The new (old) bow roller looks pretty good after four hours of polishing. It is now installed on the bow of Oceanus.

Virginia sewed a beautiful cover for the ship's helm. It covers the wheel, compass and the teak cockpit table that I installed. The table was a find at Columbia Marine Exchange, a Portland reseller of used marine equipment. It's beautiful and cost about what I would have to spend to buy the lumber and hardware to build one. Score!
Virginia made a new cover for the helm out of the same fabric as the dodger.

Well, that's the news from Oceanus, where all the crew is strong, the boat is good looking and all the workmanship is above average.

The ceiling and woodwork in the stateroom got two coats of varnish.