Tag Archives: boat projects

What the heck’s going on aboard Yahtzee?

There’s been a lot of progress going on aboard Yahtzee these days. While Jill’s been working during the week, I’ve been getting as much done with the boys as possible and then when the weekends come, I’m on it. The thing is, I’ve found that even though a number jobs have been started, there aren’t many that have been finished. And the ones that have been completed would probably be noticeable to only Jill or me. Ahh, such is the life of boat projects.

Thankfully I get to walk down to all the boat projects with views like this.

Upon last report, I’d ripped out some plumbing to the sink in the aft head and built a new drawer, re-finished the windlass motor and basically gotten the boat ready for an Alaskan winter. Since that time there has been a flurry of things happening, decisions being made and lots of indecision about which way to go on a few projects.

Though a lot may not be “finished” yet, here’s what’s in the works:

Re-finishing Woodwork

A primary consideration when thinking about moving off the boat for the winter was that we could tackle some work we otherwise wouldn’t with four souls aboard. Sanding and varnishing was very near the top of that list.

While Yahtzee has some nicely finished brightwork down below, there were some places that had become a little lackluster over the years. Chief among them were the areas around the companionway and the main bulkhead behind our cabin heater. Due to a lack of heat displacing material, heat from the diesel fireplace dried out the wood and made the finish look a bit off. Also, there were a few dings that needed fixing.

Woodwork isn’t necessarily difficult, but neither is it interesting or fun to write about. It’s just time consuming and relatively messy. I’ve spent days sanding, cleaning up the dust, varnishing and then sanding some more. And then I put in some new aluminum flashing to protect the wood.

Part of the companionway before…

Continue reading What the heck’s going on aboard Yahtzee?

Salt life to cabin life, and the projects begin

Freshly cleaned lines dangle from the railing in our little cabin nestled amongst woods and mountains. Sails are neatly folded and stowed under our beds. The windlass motor has been removed, cleaned, sanded and re-painted. A pesky leak has been fixed. And more projects are underway on a long yet doable list.

Along with the boat stuff, firewood has been split and stacked. Our freezer is stocked with salmon. The cold morning air has become increasingly more crisp, causing us to pull on warmer clothes. Fresh blankets of snow have covered the many surrounding peaks and any day now we’ll get some of the white stuff down here, too.

We’re ready for winter and to keep working on Yahtzee.

Moving Off

With glorious sunshine and warm-ish weather, we moved off of Yahtzee and got her ready for the seasons ahead. It was bittersweet, to be sure. It’s the only home the boys have ever known and Jill and I haven’t lived in a house together in a long time. The adjustment period into a temporary land life has been understandably up and down, but mostly up.

Continue reading Salt life to cabin life, and the projects begin

Completing the switch from incandescent to LED

So many LED options to choose from...
There are so many LED options to choose from…

While walking by the Fisheries Supply booth at the Seattle Boat Show last week, I noticed their display of LED interior lights and thought, “Boy am I glad we finished that project.”

That’s right, it’s done. This winter we finally completed the changeover of our interior lights from incandescent to LED. It took a while, but now that we’re fully running on brighter, less power-hungry lights, I feel like a great service has been done for our boat and for the occupants of its once excruciatingly cave-like interior.

Why LED?

LED lighting is no secret to boaters anymore. It seems that every new boat has them as standard equipment and many used boats on the market have been fully upgraded from incandescent to their energy-saving brethren. And it makes complete sense.

When we bought our 1984 Grand Soleil 39 Yahtzee over three years ago, all of the exterior lighting had been switched over to LED, but all the interior lighting remained incandescent. At anchor, we’d switch on a few of those old, hot incandescent bulbs and literally watch them drain our batteries. Many of them eventually burned out. Plus, they just didn’t light up the space very well and even though we have a fairly open layout down below, Yahtzee seemed cavernous at times. Continue reading Completing the switch from incandescent to LED