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.

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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.

Splicing line and DIY fids

My girlfriend and I stumbled upon some rigging/line splicing classes the the local large West Marine was giving about 7-8 months ago. While there we learned how to splice dyneema (Type 2 12 strand rope) and 3 strand nylon. I bought some cheap plastic fids. I was not a huge fan, but they worked and helped me learn. I read some where that knitting needles might work. I looked into that, and today I made 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″ (6.5mm, 8mm, and 10mm) fids. You can get a 2 pack of the same size for under 3 dollars with a coupon at Jo-Ann’s fabrics.

I used a miter saw to cut a 52 degree cut into a piece of a 2×4. I’d go with 60 degrees if you can manage to get that cut, but my miter saw only went to 52.

I then drilled guides to slide the knitting needles into the jig so that i could cut the ends at the 52 degree cut. I used a vibrating multi-tool with a metal blade. I used the Samson sizes for the lengths of the fids, you can find that online.

Then swapped over the some 80grit sand paper on the multi-tool to make the edges not sharp.

I then marked the short fid length with wire cutters, though you cannot see the marks in the pictures.

 

Tools used for this project: Miter saw, drill, drill bits, vibrating multi-tool with metal blade and sanding pad and a scrape 2×4.