09 May 2011

More interior pictures


I took a few interior shots since Paul the tile guy is out doing his thing on the heads. I put up the Wedi system for the shower stall and it seems to work pretty well. Instead of using cement board and a heavy built up pan Wedi uses closed cell foam board that has some kind of cement coating on it. This saved a few hundred pounds which made Craig Goering, the engineer, happy. The system uses Sikaflex sealant on the joints and anywhere there was a penetration of the board. Sikaflex is my second favorite waterproof sealant, it sticks great and doesn't allow any water penetration.

Here the Wedi is in place and the Sikaflex is all over the place.




Here are a couple of shots of the galley with the stainless steel counters in.  Duke bent the 14 gauge stainless sheets with a marine edge to make cleanup easier and besides it looks really cool.  Instead of just cutting a hole and bolting in a sink he fabricated the sink and welded it in.  So the counter top is seamless from the sink to the back splash.  The finish that Barbara decided on is a good one because if there are any gouges or cut marks I just take a sheet of 120 grit and a random orbit sander and it will look just like new!  There is so much stainless in this galley with the appliances, the counter/backsplash/sink, behind the stove, and the ss finish on the cupboards.  It is very cool and there is a lot of space to cook in such a tiny space.  Great design from Jeff at Abodian.  Did I mention that it is cool?

I'll try and get better pictures, the ipod thing just takes ok pictures.  Maybe Barbara will have to spring for a real photographer using a real camera.


Here the tile is in on the floors.  Barbara really went wild with the colors as you can see!  More pictures when the tile is done.

01 May 2011

Caratello hits the high seas! Farewell Lake Union Dry Dock - Hello Allison Marina

Sorry about the long time between posts.  After I went to Mexico I had to refinish my Mom's house so that I could rent it out and catch up on some things around the Bonney Lake house. 

I also had to carry luggage for the Admiral on a trip to Epernay where I was tasked with being her duty driver.  An arduous regime of driving from one winery to another to sample champagne.  Stopping at World War I battlefields, cemeteries, and monuments then slopping down at French diners.

Captain Heather is at the Helm of Bandit while
Captain Brian Campbell yells at me to quit taking
pictures and handle lines.


Cole Kiphart handling lines as
Caratello sets the special sea detail
I did work on Caratello since the last post so she was ready for sea, or at least Lake Union.  At 08:15 on 29APR2011 the Admiral, and her able crew, cast off from the pier at Lake Union Dry Dock enroute to her home port.  Hmmm, I guess I should get Barbara a Command at Sea pin now.

Brian, Kelli, and Heather from Campbell Maritime took tow on Caratello with the tug Bandit while Admiral Barbara and the deck crew of Cole and Dale Kiphart, John Lockhart, and Don and Heidi Blankenship took in the lines.  The two hours of deck seamanship in boot camp came in handy for me.

Bandit and Caratello steam past the Space Needle

Caratello with the Aurora Bridge in the distance



Caratello was a pretty sight as she cruised past the Space Needle and the AGC building.  Another nice view with the Aurora Bridge in the background.  You may recall from previous posts that the crane that launched Caratello was one of two that built the bridge in 1931/32.
Kelli lining Heather up with the fairway

I stayed behind and took the Jetta to the new berth where I handled the lines.  Here Caratello comes down the fairway to the marina.
Volga Boatman John Lockhart
Heidi, Dale, and John making sure
that nothing goes bump
All in all a very sucessful day.  Good friends and no mishaps.  Caratello is moored port side to in a very beautiful place.
A very happy Admiral B after the shake down cruise of Caratello.
You have the wrong coat on though.

Everyone that worked on Caratello had to deal with a project that was just outside of the norm for them.  An owner built houseboat of this scope isn't something that is an everyday project but everyone went with the flow and came up with solutions that worked and looked great!  Thanks again to everyone that made this a great day:

Lake Union Dry Dock and all the guys and ladies that work there
Campbell Maritime
Abodian Cabinents
Ballard Sheetmetal
Vaughn Mechanical
All Weather Rooftop
Alaskan Copper
Jim Roth at Columbia Bank
Dick Burke at Rich Haney Insurance
MotoInternational (the Admiral bought me a Moto Guzzi for Christmas!)

- Toby

14 November 2010

Time out

The boss wrote me a prescription for thalossotherapy, taking warm saltwater baths under pressure, for two to three hours a day.  So here I am stuck in Cozumel off of the Yucatan, forced to suffer through another cold November.  Water temperature at 120 feet was only 81 degrees.  I almost thought about wearing a wetsuit.

Before I left Caratello was riding nicely at LUDD.  Talking with our surveyor I am more and more convinced that the only way to do a project like this is to start with an architect and marine engineer.  Craig Goring designed a good solid hull to build on and Gene Morris with Barbara imagined a very buildable/livable home to go on the hull.  Even with some of the winds we had last month Caratello rode very nicely!  Maybe the wine ballast helped a little.

Got a new follower: Flaglermarina, who are you?  If you are in Florida maybe I can come down and we can discuss houseboat design and construction punctuated by dives on some of the wrecks you have.  I'm pretty amazed looking at this blog's stats that we have people checking in from Japan, China, Italy, Germany, Canada, France, Poland, Netherlands, and several other countries.  How the hell do they find this?  Maybe they are thinking about being prepared for global warming!

Here is the 27 pound wahoo we caught yesterday.  Seeing lots of eagle rays and turtles along with lots of colorful fish, gotta love thalossotherapy.

30 October 2010

Moved to a different part of the yard

Since Unimak is coming back this weekend we had to move back a little in the shipyard. We took the place that Ruby VIII had and Ruby is back of us now.















We loaded the appliances on Thursday. It was much more difficult getting them in the back of the green pickup than it was getting them on board. We hired some movers to come out and manhandle them from the garage to the pickup here at the house. When I got them up to the shipyard the riggers brought the crane over, we slung them with non-stretching nylon web straps (like truckers use), then swung them onto the back deck of Caratello where I had a ramp set up. It was really easy to slide them into place, even the 480 pound range! God I love machines that keep me from hurting myself. I got the primer and the first coat of paint on the galley walls today. Tomorrow Barbara is coming up to help me put the second coat on and get the place cleaned up.


The tin guys showed up like elves and fixed two of the four downspouts. I think I was down looking at the other houseboat when they showed up. Never saw them and they never let me know they were there. I'll have to call them and ask what is up with the other two spouts and the two other problems they left.





I found an older picture that shows my saw station on the second deck. It seems like it was a long time ago that I had a plastic sheet for a roof and no windows or doors.

17 October 2010

Playing in the mud and loading essential stores

Barbara had me pickup two more truck loads of ballast. Lucky me, this load was mostly rieslings, yum! There isn't any more room for wine now and Caratello has a noticeable list to port. I'll worry about the port list after everything is onboard. Right now it is just entertaining that the glass doors on the starboard side close on their own.



I spent the day taping the walls. I'm pretty sure that I got at least as much of the drywall compound on my shirt and pants as I did on the walls. Tomorrow I sand then put another coat of mud on the walls. I hope to get the walls painted on the first deck by the end of the week. I will feel like I have accomplished something and will be able to move on to the second deck.

Barbara picked out the paint color for the first deck. It is some shade of gray/green called "timothy hay". I still can't convince women that there are only about ten colors for men. "Timothy hay" and "persimmon" aren't colors and neither are "sea foam" and "taupe".




15 October 2010

No pictures today

No good pictures to post today. The caulker finished up with his work and he did a great job. Still waiting on Ballard Sheet Metal to come back to finish the drain spouts. They do pretty good work when they show up, it is just getting them out to work. "We'll be out tomorrow" seems to be code for "we'll be out whenever we show up if we show up at all".

Still working on the interior, I have most of the MDO up on the first deck and have started up the stairwell. Barbara says the interior is starting to look less like a construction site and more like a home.

Barbara is going to pick up another big load of "ballast" at the Garagiste tomorrow. I'm not sure how much more we can stuff into the hold.

Rodger Morris, the surveyor, came by and did an initial survey for the insurance company. He seemed to think that Caratello was pretty well constructed compared to some of the houseboats he has seen in his career. He didn't identify anything major that needed correction after crawling through the bilges and poking around for about 5 hours.

The plan right now is to relocate Caratello just as soon as we put the appliances on board in the next couple of weeks.

Next post I'll have more pictures.

11 October 2010

The push is on to finish Caratello

The tin men and the roofers are pretty well finished with the exterior. The only things that I have left outside is to add some cedar trim, clean up the stainless steel rail, and do some touch up painting.





Inside I have been puting up the wall board. I am using medium density overlay (MDO) which is plywood with a resin and paper layer on one side. It is about half the weight of drywall. As you know by now weight is the main thing that you need to think about when building a boat. Well weight, and holes that would let water in, and making sure that Barbara and Jim at the bank are happy.






I have also been working on the 12 volt system that will power the LED lighting, navigation lights, VHF FM radio, and a few other things. The battery manufacturer, Dyno Batteries, said that I should use golf cart batteries because they are less expensive and will work just as well, if not better, than marine batteries. Gotta like a company that is honest about his product, will save you money, and makes their product right here in Seattle.


I fabricated a mount for the raw water strainer then installed that big chunk of brass. This will filter water that comes into the hull through the sea chest for cooling. I had the pipe fitters at Lake Union Dry Dock put in the piping from the sea chest to the strainer. They used copper-nickel 2" pipes which will last a lot longer than the hull which, in turn will out last me. It has been an education learning about the different metals used in ship building.