Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Fun Stuff

Well, I haven't been able to do any hardcore work on Autarkia these past two weeks because of my teaching gig.  Also I have another gig coming up next week doing other stuff, but I will start the hatches then anyway.  In the meantime, we are fitting the wood-stove to its wall mount, and will soon get the chimney stuff from Dickinson Marine.  And our oil lamps came in the mail today!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Update From Behind the Scenes

I'm smack in the middle of a two week teaching gig over at UFV in Abbotsford so there has been little time to work directly on Autarkia.  Still, being in an aircraft hangar with all the tools and equipment available to do aircraft structural work, has given me an opportunity to do a few 'government' jobs.  So far I have been able to make an opening plexi window for over the sink, and a heat shield for the wood stove.

Mostly though, in the evenings we have been sitting aboard discussing our final plans for the interior.  Such things as where the water tanks will go, a dinette settee, table configuration and so forth.  One thing that is almost carved in stone so far is the sleeping platform - I hesitate to call it a berth - in the central cabin.  We will use two store bought twin mattresses to form a king size sleeping platform that extends under the side deck.  This, along with pillows (or stuff sacks) a large platform on which to lounge, relax, read and of course, sleep.  Because of the size, one can sleep fore and aft, or for Lorri anyway - athwartships.  Room for grandkids too, at least in their pre-teen years.

My next job - to be blogged and started some time next week, is to build the hatches.  She will then be weather-tight and the tarps can come off.

Also, I got some decals in the mail last week.  I messed up one of the license number decals that go on either bow so I'll have re-order it, but the rest went on quite well.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fitting the Portlights

The cabin wall is only 3/4 inch thick where the portlights go, and because they have substantial flanges that I did not want to alter or cut down, I made spacers from more 3/4 inch plywood to mount them to.

Cutting a neat hole in the cabin itself where the portlight flange protrudes out the front presented a challenge.  I could not use a saw for obvious reasons, and hole saws are rare and expensive at 8-1/2 inches.  I also could not fit a router either from inside, or outside.  So I put a 1/8 inch spiral pin bit in a Dremel, and made a circle cutting jig with a 3/4 inch nut, a hose clamp, some aluminum angle and a 1/4 inch bolt.  After drilling a 1/4 inch hole where I wanted it, the bolt from the jig went therein, and I was able to cut a clean circle.  It took some time however.  The plywood spacers did not get such finicky treatment as the cutouts are hidden; I used a plain old sabre saw on the bench after tracing the circle in place through the neat hole.

I still have to take it all apart and glue, screw, and caulk everything.

I know that the portlights look a little low from the outside, but they are just right on the inside.  I wanted Lorri to be able to look out without standing on tippy toes, and also I have some ideas for trim treatments swimming around in my head that will compliment how they look from inside the cabin.

It seems our stretch of hot sunny weather is over and the Monsoons are returning.  No problem for me though.  I got everything done that I needed to do with paint and decking.  I'll build the hatches in the garage and install them during the reprieves we do get in the rain.  And there's lots of really fun stuff to do inside!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Getting Some Windows Installed

As the nice weather continues I'm getting the fixed windows installed.  So far the port side is done, although once the clear silicone is cured I have a fair bit of cleanup to do with an X-Acto knife and a razor blade.  All surfaces that interface have some silicone between.  Everything bolted or screwed every 5 or 6 inches.  I'm hoping they won't leak over time...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Stealth Paint Job

Apart from bottom paint -to be finished just prior to launch - the exterior painting is done!  The deck was coated with Deckote, which goes down in two parts.  First a texture coating and then a colour coating.  I have used this in the past on sundecks and it has stood up well to furniture legs, BBQ's and a lot of traffic in hard shoes and boots.  It should stand up pretty well on a pampered house-barge!

We went with stealthy olive tones that should blend in well with our wooded shore lines and creeks.  Plus it's pretty cool (we think).

Tomorrow I'm going to start installing the windows.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Portlights All Cleaned Up

Here are the portlights featured in the last post.  I had them vapour blasted at Vapour Blast Canada.  Great job and great price.  I highly recommend them.

Friday, September 2, 2016


Painting is on hold for the next week or so due to rainy weather.  It should go fast though once it clears up since I have the cabin top and sides quite smooth now.

But since it was pissing out I got to work on the windows.  I spent the day cutting and drilling aluminum.

Some time ago I had 1/4" tempered glass panels made up.  They are 1/2" bigger all around than the cut outs in the cabin sides.  In the photo below you can see how I will have 3/4" x 1/4" aluminum bar surrounding the glass.  I have spaced 1/8" clearance around the perimeter to allow room for sealant - possibly butyl tape but I'm not completely decided.

Then 1/8" x 1-1/2" aluminum bar is used for a retainer as seen below.

The screw holes are only pilot drilled at this point.  They will be enlarged and counter sunk later to accept stainless steel wood screws.  Of course everything will be bedded in sealant.

I'm not decided yet whether to leave the aluminum bare, or to paint them the same colour as the cabin sides.

Also, today I received these port lights I found on Ebay.  Even used they were not cheap, but they are in excellent condition.  My son has a friend with a vapour blaster who will be cleaning them up for me.  He has done these before and says they will look like the day they came out of the foundry.

They will provide a standing view forward, as well as ventilation in the aft cabin area.