The Future is Now.
Becky and I went to the boat for four whole days last week. It is simplest to say that we had about the best time it’s possible to have whilst boatbuilding on a shoestring. I absolutely love the rare occasions that B is able to pull herself away from work and join me on the big dream.
We had all these enormous plans as usual, and as usual knocked our guts out attempting to get them all done, but common to all building projects Wendy Ann has this way of making everything we do take longer than we thought it would. By now we know all about his phenomenon and were well braced for it, so there is no sense of disappointment whatsoever at what we didn’t manage to cross off the list.
The big idea was to concentrate on ONE area of the vessel and attempt to make a huge difference. So after much obsessive planning on my behalf Becky persuaded me to drop some of my wilder, more addled ideas and we chose to dedicate our efforts to the wheelhouse and cabin interior.
Here’s a list of what we DIDN’T manage to get to in those magic four days:
Sprayfoaming the steel cabin floor and rear bulkhead wall
Second layer of insulation and vapour barrier the walls and ceilings
Installation of oak lining to wheelhouse ceiling
Mousing through all electrical cables
Floor and lower wall sections cut from 18mm ply
And here’s a list of what we DID:
1/4 ton Concrete slab laid on steel bridge deck
All electric conduits installed
Wheelhouse lining ply cut, backed with glassfibre and fully installed
Ply lining of cabin walls all cut to fit and dry-fitted
Steel cabin floor battened out ready for sprayfoam
As a bonus B also found time to cover our new access staging in chicken wire to provide a bit more grip underfoot in wet weather, so now our staging has the Littlehampton look- as every fishermans wharf this side of the river seems also to be covered in the stuff.
So you could say we’re halfway through the list, that’s possibly a bit misleading though. The reason I say this is twofold, firstly getting all our electrical conduit in the right place was one of those thinky thinky carefully type jobs which required a two brained approach. So that took the best part of a day. Secondly those (incidentally top notch quality hardwood WBP ply) linings that feature largest in the photographs look simple. But there’s almost not a right angle in the things and cutting them ate up two days. I’m proud to say that I cut nearly every one to fit within a half millimetre tolerance. Bevel gauges and really sharp block planes are truly marvellous tools for helping do it right. The only slightly gappy ones are in the wheelhouse linings, where the lining meets at some severe angles two of my mitres are ever so slightly (fit a credit card between ‘em- which is actually quite thick) off. But hey, there are more layers going over here so B persuaded (read ‘drunkenly heckled’) me after the evenings first bottle of red that maybe I should just try to be a little less anal about the fit. She says she knows it’s against my nature, I have absolutely no idea what she means.
With the exception of the wheelhouse panels, all the others are merely slotted in position right now as time just ticked out on us again, but as Sunday progressed B and I shared a rising sense of excitement at the rapid transformation of the first part of our vessel’s interior which is finally beginning to look like you could almost live in it instead of the ‘very expensive shed’ aesthetic I’d grown so used to.
In my day job I’m currently spending an awful lot of time at the top of some insanely tall ladders, but I’m hoping to get back down to Wendy for a few days around this weekend to move this project significantly further forward, and I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that Becky might come for a day too. So I’m fervently hoping that we’ll get as far as trying out the sprayfoam that we ordered up special on the exposed bits of steel, as for moving on to that oak ceiling lining, well, that’d be a dream. I’ll let you know how we get on.