April 23, 2011

Cleaning the winch handle holders

Simple - cleaning these by removing them, then soaking in water with bleach. Really helped.

Cockpit table

I wouldn't have bothered to post about this addition to the boat, except that Barry noticed a folding table on the West Marine (BoatUS) catalog for $120. Fortunately I'd already bought this table - which looks exactly the same! - for $20 at Target, about three weeks ago. We'd never have bought it at the $120 price! A lot of the other items we're putting into the boat also were bought at Target, Lowe's, etc. (And then there's friends Sandy & Kelly who are procuring via eBay and the like ... smart!)

April 20, 2011

Blossoms and all those dinghys

Views along the marina this morning -

April 19, 2011

Eating well on board

Thanks to Barry, we are definitely eating well on board! Recently, Barry sliced up and marinated a couple of steaks (marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, Montreal steak seasoning, and some BBQ seasoning), before putting the slices like pieces of ribbon onto long skewers and grilling them. He's doing great things with the grill mounted on the stern railing (using a propane canister for fuel).

A few days later, he grilled up a couple of steaks along with kielbasa dogs:

Last night, he grilled catfish, shrimp, and bacon-wrapped shrimp, served with sides of potato salad and "seafood salad":

April 29 - another grilled dinner:

April 17, 2011

More storage/organizing gizmos in the head and the main berth bow prong "closet"

My own weekend project was to install organization into the head, and into the main berth bow prong to create clothing storage (a "closet" area). The improvements in the head fromt his weekend are organizing items installed to create storage or places where things can be placed without taking up counter space. I created a liner row of wire-basket holders (they're portions of a shelf-organizer set I found at K-Mart which I repurposed for this project - they don't hang totally right, but they'll do for now, and I'll locate and install a rail along the bottom to push the bottoms out to hold items better plus provide more support). Plus, I finally found the best place to locate the shower handle holder when it's in use. Now, it's located right next to a hanger holder (from Lowe's) I put in, to accommodate wet bathing suits, drip-dry clothing, wet towels, etc.

For that bow prong area - here are photos (below) demonstrating the progress made after tearing down all the old headliner that had been up there. After installing the new insulating layer, I ended up painting it with PermaWhite instead of installing the new headliner fabric over that. Maybe we'll have time in the future to do that, but for now, the white paint makes the closet area more visible (reflects light much better) and gives a better surface than the insulation fabric provided.

In the new "closet" in the starboard bow prong, the first basket was affixed way up front, to a shallow but strongly Fiberglas/resin reinforced piece of plywood sticking down from near the front. That thick (approx. 3/4") plywood was used previously to support a clothes rod that we removed. The first basket will be used for items that aren't too heavy and aren't used very often, since it'll be the most challenging area to reach. The next basket is affixed to the first one, and is placed closer (a little further aft) because of the angles of the space. At first, I provided support to the bottom back edges of it by using 3M 90 spray glue to affix extra strips of insulation layered across the wires and onto the existing insulation, to snug the bottom of the basket into place. However, it needed more support, so Barry made and placed pieces of wood in a triangle pattern to support it (I'll paint those one of these days).

Then, we added a 3-foot "Closet Maid" shelf along the outer hull side of this area. First Barry made two wide pieces of wood that I affixed with 3M 90 spray glue to the insulated "wall". Then he made two narrower pieces that I screwed into the first ones, and these narrower pieces run vertically. The outer hull in that area isn't straight so there was no point trying to glue those in place - there's very little contact. Then, we screwed the shelf to the wood pieces. As for the angular support brackets that come with the shelf, I had to come up with a way to make those secure, since I installed the shelf upside down on purpose (I wanted the "lip" to point up instead of down, so the brackets don't seat normally). I wrapped wire ties to secure the brackets in place. It's a good sturdy shelf now.

After adding a couple of additional devices used for hanging, the whole space has become a very useful closet area that accommodates hanging items, folded items, shoes, laundry containers, and from time to time either extra boxes of items or just a place to perch.

Aft bulkhead wall in port berth - the work progresses

Barry made more progress with the vertical bulkhead wall in the aft berth this weekend. First he had precisely chipped out the old rotted wood plus enough additional around it to fit the replacement board exactly - and of course he cut the replacement to fit that. Then he used resin (with the thickener) to put up the new board in place. Once that was well in place, he used more resin to put up a layer of Fiberglas cloth. By now, it's dried; he does plan to add a second Fiberglas layer next weekend. Once that's done, it'll be ready to paint (or perhaps take a layer of insulation if he decides to cover it with headliner).

Here's a closeup of what the Fiberglas cloth looks like, by itself; and then a real closeup where you can almost see the gauze-look of the Fiberglas within the resin on the board. It isn't the white part - that's white paint (applied because of its anti-mildew properties). The Fiberglas itself looks like translucent gauze - it becomes practically invisible:

Here's how the wall looks now, with the new board plus first layer of Fiberglas:

April 11, 2011

Progress in refitting the port aft berth

Here are some photos depicting progress that's been made in the aft berth, after Barry had finished replacing the horizontal 3/4" plywood board that was rotten. Barry put up insulation, measured and cut 1/4" plywood which I painted with the PermaWhite (tinted winter white). And I painted the horizontal surface, and floor too (around the holly-and-teak floorboard that's supposed to be there (except in this berth, even that's too rot-damaged to use, though it's okay-to-good elsewhere in the boat)). Then he put up those boards as vertical walls on both sides, and started hanging hardware to create storage. He's still got to finish fixing the vertical wall at the very back ... But certainly this is great progress already.

April 10, 2011

Galley area for knife set

We needed storage for the knife set, but the galley imposes strict space limitations. We're trying replacement of the chunky wooden knife block stand, with a magnetic strip. The magnet is very strong so we have hope this will be a good solution. Later, we might create a cover so the blades aren't just exposed like this. But for now, it's good to free up the counter space, and the strip promises to hold the knives very well. This area is the bulkhead wall at the forward end of the galley, right by the window (where curtains will be, one day..!).

I bought the magnetic strip at Target (the box is included in the photo above).

April 09, 2011

Trying vinyl-covered wire baskets

We quickly put up some vinyl-covered wire basket-type storage in a few places. A spice rack for the aft bulkhead wall above the propane stove in the galley; shelving alongside the refrigerator (if it intrudes too much into the cabin entryway then we'll take that one down); a rack for vitamins, etc., in the inner wall of the starboard aft berth; and more to come in the port aft berth.

April 01, 2011

Satellite TV onboard (while docked)

Hey, it's no April Fool's - the DirecTV does work great onboard! Sure, it's only while docked that the cable from the satellite dish plugs into the TV, and the AC shore power makes it possible. But it's real nice and helps make living onboard a better lifestyle for us. The satellite dish is mounted on the wood post piling that corners our dock slip.