30 March 2010

Tuesday 29MAR2010

Lots of wind and rain don't mix with trying to paint.  Caratello was tarped up yesterday waiting for the weather to be a little nicer.  I will go up tomorrow to see what has been done, they may have gotten primer on today.  Thursday looks like it is going to be a pretty favorable day for paint.

Got the motor mount put together and I will fit it tomorrow.  After that I just need to trim it a bit and sand it.  I am told that epay wood doesn't need anything on it and it will weather very nicely.

26 March 2010

Friday 26MAR2010

Finished up the painting that I had to do today.  Monday the welders will finish up a couple of things, straighten up a few places on the bulwark, and put the last touches on the stainless steel railing.

Painters will put on the primer coats on Monday and Tuesday then spray the RED on Wednesday.  The sign painter does his thing on Thursday morning and Thursday afternoon Caratello will be semi-ceremoniously dropped into Lake Union. 

Since Barbara has to work on Thursday I'll break the bottle of very cheap bubbly over the bow, ask the various and assorted Gods, Goddesses, and lesser immortals to watch over the little wine barrel.  I'm told that we will have a much more formal christening once we are at the moorage on Allison Street.  No alcohol is allowed in the ship yard and how much fun could a christening be without libations?

We are at a break point in our work so we get the weekend off.

25 March 2010

First Moving Day 24MAR2010

The riggers were busy yesterday moving Caratello from the welding table up onto blocks in the driveway.  Now the welders can finish the welds on the underside and when that and the final welds on the rails are done the painters can get to work inside and out.
I spent another long day working on painting the inside edges of the angles and the other places the sprayer can't get to.  Another couple of gallons of epoxy primer and a lot of twisting and stooping.

Spoke with the sign painter who will be putting the name and home port on Caratello's stern.  He suggested a gold lettering with silver trim to contrast with the "Crowley" red of the hull and to go with the nickle finish of the house. 
Alaska Copper and Brass Works will have the trim rings for the hawse pipes finished next week.  Not a whole lot of this project is standard and has to be made to order or made to fit.
The hull weighed in at just a little over 10 tons, that is a ton less than was calculated.  I wish I could lose 10% of my weight magically.  The upside of this is that she will draw 1/2" on her draft sitting a little higher in the water.  The down side is that Barbara will have to provide more wine to make up ballast and I will have to stow it.
I think I'll give my knees a rest today and just work on ordering the lumber package and getting more materials lined up.

21 March 2010

Painting and Pain - Ship yard style

Spent 16 hours yesterday cleaning and painting welds and bare spots on Caratello yesterday.  Made me feel like I was 18 again - chipping, grinding, and painting in the Coast Guard.  Trouble was I woke up with my 53 year old body that didn't appreciate crawling around in the bilge frames hunched over with a wire brush.  I didn't know you could wear out paint brushes, but you can.  I think that going through 2 gallons of two part epoxy paint with a 2" brush is the 11th ring of Hell.  Yes, I know that there were only seven rings but you try doing this and you will probably agree that Dante was wrong.

With medical reimbursements going down Dr. B takes on a side job. 

19 March 2010

19MAR2010 - Getting ready to paint

Well, I'm going to be a busy boy this weekend.  I have to clean and primer about 2000 welds so that Lake Union Dry Dock can paint next week.  Most of the welds are down below the main deck so I'll be horizontal with my wire brush, rag, and acetone.  After I clean I have to go over the welds twice with a two part epoxy primer.  Doing this by hand gets into the cracks and crevices that the spray gun can't. 

They are going to pressure wash the hull today, start on the stainless rail work Monday and Tuesday, paint at the end of the week, and launch her right after the paint dries.

We added a skeg (fixed rudder) to give Caratello better tracking when being towed and under her own power.  Speaking of power I need to get the motor up there and mount it before the launch.  I also have to figure out the ceremonial stuff, I wouldn't want to offend the gods of wind and sea.
The beams for the roof showed up and they are works of art.  I am really impressed with the fact that there are shops that spend every day bending steel into the shapes that the architects need.  From what they tell me these four beams were child's play compared to what they can bend.

11 March 2010

Thursday 11MAR2010

The bow got swung into place yesterday.  Pretty impressive seeing how the parts come together, almost like it was planned that way!  I provided a horseshoe to be welded into the bow rake and we will come up with some coins to put under the stern moment frame (since this is the closest thing to a mast that Caratello will have).

Not that I'm superstitious, but there is no sense leaving anything to chance.  I figure that the horseshoe will catch luck, and placing it in the bow will give us luck not to hit anything.  The coins are ancient tradition to pay Charon should anyone die while aboard,  I'm not sure what the toll is to cross the rivers Styx and Archeron these days, maybe I'll just have Barbara put an old credit card in place of coins.  I wonder if you can use frequent flyer miles to get into Hades.

I'm going up tomorrow to get some instruction on how to do shipyard monkey work.  I'll be cleaning all of the interior welds, stripe painting them, and cleaning up getting ready for the paint to be applied the following week.  When I looked yesterday there are a hell of a lot of welds holding all of the frames, stiffeners, and keelson in place.  I'll be spending most of next week crawling around in the hold with my wire brush and paint pot.

04 March 2010

04MAR - Barbara gets a look at the boat

No Ferragamo shoes, Fendi bag, or Gucci glasses for this styling boat owner!  It's strictly hard hat, safety glasses, and a big smile as Barbara inspects her new wine cellar, I mean barge.  I did get the measurements on the "cellar", it is 28.5" deep so that should be about 65 cases per frame and there are 18 frames less tankage and mechanical....  maybe 8400 bottles give or take a few!

All I can see in the picture, besides Barbara's smile, are all of those welds I have to clean and paint before the yard can paint the hull.

03 March 2010

03MAR2010 - Catching problems

Went up to the yard to drop off some parts, I got the wrong parts so it is back on line to find something that will work.  Talked with the guys on the project and they pointed out that there were no scuppers to get the water off the deck so it wouldn't pour into the house, not a hard fix but it got over looked in the design stage.  The other thing that was missed was an opening in the bulwark so that we could access the house.  It was kind of on the architectural designs but not on the engineering prints.  I think I will be spending more time down there so that I can see what else we need.

Having been a repairman most of my life I understand how important little things get left out of the big picture and the guys with the hammers and torches have to tweak things to make them work.  I feel really fortunate that the guys at the yard are so easy to get along with.  Can't get them in my pictures very well because everybody knows that pictures steal your soul!

The hold seems much deeper than I had envisioned it.  I'll measure it this week, but it looks like it is at least 30".  Barbara says that will be good, she can buy more wine and keep it in the hold. I'm just worried that we will have to have a small ladder to get into the hold so that we can reach the wine.  There should be a hell of a root cellar under the galley, more than enough room to keep the extra pots and pans.

Tomorrow Barbara and I will stop by and take a look around before we go to Sea Vert to clean things up after winter.

02 March 2010


Had a few minor glitches that were discovered early.  The yard found that the hull racked when you walk on it and needed the center line support that was in the original specs.  Re-design has a keelson (new word for me, means the same thing as a keel, but on the inside of the hull).  Everyone seems to be going with the flow and working to make sure that Barbara has a nice place.  If the houseboats that are on the lake are an indication Caratello will be hosting parties well into the next century, we won't but she will.

I have been working on the interior systems, tweaking them and trying to save some money where I can.  I am trying to offset the change orders that we are making on the hull and other steel work.

Ordered the tanks today from Ronco Plastics, nice people and everyone I have spoken with recommends their tanks.  141 gallons for potable water (a weeks worth for the two of us if we needed it), 141 for gray water from showers and sinks, and 141 gallons for black water.  That seems like a lot of poo to me, but it works out to about 200 flushes with the marine heads that we have.  Kind of appropriate naming it Black Water, maybe we could just shorten it to Xe.