Monday, February 25, 2013

The Plover Project -- Life in the Boat Yard (Part 5)

Our Nature's Head composting toilet.
We had decided that we wanted a self contained composting toilet rather than a marine toilet with a holding tank and thru hull fitting. It took us awhile to get around to ordering it because it wasn't cheap so it was a tough decision to make. We have had it in use for over a month now and are completely happy with it. 
John Goodman arrived to help with sanding (again). We should be able to paint the hull this week if the weather cooperates.


Chris with the belt sander; it broke later that day and we had to get a new one. So far, we have worn out and replaced an orbital sander, a belt sander, and a drill. I'm sure most of our other power tools are feeling abused and won't last much longer.

I'm glad he's wearing the respirator while sanding fiberglass. Major was having a problem a few weeks ago with nose bleeds and we guessed it was due to inhaling fiberglass dust. The poor little guy needs a doggie respirator.

When the going gets tough, Major relaxes in the truck. He likes to hang out in there and we leave the door open so he can come and go as he pleases.
We got the rudder hung. I scraped and sanded off all the old fiberglass and it now has all new hardware.
New prop too, although it's hard to see it in this picture:

Food storage under our bed. All the cans have to be marked with a sharpie to show their contents in case the labels get wet and come off. We won't have refrigeration on our boat so most of our diet will be from canned and packaged foods.

I like this can, no need to mark the top, it's already labeled.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Plover Project -- Life in the Boat Yard (part 4)

The first of February found us hard at work (still) and enjoying perfect weather. The mud puddles are drying out and we are making good progress on the boat.
I discovered more rot while I was sanding the cap rail and rub rail. Luckily, it was right about where Chris was going to install the bow roller so cutting out and repairing this section is not as bad as it seems.

We go through a lot of sandpaper. Chris is sanding the hull in preparation for painting. At the end of the day, he looked like a powdered sugar donut.

We had decided that on the next rainy day, we would take an overnight trip to Galveston. We booked a room at the Super8 (so luxurious!), had a nice dinner out, and walked the beach. We also took about 5 showers and laughed at Family Guy on tv for 2 hours. Proof positive there is something seriously wrong with us.

I hope we never wind up like this guy. 

Boatyard Cat. She was waiting patiently for us to return.

It's not all work and no play.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Plover Project -- Life in the Boat Yard (part 3)

Life goes on at the boatyard. We've had a lot of rain and have purchased rubber boots for slogging around in the mud. Lots of rain means no sanding, no varnishing, no working outside. Plus, we can't work inside because we are trying to live in there at the same time. We have gone to the movies several times, read lots of books, and basically hibernated for several weeks.
The mud got worse after this picture. It was so depressing I didn't bother taking a picture of it. The mud got so bad that one day I remarked that I had seen cleaner pig sty's when I was a kid in 4H club.

Major enjoyed laying around inside while it rained.
It finally stopped raining and we had a forecast of 10 clear days. Look at that beautiful blue sky! Directv must have figured out that we don't have a tv anymore. I think they were trying to bring service to us :)

Our friend John Goodman came down to help put the fiberglass socks on the masts. He has been a big help to us and we really appreciate what he does. I am mostly unskilled labor so it is good to have someone around to help who knows what he is doing.
After fiberglassing, the masts will be sanded and varnished. I want the wood look for the masts so I am hoping they will look good with varnish on them. If not, I will have to paint them. They were painted originally.
We needed to bend some wood for the cap rail so we rigged up a steamer. We put the wood into a section of pvc pipe, filled the pressure cooker with water and brought it to a boil over our camp stove. The little hose leading from the pressure cooker to the pvc pipe fed steam into the pipe.

After a couple of hours, we took the wood out. I would like to say our steaming project was a success but it wasn't. We were, however, able to get the cap rail bent and attached without splitting. So maybe it helped (some).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Plover Project -- Life in the Boat Yard (part 2)

We are still living in our little tree house here at the boat yard. The song by the Eagles, Life in the Fast Lane, is stuck in my head, but I'm singing:

Life in the Boat Yard, Surely makes you lose your mind.
Life in the Boat Yard, .........

Here are a few pictures showing what we've been working on:

Fastening fiberglassed panels to the bottom:

Measuring so we can install the sliders for the companionway hatch:

Major likes the new hatch cover for the propane locker on the aft deck. There are about a dozen coats of varnish on it, all for his lounging pleasure.

Lots of scraping, sanding and varnishing to be done.

Newly varnished bowsprit, stripped and sanded masts.

The Plover Project -- Life in the Boat Yard (part 1)

After returning from our Arkansas River Trip, we were rejuvenated and ready to put "full steam ahead" on getting Plover back into the water so we could continue our travels. We packed our clothes and cooking gear into grey plastic tubs and moved them to the boatyard.

This is the way Plover looked the day we moved in. The first job is to remove the sunshade we had put up in July as the weather is much milder now and it is in the way.

Our flatbed trailer with tools and supplies:

This is the 3 burner propane stove with oven that we got from the Boater's Resale Shop for less than $100. It needs some cleaning, new knobs and one of the burners doesn't work but I'm sure we'll get it going. I'm already dreaming of fresh baked bread!

Sink to the left of the stove. This is the original sink that came with the boat. The bronze faucets were given to us by my Dad. There is one for fresh water, connected to our 20 gallon water tank, and one for salt water, connected to the unlimited supply of ocean water. Behind the sink and stove is an area for dishes and pots and pans. Under the dish shelf is a vented storage area for potatoes. There is a lift up panel for storage of dish towels and soap under the (small) counter area.

This is our new engine cover/steps that Chris made. I did the painting and varnish work. You can see our temporary toilet: a bucket filled with peat moss. It is only for "solids" as "liquids" have to go into a separate container. Our marine toilet has been ordered but has not yet arrived.

The forward interior is still a bit rough. I have lots of scraping, sanding and painting to do. For now, we are sleeping on our air mattresses and sleeping bags. There is a worrisome wasp nest that I need to deal with before I can start sanding. I love the way the varnished wood and bronze port lights look.