Saturday, April 6, 2013

Shipyard Projects, Large and Small

Work continues on with some big projects and countless small details, each with an accompanying set of decisions. For example: replacing the three windshield wipers motors and blades, two deck storage boxes, and a cracked exhaust grill, all seemingly routine items, involved more than a few minutes of measuring, print catalog and online research, remeasuring, pondering multiple choices and price points, and considerable discussion. Each decision meant progress, though the progress wasn't immediately visible.  

Progress isn't always what it seems. Some things have to appear worse before they get better, at least visually. Painting prep is one of those things. Large areas of the shiny, dark blue paint on the hull were sanded down to a dull, lighter blue. The surface was ground, poked, filled, sanded and I don't know what else, but it definitely isn't pretty. Not yet. 

Progress is easy to spot on the finished flooring. Sanding and refinishing made the existing pilothouse floor look as good as new. Multiple finish coats will keep it looking good for years to come. We are pleased with the new teak and holly flooring in both heads (bathrooms), and certainly won't miss the tired old linoleum that used to cover those surfaces.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shipyard Status: an early report

Each week in the shipyard has brought a new set of visual surprises, both inside and outside the boat.


A proper hull inspection calls for visual access to both sides of the fiberglas, even those hidden spaces inside the cabinets that line the salon. Everything in the room was moved away from the walls and piled topsy-turvy in the middle. The usually tidy salon is now littered with tools, project supplies and "stuff" from inside the cabinets. Protective materials do cover windows and finished surfaces, preventing any damage from traffic and incidental contact. 

The floor in the guest head (bathroom) was modified to raise the commode and replace the outdated 1980's linoleum with teak and holly flooring. Even in this unfinished state, it's an improvement!

Master Stateroom and ensuite flooring upgrades are also underway. The living spaces will be gorgeous when the raw wood receives a satin finish and new carpeting covers both stateroom floors.

The large yellow trailer holding our 70,000+ pound boat was partially disassembled as other hull supports replaced the trailer's cross members. Now there's an interesting assortment of supports holding the boat steady.

The huge heated building holds many other vessels, each one undergoing some messy, smelly, really smelly, projects. Outside air is pumped inside each boat through a system of plastic tubes, keeping the interior spaces surprisingly fresh. It's a relief to breathe clean, unscented air, free of fiberglas, paint, solvent and other strong shipyard odors when we're inside Rhapsody.

Photo: here's where the air tube connects...
Photo: ...and here's an inside view, looking out toward a filter.

Rhapsody's exterior has been poked, prodded, explored and analyzed, and now sports more than a few spots and a lot of green tape. Not an attractive look, but it's temporary.

These are just a few photos from previous weeks, a brief sampling from early stages of the 2013 project. It's all necessary and routine, but I can't wait for the stage where the hull gets pretty again. Looking forward to that time, we're pondering fonts and color choices for the name decal.

Photo: sample .jpg from the sign maker

Photo: decal test strips for spacing and color