25 April 2010

A couple of more walls and a problem

Got the port galley wall up this morning and discovered that the moment frames (the steel goal posts) aren't square. It seems like the aft one is off by about 1 1/2 inches in 8 feet so it tilts inboard a little. Measured the other side and it has a similar problem. I'll talk with the yard tomorrow, I'm sure that it isn't a huge problem. I also got the starboard living room wall up, I find that I can muscle around a 12 foot section of wall by myself but anything bigger would be a problem.

It is nice to get some definition to the place.  With the walls starting to come together you can really tell what the space will look like.

A kayaker paddled by today and we talked for a while.  He said that it looked like a labor of love, I suppose he is right!

24 April 2010

Walls are going up!

Well ok, it is only half of one wall today.  This is the port side first floor living room wall.  Tomorrow it will be the front doorway and the port side galley wall.  With any luck and concentration I will get the starboard side wall up this week too.  With some temporary steel work in the way I am finding it easier to put the walls up unsheathed and I'll add the exterior plywood later.  I'm having to put the wall up then slide it about 4 feet into place.  I hope that tomorrow is as nice of a day as it was today, no rain makes it so much nicer to work.

23 April 2010

Going Vertical.... finally!

There aren't any pictures to post right now.  I have been working on getting the mud sill in place so that it is water tight.  Since I needed to have a few dry days to do this things have been going slow, but I finished yesterday and started going vertical. 

I went through a lot more of the 3M marine adhesive/sealant than I had planned on but I really want to make sure no water gets past the sill.  Once the goo cures I will dam up the deck drains and put water on the weather deck (kind of like making a moat!).  That way I will be able to check the water tight integrity of the seal.  As much of the stuff that oozed out I really doubt that I will have a problem, but better to find out now than next winter.

I'm taking the day off to pick up more bees for the Bonney Lake house then back to Caratello Saturday and Sunday.

14 April 2010

We have wood!

It's always nice to get wood on a warm spring day. Dunn Lumber delivered a couple of grand worth of lumber for the first deck framing this morning. I started puting the treated lumber down for the base of the walls, using treated 4x4s for the mud sill/combing all around the perimeter. The 2x4 walls will sit on this just like the mud sill on a concrete foundation. We are using a specially treated 4x4 because this is also acting like the combing on a ship to keep the water out of the boat. The 4x4s are being bedded in 3M 5200 adhesive sealant which, I am told, you better know where you are placing things before it sets or you will NEVER get the stuff off. In addition to the 5200 we are through bolting every 16 inches with half inch stainless steel bolts. The materials and method of fastening should make these walls last much longer than I will last!

I purchased a construction laser for another job last year and put it to good use today. With the steel deck coated with non-skid it is impossible to snap a chalk line to make sure that everything is straight. But, since the moment frames (goal posts) are the reference point all I had to do was aim the laser so that it was just touching both moment frames then I went down the line at every bolt hole and made a mark where the lazer lined up.

One of the guys thought it was pretty funny that I was using a laser for aligning wood that I cut with a hand saw. Hey, it is easier to use a hand saw for what I was doing than to set up the power tools to do the cutting. However I will be doing most of the cutting with my power saws.

I hope to have parts of walls up by the end of the weekend.

11 April 2010

Now this is a drill, this is a drill...

Dick hard at work repainting the name and home port on the houseboat. 

I spent the weekend drilling holes to bolt the first floor walls to the deck.  76 half inch holes takes a long time through 1/4" steel plate.  After this weekend I swear by a tool called the drill doctor,  after about 6 holes the drills needed sharpening and the drill doctor put a quick edge on them.  It paid for itself just on this one project.  I am also glad that I picked up a really good half inch drill motor, this one is designed for punching out big holes in heavy material.  The motor runs slower than a regular drill and it has two long handles so that you can deal with the high torque.  It was about half price since it was refurbished, another tool that paid for itself this weekend.

Went through and primered where all the holes are and where additional welds were made, I'm not sure if I will ever finish painting primer on things.  All the guys in the yard tell me that no one ever kicks themselves for puting too much primer on their boat.

I'm at the point that I can start puting walls together when the lumber package arrives.  One hold up might be that the header* lumber that the lumber yard offered might not be the same as what the engineer specified.  I should find out on Monday if they are the same but with different names or if we have to find another source for those pieces.  The window span is 10 feet so there is a lot of weight from the second floor and the roof that will be carried by the headers.  Even if it holds things up a week it is much better to find out now than sometime down the road when stuff starts sagging.

Lots of people out on the water yesterday and today.  Several stopped by and were curious about what we were building.  The general comment was that it is really red. 

With any luck by next weekend there will be something more than steel to show and talk about.

* a header is the beam above a window or door that distributes the weight above it.  The ends of the header sit on trimmers which are studs.  Not quite as cool as an arch, but it accomplishes about the same thing.

08 April 2010

Build the pie higher! 8APR2010

The moment frames (goal posts) went up today and I put the obligatory coins beneath what counts as the mast. Tradition has it that you need to have coins for Charon the boatman so he will ferry your soul across the rivers Styx and Acheron if you die onboard. I figured that putting a US Dollar coin, a 10 Peso coin, and a Euro under the starboard forward post would work. I was going to put a credit card under there but figured that since they were welding the posts in place it would just melt or catch fire.

Ordered half of the lumber package this afternoon and it should arrive on Wednesday.  I'll be busy getting things lined up and ready to start banging nails until then.  I have 70 half inch holes to drill in the deck to bolt the sill plate to and I have to figure out how to work around some of the temporary steel work that is needed to keep the moment frames in place until the walls are up.  Unfortunantly the extra steel is right where I need to have an open area to raise the walls into.  Dan, the carpenter at LUDD gave me some good ideas that should work out.  His idea is that I can build the walls in smaller sections that can be put into place instead of building one wall that is tilted up. 

I really have to give credit to the guys in the metal shops at Lake Union.  The work is second to none and everything is square and true.  Bill and Larry said that everything was measured multiple times before anything was done and it really shows.  The curved beams from Albina Pipe Bending http://www.albinapipebending.com/Default.aspx is metal sculpture.  The bends are smooth and clean and the welds show real craftsmanship.  To make things even nicer the steel beams are just about the same price as a comparable gluelam would be.  Click on their link and watch how they bend steel beams, not quite as romantic as the flame bending that was used on the Space Needle's legs,  but still pretty impressive.

05 April 2010

Launch of the Caratello - She floats!

Caratello is officially on the water.  The crane picked up the little red boat and set her down just forward of the State Ferry Yakima.  Without the house she is only drawing about 8 inches of water so the propeller is just barely touching the water.  Lake Union Dry Dock's yard tug pushed Caratello around the end of the pier and snugged her up to her new temporary home on the south side of the yard.  As bright red as she is it is easy to spot her from South Bound I-5, one of the guys in the yard said the sea planes will probably use her as a turn point now!

04 April 2010

Happy Easter

Another day of wind and rain.  Met with the sign painter who was pretty discouraged that his work was not salvagable due to the paint chips that were blown onto the new work.  He said in all of his years he hadn't had his butt kicked by wind, but there it was.  He is going to call LUDD on Monday to make suggestions which sound like a new coat of red and redoing the name. 

The tarp covering the barge abraded the red paint in places as it flapped against the hull.  It looks like the cover coat is taken down to the primer in a couple of places.  Kind of discouraging, but at least it looks like it is all above the water line so they still may be able to swing Caratello into Lake Union tomorrow.

Got the motor installed and it looks like it is just where it needs to be as far as where it sits in the water.  There is full range of motion port and starboard and it tilts all the way without hitting the deck.  It is a pretty small power plant for the size of Caratello, but she isn't designed for watersking behind.  The skeg that we added should make her track better too.

Sunday Barbara has to work so I'll go up and install some of the fittings and start putting in the parts for the bilge pump system.  My Easter Egg hunt today will be finding the four bronze 1" through hull fittings that I bought a month agao.  I am going to put in four Johnson 1600gph bilge pumps, one in each corner, piped into 1 1/2 inch black plastic drain pipe.  From what I have found this should handle a 2" hole just below the waterline.  This would take care of the flow from a failure of the 2" seachest which is the worst case scenario that I can think of.

02 April 2010

Friday 2APR2010 - Really red and ready for launching!

Caratello has her name painted on and she is ready to launch, she is a very nice shade of red with dark gray non-skid decks,.  I'm not sure if it was because of the heavy rains and winds that she wasn't launched today or if it was because of the old superstition about launching or starting a voyage on a Friday.  I think the bad luck would have been multiplied by the fact that today was Good Friday.  Maybe the powers that be saw that Caratello was ready to launch and sent the storms to delay the launch.  What ever the case she will be put in the water on Monday.

It was hard getting good pictures because she is still under a tarp and there room to step back for a shot.  The flakes on the paint job are dried chips that fell off of the tarp and got on the hull.  I was a little concerned but found that they brush right off and leave a nice gloss finish underneath.  Tony and the rest of the paint crew did  a great job and the non-skid on the deck is some of the nicest I have ever seen. 

The stanchions in this picture are just part of the temporary cover and will be disappearing on Monday.

The moment frames are welded up and just need a couple of coats of paint before the riggers set them and the boilermakers weld them in place.  These are pictures of the aft section, this will be the framing for the kitchen entrance and the second deck guest stateroom.  
  I need to find out what kind of metal magic these guys performed to get the arch of the eyebrow as well as following the curvature of the supports.

Picked up the parts for the bilge pump system today.  I will be installing the through hull fittings tomorrow as well as setting a couple of deck fittings.  The other thing that needs to go on tomorrow is the propulsion plant.  I thought that sounded better than saying I was throwing the outboard motor on the stern!

Somewhere under this pile of plastic is Caratello