For the very latest activity, click here: From a Bare Hull

Saturday, June 24, 2017

V-Berth In, Final Power Distribution, Forward Head

Some long overdue updates...

V-Berth is IN!

Though there are some remaining trim bits left to do when the adjacent head compartment nears completion.


The design is an "over-under" bunk layout. Strips of African mahogany clad the hull sides. The "door" on the forward bulkhead conceals a water tight "slam hatch" that provides access to the anchor locker.  The overhead is vinyl covering the one inch thermal insulation.

This area is not likely to be used as a berth at all. It will likely be the garage for storage of things like sails, or anything we just want to "get out of the way".

Power Distribution

The remaining power distribution modules have been installed and wired. The boat now has 24VDC distribution to all "corners". Individual switch loads will run to their closest distribution module.


Engine room distribution. 12VDC and 24VDC.

Aft cabin distribution (temporary mount).

Forward Starboard

Forward Port

Forward Head

Design and construction of the forward head compartment is underway. One of the first things is the modeling and molding of the shower pan. Not perfect, but with some fairing compound and a spray of gelcoat, it should do nicely.

Construction of the mold.

Shower pan, removed from mold

Dryfit in place.
Also constructed is the shower sump, that will be attached under the shower pan. Made from bits of coosa board, with a couple layers of glass on the inside. It will be sprayed with gelcoat along with the shower pan.
Shower sump
As for the head plumbing, we are awaiting an order for the waste holding tank that will be installed against the hull, up under the side deck.

Testing placement for plumbing and tank (white thing mocked up on the right).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Slackin' and V-Berth Update

Wow, I have really been slackin' on posting blog updates. I will make a concerted effort here to catch up on the various paralell projects in the next few posts.

The v-berth, aka "the garage" is mostly trimmed in. As per the last post, we decided to clad the hull sides with strips of hardwood, a somewhat traditional style. We originally set out to "keep the v-berth quick, easy and simple", since we expected it to act as the garage to store stuff. But tastes got in the way and the direction took a more "finished" and "detailed" direction. After having planed, ripped, planed, routed, fitted, and varnished each individual strip, I realized the v-berth may very well end up the compartment with the most labor hours spent. So much for quick and simple.

A few more trim bits are still being fitted where the v-berth meets the forward head.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November Update

With the cold wet weather upon us, focus shifts back to the interior. This time starting with the v-berth and forward head.

The V-berth is being planned as more of a "garage" for storage of stuff (sails, fenders, etc.). Stuff that could be wet and dirty. With that in mind, primary features are that it is well lit (to find stuff) and easy to clean. Does not need to be fancy and ornate. The first attempt was to put up plastic laminate on the bulkheads and cover the foam insulated hull sides and under-foredeck with a good quality vinyl. Then trim with hardwood.
V-berth before vinyl

V-berth after vinyl, some hardwood trim dry fitted.

Well, besides difficulties on laying up the vinyl in some areas, the compartment was looking like a sea of beige. The overwhelming color and given the vinyl was telegraphing every slight deformity of insulation on the hull sides, we have decided to go a bit traditional and clad the sides with strips of hardwood.

Which brings up the topic of tools. The current table top saw is just not big enough (size and power) to rip one and a half inch thick planks of hardwood. The most recent black friday gave an opportunity to remedy this with a new 3HP 220v table saw. which should see much use immediately.

New table saw replaces old table top saw

On to the forward head The base for the toilet has been constructed and fitted allowing plenty of room for plumbing runs. The shower sump is under design with a planned plywood mockup. Actual construction material may be G10 fiberglass sheet and Coosa with a gelcoat finish. Interior finish is undetermined, but we are leaning to some sort of plastic laminate.

Final position of head. Space for shower sump shown.
That is all for now!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Hull/Deck Joint Glassed, Too Late for Paint, Forward Head

Well, it looks like we missed our weather window for hull paint. Temperatures are too cold. Not a big deal as it seemed most of the summer was a bit humid anyway (not rainy, but a bit sticky). Oh well, with the semi-permanent scaffolds and new stairs built around the boat, we are ready for paint next year as soon as weather permits.

We did manage to glass the hull to deck joint. After removing the failed PlasTEAK caprail (experiment?) we decided to glass over the joint to improve strength and resistance to leaks. I wont bore you with the technical details, but will say the job goes smoother by wetting out glass first then laying on the joint, instead of laying out dry glass and wetting it in place. The latter tends to be more messy if you are not careful (epoxy drips over the side).
Starboard side. Wetted first, then laid down.

Port side. Laid down dry, then wetted. Shown with sacrifical paint.

View from the hull side showing the rough cut edges

So for now we will leave the glassed-over caprail in place, unfaired and rough on the edges until the time comes to finish the deck. Until then, the caprail will get a sacrificial coat of paint to protected it from UV.

Forward Head


With the cool weather upon us, time to focus back on the interior. Specifically, the forward head, which, until now, has been completely empty. So far we have roughed in cabinet faces and approximated the 'settee height' for the toilet. Current thoughts are to build a equal height settee around the toilet. The picture shows a temporary plywood cutout as a rough approximation.

Testing settee and bowl placement

Vanity and sink will go here

Earlier in this blog you saw me write about the Dometic VacuFlush system for head plumbing. Well I have changed my mind in favor of something simpler. Specifically, the Raritan SeaEra macerating toilet. Reason for decision: I would rather not deal with complex repairs of the VacuFlush in my old age! We have a Raritan head on the small boat and have never had a problem in 20 years. I am hoping the SeaEra will perform as well. We have one on order, should be here in a week or so.

More when it happens.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Prepping for Paint: Various Tasks

The big task this summer will be hull paint, if everything goes smoothly and weather cooperates. Numerous tasks for preparation:


Sacrificial Coat of Paint for the Deck


The original cracking gelcoat nonskid has been stripped off. This leaves the underlying laminate exposed to the sun/UV. One doesn't want to leave this exposed for long periods as the UV will breakdown and weaken the laminate. Probably not an issue on this boat given the thick laminate schedule, but I just assume avoid it. The solution is a single sacrificial coat of white paint. Just a basic exterior enamel. This will provide protection from UV until we are ready to finish the deck (maybe next spring). Then the paint will be sanded off as part of preparation. The white color also makes for a cooler deck in the summer, yet makes for slippery conditions when wet. Ultimate care is required when moving around on deck.




Caprail Material Failure Removal


A couple years ago, I installed a plastic teak substitute (PlasTeak) for the caprail. Now, it is an ultimate failure. While it installed easily and looked great, after a year of hot/cold cycles, the edges began to split where there was more than a slight bend. I had originally intended to paint around it, but the failure requires removal entirely. This will make painting all that much easier as I don't have to worry about taping the caprail.


As a result I have decided to glass over the hull/deck joint for strength and maximize resistance to water intrusion.


New Boarding Stairs


The original, narrow, weakening boarding stairs when up along the port side right against the hull blocking access to a large area. A new set of boarding stairs have been built at the stern, starboard side, with a landing where the upper section of the stairs can be pulled away from the boat to provide access to the hull surface. The new stairs are wider and sturdier and should well serve the remainder of this project. Removal of the old stairs will finally give me access to finish the port side deck drain which is still in a temporary state.


Removal of the old stairs will allow completion of the perimeter scaffold that gives easy access to the hull side during painting.

More later...