Calliope Girl 74


Calliope Girl, an S&S 34' Sloop


October 2023 – (Ongoing)


Project Scope:  Rebuild interior to incorporate various changes

Begin Daily Project Logs

February 28, 2024

Calliope Girl 74


After the usual prep and light sanding of the fresh fiberglass securing the top on the propane box, I laid out and then cut the access port.

In the cockpit, I worked out the final layout and positioning, then cut a small hole through the molded seat to help me align the box from beneath.  I’d been thinking about the box installation, and decided I could enhance the bonding of the box to the boat if I also bonded the front of the box to the inside of the cockpit as well as the top, so once more I descended upon the quarterberth locker with sander in hand to remove the paint from and prepare the face of the cockpit well from within.  The plywood bulkhead closing off the cockpit from beneath extended all the way up to the top here.

After cleaning up, I test-fit the propane box from beneath.  I found I could prop it up sufficiently from within, then grasp it from above, through the opening, and pull it into position, securing it with clamps.  Once I did this, I made a minor adjustment to the position from beneath till I was satisfied with where it ended up.  I wanted the top opening to be as far aft as possible without it–and its eventual cover hatch–interfering with the structural supports of the wooden hinged cockpit seat above, and also had to ensure there was room for the opening given how the width of the seat  tapered severely aft.

To help support the box, I cut and attached a wooden cleat beneath.  I secured this to the prepared bulkhead with epoxy adhesive, and some hot glue to hold it while the epoxy cured.  While the box was still clamped in place, from above I reached through the opening and traced the outline of the actual access port in the top of the box onto the underside of the cockpit.  Then, after removing the box, I drilled small pilot holes from beneath at each corner, which defined the opening from above and allowed me to make the final cutout.

Down on the bench, I worked to prepare the final details of the box and propane installation, including installing three gas-tight through-box fittings for the pair of propane supply lines (stove and cabin heater) and the wiring for the solenoid.  These would be accessible after the box was installed, so for now I awaited the final installation till the box was in place and I’d finished up any painting.

I also installed the box drain/vent fitting in the bottom, securing it permanently with sealant.  Once the box was in place, I’d locate and install a new through hull to complete the vent system.  On the back (outboard) side of the box, I epoxied in a 1/2″ thick backer block in the area where I planned to secure the solenoid from inside; this block would give the mounting screws somewhere to go without penetrating the box itself.

That was all I could do on the propane installation for now, and with a bit of time left in the day I turned to the head and forward cabin where, after final cleaning, I applied a coat of primer to the overhead and cabin side liners in these spaces; I’d done the masking earlier.  In the forward cabin, I left the flat parts of the liner beneath the foredeck and sidedecks to be prepped and painted later, once the water tank and new berth platform were in place.

Finally, I used up the rest of the day cleaning and laying out the ceiling strips from the forward cabin, which I’d removed and sanded long ago, so that they might be ready for varnish some other day when I had a suitable short period of time between some of the larger jobs.

Total time billed on this job today: 6.25 hours

0600 Weather Observation: 49°, showers, wind. Forecast for the day: Showers and drizzle, windy, 47°