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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Railings done, rudder fit-up, through hulls

All the hand-rails are finished and they came out very nice. Also fit-up the rudder and welded the pintle bearing support (this supports the lower end of the rudder). Alignment is dead-on, so we seem to have ended up with a good straight hull. We welded on pad-eyes on the centerline,  fore and aft of the rudder and drilled two corresponding lifting points on the rudder itself. You can just make them out in the rudder photo. By hooking up a chain hoist to each one you can crank the rudder right up into place with no drama... this will be very handy for future maintenance as the rudder weighs well over 200 pounds. Also finishing up the through hulls... we have  316 Stainless 1.5" fittings (well above the waterline) for each compartments bilge pump- 4 total. There is a 2" schedule 80 pipe discharge at the waterline for the engine driven bilge/fire pump (which I am still looking for), and another 2" schedule 80 pipe for grey and black water discharge (offshore only) below the waterline. Also fabricated a seachest inlet using 3" schedule 80 pipe. Schedule 80 refers to pipe that has a thicker wall than normal (schedule 40) pipe. All the waterline and below waterline through-hulls have a welded flange inside the boat that is bolted to a 316 Stainless flanged ball valve... all pretty standard commercial boat stuff. Jesus is understandably eager to get on with the prepping and painting so my focus in the next week or two will be to finish designing and fabricating anything and everything that gets welded to the boat. The main items are: footings for the masts, misc pad-eyes for the rigging, some misc deck vents, fuel tank plumbing, and an anchor roller. Speaking of anchors... we received our 120 lb Rocna anchor. By all accounts we've heard, this is a really good design for cruising- known for its fast setting ability in many different types of bottoms. Look forward to giving it a try.  -PB

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More railings, cowl vents, and hatch fit-up

Work on the railing continues. Originally the handrails were spec'd to be 1.5" pipe. After thinking about it (and checking the rails on different boats for "hand feel") we changed it to 1.25". Now that the rails are on, I definitely feel that we made the right choice. The 1.25" pipe feels and looks just right. This was one of hundreds of little decisions that we've made in past months. These are the kind of things that keep me up at night... its no fun to re-do things in steel once they are purchased and welded up so I find myself spending ridiculous amounts of time worrying about these kind of details. So far, I'm happy with the results of most of the decisions that we've made. 
Mark, who owns the first diesel duck (from which our design originates) came up with some excellent surplus cowl vents that have the right salty look for our boat. We cut them down a bit so they wouldn't impede our visibilty from the wheelhouse and I think they will and a lot of air circulation below decks which is key to being comfortable long term on a boat. They also look neat.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Starting on railings, keel cooler fit-up...

Past few days have seen the completion of the keel cooler assembly fit-up. The keel cooler is basically an underwater radiator that keeps the engine coolant at an acceptable temperature. We are using 2 Fernstrum grid coolers that we got from an army landing craft that was being re-powered. Per Fernstrums recommendation we are going to use both coolers  run in series. One cooler might do it for us under normal conditions, but with two we have some leeway for cruising in warmer water, under heavy load, and factoring in the marine growth that builds up around the coolers between haul-outs. Also with this arrangement, in the event of damage or a leak in one of the coolers, we can re-plumb to a single cooler from inside the boat and keep going. Also did some more drilling and tapping to fit up the bolt-on exhaust trunk access hatch in the wheelhouse. Jesus and his crew have started on the railings and they are coming out very nice. All the railings are made of 1.25" steel pipe with a 1" intermediate rail in the middle. At 42" rail height, they give a great sense of security on deck and are very solid. The aft sections were a little tricky to design because of all the turns and the steps leading down to the swim platform, but I think they turned out nicely and fit the lines of the boat well. The missing section above the transom in the pictures is going to be a removable section that bolts on with SS hardware. This will allow us to have a skiff on the aft deck that hangs over the back if necessary when we are traveling. In protected waters, we would tow the skiff (or hang it off stern davits) and put the aft rail section back in so we could safely use the deck for fishing, lounging, etc. Looking ahead we'll be continuing with railing work, engine room deck plate supports, through hulls, and any other odds and ends that I can think of before we start prepping for paint. We have a big (120lb) Rocna anchor on the way and as soon as that arrives I'll have to get busy designing and fabricating the bow roller assembly to fit. Also have two more big rounds of drilling to do: fuel tank inspection hatches (14 total) and the rest of the portlight openings (13 total). Guess I'll be breaking out the drill bit sharpener again... -PB