Saturday, May 29, 2010

Still Working to Close in the Cabins

This week I've been able to get back to work on Element II  on a daily basis, at least for a couple of hours each morning.  As some of you who have stopped by my other website or blogs may know, my latest book, Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late, has just been released this week.  I am now on a mostly full-time writing schedule working to complete my next book, which according to my contract has to be done by September 1.  Since I won't be taking on any other outside work until at least that date, I now can devote some time to the boat, as I certainly can't spend all day writing.  This is a good time of year to make progress too, as epoxy and paint cures fast.  Since I'm doing the boat work first thing in the morning, the temperatures are not unbearable.  I'll try to update here a little more often, but most of my keyboard time will be spent working on the new book and promoting the just-released one.

Here's a shot of  where I'm at today with the hulls - after just putting a first coat of paint on the cabin tops and sides:

The walk-on surfaces of the cabin tops will get non-skid on the next coat, laid out in patterns similar to those on the foredecks.

Other than endless sanding, filling and fairing to prep all these surfaces for paint, the other jobs I've been working on this week were fitting the main companionway hatch covers.  This involved making and shaping teak receiving blocks for the stainless steel tubing upon which the hatch covers slide. 

When building the coaming for the forward ventilation hatches a few months ago, I planned the layout so that there would be just enough room for the hatches to fit comfortably aft of the Bomar hatches when slid forward and resting on the cabin tops in the open position. 

I can't imagine sleeping below in a Tiki 26 in a hot climate without those forward opening hatches.  While sleeping aboard the Tiki 30 Abaco in the Florida Keys a couple of weeks ago, the open Bomars funneled the breeze right onto my bunk, forcing me to look for covers before morning.   The Tiki 26 should have such hatches shown in the plans.  If I had an older boat without them, I would be figuring out a way to retrofit them if I were sailing South. 

Here's another view of the cabin top with the main hatch closed.  The sliding system works beautifully. 

After making sure all the angles were correct and pre-drilling and fitting the teak receiver blocks, I took all this off and proceeded with fiberglassing the hatch covers.  Abaco's varnished teak hatches are fine to look at, and mine are trimmed out in teak as well, but I want no bright work to maintain above decks, so mine will be glassed and painted.

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