Well its close to a month since our last post, and not because we’ve been taking it easy. In fact the last few weeks have been physically and mentally the hardest of the build so far. Now that the fabrication of the interior is completed we are deep into prepping for painting. This involves going back over every surface, joint and intersection. Sanding fillets, filling screw holes, rounding edges, small unfinished details long forgotten during twelve months of fabrication. We had actually thought ourselves to be reasonably conscientious. Making sure we cleaned up excess glue, rounding and sanding as we went. But even so, this stage has taken us far longer than we anticipated as we kept stumbling upon another minor blemish, or unsanded surface. It’s all cosmetic of course. Structurally she is reassuringly strong, She will be a tough vessel, well capable of handling Australia’s rugged conditions. But we have had to dig deep. We sense we are nearing the top of the hill now. Knowing there is still much to do, but believing that once we can start fitting the deck, the end will be in sight, and we can allow ourselves to contemplate splash day.
So for the first time in over a year, the wood working tools have not been brought out of the shed as part of the morning routine. Instead, sanding blocks, files, electric Sanders and vacuum cleaners have become our daily tools. Also Qcell and fiberglassing equipment has re-emerged for sealing the bathroom wet area. Our supply of mohair disposable rollers are rapidly diminishing, as we ensure very square centimeter is throughly coated in resin. We are determined that Selah will not be vulnerable to rot.
All this takes time and a conscious effort to avoid cutting corners.
When considering a large project, such as ours, it is natural to focus on the financial costs. It’s easy to be excited about the fact that a nice cruising cat, well-built and to plan, may have an asset value of around twice material costs. However, we have come to appreciate that time is actually the biggest cost. Our build will be around three years, two of us full-time. Some have been faster, but most have been around five to ten years. That’s a big chunk of life on a project that will dominate your every waking moment.
For us, as people of faith, building Selah has been an act of worship and gratitude for the opportunity we have been given. This belief sustains us when we are overwhelmed.
The photos below are a snapshot of where we are up to.
We are in such awe of you two, and the huge amount of work and commitment involved in building Selah. The finishing of all the surfaces is so important. You know every inch and every tiny detail and unless all is as good as you can make it, it will bug you as you live and cruise on her later, but what a mammoth undertaking!
Thanks for your kind words and encouragement Chris & Wade. Yes you are so right: and cats have so much surface area! But we know that prep is 9/10th of the battle for a good paint job. We are almost there. Off to Hobart for a few days to help my parents who were flooded in the recent storm, but we should be good to start spraying, week after next.
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