Well, Christmas has arrived and we are pleased that the building phase of our ship is now complete. Yes, we are short of our self-imposed schedule but are not disappointed. We have worked solidly to get to this stage, and are well satisfied with our progress. As you can see from the following photos, the build site is a bit of a mess. First thing we will do after Christmas is a big clean-up, and return some space to Russ, our very patient host. We will no longer need the adjoining annex that has served as a workbench and timber storage area for the past three years.
In the meantime, we will enjoy a short break. Christmas is full of meaning for us, as we celebrate the significance of Emanuel … God with us.
There is still a list of catch-up jobs to be done, screw holes filled, edges to be trimmed & rounded and a heck of a lot of sanding, before we can begin fiberglassing the decks, turret & cockpit. After that: painting, then bolting on all the shiny bits & second fix plumbing and electrical – so still a long way before we can book the moving truck.
The steering set-up presented us with a few problems to solve, and we have learnt a lot along the way. Tracing the cable was straight-forward, but determining the optimum length took a couple of goes. Tamar Marine was very accommodating, and allowed us to trial a couple of lengths, and return the one we didn’t use.
The push-pull cable drives a sub-tiller that’s mounted east-west. It’s distance from the centerline of the rudder post determines how many turns the wheel will make. We are aiming for about 1 1/2 turns, lock to lock, as recommended by the designer. It’s about optimising the steering for the self-steering that will drive the wheel most of the time when passage making. The larger fore-aft tillers are for linking the two rudders, via a 4.6 meter long connecting rod.
Four openings have been cut for the Port-light hatches. These are opening and allow air and light down below.
We had an unexpected boost to our morale when a suitable weather window presented itself for us to lift the roof of our shelter. This was necessary for us to have access to the edges of the turret and deck so they could be trimmed and edged for fiberglassing. The turret requires a large radius that can only be done by hand using templates to ensure the “round” is even.
It was the first time we used our rolling system, primarily designed to protect the structure in case of an extreme SE storm. We were unsure if the roman blind setup would actually work on such a large tarp, and were pleasantly surprised when it rolled up easily and without fuss. We then had a marvelous three days. Light flooded into the cabins, and we were able to visualise what she will be like, once released from her cocoon, as we worked through a list of jobs while we had access to spaces difficult to reach with the top down.
Another job to do was to locate a metal fabrication shop with experience in marine fabrications to do the metal-work. As it happened, we found a small workshop just around the corner from us. He normally only takes on big jobs for the fish farms but is happy to do our work during the quiet time after Christmas.
Meanwhile, the bank balance continues to deplete as we purchase more equipment. AIS, safety equipment, PFD’s, flares, stanchions, hatches, vents, wind – speed & temp transducers, VHF radio, fenders, tacho’s, LED interior lights, navigation lights, anchors have been stockpiled in the off-site storage space, ready for fitting once the painting is done.