April updates

This month I built a front to the large hole where the drawers in the aft part of the galley use to be. The PO removed them and added a fuel tank there. It is a  Moeller Marine (Model FT 1998) 19 gallon tank. I’ve no longer got the original, it is just empty space, so i can add back that tank, and increase the tank/range capacity for cruising.  To cover the open space, I built up a door with two shelves to hold galley items. It does take up where I use to keep the trash bag though.  It still needs to be painted and stained, but it is functional now.

Next up was some work work in the V-berth. A while back I built shelves to increase the size of the area to the outboards and at the foot to increase the storage in the V-berth. I built rails to hold the stuff on the shelves. I’ve still need to run over the top edge with a round over bit on the router to give a more finished look, (though I do like the square look). Since the wood it rest on is 1/2″ MDO, I’ll use some 1.5 angle brackets to hold the rails to the shelves.


In an effort to keep increasing the comfort of the V-berth, I cut up a California king nova foam topper to fit the V-berth.  I’d suggest if you do the same to use a normal king, as the cali king is a bit short. Also if doing this, you need to measure the distance up from the foam that is there, as I’ve a gap on one side, as i did not account for the outward slope of the v-berth. It is much more comfortable in the V-berth now, but every addition for comfort seems to reduce the over head space. Everything on a boat is a compromise they say.

In and effort to keep the cabinet in the saloon I built shut, I’ve made the rough idea for some toggle latches. These should keep the doors shut while underway and I was able to use pieces of wood I already had.

To up the entertainment, I’ve installed a 24″ Samsung TV forward of the nav station on a full mount. It is hooked up to a Odroid Xu4, which I’ve been working on getting openCPN working on it as the nav software. The screen can be rotated to watch from across the saloon, or moved to be at a good angle to be viewed from the nav table.

West marine also had there 40% off sale on new england rope. I decided that I’d buy some 3 strand nylon to make up some new dock lines. I’ve spliced up 4/6 that I planned on making. I’m saving the last two for the girlfriend as she wanted to do some as well.  When done, I’ll have 4 19′ lines for the corners, and 2 30′ spring lines.

I filled the water tank about once a week (4 times this month) and changed out the composting head as well.


March update

In march, I’ve been settling in more. I’ve got propane hooked up now, built a platform for the V-berth, learned how to make soft shackles, and worked some more on the drawers for the galley. I also got a 2 stroke outboard working again.

I inflated a 1987 Avon Rover 3.10 I have to work on and test the 2 stoke Nissan 8hp (NS8B ) that I picked up from my girlfriends dad. I took apart the carb, super clean, and couldn’t get it to run other then if I started it at WOT, and after many tries. Once running it would only keeping working at WOT, and then die if i tried to lower to idle. Turns out that there was a air leak in the fuel line, since the fuel pump is a vacuum operated, this killed the motor. Some new fuel line later and I’ve got a nicely working outboard. The floor slates in Avon, leave some to be desired, as the transom the dinghy, is a little floppy as the floor boards are not fit in correctly. During my bay test, I could get the dinghy to plane at 15.1knts. I’m also working on cleaning the carb for a 6hp Nissan(NSF6A2) I’ve got. This one will take some more work as there appears to oil from the motor leaking out the prop shaft. Further investigation is required. I’ve setup a 2×3 across the cockpit as the work station for the outboards. Seems to work, provided you can keep the outboard from swinging around as they are in fact top heavy.

While back, I built a holder for two 6lb propane tanks. I’ve only one tank at the moment, but it has proven to work quite well hanging off the stern rail. I ran the line through a new hold in the transom and to the galley.  I still need to add a sniffer and remote solenoid. For now I shut off the tank when not in use.


In the V-berth, there was some sagging or a bad construction or something going on with the “flat” surface that is the V-berth. It kind of slept like a hammock, where near my hips it would sink down and unless you were in the middle, you would be pretend sleeping like you were on a slight heel of a couple degrees. I used some 2×3 and a plywood to create a platform to support the mattress and it not have a slope or a dip. It is flat now, but I’ve lost about 2″ of height in the V-berth. The step into the V-berth is now a must.


I also added some drawers to the galley drawer thing. I’d not hire myself to build someone else drawers if they wanted nice straight and good looking drawers. They work for the intended purpose though, so I consider it a win. I still need to add some kind of face to the drawers and a paint them. To fit this, I moved the ladder over a couple of inches, so it is not longer centered. There is minimum clearance between the ladder and the drawer when slide out.


I’ve started to monitor how many days it takes me to use up water from the 17 gallon water tank. It looks to be about 10 days, but this has only been two fill ups since I started to monitor this. So on average it looks like 1.7 gallons a day, but time will tell how much I am using. I thing my major downfall is in washing the dishes, I use alot there.

Lack of refrigeration is proving to not be as horrible as one would think. Cooking for one with no left overs is the hardest, followed by lack of fresh meat. Canned meat has become the new staple. Veggies, are doing well in the dry storage box, it keeps stuff quite cool in there. I’ve added eggs and spam for breakfast on the weekends. I gave some blocked cheddar a go, I failed at that one, but after doing some research, it would appear that keeping it in olive oil, or wiping with vinegar and wrapping in cheese cloth would be better then putting in a zip lock bag. Though that did work for about a week.  I did find some powdered milk to use for cooking, and I’ve since learned about the single serving UHT milks, that if I can find for cheaper then 10 dollars for a 6 pack, I might get some.

Composting head is still working. I’m finding that the urine is the major source of smell if anything. I’ll have to look into that to figure out how to combat that, but overall this has proven to be less smelly then the old head and holding tank combination.

During this month, I learned out to make soft shackles from the rigging guys at the local west marine.

Day off progress

I had the day off for MLK day. I added a piano hinge to the future electronic panel, so now it can fold down towards you, to access the back of the panels.

I finished off the teak fiddle rails for the galley. counter, I maybe have just enough to do the shelf as well. Yesterday when I came back to the boat, one of the screws that I had put to hold up the galley shelf, had let go. I didn’t pre drill that hole, just kind of screwed it into place, which is not how your suppose to put screws into fiberglass. So I added some little stainless steel angle braces to hold the shelf up which I have connected to the front face of the cabinets.

I also added a hinged step/foot rest for the head. The composting head from the top of the seat to the floor was about 25″ which was awkward and uncomfortable. To fix that I’ve built a foot rest, that is hinged so it can be out of the way if you want to stand to pee, or if you want to sit, then you lower the shelf. I’ve included a video, as I did not take any pictures of the foot rest. Video here

I also had to refill the water tank today. So I’ll keep a count of how long it takes to to have to re fill, as there isn’t much capacity right now with only the starboard tank, which is about 17 gallons.

New fabric for the saloon.

Thanks to my girlfriends mom, I got all but the two cushions for the starboard settee covered. I still needed to cut these to size and make sure they fit correctly.

To do these I cut the cushions with an electric bread knife. The foam cuts like butter with one of these. For cutting the back cushions, which already had plywood as a back, I used my jig saw and scissors for when the fabric that was there was being a pain.

Once I had these cut to size, I used a new ply wood backing for the bottom cushions and used the existing plywood on the back cushions, then wrapped the fabric around the foam and stapled it to the plywood, just like wrapping a present. Though I used staples for “tape” and fabric for “paper.”

All in all in worked out well considering that I got batting and the fabric from my mother and just had to ship it to San Diego.


Also arrived in the mail today is the drawer organizer for the silverware in the galley. This works pretty well.


I think I’ll try to add some drawer rails to these to make them pull out straight vs drop down as the are pulled out.

More projects lie ahead.




One week plus 4 days

I moved out of my apartment in Pacific beach on the 17th of December. I did some cat sitting, and travel for Christmas. When I returned back to San Diego, I moved onto the boat. I’m waiting back to hear from Chula Vista Marina if I can become a live aboard, if not, well I’ll have some problems. I’ll have to move the boat to a 35′ foot slip, due to that being there minimum boat length to live aboard (I think it a money thing), then tack on the 300 live aboard fee. Moving to a new slip, will put me closer to the RV park and the hot tub and pool and showers. I’ll also be further from the parking lot, but oh well.

Before I left, I had some Stainless steel sheet metal cut for the counter tops. Glued them day before I left.

I’ve found that living  on the boat, I’m able to get a lot done, as I do not have to go home at night, since i am home. I’ve been a busy person for a 10 days.

My girlfriend and I got some ceiling put up in the V-berth. Thank babe for the help.

I’ve just about finished the fiddle rails for the galley counter. I messed up some angles, and used up what pieces i had from the boat already. So I’ll have to buy some more to finish the one spot I’ve not finished yet. I cut the back splash fiddle rail, out of a piece of mahogany from home depot. I’ll stain them to make the color of the teak and the mahogany match most of the other darker red the wood is.  I also installed the faucet in the counter tops. It is a Glacier Bay model Keelia.

The water pump has been being a problem for me. It acted like it didn’t want to work, so I bought another one. That one displayed the same problem as the first one. It is some weird electrical thing, as both pumps work, and I’ve a temporary setup now, so I can have water in the sink.

I mounted two of the three fire extinguisher I’ve on board. I also put up a coat hook to hold my jacket and hat.

I’ve started to cover the cushions with new fabric with help from my girlfriends mom. I also started to cut down the back rest cushions today and hope to cover them tomorrow or Monday.

Took me three tries to get a table leg the right height, but finally got that one. First was 27″, 2nd was 35″ and the third and good version was 30″. The table is a little wobbly, due to the flex of the sole. I’ll work on this at some point, but it is low on the list. Also will have to come up with a better looking, hopefully lighter table top. Right now I’m just using the old table top that I cut down.

The composting head has been working well. It needs a step in front to place your feet, as it is kind of awkward right now to us with the height. I put back in the storage locker and you can see the counter top is just a tad long and wont fit.


I printed off some life size panels from blue sea to see what the future Nav table/electronic station is going to look like.  I’ll be putting a piano hinge on the blue line, so that access can be had by folding it down. I do not think I’ll be using the Dual circuit plus switch that is there, so mayble a different panel for the middle one. Also I think I may opt for the 16 switch panel vs the one with meters, and add in some other meters and have 21 DC circuits, and ELCI +5 for AC, though I don’t think that all will be filled on that one.


Otherwise it has been raining a decent bit for San Diego, I found that some places leak, that I’ll have to fix. I’ve fixed some, anchor locker and missing window botched tape job. I’ll need some kind of more comfortable mattress in the V-berth, as the one that is up there is a bit worn and used. I’m thinking about a water heater as well, as the water is quite cold. Only having one sink is not bad, the composting head is pretty easy. I have most of what I need down here, and there is lots of space left. Shoe storage is just under the table, I’ve still got a mess (storage) in the quarter berth. Overall I’m digging living on the boat so far.



Lots of progress, so little time.

So it has been about a month since the last post.

I’ve stained the redwood, I like how the look came out. I was planning on painting them white, with the rest of the cabin, but this makes it feel more cozy to me. It also matches the look of the rest of the wood that is on the boat, minus some of the teak pieces. It makes me weary of sanding down them to oil them as it would possibly change the color to something that does not match as well, and then I’d have even more colors going on here.

I’ve painted the interior using Rustoleum Gloss White. I used a foam roller for most of the boat, and a rattle can for the corners I could not reach. It makes a hell of a difference on the look and smell for the time being of the boat.

I’ve cut out the hole for the sink, and the dry stores, made some inserts for flush fittings to make the counter top larger. My wood working skills could use a bit of improvement. As I seem to not be able to cut a straight cut.

I’ve worked on adding a shelf to the galley. The bottom post is there to hold it up, but the support for the edge shall come from the top down, vice bottom up.

I’ve build and cut out the area for mounting and re wiring the electrical panels from the galley to the nav table.


Catching up on some past due post.

It has been a couple of weeks sense the last post. Since them, I’ve been to some intersting places in Chula Vista/National City looking for something that would be somewhat better then MDF wainscoting from big box store, or pvc wainscoting. I discovered JW Lumber, which is a outdoor wood supply place. I bought some 5/8″ redwood strips, had the cut down the middle there, and then attached them to the bulkhead to cover up the removal of the teak veneer.  I’m planing on paint the whole saloon white. Though some have said that they like the look of the interesting wood pattern the redwood makes.

It has been a pretty easy process, use the protractor thing I’ve got to measure the angle, use miter saw to cut angle, and then make sure the length fits. I’ve not been the best at making sure the planks fit at the bottom, as well, you will only see if without the cushions there.

I’ve skipped the part where i do the chain plates, as I’m still planing on doing the external chain plates. I’m still deciding on what material to use, there are just so many options. Do I use stainless, which grade, do I want it electro polished, ect. Bronze is always good, easy to machine, costly. Titanium grade 2/5 which comes out close to SS 316L after you polish it, but there is none of the cons of Stainless. Then there is galvanized steel, which is way less then all of the above, but it is not shiny. Which from what I can tell means that it is not good. Con it will rust at some point. Same thing with turnbuckles. They are not shiny and may rust, so spend more money for shiny!

But I’m getting close to paint the boat. As random as it sounds, Rattle cans for rusteolum will by my paint of choice. I’ll need to find some teak trim pieces or learn how to make L shaped trim pieces to cover up my amateur wood working skills. Also it will make the saloon/cabin look nice with white and teak trim.

I’ve also made a little progress with the sink. Still not sure what I’m going to do with this, but for now, the MDO will be the countertop.


Conversion to Dinette

So the table is heavy. And not really all that manageable, or very stable seeming when setup for an under way period. A fixed table, that drops down seems to be a more reasonable idea. This also provides a nice low and center of the boat area to fit a battery box to fit 4 6v GC2 batteries, which should yeild about 400-450 amp-hours. This area will also be easy access.

This is what I’ve got so far.

I’ll hopefully be painting soon, I’ve started the covering of the bulkhead. It really ought to be replaced with a one maybe two piece section, But I’ve got some other plans with moving the loads from chain plates that mount to the bulkhead to the exterior of the hull.



Galley work

Today, I got the counter top cut. I’m still deciding on what will be the best course of action as to what to make the counter top out of, but I’ve a pattern if i go with some kind of composite, or I’ve got the base for Formica or paint. I’m thinking next will be to do the cutout for the sink and dry stores. The router made quite the mess inside the boat.


Yesterday, I finished up shorting the slider and adding the teak to the pot/pan storage and above the slider cabinet. Not the best of work, but it will do.


Also go the shelf and the cabinet face mounted for the stbd cabinet. It is not straight, as the door has a slant when opened, but that is due to how the lip under the liner interferes with the face of the cabinet.


Frames for the cabinet doors

Working with the cabinet some more today, mostly the frames. In doing this, I bought the kreg pocket screw setup. It mostly worked, I had to do some trail and error, that I thought I had worked out on the scrape pieces, but ended up messing up 3 of the pieces. I had to make some adjustments to the kreg unit, and change the direction I was drilling the pocket holes to avoid spiting the teak.