Its Been a busy week... all decks are now plated and the transom and swim step are assembled. Also production welding on the keel and engine room has been started. This is the final continuous welding that makes the structure permanent. The welding is outstanding. I'll put some pictures of their work in the next post.
Sam and Sue came up with me on Sunday to do some climbing around on the boat.
I spent a lot of time this week finalizing the position of the watertight doors and hatches that will go in the hull. The changes in deck elevation as you move through the hull from one compartment to the next have made this a real challenge, but I think we've got it figured out. We will probably have to elevate the wheelhouse deck on the port side to allow full headroom at the entrances to the passageway leading to and from the aft cabin, past the engine room, on the lower deck. If we build in seating as planned on this elevated platform in the wheelhouse, it should allow for a nice view out the windows. Ordering lots of bits and pieces for the steering and running gear. Also finalizing fuel system plumbing and deciding where we are going to run all the pipe to and from the tanks and vents.
I had bought a 21 foot length of 2.5" shaft material a while back, and now that the stern tube and rudder tube are in place, we cut it into 3 rough lengths: 6" for the stub shaft on the bottom of the rudder, 82" for the main rudder shaft, and the rest for the prop shaft. I must have measured over a dozen times before I started cutting. A miss-cut would have been an expensive mistake on this stuff. Our shop saw has an air drive mode that keeps a preset pressure on the cut automatically. This allows you to cut hands free - a nice feature when you are doing a long slow cut through heavy material like this. The rudder and prop shaft will be headed to the machine shop soon to have tapers and keyways cut for the propeller and tiller arm.
Had a visit from Noel at Westar, who dropped off a nice surplus hatch from an Army landing craft. This will be our engine room door.
Bottom plating should be starting soon. Also need to finish the engine plumbing and give it a test run one of these days...