Monday, November 17, 2014

Rainy day dreaming

(I am using this photo without permission it was taken from the internet)
Great looking houseboat!
The rainy weather has me inside and day dreaming about, you guessed it, boats.  As I have come to realize that weather is is my little house, my Vanagon, or my boats I love making little homes in them.  I do fantasize about building a small shanty boat or house boat that could tuck into shallow waters like the local marsh and just hide back there amongst the birds and fish and deer and such.  A shanty boat seems to meet that delicate balance between being out and exposed to the world but having some shelter too.  My sail boat does this well but it really wants to cover sea miles, that is what it is made for.  Sometimes I would just be happy to stay in a place for a while and watch the tide turn, the eagles nest and raise this years young, and the wind push the phragmites around.
Harry Bryan designed a SHANTYBOAT that is just about the thing I'd like to build.  The size is just about right and the character of the design lovely.  It defies the stereo type of a trailer on the water and is keeps it's boat nature in the shape of the hull.
Though this boat in the picture above is lovely it does not give the impression that it would move willingly or in anything but very calm conditions.  The SHANTYBOAT that Bryan drew and built looks as though it wants to move, a little bit, and I find that very appealing.
As I make the cabin of my fiberglass cruiser into a warm and inviting home I still can afford to dream about other boats and projects.  Dreams are free, mostly.
(taken from the internet without permission)
Harry Bryan's boat on the cover of WoodenBoat Magazine

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Warm cabin

Today it was work around the property, but when it came time for a break, and afternoon tea, I decided to go to the boat to sit in the cabin and evaluate and admire the work done so far.
The cabin was cold inside, about mid thirties fahrenheit.  No sunshine today to heat up the boat barn.  So I lit up the oil lamps and drank my hot tea.  I looked around at all the different parts coming together and enjoyed the atmosphere in the little cabin.  The dark wood, the deep green fabric on the settee, the tartan plaid curtains, the bronze and brass fittings and lamps, the light of the flames in the lamps, all of it coming together to make a space that feels as comfortable as a favorite sweater.
The heat of the lamps got the thermometer moving upward.  My eyes focused on the wood stove.  I have yet to make the new arrangements for the stove.  The new arrangements will drop the stove down lower and closer to the floor where it has always remained cold no matter what the temperature up at the ceiling.  The stove arrangement is probably next on the list.
I have not lit the stove since the boat has been in it's barn.  There is plenty of air circulation in the barn to allow for use of the stove, or so I suspected.  It seemed like a good day to try lighting it and finding out, after all I could just light a small fire and then monitor the air in the barn and if it was fine build it up a bit.  After all the lamps had warmed the place up a bit already, what ever the stove could do would only help.
The small fire was fine and though the barn got a tiny bit smoky when I started the fire, it cleared up right away.  This boat has a Dickinson solid wood stove.  The stove is fine for ornamentation but it is lacking for practical use.  The stove top is only 3 inches deep, and that makes it hard to fit a pot or kettle.  The fire box is small and  the stove is made of stainless steel sheet so it doesn't have much mass, a key feature for a wood stove.  Still, I can heat up the cabin a bit and the open front screen/damper gives a view of the flame.  Sitting in the cabin with the wood stove burning watching the flame in the fire box or the flames of the lamps made the place really quite wonderful to be in.  It is such a small cabin but on a cool or wet day coming down below to the welcoming space makes it all the better for it's size.
I wasn't going to stay long so I let the stove die down.  The cabin got warmed up to just above fifty degrees in the time I was there.  If I'd had a bigger fire going instead of just the little test fire I had I am sure the room would have gotten quite comfortable.
If I had it to do again, and the cost wasn't a problem I would probably get a SARDINE wood stove from Navigator Stove works.  I have a LITTLE COD from them for my kitchen and it is lovely.  The SARDINE would be on the large size for my boat, but just, and if I was willing to give up the port settee completely then that stove could be just great.
I will make the DICKINSON stove work and it will be fine, it is fine.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Table cabinet is done!

Today I installed the cabinet/shelf/table mount.
New folding table/cabinet.
The cabinet is made from oak shelving that I found discarded.  It is on the heavy side but not to a fault, just so that it feels substantial.  The back of the cabinet is paneled with the same wood that I milled down and put a bevel on the edges.  I don't have the means to make a tongue and groove joint, but the bevel seems to work fine.
The cabinet is attached to the shelf above it with 4 bolts and to the back rest of the settee with 2 screws. It joins all these pieces together and make them stronger.
The fiddle has to be stained and varnished yet
I will probably make a fiddle that goes half way up the cabinet for those times when sailing rail down.  I am still playing with the idea of making some doors to close up the whole space, but it seems a bit much for such a small space.
The new cabinet and folding table mount.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

salon table

Mocked up the salon table using the old table top.  The fit is great!!!  I am very happy to be using the same old top that I once used in this boat.
The new table position temporarily mounted up.
 I set up my boat dinnerware just to test out the fit.  It is great for such a small space and plenty for cozy dining.  I am thinking of making an outboard shelf/mounting surface for the hinges of the table that will have storage for utensils and cups or condiments.....
The table folds up and out of the way for sleeping, or, it can be taken completely away with the quick connect hinges.  Sweet!!  There is just enough room for sitting and is quite comfortable with the bulk head as the back for one person and the nav-table the back for the other.
View from the companionway.
This table is just big enough for two.
The cabin is 6'6" long by 8 feet wide.  In it I have no got a Navigation desk, a dining table, a proper galley with sink, stove and storage, a multi-use area/shelf that would be ideal for prep cooking, a wood burning stove, and two full sized sleeping berths that double as settees!  Instead of all these accommodations making the space feel smaller it actually makes it seem bigger, as if there are different areas to be in.  Weird and wonderful.

Next on the list is getting the wood stove lower in the cabin, about 9 inches lower and only about 4 inches off the cabin sole.  This will help a lot in heating the lower area of the boat.  If I could put the wood stove in the bilge I would.

The cabin is now a nice place to be and just sit and write or read.  Imagine how nice it will be when the boat is in the water!

Interior layout of the Bristol

After being out of the water for a while, five years now, I think, and not being willing to put her back in without having taken advantage of having her right here at home, so close and easy for working on, I have finally got to work on the interior layout of the boat.   I have wanted to "adjust" the layout of the cabin since I got her.  The design did not include a table for dining, and the icebox that it did include was not used as such, and a waste of space.  In my changes to the cockpit and my adding the cargo area, as I call it, I opened up the cabin to the space under the former cockpit and wanted to keep that access thru that was originally blocked by cabinetry and the sink.

Now, the navigation desk has replaced the icebox.  The sink is over the port side and the passage under the bridge deck to the cargo area is open and useable.  My thought is that a ice cooler can be used for food that needs cooling and for longer trips I can get an electric cooler (12v DC) if I feel the need.  This can live under the bridge deck and be moved to where ever is convenient.
The clamped in place, temporary stairs are a good fit, easy to use.  The nav-desk to Starboard, sink and stove to port
with berths below each

Port berth and galley.  The shelf under the bridge deck will serve as a cooking prep area.

The nav desk will have shelves outboard of it.

The lifting lid for storage underneath of charts and such.
The space is small down below on such a skinny 27 footer, but it is more than enough and it is also very cozy.  I have yet to add in the table, which will go over the starboard settee and fold up and out of the way.  I may get to that today.

I am pretty happy with the result.  Most of the parts are component and will be disassembled and finished with varnish before being finally fastened in place.  Now, I can retreat to the cabin and enjoy some time in a cozy space that is familiar and useful.  I may not be on the water right now, but I am still getting to mess about in boats.  The boat serves as a great tiny home/studio/retreat, even while on land.  The work on the cabinetry has challenged my carpentry skills a bit and made me a little better, I think.