August 21, 2011


Holy smokes! Sarah and I have taken the first step in following a dream we have had since we first met. Fifteen years later and we are now the proud owners of a 1967 30' Rawson sailboat. We are nervous, excited and just a weeee bit stressed out. Ha ha ha. We plan to live on it and cut down some of our overhead, allowing us to pursue other dreams that will require more capital than we are able to pull together while renting a large house and all its utilities.
The hull is fiberglass, hand build as part of a short series, but still basically a production boat. The designer is Gardner and he and Rawson designed and built several different boats, from sailboats to gillnetters. The Rawson name is recognized as a good builder and the reviews online are very favorable so we feel we made a good choice.

The boat is however older than I am, so like me it is a bit rough around the edges and needs some TLC. The hull as far as we can tell seems to be in great shape, will need to be hauled next summer and some bottom paint etc done, but all in all good condition. The motor is an inboard Westerbeke 4 cylinder. Due to no hours used gauge or log book we have no idea how many hours the motor has on it, but it start and runs smooth. That will be a project for next year or so, in the mean time I will be focusing on the interior and details. It has a head, galley, v-berth and a salon area. The salon, or kitchen table, has been removed to create another double bunk so that will have to be rebuilt, but first comes the v-berth so that we have somewhere to sleep. Most of the wood used in the boat interior has only been painted, not sealed for the most part, so first step was removal of the old. I completely gutted the berth and prepared the interior of the hull for insulation. I am following the advice of another blog,  the Frugal Mariner link, as far as the insulation and wall reconstruction. Due to my living in isolated Alaska I will have some differences as far as materials. I am using the Reflectix material as a base and looking at polystyrene sheets for my second layer. I am unable to locate a source for bulk camping pad material such as he used. Also this is a bit thicker and so will only due one layer of each, also it is considerably cheaper! I also will be doing my final wall installs slightly different in an attempt to save some money and time, also to not give up too much space as our boat is smaller than his and I am hoping to retain as much cubic feet of living as possible. In place of the single bunk I will be putting a customized double bunk with individual storage and hanging for cloths on either side. As I progress along I will post pictures and show the developments. Should be a fun ride! So on to the pics and more explanations......

This is a pic of the outside after finishing our first day of cleaning on the boat, beautiful night for waterfront property. Ha ha ha
Sorry a bit blurry, but she does so much love her boat!
So one of my first issues is fixing the broken window above the controls, it is really smashed and leaks some when it rains heavy. The doors are original and in satisfactory condition, I will be working on them next summer to make a better seal and  such. They used to be Dutch doors and I have thought to re-create that in the replacements.
V-berth looking forward to anchor locker space. This is how we found it just after the prior owner moved off. The anchor locker space we are planning to use as a kitty cubby, we don't want to introduce the anchor line and all its moisture etc into our living quarters, so it will be stored on deck in a plastic tub. This will give the cats a place to hangout and call their own, maybe underfoot just a little less. lol
Looking to the port side of the v-berth. As you will notice the entire thing is sealed in a single layer of Reflectix and as I work on it there will be replacement, and increased usage. This will get covered with poly sheets and then a plastic sheeting used in commercial kitchens (virtually indestructible) and ultimately trimmed with wood for a nice warm glow and feeling.
Looking towards starboard v-berth. As you will notice they have used standard household carpet to line this wall, this is the first thing I tore out. Also as stated earlier, wood they used for shelves etc is mostly untreated and I gutted that also, you will notice the rotted black wood in this stack. Once all that was removed the boat took on a whole new feeling, cleaner!
This is the galley, the stove/oven is a Dickenson and seems in good shape. The top is old and bit rusted so if anyone has tips on doing a good strip down cleaning and re-sealing would be great. I figure its cast iron so do it like a pan, although pretty hard to temper it in the oven as I would a pan. Suggestions appreciated. Also notice the box of Potato Buds, a gift found down behind the oven. Yuck!
This is the head, looking over toilet at the cupboard build into the ceiling (on boats the wall are ceilings)

Mirror, counter and sink of the head
Cupboards open, as you can see lots of storage here too. 
This is what is left of half of the salon area. The bench is still there, back rest is gone and cushions are gone, so a bit of work will be going on here. The refer is under the bench and is fairly new and in great shape.
Looking aft at the salon area and berth/storage under the cockpit. This too had some original carpet on the walls and I have removed it in prep of future work. As you can see the headliner is in pretty good shape and just need to reattach in some areas where the screws stripped out. 
Starboard just aft of the galley, two person couch (that is the flat panel heater that came with the boat) behind that another large storage area. The electrical was all replaced and run through a few years ago and conveniently placed in this panel.
Well, this isn't pretty, but it had to be done. After first day of tear out this blue bulkhead and the old wood panelling on the wall came out, the fiberglass was scraped, and cleaned and prepared for new insulation.
So now that the area is stripped and ready I will come in and do the insulation. More pics to come and hope everyone enjoys seeing the beginning and end of our boat project, at least enough to be able to move in a little over a month from now. Till then......

August 15, 2011

Summer goes by so fast

So the summer has been moving along really quick now that I am up and active. Spent most of my time working on the set for Perseverance Theater summer STAR show. The plays were Beauty and the Beast (jr.) and James and the Giant Peach. The cast are kids involved with the summer acting camp and their shows alternate nightly and share the same stage. That was a challenge for the technical director and his assistant, yours truly. We built a two story pentagon shaped gazebo that represented the east tower in Beauty and also the peach. This was accomplished by different backdrops being hung inside, around or behind as needed. We also put in a trap door to the second floor and removable ladder for James, and two hidden ladders on the back for the cast to ascend the structure. The uprights were constructed of 13 foot 2x6 ripped at 36 degrees on one side so that when glued and nailed together they created the main support. Under the second floor were 5 foot versions of the same design attached to the inside of the 13 footers and gave us a place to rest the joist system on. Then all joists were bolted and hung by joist brackets as any deck would be, but with the twist that no two sides are parallel to each other. In the center we mounted a 4x4 for structural support. The whole thing was amazingly stable and we joked about selling it to someone for their garden. Unfortunately to remove it means to destroy it. So no sale.
The gazebo
Although difficult to see, we put a fake roof on it and mimicked the pentagon shape in the center
 The other side of the stage was a progression of platforms elevating to a height of 4 feet. We mounted step for each level. Rather simple in design but yet challenging to keep it safe and sturdy.
So Sunday was strike day and I snapped these shots just before demolition began, now after another day of clean-up and trimming at the shop the entire set is nothing more than lumber waiting for the next show. Ah, the life of theater!