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Monday, May 29, 2017

Dickinson Bulkhead Mounted Stove

This was definitely one of the biggest bang-for-the buck-projects we've done in a while.
We installed a Hurricane diesel-fired hydronic system when we built the boat and that is still running great, keeping the entire boat warm and dry in the winter and providing hot water on demand year-round. Hydronic is very efficient but lacks a certain charm that we felt you can only get from open flame radiant heat sources. To this end, we installed a Dickinson Newport diesel wall mounted stove in the little sitting area forward of the galley. The hardest part of the job was cutting a big hole in the 1/4" steel deck and fabricating /installing the stovepipe. I didn't want to remove a bunch of interior for torching out the opening, so I went with a hole saw (and lots of cutting oil). This stack has to be done right, with proper air gaps and insulation for the pipe, and proper length with as few bends as possible. We were fortunate to have a clear path straight up through the deck, while maintaining the recommended stack height. I made a stainless adapter ring for our compound cambered foredeck from 304 stainless. This provides a flat pad for the top fitting on the stove pipe to attach to.We initially used a straight rain cap but quickly learned that the H-cap is much better at preventing backdrafts so that is what we have on deck now. The barometric damper option that we bought with the stovepipe parts from Dickinson also assists in keeping a good strong draft up the pipe. The fire box and stovepipe create quite a bit of radiant heat, so some attention has to be paid to shielding inside the boat. We mounted the heater on a stainless plate held out a couple of inches from the bulkhead. We also mounted a similarly designed heat shield behind the stovepipe. Both heat shields have an airspace behind them and are open at the top and bottom. This creates a kind of chimney effect that carries hot air away from the bulkhead behind the heat shields. Seems to work pretty well. The fuel hook up was easy due to the fact that the elevation of our day tank in the engine room will gravity feed to the stove nicely down to about 25% tank level. This means no fuel pump needed. We run the built in fan on the heater for a few minutes at start up to get the draft going, then the fan goes off and all you hear is the light sizzle of the flame. Very nice.


Finishing the Shower

So the shower is pretty much done. Glass ordering and installation was about as tricky as I anticipated. Only one right angle to work with on the shower opening, otherwise all custom cuts. You only get one shot when ordering heavy duty tempered shower glass, so we spent a lot of time measuring and figuring out the best way to relate what we needed to the glass supplier. The fit-up was decent, but I ended up cutting out and resetting a couple of the shower sill tiles that stood a little proud from the others in order to get a nice tight gap all the way around. The gap is critical for a frame-less enclosure that doesn't leak. Overall happy with the results. All that's left is a way to latch the door in the closed position for cruising, and fabricating a rail for the little triangular shelf behind the shower pipe:

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Aft Cabin Shower

Picking up where we left off with the shower install...

We decided to go with flat sliced river stones for the shower pan and top of the bench.
After looking at a lot of options, we decided on 1/4" thick
12 x 12 gauged black Vermont slate tile for the rest of the shower.

Gauged means that the tile is finished to a fairly uniform thickness and exterior dimension, which makes for an easier install, and a little less rustic look compared to the chunkier standard slate tile which has a lot more variation in the individual tile dimensions. We found these tiles to be fairly lightweight compared to other options, and we really like the natural look.

Lots of steps in the process:
Finish frame out and seal all seams in plywood paneling
Fabricate and install shower drain assembly and plumbing
Install shower supply plumbing
Fiberglass the entire interior of shower stall
Install the pre-sloped mortar bed for the shower pan
Layup additional fiberglass layer over the mortar bed shower pan
with overlap to weep holes in drain assembly(this will drain off any moisture that gets under the tiles)
Lay in the river rock shower pan and bench top, grout, and seal
Install slate tiles on shower walls, grout, and seal
Install mixer and shower pipe assembly

Still left to do is to decide on a shower glass enclosure and door, make templates, order the pieces, and do the glass install.

Here's some pics:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Blog Catch up

It's been a while... Thanks to everyone that continues to discover and read through our build blog.
For anyone checking back for updates, they are coming soon!

While I haven't posted in a while, we have continued to compete little to-do jobs left over from the big push to finish the fit-out and start using the boat more. We are still living on board full time- albeit it in more comfort than we were after the initial launch and move in. I would say we have "substantial completion" of the boat at this point, though there is some overhead trim work left and I always find ways to tinker and improve things. There are a lot of things we have done over the past year or so that I have lost track of documenting. I plan on posting some comprehensive pics (and maybe video) of the boat in the near future. Until then, here are a few updates.

First off, we have a new boat cat who we have named Kona. She has grooved in to boat life well, and seems to enjoy exploring her floating habitat and cruising around the Bay:

My project this winter is to install the aft cabin shower. This is the last "unfinished" part of the boat.
Here is some of the foundation carpentry. I am going to fiberglass the entire thing, then plumb, tile, and finish like a traditional shower:

We are thinking of adding a bow thruster next time we haul out. The boat handles very well for a single screw boat, but requires quite a bit of back and fill to turn in a narrow fairway- likely due to the long full keel. The hydraulics are already in place, with lines running to the bow for the anchor winch so really just have to weld in the tube, install the mechanicals and controls, and hook it in to existing hydraulic circuit. The only other big projects left are the forward mast and overhead interior trim. Hope to get these done in 2017.

Here are some pics from a weekend trip last month that show the exterior. We'll post some more interior and on-deck  pictures soon:

Kona standing watch on top of the wheelhouse: