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Calliope Girl 126

The project was winding down, but I had a few odds and ends remaining to finish up, starting with the chainlocker hatch, which I’d build simply from plywood and painted.  I contemplated ways to install some teak trim, but the pre-made and pre-finished pieces I had available weren’t really suitable, and I decided less was more with this hatch.

Next, I installed a sea rail in front of the galley range, ensuring it remained clear of the stove as it gimballed.

I reinstalled the hardware, then installed the hanging locker door after first removing my tools and supplied that I’d stored within.  For access to the hinges, which required the door be open, I had to remove the three inner pieces of the mast enclosure, which I’d planned to do anyway; I set those aside in the v-berth.  Then, I installed the door to enclose the head, unchanged from arrival.


Calliope Girl 125

In a short work day, I continued work on the mast enclosure, starting next with the forward-facing section.  I laid out the remaining pieces to help determine which was which, as it wasn’t immediately obvious, and was starting to compare grain patterns with the photos I had from when the boat was delivered, but then I noticed that some smart person had labeled the forward piece before removing it from the boat, so that made the whole process easier.  I cut the existing panel slightly shorter to match the measurement I’d taken in the boat, and installed it with a couple screws just to hold it.

I continued with the after panel, which required a relief cut on the bottom to fit around the battery box.  Again, I installed this panel with just a couple screws to hold it, as I planned to dismantle the enclosure once I had checked and fitted all the related parts.  I marked the top of the panel for future reference as well.

Finally, I installed the inboard section to close off the box.  The last piece of the puzzle would be the door that closed off the head, and latched against the inboard panel, but installation of the door would have to wait till the hanging locker door was hung first.

Having accomplished what I wanted, I took a moment to clean up the cabin and set up all the cushions so I could get some decent photos of the more-or-less finished project, with just a few small items on my list to finish up over the next few days.

Finally, I applied another coat of white enamel to the chainlocker hatch.

Calliope Girl 124

In the galley, I unmasked the various trim now that the varnishing was mostly complete.  I installed the shelf on the port side to finish off the space beneath the electrical panel.  I was still looking for the microphone clip for the VHF, which I’d removed earlier in the project but hadn’t put my hands on yet.

It was time to install the range, finally.  To get the unit into the boat, I used my tractor bucket to lift it as high as possible next to the boat, from which point it was a pretty easy and short lift into the cockpit while standing on a ladder next to the bucket; then it was pretty straightforward to get it into the cabin.

With the gimbal mounts already in place, I hoped installation would go smoothly, and it mostly did.  From the getgo, I’d been wary of the screws used to secure the bracket covers in place:  the manufacturer supplied extremely long screws (for which I could determine no need for the excess length), and during my test fits and assemblies earlier in the project I’d found that these long screws tended to bind and become difficult long before they were all the way in.  So I’d purchased shorter screws with the same thread, and these new screws worked in 3 of the 4 mounting holes.  One, however, started to gall before all the way in, and I unthreaded it so I could try with a fresh one, but then the screw wouldn’t unthread all the way.  It was loose and spinning, but I couldn’t get “upforce” on it to pull it free.  This silliness took far too much time to finally correct, given the tight working quarters and lack of access (as usual).  I liked a lot about these gimbal mounts and how they worked, but these fixing screws for the cover plate were problematic of concept.

Once I had the mounting finally complete, I hooked up the propane hose behind the stove, and drilled for and installed the harbor lock at the back corner of the stovetop.  The stove swung freely and completely through its gimbal swing in both directions, though the forward bulkhead (original to the boat and not changed during this project) was slightly out of plumb, causing closer but non-problematic clearance at the bottom corner on that side.

Next, I installed the two propane tanks in the locker and hooked one up.  Clearance was tight for slipping the tanks through the hatch thanks to the mass of hoses and wiring, but roomy enough once inside.  To start, I turned the valve, then turned it off, and waited to see if the pressure gauge dropped, which it didn’t.  Then, I powered up the stove breaker and turned on the solenoid through its new control panel, and soap-tested all the hose and threaded connections to check again for leaks.  With none found, I prepared to test the stove.  First I had to install the battery for the self-ignitor, and this was very oddly located in the back underneath corner of the stove–I had to swing the stove way out to reach it.  I never would have found it without the instructions, and even then it took a while.  But the clicker worked well, and before long I had the burners lit.

With the stove and propane work complete, I turned off the tank, closed the locker, and continued with prepwork, then finishing work, on the chainlocker hatch, head bulkhead, and the hanging locker door.

One of the last untouched items on my list was the mast surround, which was a plywood structure built by others to enclose the mast once stepped.  This had never been a priority item, and unfortunately  there wasn’t an opportunity now to rethink the whole area (which also incorporated a doorway to close off the head), so my goal was to see if I could reinstall the existing enclosure with minimal modification.  Though I’d removed the pieces early in the project, I was not familiar with how they worked in particular so at the onset wasn’t sure what this might entail.

After reviewing photos of the enclosure in situ at the beginning of the project, and taking some measurements, I started with a simple cut on the aft side of the first panel, which was to fit against the head cabinet on centerline.  I based this cut, which would start to allow the panel to fit around the battery box, on some assumptions, and the basic measurements I took from the space.  When I test-fit the panel, I found the cut wouldn’t allow it to move far enough aft–the alignment was sort of preordained by a small piece of quarter-round trim on the inside of the panel, which fit over the head countertop–so over a series of additional and increasing cuts, I eventually got the panel to fit in its intended position. notched around the battery box and with a bit of the corner post nipped off to provide cushion clearance.  Once the fit was as intended, I secured the panel with several screws.

The starter panel required the most potential modification, and the three remaining panels would likely continue more quickly.  But that was for next time, as for now the day was done.

Calliope Girl 123

First thing, Jason delivered the new interior cushions, which looked terrific.  Once he left, I installed the backrests with their hinges, and added spring catches to secure them.  Better pictures without the work cloths on the sole will be forthcoming soon.  Once I’d admired the new upholstery, I put the saloon cushions up in the forward cabin for safekeeping while I finished up work in the main cabin.

I finished up the battery connections with the new fuse holders I’d ordered, and then, after some final checks, fired up the system to check operation.  Though I’d maintained the electrical system more or less intact throughout the project, I’d had to move and disconnect various things, so it was gratifying, as always, for things to work as intended.  Every fixture I tried worked, on both AC and DC sides, except the port v-berth light, which probably needed a bulb.

Preparing for the final stove installation, I removed the remaining protective plastic from the stainless steel surround, and applied some stainless steel-colored sealant at the seams to finish things off.  I planned to let that cure overnight before finalizing the installation.

I spent the rest of the day on the various small details that come at the end of a project, including some masking and paint in the port side of the head, more varnish work on the galley trim (satin on the bulkhead trim this time), some additional work on the new chainlocker access panel to clean up and sand the edge, followed by primer (I was working out ways to install some teak trim for visual interest later), and other miscellany as the larger items continued to be checked off the list.  I also pulled the hanging locker door out from storage to clean it up and lightly sand it to prepare it for a coat of satin varnish so it would match the surrounding cabinetry; the varnish would happen next time.


Calliope Girl 122

My first task was to reinstall the ceiling planks in the forward cabin.  These were part of the interior as it came to me, and earlier I’d removed them for a spruce-up and to access the hull behind when I was working in the space.  They’d been complete and awaiting reinstallation for some time, so to begin I organized them in order on each side (I’d numbered them as I removed them, from bottom to top), then reinstalled them from the top down on each side.  At the berth level, when the planks–which followed the sheerline–met the new berth platform at an angle, I cut the final two planks short as needed where they naturally ended, not worrying about the small exposed spaces since the cushions would cover the small gaps.  (The original berth had allowed the final two planks to extend all the way aft, but the after end was below level by several inches.) Attempting to taper the planks to fill the space would have left unsupported sharp angles as there was no further support between the four widely-spaced wooden supports roughly glassed to the hull.

Once all the planks were installed, I cut and fitted trim pieces at the four corners to finish things off.

Departing the boat, when I broke the top step of my construction ladder for the second or third time during the project, I decided it was high time to permanently install the new companionway ladder.  I’d planned to eke out a few more days with the decrepit 2×4 ladder–patched and shortened and lengthened and modified and repaired and “strengthened” and so forth over and over through many years and many boats–but enough was enough, and now I planned to retire the ladder permanently to the dumpster.

I installed the new companionway with bronze ladder brackets, located inside the ladder at the top of the engine compartment hatch, and protected the treads with some rags to get me through the final days of work.

I was expecting Jason to install the interior cushions later in the day (this ended up getting delayed for a day), so to prepare I spent some time cleaning up and removing unnecessary tools and things from the cabin.  In the meantime, I continued to knock small jobs off my list, including running the propane hose up to the bulkhead heater and securing the excess, and installing the Charlie Noble on deck to finish off the installation.

In the galley, I spent far too much time installing a new gooseneck lamp and terminal block to which the CO detector could be wired, these small jobs taking so long because of extremely difficult access.

On the opposite side of the galley, I installed the bowl shelf and its fiddle trim, now that the shelf was fully painted (and the trim had a couple coats of varnish on it too).  I bunged the screw holes.  I had earlier made a small piece of trim to cover the edge of the vertical divider in this compartment, but couldn’t lay my hands on it now (late in the day I found it in a pile of spacers I’d used while varnishing trim, and which I’d just cleaned off a table a day or so before).

I spent a few minutes drilling out and tapping the starter holes in the mast step that I’d located once the new part arrived.  This part could be easily removed later if needed.

Finally, I finished up the day with another base coat of varnish on all the ongoing trim pieces.

Calliope Girl 121

The final coat on the cabin sole looked good after a weekend’s cure time.  I enjoyed its appearance briefly before covering it with various towels and drop cloths for protection while I continued working.

My immediate task was to install the trim around the edges of the sole–baseboard for lack of a better term.  I’d milled and pre-finished pieces of this all-purpose trim earlier, so now it was a matter of cutting pieces as needed to fit the myriad lengths and various angles required.  This took several hours.

Now that the cabin sole was done, I refitted the removable section leading to the forward cabin.  I’d previously cut the base shorter to accommodate the new sole, but found I had to scribe and cut it again to match the angles on the sides.  I left the temporary plywood step in place till I finished work in the forward cabin soon.   Meanwhile, I reinstalled a magazine rack on the bulkhead, covering a hole left from some long-ago installation, and installed a couple small pieces of trim I’d prepared earlier to fit over and cover some bolt access holes in the main cabin overhead.

With the baseboard in place, I turned to the final pieces of significant trim in the boat:  the cabin edge trim, pieces for which I’d milled and pre-finished earlier, wrapping up their final coat of varnish at the end of the previous week.  With fixed lengths required, camber and sheer to contend with, L-shaped trim and overlaps, and the compound angles at the aft corners, there was no way I was going to attempt mitered joints where the side pieces met the transverse aft piece across the galley, so I milled some teak trim pieces to fit in the after corners of the cabin, which had the added benefit of hiding the seams in the plywood (installed by others in the past) at the corner.  For now, I left these trims raw and over-length, but with a fixture in the corner now I had something against which I could measure and install the trim pieces.

With short lengths of trim cut off from the longer pieces, I mocked up the angle cuts required at each end of the longitudinal side pieces, then, with a careful measurement, cut the long trim to size and installed it on each side.

I used a short cutoff of the after trim profile to get the angles required at each end, and also to mark the corner trim for its final length at the bottom.  I temporarily removed the corner trim to cut to length, finish off the top edge in a suitable way, and to sand and clean up before reinstalling a final time.  The after trim had to conform to the significant camber of the deck at the aft end of the cabin, requiring a bit of a bend and some careful measurements and numerous “just a bit shorter” cuts to sneak up on the correct final length to just fit into place as I bent the center of the trim up towards the companionway.  This new trim dressed up the cabin’s appearance in a way that belied its simplicity, and, with its rounded bottom profile, would be nicer to the noggin than the original hard, sharp plywood edge had been (something I discovered far more times than one would think possible over the course of the project).

I finished up the trim installation just in time to do my next coat of gloss varnish on the galley bulkhead trim, and also on the new corner trim pieces I’d just installed.

Calliope Girl 120

I spent the bulk of the day focusing on the various items on my electrical list, starting with the battery wiring.  All the basic wires from the original electrical setup were in place and ready, but several of the cables required new lugs, and a few wires and cables required extension to reach the new battery locations.  Working through the requirements here took several hours, and while by the end I had all the cables terminated and wires extended, I couldn’t finalize the connections because I ran into an issue with cross-threading on two of the battery terminal fuses that were in place.  The first I definitely caused myself, as I was struggling to get the nut started in an awkward corner of the battery box, but when I tried to swap out this fused terminal with another one (there were three in total–two on the house bank (2 of 3 batteries) and one on the starter bank), I had the same problem even with a dry fit in an accessible location.  So I ordered new terminals and would await final connections till they arrived.  I installed the one terminal fuse that still had good threads on the forwardmost house battery, which was the most difficult location to access.  If I had the opportunity to start over, I would have made the entire top of the battery compartment removable for access.  I thought I’d built an expansive lid when I laid it out, but as I discovered earlier it wasn’t large enough to install all four batteries, and now, during the wiring, I found myself fighting the overhangs in a couple places.  In any event, it was adequate to get the work done–just not as easy as it might have been.

To extend the one black ground cable that required lengthening, I installed a power post in the port locker and used it to connect an additional cable; this also worked well to accept the ground cable from the windlass, which also wasn’t long enough to reach the batteries in their new location.

Now I moved on to the head locker, where I reconnected the various wires for the stereo and windlass breaker; I’d had to remove all these early in the project so I could remove the panel in which these instalations were located.  I also reinstalled and reconnected a light fixture and the stereo speakers on both sides, routing the cables as needed.

On the starboard side, I reinstalled the propane heater to the bulkhead, and reconnected its wiring, and, finally, in the bilge I remounted the terminal block containing all the wiring for the bilge pump; I’d removed this from the transverse floor when I was modifying the height and painting the space earlier.

There was still a new light fixture to install in the galley, around the corner behind the electrical panel, but it was a difficult place to access and in any event it was late enough in the day that I had to start final preparations and do a thorough cleanup so I could apply a coat of satin varnish to the cabin sole which, if the coat turned out well, would be the final coat for the sole.  I did a pretty through cleaning of the interior to prepare, and cleared out various tools and detritus from the cabin in the process, leaving only what I needed for the final stages of work to come.

To finish up the day’s work, I applied satin varnish to the three pieces of cabin side trim and the head sole grate, and applied a coat of white semi-gloss to the galley bowl shelf.

Calliope Girl 119

After my usual start to the new day–sanding yesterday’s varnish on the cabin sole and trim–I got to work installing the last six doors in the galley, which really brought the appearance together.

There was one more project in the galley to complete:  A second shelf for dishware, above the plates in the space outboard of the stove.  This shelf would hold bowls, with an extra space for coffee mugs or what have you.  To begin, I cut and installed a pair of small cleats to support the shelf at the appropriate height, then patterned a plywood shelf to fit the space.  I added a small divider to secure the bowls and leave additional space for other things.  Then, from teak stock, I cut the fiddle trim to size to span the opening across the shelf, and created two rounded openings to match those in the plate rack below.  I also cut some pre-finished trim stock to fit as needed in the area, to await final installation later.

To round out the work for now, I applied primer to the new shelf on both sides.  I’d pre-finish the shelf before final installation soon.

Next, after final preparations, I applied more gloss varnish to the cabin sole and bulkhead trim in the galley.

After light sanding, I applied another coat–the last–of semi-gloss white enamel to the modified battery locker hatch.

This left me an odd bit of time at the end of the day to work on a replacement hatch for the chainlocker, to replace the warped and failed one that had been in place.  I hadn’t been sure if I’d have time to replace the old hatch or not, but now some time afforded itself to get started.  Using the old hatch as a template, and avoiding curves for the moment (till I determined how to finish off/trim the new hatch), I cut a new hatch from 9mm plywood, and replicated the mounting holes from the old hatch.  I’d pick away at the hatch details in the coming days as time allowed.

Calliope Girl 118

In the cabin, I worked to finish up the trim around the galley, including cleaning up the new bulkhead trim  as needed at the seams, and lightly sanding it to prepare for varnish.  I also installed various pre-finished trim pieces at the tops of the bulkheads, where they met the underside of the sidedecks, and on either side of the electrical panel to finish off the space.  Then, I masked off the bulkhead trim and other areas as needed to prepare for varnish.

Next, I installed the four doors in the upper settee lockers, the first four I’d finished off with hinges and hardware.  At each location, I installed a roller catch on the inside of the opening to align with the catch already installed on the door itself.

After a light sanding and final preparations, I varnished again the cabin sole, and also varnished the new bulkhead trim, plus another coat on the long cabin side trim pieces down on the bench.  I also sanded and painted the battery locker hatch.

To finish up the day, I installed the hinges, knobs, and catch hardware on the remaining six cabinet doors.  (For some reason over the past days I’d been counting nine total in my head, but of course there were ten doors total.)

Calliope Girl 117

After starting the day by sanding the cabin sole and cleaning up thereafter, I turned to the trim on the galley bulkhead edges.  The shape and dimensions of this trim were dictated by the profile of the pre-manufactured teak bulkhead handles to fit and form the outside corners, which the owner had requested and with which I’d done some preliminary shaping work earlier.  Normally, this sort of trim would feature a recess and would slip over the bulkhead to cover both sides, but in this case the width of the recessed area of the handles was less than the thickness of the bulkheads, so I’d had to modify the handles–and the new trim I milled to match–accordingly, leaving the aft end flush with the bulkhead while the forward end overhung to better trim out the edge.

The point of all this is to explain why the trim was installed the way it was, and now, with these decisions and adaptations well in the past, it was time to do the final installation.  To prepare for the trim installation, a week or two earlier I cut a square corner into the bulkheads where they had previously curved to reach up towards the sidedecks, which curve had originally been matched by a similar curve where the handles would now be attached.  The square inner corner would make it easier to install the trim, versus trying to come up with a curved piece, and in any event the curve was now out of place in the cabin in its new format and aesthetic.

One side at a time, I cut the new trim to fit around the fixed position of the handles at the outer corners, then installed the trim in epoxy adhesive for strength, since one might tend to use the handles as handles.  To hold the trim while the adhesive cured, I used brads driven as needed.  Any minor misalignment at the seams between the handles and the adjacent trim would be cleaned up and faired in once the wood was firmly affixed next time.  The forward end, with its overhang, extended over the varnished faces of the bulkheads, while I kept the aft end flush, as there was no overhang here; later I’d mask and paint right up to the edge of the teak to hide the now epoxy-filled gaps along that edge.  I temporarily removed the refrigerator lid to improve access to the port side for installation.

There were a few additional pieces of trim required to finish up in this area, but I held off on these till the epoxy cured fully on the edge trim so as not to disturb it.  Meanwhile, I took care of several smaller tasks, including another coat of white paint on the chainlocker bulkhead, and, after sanding and cleaning up from the epoxy work, a coat of primer on both sides of the battery locker hatch.

With no more trimwork planned for the day, and enough to keep me busy outside of the boat, I did a final cleanup inside and applied another base coat of gloss varnish to the cabin sole, and then to the long pieces of cabin side trim.

The caning had dried overnight, and now I trimmed all the excess from the nine doors.

Next, I started working on the door hardware:  hinges, brass pull, and door catch.  I had enough time to finish four of the doors before the end of the day.


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