First Bulkhead and Seat

We’ve had bulkheads in the boat before but this feels real. Garrett constructed the template and we finally got to pull out one of the sheets of ply we’ve been sleeping on to cut out our first bulkhead. 5 sheets of plywood have been resting inside the boat under our sleeping pad in the v-berth since the final cabin walls went up. Garrett thought it would be useful to have several full sheets inside the boat for when the time came to build the interior.


A bit cumbersome…

Our cabin is about 6.5 feet wide and almost 16 feet long so the 4×8 sheet of plywood took up more than half our working space but this allowed Garrett to make the bulkhead in nearly one whole piece. If he’d cut from a sheet outside the boat there’d be no way to get it through the companion way. The head bulkhead comes out from the cabin wall 3 feet and with our 2 foot side decks Garrett needed to make a foot wide spacer piece. It’s much nicer to have a seam under the side decks than straight down the middle where the bulkhead would be no longer a decent structural member of the interior.

Now to visualize.

And make a bulkhead appear.


The spacer piece will be behind cabinetry and the whole bulkhead will later be paneled in beautiful western red cedar.


After the bulkhead was secure Garrett moved onto the forward settee of the dinette.

He dismantled the template for the bulkhead and reused the pieces to construct the face of the settee. This will be the forward seat of the dinette which is a lot like a picnic table. It will seat 4 comfortably but I’m sure there will be nights where we squeeze more.

We have more plywood up in the garage so this is when Garrett carries the templates for the smaller jobs from the boat up to the house.


Getting our head right and setting up proper work space is key. Thanks to our host we have and awesome area out of the weather to work. I’m so grateful to have my space inside where I can edit videos especially while most of the interior work is single handed. It’s so nice to still be close by if Garrett does need a hand or if I need a break I can always go film or oil something.

Home Depot is a 5 minute drive away as well as the grocery store. Our favorite burrito spot is a 5 minute walk around the corner and on long work days when we don’t feel like cooking dinner there’s a Chinese restaurant that makes incredible hot and sour soup too. It’s important to remind ourselves how fortunate we are. I feel extremely blessed to be where we are. The drive to get sailing is still as intense as ever because we are NOT land people. It’s great to have the supplies and amenities of society but Garrett can’t wait to catch our dinner! To be free and self-sufficient isn’t the easiest because you have to be capable of handling obstacles, sometimes with little to work with, find happiness in small things, and work with your partner. I feel lucky here too. We’ve never had a whole lot and our tools definitely could manage an upgrade but I find myself happy even with the little things. Garrett works so very hard and is extremely inventive in problem solving. Even in our heavy weather sailing history we’ve never argued. We know our roles and we respect each other. Building this boat has at times felt like one big squall after the next but I try to find the best in everyday.

The day concluded with the rest of the framework for the settee and the inner floor complete with a hatch to the bilge.


There will be a raised floor between the two seats of the dinett

Garrett was a little perturbed at how long it took him to complete a relatively simple days work. It is hard because the mind is so very active it’s exhausting while the body is just plain exhausted. These last years of building Rediviva into the boat she floats as today has taken a lot. Much more than time or money but energy. Garrett’s often joked that he was 23 when he started and now is 53. Funny how four years can feel like thirty. BUT cruising/sailing has a way of turning back the clock so we’ve got that to look forward to. It’ll all even out. Right?


 I drew up the interior as it stands currently. I messed up on the angle of the cabin walls, it’s actually the opposite and angled in at the bow. Our side decks are also bigger than the representation drawn, they are 24 inches, but this will give you an idea of the layout. So Garrett’s completed the forward full bulkhead that is the wall separating the head and the dinette. The first half (the forward seat) of the dinette is mostly finished. Today, Garrett’s big hurdle is constructing the engine box. It has to be completely removable and half of it is apart of the aft seat of the dinette and the other half has to be a high enough of a counter for the exhaust elbow to fit underneath.


I wish I could send elves or gnomes in the middle of the night at take away all the rest of the work left. The only way out of it is to go through it, I guess. So much is done! She’s in the water! This is of little solace for my partner when his post-launch list is bigger than the pre-launch list; and it grows daily. We press on. The next video will be out on Tuesday and tomorrow the sun will come out, this I know  🙂


6 thoughts on “First Bulkhead and Seat

  1. I know how you feel! I bought an English narrowboat six months ago, as my home. It was livable, but not finished, and I’ve spent much of those six months fitting her out… New wiring, new plumbing, new interior.. I was 53 when I bought her, and some days feel 83! Just keep focused and you can achieve your dreams… And you’ve done an amazing job so far!


    1. Thank you Matt! You too!!!
      Oh the fresh love of getting into a new boat’s (new to you) projects haha It’s exciting though isn’t it? Even when you have tough days there is a joy in fixing and making your boat right, making her yours.


  2. As always, I’m so impressed with your progress. I certainly understand your frustration. My latest project is the building of a new “bunkie” up at our little camp in the mountains, but we just had a foot of snow… So for now we just have to enjoy the winter and keep planning the build while we await spring. All the best to you both.


  3. So much progress…you guys are killing it! Is the engine sitting in its permanent(ish) location? I’d have thought that you’d want it on the center line if only for weight distribution purposes. Maybe there will be something over to starboard offsetting it? Anyway, awesome work…you two are the best!


    1. Thanks Roger,
      Yeah, the engine is permanently in place! Nothing yet to starboard but we’ve yet to add the internal ballast and since Rediviva is such a heavy girl a little extra weight to port hasn’t effected her balance. As we add the rest of the interior we’ll be able to straighten any odd lean with the extra ballast to come. As of now that ballast will be the same construction as the external ballast, concrete and scrap iron. This is also why there aren’t any limber holes (for water drainage at the base of the frames) because we will be pouring concrete into the bilge later to even her back to her lines if need be.
      Thanks for writing 🙂


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