Major fabrications complete

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.

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And then one day … she was done. The last piece to be cut & glued in place was that tricky triangular-shaped little guy at the top of the stairs.

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.

Steering has been installed, and the push-pull cable traced back to the tiller compartment.

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.

MDF templates were made to mock-up the tiller assembly for the fabricators. It took two goes to get the cable length correct.

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.

This is the adaptor for the wheel. When we presented it to the spindle we found the Morse Taper did not match, so it’s to be sent to a local engineering shop to be lathed. Not a major problem, but another job to be added to the list.

Four openings have been cut for the Port-light hatches. These are opening and allow air and light down below.

The main cabin windows are above Debbie’s eye line, so these port-light hatches enable her to see out, when using the galley.
Cutting holes in your boat somehow seems wrong and takes a bit of getting used to. Dimensions were double and triple checked before the jigsaw was fired up. It’s quite nerve-wracking.

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.

For the first time ever we could actually see the profile of the boat. It was really exciting.

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.IMG_0620 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.

Finally, we were able to check out the lines of the turret.
This will be our world after we return from the Christmas break. Heaps of sanding and edging to do.

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.

There’s something between us…! Our checklist of catch-up jobs that need to be done prior to fiberglassing the decks and cockpit.

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