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Monday, March 19, 2012

Wheelhouse console finished

It's been a busy couple of weeks at work but I've managed to squeeze in some good boat building time (a few hours here and there) to get the wheelhouse console finished up. I am taking this particular part of the boat to a finished stage because this will allow us to go ahead with hooking up all the electronics and controls, and not have to disconnect and remove everything later when we get to finishing and trimming things out. When I last left off, I think that we had just finished installing the black laminate on the console top. For the face of the console, I used a wood veneer. This is a very thin sheet of wood that comes glued to a paper backing. The veneer is attached to the plywood with contact cement and then it is set permanently by "scraping" it down  using very hard pressure with a block of hardwood. This removes any air bubbles. They say if you aren't sweating when you're done, you didn't use enough pressure. Then we gave it a light sanding and a few coats of varnish. The veneer we used is Lyptus which is a farm raised hybrid of Eucalyptus. With no stain applied (just oil and varnish) it comes out looking like a cross between teak and mahogany, with some nice reddish pink salmon tones. The instrument panel is also Lyptus (but from a different, more "blonde colored batch) and shows the wide variation in color you can find with this wood. We bought a big batch of this stuff on close-out and I'm going to use it in a few different areas on the boat. It also goes very nicely with the old salvaged mahogany that we found a few weeks ago. This mahogany finished out nicely too. We ripped some of it into smaller dimensions and shaped it for all of the trim work shown in the pics. Amazing color and grain and just the right amount of imperfections to give it some "character". Unfortunately, I got sort of wrapped up in this job and I did not take very many pictures of any of the finish work in process, so most of these pics are just of the end results. Now its back to more wiring, plumbing, and rough in carpentry... 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

USCG Documentation

Received our USCG paperwork. We are now an officially documented vessel. I'm sure its just a matter of time now till the tax, regulatory, and insurance folks find us. You might notice that the name of the boat is not Koloa. I'll leave that story for Sue...

Sue here. I’ve been designated by Pete to write this blog entry. A kind of payback for months/years of torture that I caused him while we decided on a name for our vessel.

At first, we planned to call her Koloa which is the Hawaiian word for Duck. We have spent a lot of time in Hawaii and the language is close to our hearts. As the design is based on a George Bueller "Diesel duck", it seemed to make sense at first. That is why the blog is called Building Koloa. However, after months of thinking about it we both came to the realization that Koloa wasn’t working for either of us. The boat design is technically a "Swan", not a "Duck". We pictured the following conversation: “why is your boat called Koloa?”,  “It’s Hawaiian for duck”, “Why Duck”, “Well, the boat design is sort of based on a Diesel Duck - but not really - it’s a Swan” etc... Too long to explain & just didn’t fit. There were no good Hawaiian words for Swan and my Dad (an avid birder) informed us that Swans, while lovely to look at, are kind of mean and aggressive. So we (mostly I) came up with a number of names. Here is a list of some of them…there were more. Many more. They are in no particular order:

Chips Ahoy, Swan Song, E. River (it’s a Swan right?) Gray Goose, Cake, Osprey (There is a pair that nest each year in the crane above our build site), Heavy Metal, Frostie (Based on the Wendy’s beverage that helped fuel many an afternoon of boatwork), Maka Koa (Hawaiian for fierce), Serendipity, Hele Lua (Hawaiian for travel together), Miss Sue, H.F. Sundae (similar to frostie), Mother Ducker, etc.

My nautical-minded husband kiboshed most of these names immediately. Some held on for awhile but never for too long. One name, which of course Pete came up with, seemed to rise above the rest. We liked what it meant & how it sounded. The boat has long, graceful lines & needed a name that would complement these. She also needed a name that would inspire us to do what we want to do with her, aside from just have her sitting in a slip. Alas the name Kama Hele (pronounced KA ma HEH leh), which means Traveler in Hawaiian, was born.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some Finish Work

Most of our effort so far on the interior has been geared towards getting the interior to a "rough-in" stage so we can get all the systems, plumbing, electrical, etc. installed prior to the launch later this year. However, doing things over is a big time sink on a project like this, so I am doing all the finish work on the wheelhouse helm and the main electrical cabinet face frame so I can hook up electrical, instruments and controls and not have to remove everything to do the finish work in these areas later down the line. I'm midway through this finish work now, but here are some pics of the progress so far. Hopefully next post will be the finished products. The helm console and electrical cabinet face frame will be covered in Lyptus veneer (more on that in the next post). The helm console top is black formica laminate. I am cutting all the trim work from a batch of old mahogany lumber that we found out in west Marin. A last minute addition to the console was a neat flip-up section with storage underneath. Sue convinced me that this would be handy and worth the extra work. I think she is right...