Headway at last

Once again I’ve been quite remiss in posting updates because I’ve actually had a few very productive days!

The big update was that Oceana got relocated 100 Yards over to the crane and we pulled both of the masts and the engine out of the boat


However it seems that during the great 4TB hard drive crash/new laptop/new laptop with dead hard drive/installing a Drobo fileserver debacle of 2014 those pictures are the ones that are lost :(


But since then I’ve also removed the binnacle which involved cutting off the nuts which I a a little freaking out about because the bolts are big and kinda unique so I “HOPE” I can replace them  :)

And then I started cutting into the leaking disaster that was the left side of the cockpit:

Tada!  I messed up a bit because I was going to leave the middle seam un-welded and cut out  a spot for the hatch there but once I started welding I was having so much fun I forgot :)




Bit of progress

Here’s a panoramic photo of the port quarter-berth/generator room stitched together in photoshop “after” several days work yanking fiberglass out.


ANd after all of that; there’s a whole nuther layer of wood and glass I have yet to get to.  Fiberglass still sucks in case you were wondering



Time suckage

So in the quest to build a super cool ship’s computer/media center deal; I got a bleeding edge embedded linux/android tiny cube computer.

It’s been pre-ordered for several weeks and so I was just super nerd excited that it finally arrived! :) So instead of doing important prep work for pulling the masts and engine tomorrow I decided to tinker with a new tech toy. (http://cubox-i.com/)

It was relatively cheap, super tiny, quiet and best of all only uses 3w of power.  It all went together well and it’s just super cool but; I could not get any sound out of the TV.

I just spent the better part of 4 hours trying to figure out why it would not play audio through HDMI  Finally I gave up and then spent another two hours trying to figure out why there was no audio from the optical jack either.

I went through dozens of forum threads with people having similar issues but not quite the same as mine but nothing worked.

Finally I just got so pissed of I gave up and decided to watch TV instead; which is when I realized that “20″ on the TV volume actually meant “completely inaudible.”

In my defense I did actually check the volume first I just failed to properly raise the volume up to 57 after I’d lowered it to the inaudible ’20′ earlier for a phone call this morning.

Grrrrrrrrr   A whole day of pointless Agro!


The Lump

So today’s Project was to actually pull the engine to get ready for the crane which will also pull the masts on Thursday.

I’ve been super hesitant to pull the masts or the engine because I know that once I do; Oceana stops being a “boat’ that could theoretically go back in the water “any day now.” And becomes just another pie in the sky project boat like countless others.

But I have to say I’m glad I did because I’ve discovered a number of issues with deadly potential:  ALL of the hoses fell apart in my hands.  the main water intake to the engine only had one clamp on it which was a no-no but that clamp was completely rusted through (eek!!!)

There are a number of clamps and whatnot all over the motor that are corroded out; the bilge under the motor is a DISASTER and the prop seems to have a tremendous amount of resistance through the bearing.  The motor mounts are pretty tired and I think at least one of the structural cross members supporting the motor is probably done – it has some pretty significant rust scale on it.  On top of that it’s just in the way to do the next few cosmetic projects in the cockpit, battery compartment and the engine room itself needs doing so it just had to come out.

And I’m pretty proud of myself for getting this sucker out all by myself! (But I’ll probably pay through the nose to put it back :)





In case you were wonderin… YEP!

When I was a small child and my parents were doing home improvement projects my mom warned me emphatically not to touch fiberglass insulation – I didn’t listen – but I learned!

When I was a bit older i was told not to run my hand along a fiberglass bike flag whip.  Another hard lesson

Years later when I did my own DIY projects I was more cautious but fiberglass still sucked to be around

And after than when boating or working in a boat store you only need to run your hand along a VHF antenna once or twice for a buggy whip refresher course

But just so you know; I can tell you with absolute surety, YEP! dealing with fiberglass still sucks!  ESPECIALLY ripping out God-only-knows how old loose wadding from a boat’s hull!

Here Comes the Boom!

At first I was sort of joking about my priorities when the first major purchase I made for the boat was a flat-panel TV.

But at some point I might have to admit I have an actual problem.

So far the “big Projects” list for the boat

32″ TV

A set of Speakers With Blue LED’s because duh OBVIOUSLY a boat needs Blue LED Speakers

A custom Designed Brain to control the BLUE LED’s

Then I got really serious and duct-taped in a WiFi Antenna so the boat’s got google now & then I went to the big Seattle Boat show with all that sold-my-house money burning a hole in my pocket and so I went and bough bought me a NMEA 2000 & WiFi equipped AIS transponder & a Harpoon

Because: When you look at my empty shell of a stripped out shipwreck of a boat…  It sort of just screams that the only fundamentally critical thing really missing (after Blue LED’s of Course)  is the ability to transmit it’s stationary position on land… and a Harpoon! DUH!

Going on probably 10 years ago I bought a set of Monsoon computer speakers that at the time I thought were the best sounding speakers I’ve ever heard.  But I’ve been saving the stupid thing in storage forever! I long ago blew one of the  speakers out but I decided to recycle/repurpose the subwoofer, crossover and amp into my DIY media center

Aside from the subwoofer naturally being near the top of the todo list (Duh!);  I just felt that I had too much empty space for storage and needed more bass for the interior speakers that I can’t actually install yet because there’s no wiring or even 12v batteries on the boat yet!  But I do have a subwoofer! (and WiFi AIS and a Harpoon!)

But having said all of that the blue speakers & having some nice sounding tunes outside have really made working on other real projects around the boat pretty cool (so you see I am also really good at rationalization!)

This actually looks much better IRL without the flash blasting through it

And I did fire it up briefly and can say that Oceana has without a doubt the finest sounding tuned port canned food storage locker in maritime history since: ever!


pick pick pick Squirt Gush Ack!

Ever pick at a tiny little scab and then instantly realize you made a horrible mistake when the bleeding just wouldn’t stop?

Well in this case it was more like picking a small scab and discovering bone and tendons underneath!

At some point in the past these storage compartments got a bit of rust (cancer really) and at some point someone fiberglassed over the mess and created a ‘tub’ like structure

When I bought Oceana these storage compartments on both sides of the cocpit were full of water (and leaking into the engine room


Well today I finally got the compressor going which meant I finally got the needle gun going to chip the glass away and underneath was some disgusting saturated plywood (ug)

Under that a whole bunch of nasty socked fiberglass and wood trim

And then underneath that was rusty metal and then below that is what I think is a radically undersized hydraulic autopilot pump

Finally found the hidden Hydraulic AP pump!

A few minutes with the plasma cutter and I now have a 2 square foot hole open to the sky for the next few days of rain!  Yay!

That’s looking THROUGH the coachroof :)

Now a halfway smart person woulda stopped there; but no not me!  I had to look under the cockpit sole to find more of the dreaded epoxy/stainless/rust/plywood sammiches!  :(


But but but… it’s just not sparklie enough!!!!

we had a couple of bona-fide NICE! days here in Seattle and I made a little progress on the boat finishing up the port cockpit rail

port cockpit rail
It looks pretty good and it’s been bugging to have to board the boat by standing on a 1/8″ knife edge of metal and now there’s  a nice wide footing.

I finished up the other side months ago and then I hit this with the grinder and wire wheel to prep it for some primer.

As I stood back to admire my work and the pristine rust free shine it suddenly hit me: Crap! that really needs to be stainless steel!!!!

It’s totally ‘good enough’ I “was” perfectly happy with it and to be honest I’m mostly ticked at myself for not realizing it until now but damn that bar really needs to be stainless!   The “smart” thing is to work on some other part but I just know that it’s going to bug me FOR-EV-AH if I don’t rip them both out and start over!!!!!  Grrrr!

So far the only thing saving me from trashing several days of work and a few hundred bucks is that I actually can’t seem to find any 1×2″ 316 Stainless steel tube.  Well that and the huge holes I cut into the roof letting in rainwater (sigh)

Today I was a bad, bad boy!!

I’ve been in a real slump with working on the boat and unable to get motivated or get anything done. So I decided to pay a professional to get my MoJo back.

So I found a dude online and solicited him to get dirty and grind with me a little bit; things got hot and gotta say kinda electric and sparks were really flying between he an I. He told me enthusiastically me that I had “decent penetration; and excellent hand skills.”  So I got that going for me!   He was a burly metalworker and said his name was “Rusty” which sounded like a made-up stripper name; but I was pretty sure we’d really made a solid connection or two. But then sure enough just as soon as my time was up and money ran out made me gather up my clothes take off my helmet and get out!

I was amped up and raring to go back to the boat to go take care of business! I twisted the spot that usually gets me goin and…  Nuthin!  So I decided to call in another pro to jump me and crank my motor till it purred.

(I took a welding class and left my lights on til AAA came and gave me a jump)

It was an expensive day (ha! How niave I was way back then last week!) paying other men to show me how to use my own old-broke down equipment.

But it was fun and I went in expecting to be told I was doing everything wrong and that’s why my welds all looked like shit.
But then I got to play with Rusty’s tool!   And To quote George Takai it was like: “OH MYYYYY!!!!)  So the ‘expensive’ part of the day was when I got to play with a $5000 Miller pro-grade welder and the steel melted like butter and the weld actually looked like how I expected when done. (crap!! I thought this is gonna cost me!)

So then I went back to a cheapo welder similar to mine and lo and behold a crap weld just like I’m used to!

So I’ve been on Craigslist and ebay all week looking for some ‘deals’ and I found some OK ones. Found a plasma cutter that was $300 cheaper than online but missing a $50 plug and pretty scratched up (and 200 miles away in Portland!)  That’s when I realized that this welding stuff tends to hold its value so well it just wasn’t worth saving a couple hundred bucks for some used clapped out crap that’s missing who knows what

So today; I broke down and did something bad:


Really; Really bad!

The guys at Airgas did me right and gave me a rockin ‘Internet deal” on a brand new Miller Plasma cutter and Mig/Tig/Stick welder And I got to walk out of the store with my bounty RIGHT NOW!)   But holy shit when you spend %50 of the value of the boat on tools to repair the boat it sure does sting a little bit!!

And now I really got no excuse I gotta git dirty grinding and whip this lady into shape!