Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23rd

It seems that all the problems with our MiFi, with blogspot, and with my new camera have been worked out so posting is not quite as labor intensive as it has been.  So...I'm going to try to catch up on a couple things that we have been working on other than the solar panel project.

We have always talked about removing the double queen size beds from the salon area.  As it is now, there are only two bucket seats for the entertainment area.  We need...more room than that so we will be able to entertain family and friends comfortably when they come to visit.  Since we have moved the main sleeping quarters into the dinette area, we are free to take out the existing beds.  Step one was to take down the headboards and to remove the mattresses.  As you can imagine, moving the mattresses out of the small hatch was an exhausting endeavor, but again, we won the battle in the end.

Off came the headboard on the upper bunk and yes, the ant spray was used to remove the inhabitants we uncovered.  We are definately getting the ant situation under control. 

Look at all that space!  This is the bottom bunk all cleared out and the headboard removed.  Can't you just see the new wrap around sofa and coffee table in this space?  We will design it so that it will convert into a spare bed for overnight guests.

Everything that had been stored on the lower bunk is now being stored under the current bed.  It worked out to be a perfect size to store the Avon inflatable boat.

I will look for suitable material and sew a skirt to cover this.  The carpeting in this area is a definate improvement.

And just to tie up all loose end projects, here is the wheel cover that I completed a couple days ago.  Let me just say, this looks like such a simple project but my friends, that was not the case.  This project almost kicked my butt.  I had to redo it a couple times to get it to a point that was acceptable to me.  I have to keep in mind that I am working with Sunbrella fabric, which is canvas, and is not as simple as with working with regular fabric. new Sailrite sewing machine works great!  I love it.

I know you have to be wondering what was so hard about this cover...there is a split in the rear that had to have a hem around it.  Going around the top curve of the hem was very difficult, but again...I won the battle!

This will probably be my last post until after the Christmas holidays as we are expecting family to visit so...

To All Our Family and Friends

Carter and Diane

December 22nd

We've been working fast and furious trying to get things to a good stopping point before more company arrives for the holidays.  Carter made significant progress today by getting the I beam backbone up on the boat and even got one panel screwed in before darkness brought all work to a halt.  It took a little bit of fine tuning and then some convincing with a sledge hammer to get it into place.  But...we won in the end!  :-P

Just beginning!  The I beam is carried up on the boat and put into position.

This is so you can see the big picture.  Carter walks a "tight rope" up there. 

Carter had to fine tune by trimming some aluminum to get it to fit.

Then some gentle persuasion with a sledge hammer...

Inch by inch it moved into place.

Finally, it's in positon.


With the backbone in place, Carter couldn't wait to start putting the solar panels in place.

With this panel in place it was time to remove the plywood scaffolding out of the way. 

This was completed right at dusk so we were forced to quit and retreat inside away from the mosquitos.  We will continue tomorrow.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18th

We continue to work on our projects.  Carter has been working, off and on, on changing out the wood canopy for an aluminum I beam and support system.

Here Carter has it set up to get the hinges lined up to hit the panels in the correct place.

 I have gotten the Sailrite sewing machine out and begun to finish my work on all the different covers.  I completed one seat cover last summer and I finished the other one yesterday. 
These are the chairs located at the stern of the boat.

The chairs are very comfy as we have recently realized!

For sitting while BBQing...

Or just enjoying the cruise.
Beginning the wheel cover.

I believe I mentioned in an earlier post that we purchased a new TV.  It has been so nice to actually get to watch the news in the morning with our coffee and to watch good movies on blue ray!  We get a total of 5 channels.  ABC and NBC are included but we don't get CBS which is unfortunate as it is the channel that has all of our favorite tv shows.  Oh well, we are enjoying the TV.

We have a spaghetti mess of wires right now but I'll get in there and straighten that out soon.

December 8th

Carter immediately got started on a project that he has been wanting to get done for quite a while now.  The flooring in the cockpit has been increasingly getting worse and is in dire need of replacement for safety sake. 

Out comes the old rotting flooring.

Obviously, this will make accessing the engine room much easier when the time comes to install the electric motor.  Here Carter takes time to clean this space while it's open.

Here is the final product.  Very nice.

At the same time, Carter worked on replacing the faucet in the galley and the bathroom.  These are upgrades that really make a difference!

Looking good...for a bathroom...excuse me....head!

Out with the old and in with the new. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 7th

We have been very busy since we arrived and I have been ill so I've been slow to do anything.  Plus, blogspot is not cooperating.  Evidently they have done something to the site regarding uploading pictures and have not worked out all the bugs.  So this post is being delayed.

First thing we did was to pressure wash the boat.  Topside only for now.  We will be washing the entire boat soon as we prepare to paint.  Carter got to work immediately with the refrigerator.  Yea!  The time has finally come to replace the 40 year old Magic Chef refrigerator.  Since this has never worked while Carter has owned the boat, we have relied upon two dormatory size refrigerators that have been located inside the mechanical room.  The truth be known, Carter's ulterior motive for the new fridge is his need to clear out the mechanical room for batteries.  No matter what the reason...I got a new fridge!

The process for removing the Magic Chef was tedious to say the least.  We figure the boat was built around that thing!  It was no simple task to remove it.  We had to dismantle many parts of the galley, the dinette, and the mechanical room in order to make this happen.

The old Magic Chef

Beginning to dismantle.
We had to take down several panels of the ceiling in order to get to where the old gas water heater was bolted to the boat.
There's a good shot of the fridge and the water heater.  These things were bolted in very tight!
Here Carter has to cut the lines going to the water heater.

Ok, free at last!

Hoisting it out of the main companion way.
Getting the new fridge in was MUCH easier.  Fridgerators are much lighter these days.
Obviously...a HAPPY camper.  But check out the total destruction.  Notice parts of the ceiling hanging down...what a mess.  But you gotta make a mess to clean things up.
And here is the final result...or almost final result.  There will be some finishing touches to bolt it in for good.
While we were taking apart the dinette area, we again discussed the possibility of moving the sleeping quarters into the now dinette area.  We agreed to see if I could figure out how to set up the support for the bed...which I did.  I went back and reread the instructions given by Mr. Henderson last year and finally got it figured out.  We are going to purchase a new mattress later today.  Once the holdiays are over and all company has left, we will begin the demolition and redesign of the existing sleeping area by removing the bunk beds and replace with a "main salon/dinette/office".

The dinette table and benches convert into bed support.

The final result with new mattress and carpet on the floor.  This has created plenty of storage underneath. I am going to sew a skirt to cover the bottom storage area from view.

Another project that has jumped up the "do now" list is the replacement of the bathroom sink faucet.  The old faucet leaks terribly and is making an awful mess.  This will be a tremendous improvement.

I didn't get a before shot but here is the after.  It's great!  Ahhhhh

And last but not least...a purchase that ranks right up there with the refrigerator...we finally upgraded the TV.  We purchased a 32" LED and we absolutely love it!  We are now able to pick up several local stations with the antenna we purchased last season (that was useless with the old tv).  We are now able to keep up with news, weather AND watch a few of our favorite tv shows after dinner.  More on that project later.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Let the 2011 Winter season begin!

Summer in Tennessee is over and we are back in South Florida to continue working on our favorite project of converting the Halcyon into the Archemedes.  As we worked this summer Carter was always plotting and planning his next moves on the boat.  One exciting event was the purchase of 8 solar panels equivalent to just over 2 kw for a total of 3 kw.  If you haven't figured it out yet, you will soon see that this is a work in progress and is always changing as we go.  During the summer, we also determined the need for the ability of changing the position of the panels to get the maximum amount of sunlight, so Carter will be reconfiguring the installation. 

The next couple days will be spent cleaning up and moving back in and then we will get to work.

I will start cleaning up by kicking out the current residents!  I think I have mentioned in an earlier post that I hate spiders and snakes.  Spiders must go but isn't this a cool pic? 

This is a normal size view of the 2 spider webs with the reflection of a tree in the calm river with a few leaves floating by.  Just cool pics....

2 trips like this to Kemmery Solar in Strawberry Plains near Knoxville, Tennessee and Carter has 8 solar panels to add.

Just barely fit in the Corolla!

We will be putting the final coat of paint on the boat in the next couple weeks and Carter will be constructing a new canopy to accomodate movement of the solar panels.  Then we plan to take the boat down to 10,000 Islands to find a good place to beach the boat to work on the rub rails and the life lines. 

From that point on Carter will start a blog of his own giving all the technical details of the remainder of this project, leaving out all the personal details.  I"m pretty sure that I will not continue this site and go back to my ladeedi site to focus on photography.  We will let everyone know the address for the new blog when he gets it going.