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Calliope Girl 20

To get the day started, I made up a drawing of the water tank as per the actual mockup, and added in some details regarding fittings locations, inspection ports, and baffles.  Now I could send this off to some vendors for quotes and timeframes.

Next, I vaccummed out the inside of the boat in all areas, ridding everything of the dust that had settled since my last sanding efforts.  There’d be more mess ahead eventually, but at least for now it was workable.

The owner expressed interest in having me remove the rest of the ceiling strips in the forward cabin in order to address the failed coatings in the area and repaint.  Although access to the space was awkward at the moment, given the steep curves, upon assessment I decided that this was as good a time as any to get the job done, as there wasn’t really any other pressing work requiring me just then as I transitioned from the water tank work and surface prep towards some of the new work (and was awaiting materials for the new construction anyway).  The forward ends of the ceilings featured wooden trim with more screw holes than I had ever seen in such small pieces–at least two screws (and/or holes) in each of the planks.  These took a while to remove, as the screws were tiny, with slotted heads, and in fairly poor condition.  I only fussed with the screws because I didn’t want to damage the ceiling strips themselves.

Eventually, I removed the trim, and moved on to the ceiling boards.  These were secured with more of the tiny, slotted screws, and the chore quickly became aggravating, not to mention fruitless, as the screws were mostly bronze and in poor condition, and the slots were filled with varnish and corrosion.  Soon enough, I determined that if I couldn’t remove these strips some other way, I’d be there still…or else would advise leaving the planks in place.  However, I found that with care, and not too much effort, I could pry the boards loose from their supports–there was just one small screw in each of four supporting strips along the length–so this sped up the removal process significantly, though the screws remained in the boards.

At some length, I successfully removed all the ceiling strips from both sides of the forward cabin.  Now I could, when the spirit moved me, clean up and sand the fully-exposed hull.  (I’d also have to do the quarterberth sometime, so I’d make a fun day of it sometime soonish.)

Eyeing the pile of screw-filled boards on the bench, I sighed deeply and, fully knowing there was no better time than right now to remove the screws, set to the task.  I had to use pliers from the back side to spin out the screws enough that I could grab them with the pliers from the visible side to remove them completely, as the tiny screws (#4) were installed through small or nonexistent pilotholes.  However, soon enough the work was done, and future me would greatly appreciate that now-me had done the work, well, now.  Now-me is good that way.

Calliope Girl 19

It was a non-visual day.  I was out of the shop for the morning, but upon my return I started by making some wooden templates of the proposed new chainplates for forward lowers.  After measuring the length of the knee belowdecks at the forward location (12″), I cut strips of 1/4″ plywood (the same thickness as the existing sets of chainplates) to the proper width and length, allowing 12″ below the deck level and the same amount protruding above as on the other two sets.  I used one of the existing chainplates to mark and drill the bolt- and pinholes.  I did this now because I’d been in contact with a machine shop and had arranged a time later on to drop off the old chainplates and patterns for replication.

With the templates complete and all the chainplates ready to go, I killed some time by cleaning up the shop a bit, then took the chainplates to the machine shop for the appointed time to discuss the work with the machinist.

Calliope Girl 18

During the morning, I finished up the water tank mockup with the last two side panels, and the top panel.  I secured the long side panels with glue and screws, but used only screws on the top to make it removable.  Afterwards, using the measurements from the actual “tank”, I recalculated estimated volume, again averaging the volumes predicted by each of the two small ends’ dimensions.  I scoured the internet to determine how to calculate volume of an irregular polygonal prism, and worked from the resultant formulae.  To determine the area of each end panel, required for the volume calculation, I had to split the shape into a triangle and a trapezoid, then find the area of each.  Then I multiplied the resulting base area by the length of the tank (48″) to achieve volume.  This suggested an approximate volume of 54 gallons.  In school they always said they wanted to see the work, so I’ve included it here.

Next, I tested the fit of the mockup in the boat.  It took a minute to figure out the best way to manipulate the tank through the companionway, but it fit, and soon I had it temporary placed in the forward cabin, level in both directions.  Because the aft end of the new berth platform would be raised several inches to make it level (rather than following the not-level lines of the hull stringers, as had the original), there would be ample clearance between the aft end of the tank and the platform above, as well as at the forward end.  This would leave room for plumbing fittings, hoses, braces/supports, and general access.

For future reference, I made some measurements from the inboard edge of the tank to some constant reference points nearby, noting these to use later to easily recreate the position of the tank for permanent installation.

There seemed no better time to prepare the forward cabin, and also the starboard hanging locker, for the work ahead than now.  These areas featured a lot of widely-failing coatings, with large sheets loose from the hull and otherwise flaking away.  To begin, I removed the two lowest sections of the wooden ceiling from the v-berth, to expose more of the hull above the immediate working area, and because the new platform would require additional clearance at the aft end.  Then, I sanded all the surfaces to remove the paint as needed, and to prepare the hull in way of the new water tank’s proposed location.  I did the same in the hanging locker, first removing the two flimsy shelves.

In the main cabin, I pried out the wooden battery trays from each side, then ground the surfaces smooth and clean.  The trays came up without too much difficulty, though quite a bit of wood remained that I had to sand away.

Afterwards, I performed a basic cleanup to remove the worst of the detritus, and hoped that this would be the last of the major surface prep required in the cabin.  With that in mind, I planned a thorough cleanup of the space next time, so that I could begin to move forward with new work.

Calliope Girl 17

I picked up some cheap 3/16″ plywood to use for building tank mockups and for other portions of the interior rebuild to come.  With that on hand, I did some preparatory work in the forward cabin to clear the way for the new tank work, starting with disconnecting some wiring running across the aft end of the space, noting on each wire where it came from; I removed completely a wire running to the starboard stereo speaker, as this was straightforward and helped clear the passage into the forward space.  Then, I removed the after three of the original cross beams that had supported the berth platform; these came out easily, as I had hoped, by cutting in the center and then pulling away the light tabbing that had secured them to the stringers at the hull on each side.  These had to come out anyway, since the berth platform needed to be rebuilt and raised at the aft end to make it level.

With the space as clear as possible for now, I began to work on the tank mockup.  I started with a piece of plywood cut somewhat oversized, and representing the inboard edge of the tank, and used it to strike a line near the centerline of the boat but leaving room for access to the transducers mounted  on the centerline.  I installed some temporary hot-glue blocks to help hold the template, and added 3/8″ (9mm) scraps of plywood to stand in for an eventual small structural bulkhead that would help support the actual water tank in the final analysis.

With a stick glued to the hull holding the panel plumb, I used a level to mark a vertical (plumb) line at the aft end, and also to mark a level line going forward at the correct height, keeping the top of the “tank” low enough to allow clearance beneath the eventual v-berth platform.

With the panel down on the bench, I cut along the marked lines, and transferred the plumb line forward to the forward end of the panel, creating a trapezoidal panel that fit along the hull and was plumb and level at the three remaining sides.  Back in the boat, I set up and used temporary supports to hold the panel in the proper position.

Now I used cardboard to make templates of the forward and after faces of the tank, making small modifications on the fly till I ended up with a 4-sided shape that maximized potential volume while staying away from the longitudinal stringers against the hull.  I tested the aft face–the piece that would determine the largest three-dimensional size of the tank–to ensure it fit through the passage into the berth, as well as the companionway (it may not look like it fits through the companionway from the poor photo, but it does).  Once I was satisfied with the cardboard templates, I transferred them to plywood and cut them out, with a final dry test-fit in the boat.

I removed the pieces down to the bench and assembled the ends and inboard panel with hot glue and cleats, then set the template upside down on the bench and secured it with cleats and screws so the three sides were square to one another and held firmly in place.  I cut and installed support cleats along the edges to hold the final sides of the template flush with the ends, and laid out and cut a flat on the bottom corner of each end (4″ wide at the aft end, 2.5″ wide at the forward end).   This flat not only gave the tank a bearing surface, but also helped with the layout of the angled outboard facets and maximizing volume along those edges.

This tank, as built, was somewhat larger than the original measurements I’d taken earlier, in part because the overall length is longer, the tank is a bit taller, and also because of the two-sided outboard edge.  As of this writing I’d not had a chance to calculate approximate volume but would do so once I could measure the final result.

Before the end of the day, I had time to lay out and cut the narrow flat bottom of the tank, which would ultimately rest on a small platform built into the boat for the purpose.  I’d finish up the mockup next time.

Calliope Girl 16

With a half day planned around an appointment in the afternoon, it was a good opportunity to start work on the final location and potential size of a new water tank to replace the bladder tank once held beneath the starboard berth.  The owner was interested in five different locations with potential for a new tank, depending on available space and other considerations, so over the course of the morning I measured each space and came up with a working drawing of the tank, along with approximate volume measurements.  For the purposes of the moment–which was mainly to determine which space or spaces to focus on, I didn’t bother trying to conceive ways to maximize the tank volume, such as through faceted angles or other adjustments, and stuck to the simplest possible geometric shapes, but once we finalized the location, I planned to build an accurate mockup so as to take advantage of the space as well as possible.

1.  The forward end of the space beneath the vee berth; this space ended up being quite small, under 10 gallons, and likely wasn’t worth the effort for a tank.

2.  The starboard side of the vee berth, opposite the existing waste tank.   This had always been a leading candidate, and at a calculated 34 gallons for the dimensions shown, continued to be.

3.  The bilge area above the keel, a good potential location in terms of weight distribution, but from a practical standpoint there simply wasn’t enough room there to make the effort, so I didn’t bother with any measurements.

4.  The space beneath the starboard settee (after removal of the old battery trays).  This space had potential as well, and a large tank fit to the space could hold up to 36 gallons as drawn.

5.  The difficult-to-access back corner beneath the galley.  This was a reasonable space, though installing a tank here could mean delays in the new galley construction while awaiting tank construction, the timeframe of which we didn’t yet know.  There were limits on the amount of the space available thanks to existing installations.

In the end, the two spaces with the most potential seemed to be the starboard vee berth, and the starboard settee.  The owner leaned towards the vee berth as long as the volume calculation was correct, as did I, so I’d press forward with a mockup to finalize the design and get more accurate measurements.

Calliope Girl 15

Next on the agenda was the settees.  The plywood tops were tabbed to the hull along their outer edges, so to begin I used a grinder and cutoff wheel to cut through this tabbing.  From there, it was a pretty simple matter to pull out the plywood, as there was little else holding it but some old screws and cleats that were already failing.  From there, I removed the vertical bases, which were also “tabbed” to the hull along their inside edges, but this tabbing had either already failed (starboard) or was so weak as to provide no resistance to hand removal.   I cut each of the plywood panels in half to make handling and disposal easier.

With the additional space afforded by the settees’ removal, I chipped away the small section of cabin sole on the port forward side, which took much longer than removing all the rest of the structure.  Removal was simply a matter of getting a tool between the adhesive (definitely either 4200 or 5200)  and the hull–fairly laborious, but fortunately the area was small.

With the debris cleared away, and all my tools and things stored elsewhere for now, there was no better time to get in and sand the hull where the settees and galley cabinetry had been, along with the underside of the deck.  This heavy bulk sanding removed the old and failed coatings, remnants of old tabbing, and cleaned up the areas to prepare for new work ahead.  The sanding and cleanup consumed the remainder of the day.  There’d be additional detail work ahead, as there were still old cleats in place that I needed to remove, along with the old battery trays, but the worst of the surface prep was in the books.


Calliope Girl 14

To begin, I quickly installed the battery charger on the new mounting panel, along with the terminal block for the existing refrigerator circuit, as this location would work for the new refrigerator wiring as well.  All the existing wiring to the charger worked in the new location, except the negative cable, which was now too short (along with the negative cable leading to the inverter.  (The inverter positive lead was still connected to the main battery switch panel I’d removed earlier.)

There seemed no time like the present to go ahead and make up new lengths of cable for these two positions, so I disconnected the old ones and prepared new ones of the lengths needed.  For the inverter, I could repurpose part of a long length of cable that I’d removed from the starboard battery bank, as that particular cable wouldn’t be re-used in its current format, and for the battery charger, I used new #2AWG yellow cable, which was slightly larger than the original #4, but was what I had on hand.

With that, I could straighten up the wire bundles in the space and move on to the galley.

In the galley, my immediate goal was to remove anything that was secured to the underside of the countertop and other structures.  I clipped wire ties and removed whatever fixtures necessary to accomplish this.

At least for now, I planned to leave a complicated little corner of the existing upper galley cabinets alone; this small locker included several gauges, terminal blocks and buss bars, and a battery switch panel with several heavy cables.  Relocating this would be time-consuming and difficult, so I planned to leave it be and figure out how to incorporate it into the new work as I went.  To release the nearby panels from the corner required a couple small cuts, in both the face panel and the countertop.  After that, I removed the upper cabinets in the galley with little effort.

I had to make a couple relief cuts in the countertop to free some wiring that ran through drilled holes, and afterwards I removed the countertop in several pieces to keep it easy to handle.  I removed the staving from both sides of the galley bulkhead, largely intact, and then I removed what remained of the cabinetry.

I removed the sections of cabin sole that ran up the curve of the hull on each side, which would improve access to the settees for their removal.  These sections mostly came out with ease, except for a short section on the forward port side, which was a later addition (presumably when the engine room was moved), and was very well adhered with what appeared to be 5200.  So for now I left this section alone; I’d remove it later, when I had better access to chip it out bit by bit.

I had enough time left in the day to remove the upper settee lockers.  These didn’t give up much of a fight and before long the space was clear.

Calliope Girl 13

My next step was to make some order out of the wiring runs beneath the former nav station, to clean up and untangle some of the wiring so it would make for cleaner runs later.  I also wanted to move and re-mount the inverter and battery charger on a new panel beneath the electrical panel, at the outboard side of the space.  I’d not initially planned to build the new panel, but once I started working on organizing these wires it only made sense to do so, given that the space was perfectly suited to re-mount these appliances.

Basically the cleanup work involved re-leading several wires so they were no longer trapped in some loop or another, which involved some temporary disconnection of various wires from the battery charger and inverter to allow these and other wires to be run more cleanly.  This all took time, but was not photogenic.  When all was said and done, however, I had three cleaner wiring bundles (two from the electrical panel, one across the bottom between the engine room and the port settee), and I temporarily hung the charger and inverter on the aft bulkhead to keep them out of the way while I constructed the new bulkhead on the outboard side.

For the bulkhead, first I determined where I could place it while retaining ample room inboard for the new refrigerator and other installations.  I also had to ensure that the new panel was large enough to support the two large boxes.  The right spot ended up being just inset beneath the last bit of nav station countertop trim I’d saved near the electrical panel, and once I had some plumb reference marks on each side, I cut and installed hardwood cleats with glue and screws; these cleats would support the panel across the space.  I prepared a 12mm marine plywood panel to fit, clipping the corners to allow clearance around the cleats supporting the electrical panel above, and to allow the existing wiring to run as needed.  There was only so much slack in these wiring runs, particularly the after one, so I had to make an additional cut in the bottom aft corner to ensure free passage.  By lunchtime, I had the panel mounted, and had mounted the inverter.  At the top edge of the new panel, I added a hardwood cleat to help provide additional support for the base of the electrical locker above.  I installed the new panel with screws to make it removable should access be required behind in the future.

I’d intended to install the battery charger forward of the inverter, and continue with the related work, during the afternoon, but I was called away unexpectedly for an emergency, so this ended up being where I left things for the day.

Calliope Girl 12

To move forward towards the goal of removing the settees to make way for new construction, the next step was to remove some of the electrical system beneath the port berth.  Here, the owner had located a large panel containing various battery switches, buss bars, and other components.  There were several wires connected here that I’d have to remove from one end or the other so I could remove the panel for safekeeping.

Over the course of the morning I labeled and removed all the wires required, being sure to carefully note each wire’s location with additional tags and lots of photo documentation along the way.  These photos are representative of the various steps leading to the ultimate removal of the panel itself.  I installed plastic bags over some of the disconnected wire ends to help protect the masking tape labels I’d installed.  This was a complex electrical system, quite newly installed, and my goal was to disturb it as little as possible while still allowing the new work to go on around the remains.

Next, I moved on to the nav station.  The staving on the bulkhead face pinned in the settee and would be in the way of removal and replacement, and this area was due for significant reconfiguration in any event, so to start I removed the bulkhead trim and then the staving.  I labeled the staving for possible re-use.  I found that the staving was installed with small nails and adhesive, making removal somewhat more difficult than expected, but it mostly came off without damage.  Then I removed the trim and short pieces of staving from the after bulkhead (not bothering to save these small bits), and along the inside edge of the forward bulkhead as well, though I left two panels of the staving near the electrical panel on both sides since this area was to remain undisturbed.

I continued disassembly of the nav station by removing the hinged top, then, eventually, the remainder of the top and front (inboard) framework.  At the outboard edges near the electrical panel, I measured out 4″ on each side and made a perpendicular cut, leaving the wood closest to the panel intact.  In the final analysis, all this would become incorporated with the new construction later.  I also removed various cleats from the interior, and unmounted the battery charger and inverter, both of which would have to be relocated to allow room for the new refrigerator.  Anticipating this, I’d previously removed the battery cables from the inverter, and in the near future I’d make adjustments to the other related wiring–and that of the nearby battery charger–to allow for their relocation.  My initial thought was to build a vertical panel outboard in the space, allowing room for the new refrigerator, and mounting these components on the new panel.  But that would all fall into place presently.

In the immediate term, there’d be a bit of housekeeping and wire-tidying in this space before I continued the preparatory work in the galley, after which I could start removing interior panels as needed.  That would be the focus next time.

Calliope Girl 11

I continued work on the mast step mockup and patterns.  With the top layer properly fitted, I installed some alignment blocks with hot glue, which helped pin the top piece in its correct position.  Each of the blocks had either a corner or a side that also registered the final height of the top platform for easy removal and replacement, which I’d have to do frequently as I patterned the two lower layers.

The surface of the top section was 1/4″ lower than the finished height required to allow room for several layers of fiberglass over the top, and to allow a bit of final adjustment room.  My plan for the construction of the overall structure was to tap each section individually from the bottom up during installation, which I thought would add substantial strength to the whole arrangement.  To allow room for the tabbing over each layer, I decided to use 3/16″ spacers cut from scrap plywood between the patterns as I shaped each lower section.   So I cut and shaped two additional layers in turn, each with the 3/16″ spacers between.  This was simply a trial and error process involving lots of rasp work to shape the foam, then checking frequently with the top section to get the right fit through all three layers.  At some length, I got all three pieces properly shaped with the space allowance between each, with the top layer ending up level in both directions and the proper 68-1/2″ distance from the mast collar datum point.  With three layers of fiberglass over the top when all was said and done, the top surface would end up the required 68-1/4″ down from the collar, matching the original.

These photos show the layers deconstructed one at a time just for interest, along with height of the lowest section above the bilge on the after and forward sides.  With these patterns made, now I could use them to shape the three sections of 1-1/2″ thick G-10 to fit, and then install.

With the worst part of the mast step replacement behind me now, I turned to some additional disassembly in the main cabin and galley to round out the day and the week.  I began by removing some potable water lines running down the starboard side between the galley and the forward cabin, to make room for the main cabin reconstruction, along with the remnants from the flexible tank installation, including the fill hose.  I set aside the various components for possible later use.  Next, I removed a length of battery cable that had run between the starboard battery bank and the negative distribution post in the engine room, and the various components of the propane system from the galley–solenoid and vapor alarm system and related wiring.  The goal with the electrical in this boat was to avoid disturbing anything unless absolutely necessary, as the electrical system was rather new and in good condition, so I’d be doing a lot of working around existing wire bundles and labeling carefully those wires and installations I did have to temporarily move, or remove.  There’d be more of this sort of work to come, particularly in the galley and on the port side, where the main battery switch panel was located beneath the settee.

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