Our first night aboard!

Last night we slept aboard for the first time.

OK now… don’t get too excited.

No, we haven’t launched Selah without telling you. But we are pleased to let you all know that our girl is now decently clothed and is fully weathertight. To celebrate we rolled up the big tent. It was a momentous day, as the sunlight flooded in, and we could walk around upright on the decks.

All internal paintwork is completed, windows fitted and all hatches and side portlights are installed. She has even withstood a couple of days of soaking rain without leaks, which was a relief.

Now that we can start installing expensive hardware, we will be sleeping aboard from time to time, mainly for security reasons. Open build sites in industrial precincts are difficult to secure, and I am not willing to leave her unattended.

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Setting up the bed in the master bedroom.

Its been so long since our last post, I’m struggling to recall all the jobs that have been completed. Too many for a blog post! It’s a thoroughly enjoyable stage of the build. Instead of focusing on a single major job, our days can head in several directions, as we dig out long-forgotten bits of hardware from storage for installation.

I’ll start with the window installation.
Cutting the windows was somewhat nervewracking. The big sheets of polycarbonate and perspex were very expensive. There was no room for error, so I did what I always do when in doubt, I cut templates from scrap and dry-fitted to double-check for fit. I then cut the window panels slightly oversize and used a router fitted with a 45 degree bit to trim to size, using the template as a guide.

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Rough cutting the turret windows. We used tinted 6mm polycarbonate for the side windows.

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Installing the starboard turret window, a tight fit even for Deb.

We are very happy that the windows are now in, its been valuable however to have gained experience with (yet another) sticky, messy goop – namely black window silicone. We have gone through 13 tubes of the stuff, and I have decided I am not good at it. I just end up making a huge mess. In fact, Deb has banned me from doing anymore Sikaflex or silicone work!

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Port turret window done!

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The big top is up and Selah is open to the elements.

Peter Snell, our designer, was adamant we should use clear perspex (instead of tinted) for the forward turret windows. It was a difficult choice. Tinted is a more glamorous look and shades the sun, but Peter was insistent it was a safety issue, relating to visibility. I assume it’s a recent innovation, as most of the other builds I know of all used tinted. A quick phone poll of recently launched builders all agreed with Peter … so we ordered clear. As a compromise, we have purchased white industrial blind mesh to make external clip-on sunshades on all the turret windows, for heat control. They (reportedly) block 95% of UV and are see-through. We can remove them when navigating in low light conditions. Meanwhile, in chilly Tas, the morning sunlight streaming into the saloon is glorious.

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Its nice to have views of trees, rather than black plastic.

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The forward visibily is excellent.

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The two outer forward windows in the turret are opening . 

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DSC_0747Deb decided to do something about the cockpit and got busy with the roller to finish painting the cockpit floor with Treadgrip. We’ll see how it goes underfoot. Perhaps later we may install vinyl tube flooring.

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We were happy with how the cockpit floor turned out.

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Being a “Queensland Cat” one of Selah’s design features is her large drop down windows in the saloon. These are supprisingly easy to build. The frame (bulkhead) is double skinned so that a channel can be fabricated around the window openings. Baily profile, a rubber and felt extrusion used in car door frames is installed within the channel. The polycarbonate is inserted, cut to a width that allows the window to slide up and down. Combined with the forward opening windows in the turett, Sarah has excellent ventilation. Our next challenge is figuring out how to control mozzies. We are thinking about mosquito screen options.

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The drop down windows are installed. They are of 6mm clear polycarbonate. We are on the lookout for some suitable lifting handles and ways of managing mosquitos.

We decided to intsall the mainsheet traveler. It requires 26 holes to be drilled through the turett roof and I wanted to get the holes protected with epoxy resin, before we lifted the tent roof. The traveler is an aluminium extrusion used to control the mainsail, the large sail behind the mast.

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The mainsheet traveler track is now installed. Another messy goopy job! The bolts are spaced at 100mm centers.

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The mainsheet track from above.

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With the internal painting done, we can lift the protective plastic to reveal the flooring, we varnished over 12 months ago.

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Installing the bed slats in the master bedroom.

Meanwhile, we have been busy sourcing materials and spending more of our rapidly diminishing building fund. The gloss ceiling liner panels have been purchased, as well as the fittings and materials for the saloon door. That’s Monday’s job!

16 thoughts on “Our first night aboard!

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