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Monday, February 13, 2012

While I'm making sawdust...

Decided to dig into the pile of unfinished doug fir T&G and put up some of the interior side-shell planking. This is the same stuff as we used for the overhead, except we are using the reverse side which has a plain v-groove detail instead of the bead-board look. We sorted through this unit of wood when we got it last year and used the flat cut, and less than perfect pieces for the painted overhead planking. Now we are using the nicer vertical grain from the pile for doing the side-shell as this will be oiled or clear-coated. Still more to do, but here is a sample of what it looks like so far. I'll be experimenting with finishes to see what compliments the nice color and grain of the fir the best. I also decided that I had better finalize the mounting of the panels at the main electrical cabinet before all my jury-rigged wiring gets out of hand. Still have to finish the face frame (either wood veneer or black laminate- not sure yet) then I can permanently mount the panels and start wiring them up properly. Had a bit of excitement on Mare Island about a week ago. We were just starting out Sunday working on the boat when we heard sirens making their way to the island from Vallejo. What started as a finger of smoke to the North of us became a huge black column within minutes. Soon there were multiple stations responding to what turned out to be the big abandoned warehouse at the north end of the island going up in spectacular fashion. This building was about 150,000 square feet and timber frame construction from about 70 years ago. Being a true scavenger at heart, I hate to think of all the great old growth salvageable lumber that burned to the ground (it was planned for demolition in the coming year). The building burned all day and into the night and was still smoldering two days later. in the first picture the fire is about 3/4 of a mile away.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wheelhouse overhead bead-board and lighting

Back to carpentry for a bit. We are getting close to finalizing the design and layout of the wheelhouse helm. I wanted to get the ceiling done before any of the helm stuff gets built and installed since the ceiling work makes such a mess. Another bonus with getting the overhead installed is that it includes permanent lighting so it will be easier to work up there in the evenings. Pretty much the same drill as the lower deck overheads: armacell glued to the steel, nailers installed, wires run, mineral wool panels cut to size and held in place with the finished tongue and groove bead-board. I drilled holes for the lighting fixtures as we went, then wired and installed the fixtures. This was a fun and relatively painless project with good reward at the end. The wheelhouse looks vastly improved and the lighting is great. I used the same close-out IMTRA and Cantalupi fixtures with Marine Beam 10 LED clusters. Having spent quite a few nights on the boat now, I am totally sold on these lights. They have good color temp, run very cool, and use a ridiculously small amount of energy. All the wheelhouse fixtures combined draw about 2 amps. The big unfinished plywood panel in the forward center of the overhead will be a mounting pad for all the overhead electronics like VHF radios, Radar, etc. I'm taking a pretty traditional approach to the layout. No  wall of expensive flat screen monitors for this boat... primary view from the helm will be of the route ahead, with electronic displays on the periphery.
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