While I was away at a conference last week, Jesus and his crew got the bottom plating tacked in place. You can really appreciate the long slippery looking shape of the hull now. For the most part, the heavy 5/16 bottom plate wrapped onto the hull pretty nicely. A few spots apparently took some encouragement to form to the proper shape, but the end result is very nice... at least the fish will be very impressed with the fairness of the bottom.
I have been researching, among other things, what type of sail rig to put up. The design calls for two masts, one just aft of the wheelhouse, and one up forward at a location to be determined by the type of sail plan we end up using. Our budget (or lack of budget) does not allow for us getting the masts and rigging right now, but there are certain things we need to do in building the hull now, that will make it easier to install the masts and rigging later. In particular, we would like to have any necessary welding (mast steps, chainplates, etc.) done now, while the boat is bare steel with no interior. So... need to make some decisions on the rig and/or design in some flexibility for future rig options. Pictured are some initial ideas. One thing that I was planning on to keep the exhaust clear of the sails and rigging, was to route the exhaust up the aft mast on brackets. I have seen this work well on other cruising boats. Until the mast is installed, we will just stub the exhaust out at the top of the exhaust/vent stack at the top of the wheelhouse.
Next week, Jesus will be installing all our interior watertight doors, and finishing some interior production welding prior to the hull side plating going on. Once the side shell plating is installed, we will be limited to climbing up and over, into the engine room to access the vessel interior so this will probably be a good time to get some of the fuel plumbing installed as well.
My list for the next week or so includes fabricating all the parts for the fuel system manifolds and drilling the bolt on fuel tank inspection covers (14 covers in all).
I have to put in another plug for Jesus and his company Romero's Welding. He is doing an outstanding job on this project. He has been very good with the details, while keeping an eye on the big picture and keeping the project moving along. If you want to get a hold of him for future work (he's kind of busy right now) let us know. He is working on getting a website up, but until then you can always drop us a line and we'll get you in touch. -PB