Wednesday, June 26, 2013


It's officially summertime here in Salt Lake, and the temps have arrived to prove it.   But we love the long daylight hours, and progress is slow but steady down at Shop 61.  
We finally got the ceiling sanded and painted.   The interior looks pretty white at the moment, but once we've got the mahogany window frames installed, and cushions in place, I think the cabin will have a bright and cheery look.   

We love having lunch out on the "dock."  Lately we've been seeing ducklings and oddly enough, cormorants go by in the creek.  

The windows are in!  Well, almost.   In this photo, we've got wedges in place on the exterior, to hold the glass tight to the frames.   Now all that remains is to install some sort of gasket between the glass and the cabinsides.   

Cody also has the forward hatch nearly complete!   The glass is installed, the hinges are in-  we're just missing a bit of hardware on the inside that allows us to close it tightly, and a gasket to keep any water out.  All the glass we used for portlights and hatches is tempered-  the windows are 3/8ths of an inch thick, and the hatches are 1/2 inch thick.  Very sturdy and strong.  

What's not very sturdy or strong is this cardboard boat we built.....    

The Great Salt Lake Yacht Club hosts an event called Sailfest annually, and part of the festivities is a cardboard boat race.   The rules we followed stated that the allowed materials were cardboard, duct tape (not to exceed coverage of 30% of the craft), and single part paint, (no epoxies).   We enlisted a crew of friends to construct this magnificent yacht the night before, and had 7 able seamen on board for the race. 
  The boat, named "The Sword of Laban"  (it's a Mormon reference...) actually floated with all 7 of us aboard- and stayed floating for the first lap.   Captain Cody and 1st mate Tyler had to abandon ship when their pontoon began to sink, and eventually, the whole crew was swimming, pulling the craft  toward the finish line.   We came in 4th out of about 10 or so, which is fairly respectable, considering our boat sank and the fact that we had about 1000 pounds more cargo than the other boats.  All in all, it was great fun.   We've got new design ideas for next year...  Look out!   

Back at the boatshop....   I've been getting into tight spots.   
In this photo I'm connecting the sink drain to the through-hull.  

This cutout leads to a cupboard.  I was installing the back of the cupboard, which separates it from the rest of the lazarette, and Cody encouraged me to try crawling out...  
Obviously, I didn't fit, but I did manage to greatly entertain my loving husband.  
 Eventually, we'll have a rack to store a cutting board in front of the cabinet opening.  

The head is very nearly complete as well!   My cabinet is painted and in place, the toilet is plumbed...  There are a few more plumbing connections to install- plumbing a toilet that sits below the waterline is more complicated than it looks!   Vented loops, diverter valves, deck-fill fittings....   But it's almost done.  Thank goodness.  

Last week, a wonderful distraction came into town!  My good friend Kitty came to visit!  We had a great time, hiking, climbing, cooking, working on the boat...   She lives in Missoula, and we're equally bad at keeping in touch, but it doesn't seem to matter how much time has passed.   Once we're together again, it's like we're back in middle school, or high school, or our little canvas cabin in Yosemite Valley, and everything is the same between us.    

Kitty headed back to Missoula on Friday morning.  On Friday evening, we met up with some friends and headed down to Maple Canyon, Utah. 
Maple is a very narrow canyon, made up of a crazy conglomerate.  There are lots of trees (Maples, believe it or not,)  and it stays nice and cool in the summer.  The climbing is a maze of round cobblestones- some as small as marbles, some the size of watermelons.   It's very different climbing than anywhere else I've been.   We climbed a lot in the day and a half we spent there, and both found hard routes that we weren't able to complete.  Above, Cody's working on "Captain Bullet,"  a 5.13a,  and below, I'm figuring out "Honeybucket,"a 5.12a.   

We might be going back this coming Saturday to see if we can't finish them off.   

Well...  I should probably head down to the shop.   Hope you're all enjoying the summer!  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Let there be Light! And other things too!

Things keep moving along down here at Shop 61...  The summer weather has finally arrived.  The shop stays cool most of the morning, but by the time afternoon rolls around, you can really feel the heat- especially when you climb the steps up onto the boat.  It must be at least a 5 degree difference in temperature from the shop floor to the cabintop.  Hopefully we can be out of the shop before 100 degree days start to become more frequent.   

Cody finished building the deadwood.  As you might imagine, a solid block of wood 12 feet long, about 18 inches tall, and 12 inches thick at the fat end is quite heavy.  To get it off the table, we winched off the ceiling, and lowered it onto a set of caster wheels.  Then it was pretty easy to roll it around the boat to where the keel is sitting.  

We wanted to check how the two fitted together- and the shaping is pretty much perfect! As you can see, the tail of the keel is a little bit short.  We'll melt down the lead scraps we've got lying around and build the tail up so it's the same thickness as the rest of the keel.  

We're planning to jack the boat up a little higher in the next few days, so we can fit the deadwood underneath.  We'll epoxy and fiberglass the deadwood to the hull, and then the real fun begins....  Moving the lead keel beneath the boat.  And drilling holes for several enormous bronze bolts- which will hold the whole thing together.  

The cabinet I built in the head!  I just finished painting today, I'll have to post some pictures next time.  

We hired some help from the east coast to install our electrical system.  
Cody and his Dad had the boat wired in a day and a half-  pretty amazing!  We now have dome lights above the table and in the head, reading lights in all the bunks and above the "settee"  (the nautical term for couch, which I find obnoxious, but use anyway...)  We also have some lights mounted under the side decks to illuminate the countertops in the galley.  The VHF radio has power, but no antenna, so we can't talk to anyone yet.

Cody also has the stove up and running!  We could almost live onboard!  

We also got the decks caulked with Pat and Lorrie's help.  Lorrie and I sanded all the gaps while the boys were working inside the boat.  Then we taped all the planks, and caulked the seams.   It was a messy, gooey, sticky job, but I think it was worth it!  I think the decks look pretty awesome.  Very "shippy" and traditional.  

After we had squeezed all the hard labor possible out of the in-laws, we drove them home to Star Valley, Wyoming.  They are just home from a 5 month stint cruising on the East Coast, and they couldn't have picked a better time to come home!  Star Valley is in it's prime!  Everything is green and growing.   The weather was ideal- chilly in the mornings, (20 degrees!)  but warm and sunny during the day.    

Cody and Pat performed major surgery on my car-  a timing belt replacement-  while Lorrie and I worked in the yard, cooked up a storm, and worked on some knitting projects.  It was a nice little trip.  

Now we're back in Salt Lake, hard at it once again.  The yacht club is putting on Sailfest this coming weekend, and we're planning to compete in the cardboard boat race.  If you're in SLC, come out on Saturday morning to spectate!  
 My good friend Kitty is coming to visit soon, and my tomato plant has one tomato!  

Life is good!