BITS and PIECES

BITS and PIECES

Here’s a little modification recap.  Mostly meant to provide additional security and improve independence for this and future adventures it was a big financial output this year but we can now untie the lines and feel we are well prepared.

Solar panels were installed to supplement battery power (story here, here and here)

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Solar Monitor

 And should we be fogged in along the Saint-Lawrence which is very likely this time of year, we have Gen the Generator to provide power at anchor for that much needed morning coffee (story here and here) and to fire up our little electric heater to take the chill out of the cabin.

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Generator

A word about fog…Ray the Radar will let us see what’s coming and going around us (story here)

The Dome

The Dome

Our boat came supplied with a collapsible camping water jug which we have now upgraded…modestly for now (story here)

15 Free Flowing Gallons

15 Free Flowing Gallons

Mostly esthetic, the Weather Station (story here) was added to give us an indication of changes in barometric pressure, temperature and humidity but the added benefits of having a safe place to store charts and navigation tools made it a step up from ‘pretty’.

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

Solar  Luci Lights will be used to supplement our mast light when at anchor.  Solar instead of battery power is always good.

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Luci

…and little ‘AA’ battery operated LED cabins lights can be used at night instead of using the boat battery.  Only thing missing in this picture is our evening cocktail.

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Cabin Lights

This  year we’re trying something new.  We removed all the bilge covers in the rear berth and found bins that fit securely into the depressions.  Lower priority items and less used are stashed at the back and the containers are small enough that they can be lifted out easily to access things stowed in behind.  Thanks to a great suggestion from our friend Beth we used large pool noodles to safely store fishing rods.

A word about balance:  we are very conscious about equilibrating load.  The weight of the extra 15 gallons of water port-side will be balanced with provisions starboard.  An eye’s view from land shows an even distribution and the onboard clinometer shows zero degree healing at rest and because the load sits low, the righting arm and centre of gravity should be at peace with each other.

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Improved Storage

This sack made of breathable Phifertex holds 2 sets of full foul weather gear, long underwear, tuques, gloves, wet suits and will be stowed below.  Everyone we have talked to says to be prepared for the cold.  Hoping this will be enough. And regarding cold, who wants to fall in the Saint-Lawrence River with near freezing temperatures?  Life vests with safety harnesses, webbing life lines along both port and starboard with tethers have been added.

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Foulies

Two sets of simple pole clips will keep our docking/locking poles secured and out of the way mounted just behind the companionway stairs.

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Clips for Docking Poles

What’s left?  Well I guess the only thing left to do is provision.  That’s a personal preference thing. What works for us won’t necessarily appeal to another. I’ve spent the winter working on easy galley recipes and there will be new ones posted from time to time along the way in Sea Salt Galley Kat. We’re counting on being at anchor more often this trip but as with previous years what’s worked best for us is to count  number of days away from supplying and add a contingency factor of +20% to allow for bad weather and unforeseen delays,  There are lots of places along the way to pick up supplies though.  Oh yeah, speaking of our bellies, we have our fishing permits.

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Permits

…and some super duper lures thanks to  Tim the Master Fisherman, so hoping to snag a fish or three and Francois knows of places where we can dig for clams.  We may freeze but we won’t starve.

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Scary Stuff

A word about internet.  In a perfectly plugged in world we would by now have an internet booster but haven’t we already done enough for one year?  It’s on the list of improvments but the priority had to go first to those things that will make us safer.  We did however augment our data plan which included a super deal from our provider giving us a new iPad mini which hopefully will provide more latitude with blog posting.  Will see just how great that signal is along the Saint-Lawrence.

…and last but not least is what we have been referring to as Little Red, our new-to-us dinghy.  Names have been thrown around, suggestions offered but Francois has come up with what we think is the best of the best.  In France if you order a glass of red wine you ask the waiter for a ‘ballon de rouge’ so don’t you think it very fitting that our little inflatable should be called…

‘BALLON de ROUGE’?  

So that’s it.  Next time you hear from us we will probably be on our way.  Feel free to stop by to check in on us.  It will be an adventure for sure.

WEATHER STATION

WEATHER STATION

Our weather station, chart/nav cache mod.

This is a project we’ve been wanting to tackle for a while now and even though there has been no shortage of ‘additions’ for R.E.D. this winter requiring modifications, what’s one more?

We found a great piece of white oak at our local lumber yard.  It’s really a very high end place and every time we visit we drool over the beautiful exotic woods…beautiful teak, wenge, tiger wood, mahogany.  They also supply all the bells and whistles needed for any craftman’s hobby from fine carvings and beyond.

But back to our white oak.  For last year’s wood trim project (link here and here) it was advised that if we didn’t want to mortgage our life away using teak that white oak was a great alternative as it is very resistant to moisture and was quite often used in ship building.

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Wood Cost

Really!  When you can walk away with a purchase for any boat and pay this little, it’s a good day. $10 for a piece that will serve this project and more than enough leftover for a couple more that Captain has rolling around in his head. The extra $10 charge was for plaining from 1″ to 5/8″ and cutting in two.

Our Go-To Wood Place

Our Go-To Wood Place

Now on to the making of…

We chose the piece that had the most attractive grain which will hopefully show up well when stained and finished.

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White Oak

Onboard R.E.D. there is always enough cardboard for making design templates. We do love our beer and wine.

Template

Template

Because we are cutting into an area which could have structural implications, a backing plate will be glued and riveted in place.  A secondary benefit will be to soften the edging around the fibreglass so we won’t cut ourselves when accessing the hatch.

Backing Plate Design on Baltic Birch Plywood

Backing Plate Design on Baltic Birch Plywood

 

Now we’re ready to go back to the boat to check that the template is accurate before cutting.

Door Front with Backing Plate

Door Front with Backing Plate

We had a little ‘discussion’ about the shape of the door – a conflict between Francois’ love of wood and my wanting to keep with the existing lines in the cabin. A compromise was reached (Francois’ interpretation: the Galley Kat won this one)

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Measure Twice. Cut Once.

 

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Holes in Each of the Four Corners ( 1.5″)

 

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Dremel to Cut Fibreglass

 

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Door Opening (5″ x 15″)

 

The foam core material was removed and relocated under our black water bladder, startboard V-berth.

 

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Hardwood Backing Plate

 

Backing Plate Riveted

Backing Plate Riveted

 

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Magnet Door Closure

 

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New Simpler Door Design (7″ x 17″)

 

The Finish (Primer, Tint, Urethane)

The Finish (Primer, Tint, Urethane)

 

Piano Hinge Secured w/ SS Screws

Piano Hinge Secured w/ SS Screws

 

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Hydrometer, Barometer, Thermometer

 

 

Chart Storage

Chart Storage

 

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

 

WEATHER STATION
 
What We Used
  • White pine planed to ⅝"
  • Plywood for backing plate
  • Cardboard for template
  • Barometer
  • Hydrometer
  • Thermometer
  • 16 x ⅝" SS screws
  • 15.5" SS piano hinge
  • Primer
  • Wood Stain
  • Urethane Finish
  • 2 Magnet Door Closures
  • PL Glue

BOAT MODIFICATIONS: Galley Access Hatch

BOAT MODIFICATIONS: Galley Access Hatch

Storage on any boat is limited

and ours is no exception.

Just accessing some areas is difficult and at times frustrating

so we decided to follow the lead of one of our virtual MacGregor friends

and order an access hatch.

The perfect place to start will be to install it below the galley
so we ordered the larger rectangular model.
23″ x 13.75″
If this goes well will consider smaller ones later,
but François knows that anything that makes life easier for his Galley Kat,
creates smooth sailing for the Captain.
…we used 3/4″ plywood (leftover from our ‘coffin’ project)…
…for a backing plate to add strength to the fibreglass
and to ease installation…
 
 
…once the hole is cut.
…tracing the template, measuring twice.
…because cutting once will be our only option, says my confident Captain.
…my Galley’s belly opened and raw.

Time to see if it fits…

…this Galley Kat is always usually a big help.
… a polymer glue added to the painted backing plate.
…perfect fit opened.
…perfect fit closed…
One more project completed,
making life onboard R.E.D.
just a little more comfortable.
…now to get on with the next job.