The last month has seen Peter build what feels like a million drawer fronts and cupboard doors. Of course it’s not only building them but also painting & fitting them. But it’s certainly nice to see areas being ‘finished’ off!
We also hit quite a big milestone a few weeks ago when we fired up the engine for the first time since hauling out. Quite a mission to fire up an engine that size while on the hard stand, hence the drum set up etc. BUT...all the hours Pete spent on the engine has paid off as she ran beautifully!
While the weather hasn’t been all that great we did get lucky for a few days in a row which saw us fit the last few new hatches fitted on the deck for the forward cabin. At this time of the year one certainly needs plenty of indoor and outdoor jobs - lucky for us we don’t have a shortage of either ;-)
While we are busy with finishings we got other projects moving forward at the same time. One of them was for the engineer to fabricate us a new shaft. There aren’t many jobs we don’t do ourselves so it almost feels like an added bonus to scratch that off the To-Do list.
We also started fitting the mattresses in the new cabins. Quite the process as each mattress needs to be cut to fit against the hull and around chains plates and beams. Finishing photos will follow in the next blog post but here are some of the various stages in the process.
More photos and updates coming soon xx
If you've been following us on Facebook you'd know we've been working on all kinds of projects over the last two month. After the painting was finished Pete started to give the engine some attention. New seals, gaskets, new hoses, new muffler & exhaust system, a service, the list goes on and on....
Besides the engine, some finishing jobs have been ticked off the list as well...bench tops on the Nav table and in the new heads/bathrooms, painted the cupboard doors for the new cupboards just to name a few. We've also decided to replace all the keel bolts and sent our shaft and prop off to be checked and balanced etc.
With the weather changing as we've entered autumn, we had to fill our rainy days with inside jobs and with the painting finished it was time to get cracking on the floors...
However on sunny days there are plenty of outside jobs to pick from. The Mast & rigging is one of those jobs. We've removed all the rigging, the spreaders, pulled halyards through and packed them away and inspected all wires and fittings as they come off. Needless to say the mast is looking bare...
This week Pete has started on the fronts for all the drawers and cupboard doors. They are made and mostly fitted in 'our' areas and will be painted and fitted in the next week or two. It already looks so different to see the fronts on the drawers without them being painted, we can't wait for how it will all look in just a few weeks time - finishing touches are always the most exciting and rewarding jobs!
Besides the boat projects we've been busy in our personal life's so my apologies for a lack in blog posts but make sure you follow our Facebook page as we always post progress pics on there - either way...watch this space for more photos soon :-)
At last all the hard work has paid off. This weekend saw us painting the last area inside the boat. We are absolutely wrapped. Come have a look...
First up the initial area as you walk past the galley forward with the engine room and generator box to the left and a double berth to the right...
...and some of the new forward entrance (steps not in place) and the new heads/bathrooms...
...this is the extra single berth/couch after the heads/bathrooms...
...and last but not least the forward double cabin with additional couch/single berth...
So watch this space as there is heaps of fit out about to begin...
It has been a busy few weeks in the last area of the interior. Building cabins, prepping and painting lockers under the beds, never mind glueing and glassing or resin coating, sanding and coving. It is now the last week of final paint prep before we will once again embark on another painting marathon ;-)
But we are happy with the decisions we've made in terms of using the space we have and quite look forward to using this part of the boat soon! Here are some pics of our progress starting with the forward cabin.
Looking aft from the forward cabin is another cabin as well as another couch/single berth. The extraction visible in the pictures is where the mast will be, hence no fixed floor boards or interior built there.
And then of course the heads (bathrooms) and double berth next to the galley.
So stay tuned for pictures of the painted last area inside - aiming to paint over the weekend!
2018 - what a busy start to the year it has been. We've taken the shed for the keel down, cleared the front 'workshop' and then began work on the last little speck inside the boat that hasn't been touched yet. But here are a few shots of the 'unveiled' keel and sandblasted keel bolts first :-)
After Pete had the main structure of the heads (bathrooms) built we did a bit of fine tuning and figured out where we could squeeze shelf and locker space and a few more cupboards evolved from there. So we now have a toilet with cupboard space below the benchtop and against the wall/hull. The other head has a shower with a seat, a toilet and plenty of locker space. There also is a double berth which can be a neat chillout spot close to the galley. Have a look...
And then it was once again time to clean up, sort through and move our workshop because it was time to attack the last of the inside. The workshop moved to the just newly built bathrooms and double berth area and we made a new 'to-do' list for our last area inside the boat - the area up front that we've been discussing for months what we should do...but as always it starts with a clean up, reorganisation and then the getting 'bare' part of removal and days of grinding!
Followed by building, glassing and painting new sole supports...
And then we glued and glasses the sole (floor) in and had once again a level platform to work off and it was time to do some more building. New bulkheads and cabins emerged...
up front there will now be one cabin with a double berth as well as a couch/single berth. Another cabin with a double berth on the port side with a couch/single berth just outside the cabin on the starboard side after the heads/bathrooms. All up including the double berth by the bathrooms there will be 3 doubles and two singles available for guests and quite separate to our main living area.
We spent today mostly glassing and started work on our Mast this afternoon. As the major projects inside the boat are getting less we are starting to tackle one of the last major projects which is repainting the mast. This will enable us to focus our evenings/nights on the interior jobs while keeping the mast job going too during weekends and daytime but - for the next two weeks we will be busy building beds, lockers and getting ready to paint inside...
Wow, I'm feeling just a touch guilty as I've realised it's been nearly a month since I updated the blog which I didn't even notice as I put a post on our Facebook page a few weeks ago and clearly got too sidetracked with Christmas and New Years to even think about updating our blog.
I hope this finds you all well and you've enjoyed Christmas with your loved ones and all toasted 2017 goodbye and welcomed 2018 with open arms. We sure did. While we still have a fair amount of work ahead of us, we are super excited about what 2018 will have in store for us. We will be launching Camara and set off for the islands once again. First time on this boat, however we have done this trip many a times before on our old boat and can't wait for the passage up, our first swim in the warm tropical water AND having fun in the sea & sun doing all the things we love doing and most of all going kite surfing every day and living the island life again!
But as I've just said, heaps of work ahead of us yet. Saying that, we have been busy inside while waiting for gaps in the weather to continue work on the keel which is now finished as well. If you are following our Facebook page you would have already seen her new keel all painted and finished, but for anyone who isn't on social media, here are some pics of the keel sandblasted, primed, faired, sanded and finished painting.
We are really stoked with how the keel has turned out and are equally happy to have been able to move on from this part of the project at last! Well, it was nice to be done with the dirty steel and back braking lead work, however this also meant to get straight back into the grinding to start tackling the next part of the interior job. The starboard diesel and water tanks. Having already done the port side we knew what to anticipate and how much grinding and dust was coming our way but it had to be done to start building again on the next part inside. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the tanks after the grinding and glassing was done but took some photos once the main work was done and the first coat of epoxy flow coat was on as well as once the tops of the tanks were glassed closed again.
We also once again landed up demolishing and removing the entire section of the boat so we could start afresh to build a more practical bathroom with a toilet, shower and to save space the vanity built into the cupboard space of the adjoining berth that will be built above the tanks. To accommodate guests and their needs, we also built a separate head with just a toilet and vanity. As mentioned, above the tanks will be a double berth with cupboard space, however this is open and not a separate cabin as such and can also be utilized as a daybed/couch. Here are some pics of the 'rough' initial built stage. As you can see it becomes more difficult to capture the area with my camera off my phone. I will try and capture some better photos with my proper camera once I get a chance but it gives you an idea of what we are doing. Once again, the focus is on simple, functional and hopefully avoiding any queues for the head (toilet) due to two separate ones available :-)
We've also done little jobs here and there that are hard to capture in a photo but are all the many little things it takes to get the bigger jobs done. It certainly has been a bit more challenging for Peter as well since we have taken down the shed and are more exposed to the elements, especially when it comes to jobs like the building phase when we need to cut ply and can't fit full sheets inside the boat anymore. Luckily on the hard he can still utilize the space below the boat, just a lot more dependent on the weather gods.
This is one of the reasons we have decided to postpone our launch until June. This means we can have everything finished when we launch rather than trying to finish some of the building projects while on the water. The logistics of transporting sheets of ply in our brand new dinghy and then cutting on the deck on the water don't seem very logical or time efficient. June also offers us a few more higher tides which we are relying on in order to launch at Norsand Boatyard due to our draft and the slightly unknown of where exactly she will float after all the modifications.
The plan is to launch in June, do some shake-down sails and then depart for Fiji once we have given all the systems a proper check over. While it is a month or two later than we initially anticipated, considering the size of our project we are more than happy to still make it this season and can't wait for the launch, passage north and living the sailing and cruising lifestyle again. 2018 - here we come xx
It's been a while since the last blog post and we are patiently waiting on a southerly wind to sandblast the keel but - we are still waiting!!!
Lucky we have so many other jobs to do that we don't go crazy just yet waiting for this change in wind direction! The 'break' from the keel meant we could make a move on the Nav station, setting up our batteries and solar power, as well as finishing off the lighting inside.
While this was quite exciting to see the switchboard jump to life along with the Mastervolt and Raymarine gadgets...it was also time to tackle the remaining interior while we are waiting to sandblast the keel. So yes - demolition time once again...
And then of course grinding follows the demolition phase before the rebuild starts. By the end of the weekend the new sole supports and bulkheads are glued and glassed in and the first area painted where the first part of the sole (floor) will be glued in.
While it is frustrating waiting for the wind to change, we are quite excited to tackle the last area inside the boat even though it brings back the much dreaded grinding and dust! Once again we have to give the next area some thought and figure out how to make use of the space. Either way - heaps to keep us busy (and out of trouble) and more building and photos on the horizon so watch this space xxx
It seems not that long ago that I posted the last blog post but looking at the progress since the last photos there sure has been a lot accomplished since! At the time of our last update, a lot of the fabrication was done with the keel still lying on its side. It was a big moment when we called the crane back to lift the keel upright and with that it marked the next phase in the process. It also gave us the weight of the keel since we cut down the draft (with the lead removed and most of the new steel construction on) weighing in at 9 tons.
With the keel upright it was time to finish the welding, build a temporary shed and start melting the lead we removed as well as the additional lead we purchased to meet the requirements of the new keel design. As you can see in the pictures, Peter packed blocks of lead in the 'compartments' and then melted the remaining lead and poured it over and around it to fill all the air voids. Pete's never done so much 'cooking' in his life than he did in the last few weeks sitting in front of his gas cooker with his big pot melting 5-6 tons of the lead he'd just removed from the bottom of the keel as well as nearly a ton of additional lead. Completed, the keel will be weighing approximately 15 tons.
After the new bulb/wing was filled with the lead it was time to cut and weld the top plate on. Once the plate was on and Pete rounded the edges it started to look like its all coming together. All the weeks and weeks of Peter's hard labor paying off!!!
The next steps are to finish any welding and remove the paint on the other side before it will be time to sandblast, followed once again by painting, fairing and more painting. So it is yet a little while before we will focus on a new project but this has been a major project on its own and the hardest part of it is over now.
On another note - We've also received our new clear screens for our aft cockpit not long ago which has transformed it into a nice comfy dry area. The guys from Canvas and Covers Whangarei have certainly done a great job! We've also bought an early Christmas present and added an awesome new Magma BBQ to Camara's inventory - exciting! Check it out xx
It's been a miserable and back breaking job for Peter over the last few weeks but the last of the lead has been removed. In order to reduce the draft by 1.2m we had to remove all the lead from the bottom of the keel, which has been quite the task considering all the steel framework inside the keel. Many many hours of cutting steel with the grinder, cutting the lead with the chainsaw, hammering and splitting off blocks of lead and at last the final task to break your back - carrying the heavy blocks of lead away. Needless to say this has been a back breaking job and certainly one of the less enjoyable ones but it had to be done and we will be able to re-use the lead for the bulb. Here are a few pics of the process...
Once the last of the lead was removed, the final cut was made and with the help of our 4WD we literally drove the bottom of the keel away. Peter then focused on having a clean and straight line and plumb bottom surface in preparation to fit the bottom plate on. With the bottom plate in place it was time for the extension fore and aft and the framework for the bulb and steel plates is what keeps Peter currently busy. Yet again not the nicest of jobs but at least it's a turning point of starting to build again rather than removing and cutting out.
When we first thought of reducing the draft we looked into different options such as bolt-on bulbs and looked at different keel designs that have hauled in the yard as well as some designs like the keels of the AMEL's. As always it is a compromise on what is fairly easy to build, cost-effective and functional and this is how this keel modification was born with the guidance of a keel plan the original designer provided us with in regards to how much extra lead we require etc. After all we do want to make sure we don't lose traction upwind and certainly want to ensure that she rights herself despite the shorter keel. Kevin, one of the engineers in the yard has been most helpful and regularly checks on our progress and the direction the project takes which is always reassuring and great to have someone else's brain to pick along the way.
We have been fortunate with the weather which has been really good this last week and allowed for progress on the keel but on the odd day that it was drizzling or raining a new 'inside project' has emerged that is the next in line to get done and a good one to keep busy with on the less favorable weather days...the Nav station. Exciting to be planning where all our instruments and switchboards will go even though of course the keel is our main priority at present!
So as always, watch this space as we are making progress on the keel and depending on the weather potentially even the Nav Station :-)
The Keel project - the next job on the 'To-Do-List' and certainly one of those dirty and dreaded jobs. Peter's been having loads of fun cutting through the steel and chopping out the lead. Reducing the draft by 1.2m involves removing the lead, cutting down the keel, extending the keel fore and aft, building a bulb and re-using the lead we recover and some more...
One of of those back breaking, dirty and strenuous jobs for sure!!! I still believe we should be sponsored by Ibuprofen and Deep-heat :-)
But as some may know we have a tendency to get stuck in projects...a Refit on our old boat while having a new born, building a house next to full-time jobs or perhaps rebuilding an 80ft maxi...we thought after 5 years of working 7 days a week we deserved a little break and so we took a few days off to spend some time at the beach and by the ocean to recharge our batteries and focus on the final push ahead of us to finish this project and go cruising again!
So stay tuned as we once again get ready to push hard - we are certainly amped - can't wait to be living the dream again!!!