Thursday, December 24, 2009
Lots of good progress lately... Did a test fit on all the wheelhouse doors and windows. Visibility will be excellent and the layout should be very nice. I'll be drilling the holes for all the window and door bolts this weekend, then we will get a crane on-site to lift the wheelhouse into place on the hull. We decided to install the engine after all the welding, grinding and painting is done to avoid complications with masking the engine and getting a good paint coating in the engine room bilge. The plan is to lift the engine and gear through the side wheelhouse door and lower through the soft-patch (machinery opening in a deck) that we built into the wheelhouse deck framing. Also got the day-tank installed. You can see it on the aft bulkhead of the engine room. The day tank is filled from the storage tanks which hold about 1500 gallons of fuel. The transferred fuel is filtered to a high standard on its way from the big tanks to the day tank. This assures that we are always feeding super clean fuel to the engine. Dirty fuel is one of the the primary causes of propulsion failures at sea. Also being only 50 gallons, with a finely calibrated site glass, it is very easy to monitor fuel usage. All the production welding is completed now and the boat is technically "ready to float". A big thanks to Casey at CS Marine (just down-river from us) for setting us up with a large trailer mounted compressor. We'll be using this to air test all the production welds the first part of next week. -PB
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Spent today drilling many, many holes... All the windows and doors for the wheelhouse will be bolted on with 5/16" silicone bronze and 316 Stainless through bolts. Bolt spacing will be about 3". thats about 40 holes per window (more for the doors). Today was spent drilling all the frames. Wasn't too bad since the window frames are bronze and the doors are aluminum, both of which are relatively soft and easy to cut. Also I was able to set up a jig on the drill press which is a lot less effort to use than a regular drill. Still took all day though... Next will be drilling corresponding holes in the wheelhouse. This will be through steel which is a lot harder. Should take about two days. At the end of the day today, I drilled 4 holes in the wheelhouse for each of the front windows and temporarily bolted them in. Looks like a little ship. In the end this will be a very strong installation and worth all the hard work and sore muscles I think.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Have been spending a lot of time lately finishing the fabrication of deck parts including bitts (for tying lines to), fairleads (to lead lines to the bitts), and louver panels for ventilation intakes and exhaust. These parts are all made from 316L stainless steel which holds up very well to the marine environment. It is also a very hard alloy and difficult to work. After trying a few different techniques, I settled on a "brushed" finish on all these stainless parts. I ran everything through the bead blast cabinet, then polished with a wire brush wheel. I think it came out pretty nice. Not nearly as much work as polishing to a mirror finish on the buffer, and I like the look... not as flashy as a full polish. Jesus cut out the wheelhouse window and door openings. What a difference! The layout worked really well and the view from the helm will be outstanding. I also scribed all the porthole openings in the hull, which we have started cutting out. Nice to get some light into the interior.