Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ice box removal!

This week past I got the icebox removed from the Bristol.  It took up a LOT of space and I never, well almost never, used it as an icebox, it mostly stored galley stuffs, plates, food...kind of an inefficient use of the space, and on a small, skinny sail boat, that could be considered criminal.

I had read an account of Daniel Spurr's removal of his icebox from his Pearson Triton, almost the same boat as the Bristol 27 in many ways, and he put fear into me about the project, saying it was difficult and messy.  I can only assume that Pearson and Bristol built their boats a bit differently from each other because the job was not to bad at all.

I took my time trying to deconstruct the icebox rather than just taking a cutting tool to it.  As I unscrewed the outer plywood structure the attachment points to the hull became apparent.  It was basically 4 large wood screws that went thru a bulkhead, easily reachable from the cargo hold(or if you don't have my customized Bristol 27, from the starboard cockpit locker, and making a cut in the fiber glass along the cockpit access hatch (10x12 opening).  I also had to cut off the fiberglass drain tube that went thru the bulkhead in order to wiggle the icebox out of position once it was cut free.

Now I have a HUGE amount of space at the foot of the starboard settee/berth.  I plan to make a chart table/desk in that place and in doing so increase the foot room for the berth.

Now I get to do what I enjoy doing so much, I get to sit in the cabin and stare and think and imagine and conjure and cogitate over what the new area and accommodations will look like, what they will do to make life aboard better.  I have the winter to do the figuring, and the building.  I have longer than that if I choose, but knowing that I have the time allows me to take the time to enjoy the designing process.  So, sitting in the corner of the port side berth, next to the wood stove, with a cup of coffee and a sketch pad and a dream sounds like a great way to spend some of the coming season, almost as good as if the boat were in a berth, floating, but not quite.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Remodeled galley

The new galley arrangement is pretty much in.  At least all the big work is done, the layout decided, the framing cut and installed and the test fitting of the whole thing.  I think I will be very happy with this setup.
The sink counter is solid wood, grainy and looks old,
but in a good way.

This set up accomplishes two things very well that I've wanted but up until now couldn't figure out how to get it.  The first thing is that I wanted a galley that I could really work at.  I am 6'1" tall and the boat is perfect for a person about 2 inches shorter than I am, but for me I have to stoop almost constantly.  Getting the galley along the port side allows me to stand with my head under the companionway hatch where a few inches of height is gained.  The sink is elevated so that it is at a good height for washing up or with a cutting board on top and I don't have to suffer a back ache.  With the sink elevated the stove top is in a sort of well about 6 inches deep.  This will add security to the cooking when in a seaway or the odd wake comes by.
Forward of the sink there is still room
to sit comfortably, with feet on the cabin sole
or under the sink.  The wood stove is just off the right edge of the picture
and will make this a cozy place to sit
The other thing that is accomplished with this set up is that the port settee/berth is still quite useable.  The sitting space is generous for one person and the berth is still very easy to get in or out of.  The raised sink keeps the plumbing from conflicting with habitation of the space.

I have yet to install the fresh water pump as I am reworking it.  It is an older style pump, chromed bronze, and quite nice.  I plan to install it forward of the sink so that it aligns with the drain and is easily right hand operated.
I am more in the mind of using small containers for water storage these days but this is a simple manual system and the tank is 20 gallons (I think) under the v-berth with access hatches to clean it out.  Pretty simple and I don't even have to keep the tank full to make it useful.
The drawer is yet to be put in place
and the trim is a project for the winter.

All the way aft, under the stove counter top, I have built and added a drawer that is about 15 inches deep, and 8 inches wide.  This drawer uses up space that is otherwise wasted and still does not interfere with the feet of the person in the port berth.  I hope to make the face of the drawer match the sink counter top, which is made from varnished reclaimed wood.  The wood was from a very old table I found in a trash pile.  Scraping away the 2 or 3 layers of different color of paint and sanding revealed a nice wood that is blondish with dark grains running thru it.  The facings, on the stove counter and the bulkheads are all stained and varnished Luan plywood.  I use it because it is cheap and uses exterior grade glue and has a nice red color to it, a type of mahogany I think, or at least it looks that way.  Using a stain I have got it to match the existing varnished plywood bulkheads pretty closely.
Two burner alcohol stove and original sink.
The stove counter is lower than the sink
adding a bit of safety for pots that might
jump as well as all the galley stuff.

The stove is a two burner alcohol stove which has served pretty well.  The sink could be deeper to my taste but it is what the boat came with and will serve.

It is good not to have to look at all that white/greenish/yellow formica counter top that spoke so strongly of the 1960's, when this boat was built.  Though the varnished and stained wood is dark it is rich looking and with the white paint anywhere the varnished wood is not the over all affect will be pleasing, I hope and suspect.

I have the cruising model but now with the galley along the port side
On the dinette model the galley takes up the entire starboard side.
I like my compromise better as I keep the port berth
The red area is the new galley
The purple area is the "hold" that is open to the cabin
and replaced the larger part of the cockpit.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The book shelf

While looking at my bookshelf wishing I could reread some of my library, but as if it was the first time, I picked up David Seidman's book, "THE COMPLETE SAILOR", and reread the introduction.  I will write it, in excerpts,  here for you to see and appreciate.  It is a good inspiration to read the rest of the book.

I have no permission to reprint this passage, but do so as tribute to this very worthy piece of writing. (Copyright 1994, 1995 International Marine, an imprint of The McGraw-Hill Companies)  

     There are more efficient, faster, and economical ways to travel on the water, but non as rewarding as when done under sail.  After many decades of being blown about, soaked, awed, teased and satisfied, each time I drop the mooring there is magic.  For thirty years it has stayed fresh and new.  Like a photographer who still gets a thrill out of seeing an image appear in the developing tray, it never ceases to lighten my soul when I realize that through cunning and skill I have tricked the wind into moving my boat.  There is nothing like it......Anyone can learn to sail.  That's easy enough........But there is more to sailing than...well, just sailing.  By its very nature sailing is slightly enigmatic and requires abstract thought.  You can't just press a button and go where and whenever you like.  it takes effort.  Which in turn necessitates a certain amount of involvement.  And this involvement is what being a sailor is all about.................A sailor is one who can handle a vessel of almost any type quietly and competently.  He, or she, can read the water, the current, the waves, the clouds, and even the smells.  The sailor, like any good craftsman, is at home with the tools of his trade and the elements he works in.  Becoming a sailor takes time (more than a weekend, I can promise), and it takes work.  But the time will pass all too swiftly, and the work will seem like pleasure.

I read this book early just after it came out and really enjoyed not only the writing but also the many drawings and sketches.  Somehow it seemed to be a great and practical summary of much of the other information I had gained by reading the many other books on the subject of "how to sail."  If your looking for a good refresher on sailing or to introduce somebody to the craft, I recommend this book.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

cabinet maker?

For the past two days I have been enjoying working on Waneeshee's galley arrangement.  My Bristol 27 came with the standard cruising model set up, the galley under the companionway athwart ship with the icebox to starboard, sink, and then stove to port.  Since I opened up the passage going aft so as to access all the storage space under the cockpit I have not settled on a new galley arrangement that made me happy, but I think I have found a set up that will.

I have taken the sink and move it forward of the stove on the port side.  This arrangement will leave the port side berth available, but the settee will no be only capable for seating one person between the sink and the wood stove.
The sink is elevated so as to keep the plumbing from blocking the berth and also to make the sink a comfortable working height when standing.  Because of the elevated sink counter, the stove area is now in a well of sorts and this will add to the security of the pots and pans and such.  With this arrangement I can actually stand up and cook,  which is much more natural for me than sitting.

Building the new sink counter was a new step for me in two ways.  Firstly, I am not using any power tools for the job.  I have been inspired by the many fine carpenters I have read of, and seen on videos on Youtube.  I am no where near the skills that these men posses but I can only get there by trying.  The joy of not hearing the whine of power tools is great for me and the extra time needed for each cut, for each hole drilled, and for every measurement taken is helping me to be more precise and patient.

So far this counter/cabinet is probably the tightest, strongest joinery I have every done.  No glue, yet, just screws and even so it is all solid.  I will use some glue after I have got all of the assembly worked out, then I will unscrew it all and glue it up and refasten it.

So far, all the materials are reclaimed.  I'd like to keep it that way, but I may have to buy a piece of plywood for the facing.

It is very good to be building again, and more so because it is the Bristol that I am working on.

Monday, August 11, 2014


She was once as much a part of me as any thing can be or has been in my life.  I think that if I'd known that she would be out of the water for as long as she has been I would have, instead of hiring a truck to haul her home, dropped the mooring lines and ran away with her.
She seems a distant memory,
but in truth,
she sits only fifty feet from me,
dehydrated and dusty
spiderwebs for rigging.

Video from April 5th recovered

I just recovered two video clips that I had made on April 5th, the day of the knockdown of Ventura.  The weather and river all seem pretty reasonable at the time of the videos, which was just about noon by the time stamp.  It is kind of weird to see the whole thing, in motion, knowing what was about to take place.

I took the skiff out last week for another sail, this time on my own.  The wind was a bit flukey but I was able to tack back and forth across the lake a few times before I decided to stow the rig and just float around for a spell.  I think I am leaning toward just using the skiff for a rowing vessel.  It makes it all much simpler and I don't really enjoy dinghy style sailing all that much anyway.  Along with this I think that I will concentrate on getting the boats that are sailing vessels in order so that I can get out on them.

Rowing the skiff is quite enjoyable and not having the added weight of the mast and sail rig would make the launching process all the easier.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sailing the new rig

We took the new rig out on Friday and it all seems to be working as expected.  The smaller sail and sprit are much easier to handle and seem more appropriate for the boat.  The rudder tends to float to one side or the other if left to it's own, but I figured that would be the case.  Having a rudder does make the whole affair a little more complicated but when out for longer sails will be nice.  The fore and aft tiller stick works just fine.