Interior Mashup

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4 weeks and 2 days soaked and Rediviva has swelled tight. Really at 3 weeks she was pretty dry but we are comfortable now moving onto interior preparations.

For the millionth time this means sorting through and organizing our lumber. We ditched our lumber in multiple places before launching the boat because we just needed it out of our space in the boatyard SO now we had to wrangle it all together to assess what we have. My awesome parents let us make a lumber yard out of the side yard at their house. Garrett cut sticks so we can properly store the wood through the rainy season. We got our workout for sure. One solid day, moving wood into the truck out of the truck, from the bottom of my parents property to the top, and from inside the boat up to the garage. A summary of what we have: Oak, Locust, Fir, Cedar – Red, Spanish and Port Orford, Redwood, Wenge, Blood, Zebra, and more Douglas Fir.

Now that we’ve got that sorted out next was framing for the cabin sole. In about 2 days Garrett got the ruff sole finished. We’ll be planking the floor and adding the floor boards after we’ve settled on the rest of the interior layout.

“Building the interior is so much harder than building the boat…”Garrett confessed. “I’m not an interior designer. We can’t simply just use the interior drawings from the plans because the one thing about the plans we didn’t like was the very narrow side decks. Now that we have 24 inch side decks the interior Buehler had planned will no longer work…so we have to design it ourselves. There’s so many different possibilities and building the boat I had a do-this, do-that, to this measurement instructions but the interior is a blank canvas. It is NOT something I want to do a second time…or third..so the pressure to think about everything is exhausting.”

It’s been about 2 weeks of discussion; or more like staring at our “blank canvas.” In my opinion what got us out of that stalemate was going over to Peggy G (Tiffany and Tyler’s boat, our old boatyard neighbors) and taking some real-boat measurements. Garrett dictated to me the dimensions and I made notes then drew up the interior, upper picture to right. Peggy G is an Aries 32, a round bilge double ender, making her smaller than Rediviva but since we are hard chined our interior space is comparable. It was extremely helpful to see the minimum space needed for things like walk ways, tables, and seating. Peggy G’s walkway at midship is right around 16 inches and her salon seating is at 18 inches with a table only 16 inches wide, and the settee is 21 inches perfect for lounging. These measurements are much smaller than we thought we could get away with. From cabin wall to cabin wall Peggy G is 6 feet where as Rediviva is 6.5 giving us a little more room to work with. So our head will be bigger at 3 feet deep and 2’6” wide:

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Our head (toilet) will be on port (left side of the boat) with a full size bulkhead (wall) separating it from the rest of the cabin and a half bulkhead just inset front of the forward cabin face to divide it from the v-berth (main bed in the bow of the boat.) This full bulkhead is the first part of the interior, besides the cabin sole (floor,) that is one step closer to making a final decision on the interior layout. Like Garrett said earlier this is not something we want to do over and over again, especially when we start to plank and use finish lumber like Redwood, Wenge, and Blood Wood.

 

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We laid out our idea of the flow of the interior with sticks. A lot is still up in the air as we’ll continue to figure it out as we go but as the pictures scroll above:

Picture #1: Coming down the companionway, a good 2.5ft or so between the two-quarter berths and an 18-inch walkway between galley to starboard and engine box on port

Picture #2: Long counter galley (kitchen) on starboard (right side of the boat) equipped with 3-burner stove/oven (we already have) a fridge/freezer (don’t have) and sink (do have but might change)

Picture #3: Dinette seating with table. We were hoping for a U-shape or L salon but this is what’s most practical for Rediviva.

Picture #4: Port Quarter Berth. Extending under the aft cabin face it’ll be 7 feet or so long and wide enough for two. This will be for additional crew or visitors but also our under-way crash pad and where I can see us watching movies and having morning coffee.

Picture #5: Starboard Quarter Berth. Will be a single bunk, mostly under the aft deck so it may be storage when there’s no additional crew.

Picture #6: Looking aft. Companionway ladder will come straight down between the two-crew/passage bunks. The engine box may have the sink to allow more counter space for the galley. Box will be completely removable for engine maintenance. Partially, the last seat of the dinette will also be apart of the engine box.

Holes. Holes in the cabin ceiling. “It’s so hard to drill holes into the boat when you know she’s completely water tight and doesn’t leak any where!” Garrett said just before he lifted the drill overhead. I was happy to hear his reservations as there was a time I could’ve sworn he loved putting holes and tearing things off the boat… 🙂

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Garrett added another beam to the ceiling to support the full bulkhead for the head. The rest of the frame work comes down the cabin wall then he’ll construct some cross planks over the ribs (frames) to secure a vertical support for the bulkhead to screw into and finally along the cabin sole there will be another board for the bulkhead to secure at the base.

 

 

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We paused in the middle of framing the head because before we install the permanent wall Garrett had a good idea: soup the bilge. I know I’ve written about boat soup before but for those of you who don’t know boat soup is a sailor’s slop designed to keep their wood thriving. Each salt has their own brew. Garrett’s mix for this purpose is mostly Stockholm tar with linseed oil, to keep the wood saturated and protected.

This halted our progress for the rest of yesterday as it’s quite potent. I remember our second wooden boat, Bravata, how her bilge sparkled after her first souping in years. I felt this same pride now.

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4 weeks old as a floating boat and she is taking her first steps towards total completion. We are still waiting for all engine assembly parts to arrive but sinking our teeth into the interior is such a joy. The masts and deck hardware come next. Before long we’ll be waving at you from the bay under full sail!

~Ruthie

Engine Beds

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Now that we’ve decided where the engine is going to be it’s time to permanently secure the Westerbeastie. Resting on 4×6 engine beds wasn’t enough for Garrett…maintaining his “if it’s worth building, it’s worth overbuilding” mentality. There will also be angle iron runners. “What if we get overtaken by huge seas and Rediviva rolls…the engine has to remain on its blocks!” How can I argue with this guy???

We’ve also ordered new engine mounts (picture above on far right) so we’ll have the old ones for back up. Garrett’s also ordered some 3/4 inch rubber sheet that will be a spacer between the mounts and the beds.

The beds are fixed into the floors with foot long hot dipped galvanized nails in three places.

Lubed up with Garrett’s Boat Soup (mainly pine tar) the nails are hammered in.

Then the clean up crew.

The engine mounts aren’t in yet and nor are the driveline parts to complete the engine installation so we’ll have to move the engine one or two more times after this (but we’re getting good at moving it back and forth.)

The beds are secure and now onto the angle iron runners. Garrett’s marking the spots where the lags are going to go so we can take the runners over to Tyler’s neck of the woods and use his drill press to make the holes.

Some how this worked out perfectly: the aft floor is taller than the other forward two the engine beds lay on and Garrett wanted some sort of bracket to tie the runner into the third floor AND the over hang happened to be the right size!

We drove over to Tyler’s spot in the yard and using the drill press made the holes that will tie the beds into the floors a little more.

Then we did the same thing with the overhang for the brackets.

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All that’s left before fully installing the runners is to paint the steel. Tyler has some two-part rockstar paint that’s perfect for this. I believe the brand is Devoe, it’s an epoxy coating. We went in on a gallon together because we don’t need a lot and the stuff isn’t cheap. We also used this for our rudder fittings months ago.

Garrett’s been on the phone, on the internet just researching and filling his brain with as much information as he can about u-joints and the various parts that go into the assembly. We’ve ultimately decided to go with a driveline company that specializes in this kind of thing. Mostly cars; however this might be in our favor as we will never have 400 hp or be running an engine at 9,000 rpms so anything they create will most certainly work for our little 52 horse motor where 2500 rpms will be pushing her. The assembly as a whole will include yolks, thrust bearings, a shaft, spiders, and a coupling. I too, have been looking at diagrams and am starting to understand what it is we are doing. I’m looking forward to when we have all the pieces so I can better explain and answer my own questions. This is another experiment of sorts and I think Garrett’s got a very good idea of what he’s doing. More to come!

~Ruthie

Rediviva’s 1st Voyage

It rained for four days; with another 4 days following after the 2 day break in the weather we dropped whatever other project we were working on and decided to embark on Rediviva’s first voyage.

IMG_4588 No matter how big or small the trip might be you always plan ahead. My task, my beloved task as first mate, is to pull out the charts. I’ve so missed doing this! Together, Garrett and I check the weather and tides. Monday was going to be our perfect window. Light and variable winds, tide moving with us at high noon giving us until 3 o’clock before it switches around and works against us, partial clouds, and available crew.

IMG_4559So where are we going?

I have to give my mother credit. She is a match maker weaving all kinds of relationships. Even growing up she’d find me friends, I know that sounds like I was a lame kid and had trouble making friends but my mom loves meeting people, with no concern for age, and finding out their story and interests then hooking them up with other people interested in similar things generating conversation, knowledge, and mutual benefits. It’s a bit of a gift. Back to this story, my mom is in a book club and knows this lovely woman who has a private dock on the Napa River. She made the introduction.

Sunday, the day before, Garrett and I took the kayaks from the dock out to the river entrance to get our bearings. We pointed out landmarks, yellow tree and gazebo mark the half way point and the Italian gondola marks our turn in. After feeling confident about the surroundings it was time to figure distance and if we had enough time between tides to pilot Rediviva with only a dinghy lashed to her side and a 4 horsepower outboard. Making passage plans and researching all options is one of my favorite things. To me it’s like math, there’s always an answer. I found the journey to be about 5 nautical miles and even traveling at 2 knots we’d have plenty of time before the tide switched. Garrett, as captain, has the task of safety and making fast everything on deck. As I stowed and bungeed all below deck, Garrett set up our emergency anchors and fueled up the outboard. He rigged up a bridle for the bow and one for the stern and attached the anchor rode. This was just in case we lost power or steerage and needed to halt the boat.

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The captain, seeing all was good, pushed us out of the slip. Tyler and Tiffany, our old neighbors in the boatyard, were our crew. Tiffany helped me film and Tyler was in charge of propulsion.

The four of us worked so well together there was definitely talk of becoming a solid crew in the future, operating a 100ft tall ship charter company. Harebrained Sailors! That’s a dream for another time perhaps 🙂

 This movement marks a new chapter. We are out of the Napa Marina. When we launched the boat and got the slip it was understood that we couldn’t live aboard and couldn’t do any major work. This was okay as we needed a spot to keep the boat but eventually would present a problem as there is still so much work to be done. We could work on the engine and a few interior things but there’d be a point we’d need to look for another space because the table saw and sanders counted as major work.

Thanks to my mom’s extrovert personality and the hospitality of a stranger, we had a private dock to now call home. It was a wonderful day. The sun came out more than we were expecting and with plenty of beer and awesome crew there’s no place I’d rather be. At one point we turned the outboard down to a “high idle” so the trip wouldn’t end. There were shouts from the shore line, fishermen and homeowners, “what a pretty boat,” “sweet boat,” and our favorite “honey, look at that!”

All too quickly we passed our landmarks.

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Garrett leaned into me and said, “You’re going to take her in.”

I about yelled but it came out a squeak. I steered the entire way but had no idea Garrett was going to let me dock the boat! There was a time Garrett ran around and did everything on the boat. I don’t know if it was because he wanted to save me the trouble or didn’t want to scare me away. It might’ve also been because I didn’t speak up and say I wanted to learn but that’s changing. I want to be apart of this project and this boat not just the bank or galley wench. I found a love for hand steering and navigating. I drool over charts and am exhilarated by the tender movement of the ship as I push or pull the tiller. I’ve docked only two boats in my history and about a total of 4 times so it was a big honor to guide Rediviva into her slip.

The day had perfect conditions and with no wind to speak of we docked in slow motion, just about as easy as I could have it.

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The one concern with this dock was that it’s only 25 feet long. Rediviva overhangs by 10 feet. It didn’t appear as ridiculous as we thought it might. Since her stern has that recurve to the transom she looks “as cute as a button.”

 

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Now it was time to feed and drench the crew in libations!

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Successful passage to Port Davenport

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Parrel Beads

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Meet Charlie. Charlie is a fellow backyard boatbuilder. He launched his build in 1994 down the very same ramp Rediviva traveled last week. He and his wife started, like us, with the construction of a shed to house the steel Robert’s sailboat that was to become. The year was 1970 and in the backyard of their Napa home.

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Nearly 50 years later he’s shaking the dust off his father’s 1940’s lathe once again to fabricate boat bits.

 So what are we doing Charlie?

He starts by making square blocks out of the locust lumber we gave him. He then turns those blocks on his lathe to make dowels. Then he chops those dowels up into pieces. Back to the lathe he turns those pieces into parrel beads.

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He’s only done a hundred…

A gaff rigged sailboat works by raising the gaff up the mast with the peak and throat halyard (two lines) then making fast the throat you continue to haul on the peak to tension the sail. Unlike a marconi rigged sailboat (today’s standard configuration) which raises its sails along a track the gaff requires either hoops (photo on left above) or parrel beads (right photo), the later being what we’ve chosen. Charlie is spending his weekends turning beautiful black locust beads for us. Not quite sure how many we’re going to need, including some spares, but the guess-timate is somewhere around 300 or more.

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“How many do you want me to do?”

 

 

Thank you Charlie!

He places the round of locust with the grain orientation just so, so that the jaws of the lathe doesn’t tear or split the bead as it’s spun. Side A gets rounded and counter sunk then flip to side B and repeat. Then switch the counter sink bit for a drill bit and slowly clear the middle making a bead.

It’s so wonderful of Charlie to make these for us! It’s neat to be making progress on the rig before Garrett and I even get to that stage. Charlie’s hungry for more projects apparently because he wanted to talk belaying pins next! He’s an animal.

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Two handsome self-made shipwrights who learned by doing and saw their dream float. Charlie and his wife have some time on us as they floated off into the sunset years ago and logged some serious sea miles, we better catch up!

Settling In

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We’ve had two other boats on this dock. It easily feels like home already. Rediviva now has shore power hook up for the first time!

A smaller crew this time than her maiden voyage to the guest dock. It’s starting to feel more real now that she’s in a REAL slip. Almost like she’s a real boat! She just needs sails.

Our first project in the water was removing her temporary interior. We were happy with it as it served its purpose but it’s time to get serious.

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If she can’t have sails yet then we’re going to have to get her mobile under her own power another way. Oh yeah, she’s had this engine sitting in her for nearly 3 years. We got all the external gear for the motor complete before launching but it’s not plugged in. So the plan is to suit her up with a universal joint. This allows us to put the engine anywhere in the boat and skip the whole precision alignment thing.

Since we can move it anywhere this behemoth is going forward and becoming apart of the galley counter and the main settee.

Today was a lot of talking. We concluded to mock up the interior once more to make sure it’s where we like things. We moved the motor forward which took a little swearing and wine. Now with the motor more or less where we think we want it we can see what we have to work with.

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Don’t quote us on this but we are thinking long companion way stairs with the head to starboard and the galley to port. The engine will be under the counter that’s parallel to beam of the boat, width wise. In front of the galley will be a wrap around seating salon area where the other half of the engine will be under one of the arms. This whole “box” that covers the engine making the galley counter and settee will be removable. Leaving the engine in the middle of the boat (slightly to port) with free open access for maintenance. The rest of the interior is a little up in the air so we’ll come back to that at a later date.

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Our old neighbor and dear friend, Tyler, came to say hi and hash out some of the details with us. It’s always nice to have multiple opinions. Hopefully we won’t be doing the interior twice…or three times….

….like the cabin

Just for representation, the universal joint will connect the prop shaft to the motor. Commonly, the prop shaft goes straight to the back of the engine which requires a very exact alignment. The U-joint will help make this connection in a more relaxed way. Rolf will be helping us create this joint. It is something he’s done plenty of times before…on race cars.. boats are similar enough right..? This will be a fun new learning experience for all involved but we’re looking forward to trying something new and inventive. More to come as things unfold!