Don’t Trust Your Saw

Well, we had finished our summer cruising and we were getting ready for more projects. The first project was to install the flooring on the cabin sole. The floor boards for the sole needed to get glued in and since the floor is under the waterline we wanted to do that while the river water was warm. This would make the glue much happier. Our first step, which you saw in the last post was to sort the floor boards. We then started cutting them to fit. Two weeks ago Bill was setting up the table saw so we could rip the edge boards to width for the removable floor boards. The waste from a test piece was kicked back by the saw blade and it hit Bill’s fingers on his left hand,  cutting up the tips of three fingers. Bill and Nina spent the rest of the morning at the hospital getting Bill stitched up.  Luckily for both of us, Nina did not have to do the stitching.

fingers
This is going to slow things down.

Wisely we gave the fingers a couple of weeks to heal. The next weekend Nina ran the saw and Bill assisted. The boards were ripped and they got glued to the floor boards. We started on the removable sections that cover the bilge. We figured that was a good beginners project.

floor_boards
Here are all the floor boards marked and laid out for installation.
glueing
Bill spreading glue. You can work one handed. It also saves on gloves.
clamped
Glued and clamped. We have a lot of clamps, but we could have used more.

We glued the floor boards down with Gorilla Glue’s construction adhesive. It is waterproof and gap filling so we thought we would give it a try. It is also bright white so we had to be careful to clean up the squeeze out. It is easier to control than epoxy. In the end the cost will be similar to using epoxy.

This last weekend we cleaned up the edges with the router so the boards would be flush with the plywood bottoms. We also routed out for the pull rings. The template we made for the countertop got reused since we’re using the same size of pull rings for the floor.

installed
Test fit of the floor boards. They look good. We can’t wait until the whole cabin sole is done.

 

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Fire or Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Labor Day Weekend.  It’s traditionally a club cruise and this year Rose City went to Beacon Rock.  It was going to be hot in Portland (around 100 degrees F) and it was going to be equally hot up the gorge.  As a result, fewer boats made the trip up, but we still had an OK turnout for the potluck Sunday night.  We started the cruise on Friday after work and made it as far as Schwitter’s Landing on Government Island.

cushions
We started out the cruise with a full compliment of cushions.  They are jammed into place.  We still need to figure out how to keep them there in the long run.

 

Saturday we motored and sailed the rest of the way to Beacon Rock. We arrived around 3:00.

Eagle_Creek_start
About 4:00 this is what we saw.
Eagle_Creek_2
Definitely a fire, and not too far away. 4:30 pm.

Everyone scrambled for phones to find out more info.  As the afternoon and evening progressed, so did the fire.  It just kept getting bigger.  Eagle Creek, just down river from Cascade Locks, was burning away.  It really took off during the night.

Eagle_Creek_3
Around dusk, this is what the fire was looking like.
Eagle_Creek_4
The fire after dark.

Sunday_smoke_1Sunday_smoke_2Sunday_smoke_3

This is what we woke up to on Sunday morning.  Do we leave or do we hike the rock?  The rock won, mainly because there is now a trail that leads from the marina to Beacon Rock.  No more walking along the highway hoping you don’t get hit.

Beacon_Rk_4
One set of trail switchbacks up the rock.  There weren’t many people hiking it this year.  The heat and the fire probably contributed to that.

The view from Beacon Rock.  Other than a couple of large motor boats, the dock is all Rose City boats.  Smoke was everywhere, but it you could still see the layers.

dinghy_sail_1

Sunday afternoon we took a sail in the dinghy.  A nice west wind blew most of the smoke away.  This is looking back at Beacon Rock from the Columbia River.

dinghy_sail_2
During the dinghy sail, we noticed another fire.  The one on the left is the Eagle Creek fire, moving down the ravine.  The cloud of smoke on the right is from the Indian Creek fire, burning since July 4.  They are about to merge. And the wind is about to shift back to an east wind.
Monday_smoke_1
Beacon Rock on Monday morning.  Socked in by smoke.
Monday_smoke_2
Looking toward Eagle Creek from the top of the marina ramp.
Monday_smoke_3
Sailing home Monday morning.  Enough east wind for a spinnaker, but not much else.  We hit Cape Horn and the wind shifted to the west before dying completely.
Monday_smoke_4
Passing Multnomah Falls.  This was before the fire reached here.  Lots of smoke.  The water had orange reflections from the sun.  Everything is browny gray.
Tuesday_ash
Tuesday morning back at Rose City, ash on the boat.  On the way back from Beacon Rock, there was some soot and the occasional charred pine needle on Gypsy.  The Tuesday forecast was for up to an inch of ash to fall on Portland.  We decided not to wash the boat.  Wet boat and ash.  Ugh!
Tuesday_ash_2
More ash.  Much worse than our usual airport grime.

In spite of the smoke, we had a good cruise – time to catch up with folks and get some sailing in.  Now it’s back to project mode.

floor_boards
Figuring out floor board layout.  The flooring is cherry and this section will end up in the galley once it leaves our living room.  We labeled every board with blue tape and made a map of how they all fit together.

Three Weeks Aboard

 

Our heroic efforts paid off. Gypsy did leave the dock. We had the sink installed, the refrigerator turned on and the auto pilot had been tested. We filled the water tanks and it was time to go. Now to load the boat.

Three carloads latter, food, cushions, clothes, guitars and books were loaded.

loading_supplies
Food and books waiting to get stowed.  Wine bags are very handy for loading and carrying food.
supplies_loaded
One hour later it is all gone and two beautiful Costco-stan rugs have appeared.

4:00 pm on Wednesday 7/26, its time to start the engine and cast off. We leave the dock and head out into the Columbia River. The first thing we do is steer the boat in three and a half circles so the auto pilot can calibrate itself. Then it is down river to St. Helens. Our destination for tonight.

The first obstacle in our way is the Vancouver Washington Railroad Bridge. It is just down river from the I-5 bridge and it is too low for us to clear. We need to have them open the bridge.

RR_Bridge
We were in luck and the bridge was able to swing open for us after just a few minutes wait.

We now were west of the bridge and there were no more obstacles between us and the Pacific Ocean. So what do we do? The answer is we keep watch. There is a fair amount of freighter and barge traffic on the lower Columbia River and we want to stay clear of them. There are several ways to do this. The channel is the part of the river that big ships use. It is at least 43 feet deep. We can stay out of the channel in shallower water and that will keep us clear of most shipping. We also keep watch, noting when a barge or freighter is approaching. If there is any doubt we can call the ship on the VHF radio and ask where they are going.

freightor_empty
This is a freighter coming up river. You can see by the big red stripe of bottom paint that is is empty and is going to pick up a cargo. You also can see the open hatches on deck, ready for cargo.  You can tell it is moving by the wake: the white water at the bow and stern.

We got to St. Helens, Oregon and tied up for the night at the docks on Sand Island. We were the only boat at the dock Wednesday night. Thursday morning we were up early since we had a long day heading down river. We wanted to get to Cathlamet, Washington where Rose City Yacht Club was having a potluck in the evening.

loaded_frieghter
We were passed by this ship as we went through Longview Washington. You can see that this ship is deep in the water, fully laden. Heading down river to the bar and out into the Pacific Ocean.

We made it to Cathlamet by early afternoon. We had time for showers and a trip to the grocery store before the potluck. We had a nice turnout of twenty some boats at the potluck.  Friday morning we again were up early to catch the tide to Astoria.

Skamakawa_fog
This is the view as we headed around the bend from Cathlamet to Skamokawa, Washington. Skamokawa means smokey waters and the fog this morning was keeping the name alive. The boat ahead of us is Sierra, a Cascade 27.
frieghter_anchored
You will also see freighters like this, at anchor with the Astoria-Megler Bridge in the back.
West_Basin_Astoria
West Basin Astoria. Here you are 13 miles from the Columbia River bar.

We spent Friday and Saturday in Astoria. Saturday was the Astoria Open Studios, so we toured several artist’s studios. Astoria has an active arts scene. We also visited the Maritime Museum and the library. The library gave us a internet pass so we could check on weather and tides.

Astoria_Library

Sunday we left for Warrenton, since we had not been there before. The marina at Warrenton is set up for small fishing boats. Gypsy was way too long for her slip. They only let us stay for Sunday because the Buoy 10 fishing season was starting Tuesday and they were sold out.

Warrenton_Library
We walked into town for groceries. We stopped by the library, but they were closed on Sunday, so we were not able to get a free bible or internet.

Monday saw us underway again. We had wanted to go to Ilwaco, Washington. After our Warrenton experience we phoned ahead to Ilwaco to reserve a slip for Gypsy. They told us we had gotten the last slip they had. Needless to say, we spent two days in Ilwaco and the place was empty. That is too bad because it is a fun place to visit.

towards_Ilwaco
It was a very calm motor over to Ilwaco.
Port_of_Ilwaco
Gypsy at the dock in Ilwaco. The dock is an improvement over the Warrenton docks. By most other standards it is a dump. Just behind us is Joysea from Rose City.  We like to visit Ilwaco, but the docks are not why we come. As non-fishers, Jessie’s Fish Market is the real reason.  There’s also a nice book store on the waterfront.
Discovery_Trail_Ilwaco
Hiking the Discovery Trail to the ocean. It goes from Ilwaco to Long Beach.

One of the benefits of going cruising is you have a hard time staying connected to the internet. Not knowing everything that  is happening is not so bad. We were quite happy to not be following Donny Johnny’s every twitter. We were also not following the weather news too carefully. So Tuesday morning the weather radio keep mentioning smoke. We realized that all the haze we were seeing was smoke from forest fires.

Astoria_frieghtor_and_fishing_boat
Freighter and fishing boat in the haze by Tongue Point.

We anchored behind Tongue Point to spend a couple more days at the relatively cool coast. 90 instead of 100 plus degrees. Not much wind but humid.

Tongue_Pt_rowing
Rowing around.
old_bridge__Tongue_Pt
Old railroad bridge at the mouth of the John Day River.
Gypsy_Tongue_Pt
Gypsy at anchor. The electric windlass worked great. Nina no longer has to hand crank the anchor down and up.
Osprey_nest
Friday morning heading up river again. Osprey nest on top of a buoy.
upriver_from_Harrington_pt
Sailing to Cathlamet. Up to now the wind has been on our nose or calm. Now it is behind us and we start using the spinnaker. The autopilot is steering. This is the way to sail.
Nina_watch
Nina is keeping watch.

We pulled into Cathlamet Friday afternoon. As we were docking Gypsy a guy on the dock was asking us if we here for the boat show? Bill just thought he was a smart alec commenting on our paint job. Once Gypsy was tied up we found out that there was a boat show and Gypsy could be in it. It was the Wooden and Classic boat show. We decided it would be fun and we said yes (plus a deal on moorage for the weekend).

Salty_Lady
Salty Lady is a Captain’s gig circa 1940s. She would have carried the captain and officers from a navy ship to the shore or other ships.
Salty_Lady_II
Salty Lady won best motor boat.
SF_Pelican
Nina’s favorite boat, a San Francisco Pelican.
bow_pudding
This is a bow pudding, a fancy rope work fender. It is on a restored Coast Guard surf boat, MLB 36391, Point Adams.
Gypsy
Gypsy in the show. The most common comment was, she does not look 45 years old.
Nina_Dinghy
Nina rowing in our wooden boat, a chameleon nesting dinghy designed by Danny Greene.
Cathlamet_channel
Sunday afternoon. The show is over and we are heading up Cathlamet Channel. We are sailing with our genoa, and keeping up with a Willard 30.
Frieghter_near_Bradbury_Slough
Another freighter. You can see she is empty and moving.

Sunday night we spent at Walker Island which is near Longview, Washington. Monday we sailed to Martin Slough. Just up river from Kelso we saw the river boat American Pride. They were waiting for their passengers to return form their excursions. Just like riverboats of yore, nosed up to the bank with the gang plank down.

American_Pride

Martin_Slough
We spent Monday and Tuesday in Martin Slough. Very peaceful except for some traffic noise from I-5.

Wednesday we continued our homeward sail. We decided to go down Multnomah Channel.

gravel_barge
This gravel barge followed us at St Helens.

We tided up at Coon Island. We noticed that there were gates at the top to the ramp to the island. We discovered goats. They were quit tame and friendly.

goatgoats

Thursday we headed back to Portland.

RR_Bridge_with_train
This is not what you want to see on the railroad bridge. We had to wait for four freight trains and an Amtrak train. It took about an hour to get through the bridge.

We stopped at home Thursday night and headed back up river Friday to a club cruise at Government Island. We found lots of ripe blackberries and made a cobbler.

Where’d They Go?

So, it’s been about six weeks since we last posted.  They have been busy weeks, filled with projects that have many hurry up and wait steps.  And then we went sailing, but more about that in a later post.

lid_foamed_in
The fridge getting foamed.  We used two part foam again and filled in all the voids after the lid flange got installed. All of the excess foam will have to be removed before the counter top can get installed.
lid_foamed
More pour foam, this time in the lid to the fridge.
countertop_openings
Cutting the openings in the counter for the fridge and the pantry.  We did this on the dock.
dry_fit
Dry fitting the counter top.  To get the counter in the boat, we had to make it in two pieces.
countertop_lid_test
Both pieces of the counter top epoxied in place.  The plywood top to the fridge lid has been dry fit and glued temporarily in place with hot glue.  The lid to the pantry (center hole) was cut out of another piece of plywood.  We epoxied in corner triangles to support the lid.
laminate
Formica epoxied in place, waiting to be weighted down.  We were able to do this in one piece. We covered the Formica in plastic to keep it from getting epoxy on it.
laminate_epoxied
The weighting down of the Formica. Just how many water-filled milk jugs does it take? Answer about 50.  The kid who has not moved out yet was able to contribute to the project.

 

Cutting out the sink hole using our trusty 1950s saber saw.

sink_test_fit
Test fitting the sink.  We decided to go with a big sink rather than a double.  The sink was glued in with 3M 4000.
pull_ring_cutouts
Formica has been glued on and Bill is using a template to cut out the spaces for the pull rings.
pull_ring_cutouts_II
Using a template to route out the pull rings. The blue tape is there to fine tune the cut out. We do not want to have to remake any of this.
head_towel_bar
Towel bar in the head.  Another of Nina’s projects (she gets all the easy ones). it looks like it was designed for the space.
varnishing
The backyard varnishing station.  Nina varnished the oars and the tiller (on the left).
drawers
Chart table drawers all varnished and installed.
doors-1
Cubby door under the stove varnished and installed.  This is a good place for stowing baking tins and food.
doors_II
Engine door and galley drawers. Getting this filled in has greatly reduced the engine noise.
marking_the_chain
Nina spliced the new 8 plait Brait rope onto the anchor chain.  We reused our chain since it will fit in the new windlass.  The depth markings were getting faint so we re-marked the anchor rode with spray-painted every 25 feet.  We used a fat sharpie to mark off the rope part.  This probably won’t last very long, but it got the job done.
EV01_autopilot_compass
Auto-pilot compass installed. It had to be away from iron in the engine and the keel, radio antennas and wiring, and sort of in the middle of the boat. After awhile we won’t even notice it.
cushions
Meanwhile, Nina was making cushions.  We chose a smoky blue tweedy upholstery fabric, with a light gray underlining on the bottom side.  The seat cushions are made with 4 inch foam wrapped in polyester batting.  They are sitting on Hypervent to help prevent any moisture from building up.  The backs are in process and they are being made of two inch foam.

The sink got plumbed after only one extra trip to Pacific Rubber for another hose.  It’s always good to measure twice and cut once, but you do need to remember which side of the tape you need to cut on. Hey, it was only one inch too short.  The faucet was installed and our cold water system was ready to use.  With tea kettle assistance we also have hot water. The boat got cleaned up and project supplies went home.  Car loads of provisions were loaded and we took off.  Coming next: the great 19 day voyage that all of this made possible.

Hot and Cold

Temperatures this weekend got up to about 100 degrees F.  Luckily, cabin fans got installed and we discovered that all that insulation we installed does actually help buffer the heat.

fans
Bill centered between the new fans.  We installed one more in the passageway to the v-berth to help with air circulation up forward. 

Another project, since it finally stopped raining, was to rebed the forward hatch.  The tarp came off, wedges were made out of wood from the cherry tree from our old house, and Nina got to work coaxing it up.  We originally bedded the hatch with Sikaflex and for some reason, did not get enough to get a solid seal.  Probably trying to be neat.  Don’t skimp on hatch caulk!

hatch_removal
Cherry wedges to slowly loosen the hatch.  Because it was hot out and the caulk was still pretty soft, this only took a couple of hours get it all unstuck.

Once the hatch was loose, it took another hour or so to clean off all the residual caulk on the hatch and the hatch base.  We rebedded the hatch with white butyl rubber and screwed it down.  Over the next couple of hours and the next evening, we gradually tightened the screws and cleaned up the goosh out.  It’s a slower process than working with Sikaflex, but the clean up is much easier.  And we think there’s finally enough material in there now that the hatch will no longer leak when it rains or gets wet.

Meanwhile, Bill worked away on the fridge.  He tested the fridge to see if it would get cold.  He put a piece of left over foam on top and cranked down the temperature.  It works!  The flange finally had enough two-part white paint on it and was ready to install.

flange_installed
The fridge flange has been glued in place with 5200 with boards across the top to help clamp it in place.  The cavities around the flange will be filled with pour foam before the countertop is installed.

Bill also worked on running yet more wire and water hose.  All the water hose is in place and just waiting for the galley countertop and sink to be installed.

locker_bulkhead
Bulkhead with water filter on the bottom, refrigerator compressor on the shelf.  On the top is the blower for the engine.  The gray box on the right is the autopilot brains.
foot_pump
Galley sink foot pump.  No pressure water, no hot water, but that’s ok.  One of Bill’s evening projects was to rebuild the pump.

Work and Play

Wow, it is June and we are finally posting an update. It has been a busy two months since our last post. Our goal was to take Gypsy out for the Memorial Day weekend cruise and we did. We had a working head, toilet and water, and a working stove. We spent three days aboard and it was great.

We wanted to get the galley counter top in which means getting the refrigerator installed.  Last post we had built the flange. We used the flange to make the lid. The lid parts were glued up  clamped to the flange with plastic between so they would not stick.

temp_galley

Then we glued the flange to the top of the refrigerator box.flange_glued

Then we fit the top and flange to the box.fitting_the_flange

The top of the flange needs to be exactly the same as the underside of the counter top. We also had to figure out how to route the Freon tubes from the evaporator, which is installed in the refrigerator box, back to the compressor.conduit

The tubes need to run through the pantry on the way to the compressor and so we wanted them up as high as possible and in a protective tube so they would not be damaged by the canned goods in the pantry. Carefully angled PVC pipe does the job. It will all get encased in foam when it is installed.

We realized that we would not get this done in time so while we have kept working on the lid and flange, it was not the priority. They got primed last weekend.

painting

We also did more painting. It has to get done and Gypsy looks so much better in white than lime yellow. Nina worked on varnishing and got the galley drawers done.varnishingdrawers_in

Looks good! They also were helpful for storage on our cruise.

The head needed to get to a working point. Bill had to finish the ducting on our composting toilet. We had decided to build the ducts in for a more finished look. head_duct

Getting the connecting parts built and painted.duct

Almost done. One of the great points of our AirHead is that there is no plumbing involved so once the duct was in the toilet install took 30 minutes. The ducting works.counter

We did need water and it was going to be much easier to install and plumb the head sink than the galley. The counter top got covered in WilsonArt laminate, it is a ocher pattern called something like Tigris parchment. custom_fiddle

We also made a shelf to fit in the vanity. Note the custom fiddle to protect the heater duct.

sink_ready

Now for cooking. We needed to install the stove and we also had to install the propane system. This was one of these we will figure out the details latter things. Well it was latter and Bill spend too many hours on it, but we now can cook.stove

_galley

We had the counter top plywood ready so it was slid into place for the weekend.

Nina also has been busy making the new cushions, Needless to say we have been busy evenings which helps to explain the lag in blogging.

The good part of using Gypsy is it really helps us to see how systems are working. It also gave Bill several new projects as we discovered some engine problems. Last weekend Gypsy had the engine aligned and the valves adjusted. Water and fuel leaks also have been dealt with. Fingers crossed and we are more ready for our next outing.

 

Spring Forward

Yes, we did that and it has been a couple of weeks and I am still grumpy about losing an hour of sleep. I mean who would volunteer for jet lag and not get a vacation out of it? Despite my sleep deprivation things are moving again on Gypsy. The big news is it has finally warmed up a bit. We can use epoxy again. All the waiting projects are possible again. Of course before you can do you must plan and this is one way I do that.

Planninf_for_gear

The cutouts represent equipment that needs to get mounted on the port side bulkhead between the cockpit locker and the galley. The shapes represent the auto pilot computer, the refrigeration compressor and the drinking water filter. They not only need space, they also have to be accessible and serviceable and not interfere with other equipment.

Talking about interference, we had to relocate the circuit breaker that the alternator power feeds through. When we were fitting the galley sink we realized that the sink drain hose would not clear the circuit breaker and they would rub on each other. So we moved the circuit breaker up a bit.

alt_CB_move
The circuit breaker used to sit on the block now circled by the red cable. We were lucky to catch this while the counter top is still off.

The big project is the refrigerator box. We are building a refrigerator from scratch to fit the space we have and to be energy efficient. This needs to be done before the galley counter top can get installed.

refer_box_test_fit

You have seen earlier pictures of the foam getting installed. This is the Formica covered plywood panels being test fit. That is how big our fridge will be – about 3 cubic feet.

refer_box_5200

The panels are glued in with 3M 5200. It is adhesive caulk, once it sets it will never come apart. After putting the beads down we used a notched trowel to get a uniform coating.

refer_box_fam_clamps

The panels are all in. The foam is acting as clamps, cut a bit oversized and forced into place it will hold the panels tight until the 5200 cures. The blue tape is to help to contain the extra caulk. Nina got the job of trying to smooth the caulk beads along the edges.  She was mostly successful, but in hind sight, it would have been easier without all the foam chocks in place.

All of the above happened while it was still cold out. Once it warmed up we coated a sheet of 6mm plywood with fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Once it set Bill, sanded it and cut out the parts to make the lid flange and lid.Refer_box_lid_flange_test

Here I am fitting the parts to make the flange that the lid will set into. The plans are from a twenty year old book. New books don’t have this information. They just figure you will buy a boat with a refrigerator already in place.

Refer_box_lid_flange_glued

Here is the flange glued together. The flying buttresses keep the sides lined up at the right angle. They also support the top and bottom parts that will be added. Once this cures it will become the mold for the lid. This is actually looking like it will work.

refer_compressor_shelf

This is the shelf that will hold the refrigeration compressor. It was represented by one of the manila folder cutouts in the first photo. (it is also upside down, oops)

sink_undercoat

Our galley sink is over the engine so we sprayed it with undercoating to try to help stop engine noise from passing through it. This was another project that has finally gotten out of limbo.  One can down.  We still need another.

The other big news is Bill passed his HAM license test. He now has a General license. So we just need to get a SSB radio and Bill, at least, is all set for communications while cruising.

This was very much a Bill projects week.  Nina spent her time and energy moving a small shed sized pile of mulch into the yard.  Not the boat.