Time to pay the piper…

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.

Deb filling screw holes on the recently installed nav station step. That’s the hot water service to her right. Its mounting plate (not yet trimmed to size) can slide out for servicing and maintenance.
Shower bay, fiberglassed and Qcelled.
We decided to install a couple of extra lockers in the guest cabin.
Completed nav station. We installed a chart locker beneath.
We are covering the nav bench with marine vinyl. Deb checks for size.
IMG_0169 (1)
We took a break for a few days to help our friends Simon & Eileen set up their new accommodation cottages on the foothills of Mt Roland. The iPhone panorama feature does strange things to perspective. The mountain is actually much closer in reality. Manna Hill Farm is now open for business and we can highly recommend a stay if visiting Tasmania.
The linen cupboard has been completed & door swung.
Something our Queensland building mates do not have to contend with! After struggling for days to extract the last batch of gluggy resin from our big drum, we lit a charcoal fire underneath. Worked brilliantly, and we were able to decant every precious drop into a 20L dispenser.
The large cockpit window frame panels have been cut and fitted. The “sills” stiffen the sheet, and provide a handy shelf on calm days.  The pannels are removable for installation of the polycarbonate windows that slide down into the cavity.
This is Rex, the trusty dog who guards the block. Off duty and asleep in the sun, in his masters car boot.

2 thoughts on “Time to pay the piper…

  1. 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.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s