Renovations, Part 2 – November-December, 2012

Renovations are finally taking a positive direction. In the past few weeks there seems to be more of the Gyr coming back together than being ripped apart!

Here’s what’s been happening:

1. Coach Roof: The rotten roof has been replaced. The bad areas were much more extensive than originally thought, and in the end about 80% of the roof had to be replaced with 2 offset layers of 3/4 inch plywood.

Edge of coach roof showing damage

Edge of coach roof showing damage

Both of the support carlins (long solid beams that run from the fore to the aft of the ship) were mostly bad. Gordy (our main shipwright at LUBR) fashioned two new carlins (made from laminated boards) to exactly replicate the old carlins, so that all of the roof beams would fit in perfectly.

New laminated carlin before installation

New laminated carlin before installation

Of course, the ends of many of the roof beams were also bad, so they had to be replaced with solid pieces swagged onto the end as well.

The final product is a thing of beauty. It should not need to be replaced during our lifetimes (Gordy says it’s a hundred year roof). Now that the wood work on the roof has been completed,  the fiberglassing has begun. So far, they have put one layer of glass along the edges of the coach roof.  There will also be a cap rail along the edge. This will be followed by more glass over the entire roof, several layers of epoxy, and finally paint. We are planning on putting wire railing on top of the cap rail (so that we don’t lose any of our teak deck chairs overboard).

Finished coach roof

Finished coach roof

Single layer of glass along the edge of the coach roof

Single layer of glass along the edge of the coach roof

 

2.  Boiler and Plumbing: The new Dutch-made Kabola diesel boiler has been installed, along with a hot water tank. There is a complicated system of valves and manifolds that basically drive several different systems.

Kubola Boiler on right with hot water tank on left

Kubola Boiler on right with hot water tank on left

There is a Summer Loop, which supplies hot water to the showers and sinks. There is also a Winter Loop, which supplies hot water to all of the hydronic heaters, which is how the boat will be heated. A hydronic heater is similar to heating in an automobile – hot water runs through a small radiator, and there is a fan to blow the warm air through tubing into the various rooms.

Hydronic heater unit in the main salon

Hydronic heater unit in the main salon

Each heating unit has a fan speed switch, and many of them also have thermostats to provide more constant temperatures.

Thermostat and heater fan switch. Taken before heat was on - note brisk

Thermostat and heater fan switch. Taken before heat was on – note brisk 53 degreees

Gyrfalcon originally had cast iron radiators – these have all been replaced by the new hydronic heaters.

One of the original (cast iron) radiators

One of the original (cast iron) radiators

In addition to the heaters in the human spaces, there are also heaters in the rope locker (fore) and the lazarette/paint locker (aft) to keep them from freezing in bad weather. Mark put in a temporary chimney for the boiler, so that we can run it while the Gyr is still under her cover.

Temporary boiler chimney

Temporary boiler chimney

In addition to the heating, we have replaced all the piping to the sinks and showers with modern Pex tubing. We replaced the kitchen sink, the pedestal sink in the master stateroom head and the sink in the fore head, put new hardware in all the sinks and showers, and are having the cast iron sink in the day shower refinished.

New kitchen sink

New kitchen sink

We also put a heated towel rack in the master head (there will be a few luxurious touches on the Gyr).

Heated towel rack - master head

Heated towel rack – master head

As of last Friday, all of the new plumbing had been completed. This week they will pressurize the system, check for leaks, and then fire up the boiler. We should have heat by Christmas!

The electrical refitting has also begun. We have a new inverter/battery charger, which will run all of the 24 volt batteries on the boat.

New 24v inverter and battery charger

New 24v inverter and battery charger

We also have 2 of the new batteries – needed for the fan and electronics on the boiler. Many more batteries will follow – to start the engines, run the lights and instruments, etc etc. Also the huge banks of 32 volt batteries (none of which are any good) will have to be removed from the boat and scrapped.

We have gone appliance shopping, and found a refrigerator – no easy task, since the space in the kitchen is only 34 inches wide, and the hatch on the roof (by which most objects get on or off the boat is only 31 inched wide. Most refrigerators today are at least 37 inches wide. Fortunately, we found a small one that is only 30 inches wide and still has a freezer and a water dispenser in the door.  We will likely complement this with a chest freezer that will live on top of the roof when we are chartering. We also got a hood that is large enough and powerful enough to draft the giant Viking oven that is on the boat (and hopefully will be sufficient for my messy cooking). We got a dishwasher, and a washer/dryer stack, which will fit down the stairs to the forward section of the boat in the laundry nook (It’s too small to be a Laundry Room).

3.  Night Shift: While the professionals have been hard at work during the days, the elves come aboard and work in the evenings and weekends. One of the main tasks has been cleaning.

The night crew arrives

The night crew arrives

The boys generate a lot of sawdust. It covers the decks and collects in the spaces where the supports for the tent are attached to the decks. Since the plastic tarp ends there, many of the spaces get damp from the constant rain(welcome to Seattle in the winter). The wet sawdust is not good for the underlying paint and wood on the boat railings. So every weekend, one of has to sweep and vacuum the railings and the decks, and scoop the wet sawdust out of the spaces. It’s about 150 linear feet of railing that is affected. The first time Nancy did it, it took her over 8 hours to finish (I was conveniently out of town). Since then, it has become somewhat easier, since we don’t let it build up, but it still takes between 2 and 5 hours to get it clean. And then Monday comes, and by noon, there is a whole new crop of sawdust. Since the day shift is mostly done with the carpentry on the coach roof, there should be less sawdust in the future.

We also took our first foray into tiling. We cut a DuRock cement board to fit the counter in the forward head – and even managed to cut a correct sized hole for the sink – all without breaking the cement board! We are very proud of ourselves. We have ordered some Mexican cobalt ceramic tiles, and will install them as soon as they arrive.

DuRock base, ready for tiling

DuRock base, ready for tiling

At some point, most of the ceilings in the bedrooms and passageways were covered over with vinyl headliners. Since the decks leaked, there was significant mildew between the decks and the headliners. Also, we did not like the look of the vinyl. So we have taken down all the headliners in the boat to reveal the undersides of the original fir decking. In many areas there is a lot of peeling paint, but we think it will look really good when the underside of the decks have been refinished. It makes it look more like the working boat it is, and the massive beams are really cool. Plus it make the rooms look bigger.

Main Stateroom with vinyl liners

Main Stateroom with vinyl liners

Master stateroom after vinyl headliners were removed

Master stateroom after vinyl headliners were removed

All it will take is about a million hours of mildew abatement, lead paint removal, scraping, sanding and painting. We will start in the master stateroom and work our way forward. Well, we knew she was going to be a project boat. Nancy has the week between Christmas and New Year off, so we are planning to spend most of it on the boat. If you are in the area, come aboard – I’m sure we can find a scraper (or sandpaper or a paintbrush) with your name on it.

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4 Responses to Renovations, Part 2 – November-December, 2012

  1. K Meyer says:

    Hi Peter and Nancy,
    Very good comments. They will be of historical value in the future.
    Have you picked up the ladders from Mike? Any other news? Where do you plan to moor the boat when finished? Ken Meyer

  2. JOMolter@aol.com says:

    Looks like you are really getting into it. Looking good. When finished will you be charging Ocean liner fees for charter? You should with the way things look like they are going. Thanks for the update. John & Caroline.

  3. Scott Welch says:

    Hi Peter & Nancy, I just found your site more or less by accident (I noticed the boat was gone from YachtWorld and wondered what was up). I did a major reno/restore on a 60 foot wooden DeFever about 10 years ago (Island Eagle) and went through many of the same steps you are going through now. Sadly my blog site is no longer up or I would direct you there.

    A few comments:

    1) The roof. You would be surprised how much movement there is even in marine plywood. My roof is 2 layers of 1/2″ with 2 layers of epoxy and glass, and the seams are definitely showing through after 8 years. I’d consider adding at least 1 and maybe 2 extra layers of glass tape.

    2) Small, but a money saver: the fans on those heaters draw only about 100 mA, you can use very small wire (#20). Also, trust me on this, the fans are noisy. I bought a bunch of Panasonic low-noise fans and replaced all of the standard ones.

    3) You a** will thank me for this: I also put in a towel warmer. Unfortunately, the loop temperature of your hydronic system is HOT ENOUGH TO HURT! Put a tempering valve on the towel warmer. You Have Been Warned!

    4) I also converted a 32 volt boat to 24. I’m happy I did. However, one thing I would do differently: I converted all of my 32 volt lights to 24 volt lights. They work perfectly, but: 24 volt gear is a total PITA to get. If I were doing it again, I’d run all lighting on either 12 volts DC or 110 AC. Especially with some of the 110 AC LED bulbs now available.

    5) Overhead: Yep, been there, done that. Some was painted & peeling like yours. Some was done in vinyl. Except with mine, the vinyl was not nautical enough so it was “enhanced” with a trim made of 3/8″ white polyproplyne rope run around the edges and fastened with hot-melt glue. Truly special. So, here’s what I did (warning this is a bit of work):

    A) Rip a sh**load of yellow cedar in to strips 2″ X 1/8″ X 48″, putting a nice chamfer on each one first.
    B) Buy a bunch of 1/8″ loan doorskins
    C) Glue said yellow cedar onto said doorskins
    D) Sand and oil the yellow cedar
    E) Measure each and every frame bay
    F) Cut the cedar covered doorskins into many many small pieces, with the wood runnig fore and aft, making sure that every one is numbered, so that when you look up the grain all matches
    H) Using a 22 gauge pin nailer, fasten all of the small pieces into the correct place
    I) Rip another sh**load of mahogany into 1/2″ quarter round pieces and varnish them
    J) Fasten them all around the perimeter of the small pieces you already installed (adjust the 1/2″ size as needed to cover the largest gap 🙂

    Now, I know it sounds like a crazy amount of work. But really, really, REALLY, it looks like a million bucks. If you send me your email address I’ll send you a picture. And by the way I scrapped and painted some of mine, since the cedar was so much work. 5 years later it was peeling. I said screw it and put the yellow cedar there too.

    Have fun!

    Scott

  4. Philip Hilgersom says:

    Dear All,

    Just discovered this interesting blog and comments. I am the proud co-owner of “only” 32 feet of wooden Grand Banks, built in 1972, hull number 95, named Alicia Anne, moored in the Ballard Mill Marina. I am totally in love with wooden boats and have been a professional merchant mariner (Bellboy to Hotel Director) for 32 years. I am “semi retired” and have my own company, doing project management for cruise lines, especially refits in interiors.

    Here you described taking the headliners and insulation out, this was done for me on the Grand Banks by the former owner (I assume), so in the forward cabin ( a big word for that space!) one looks at the roof with the beams. My thought was to insulate the spaces between the deck beams, and finish the deck head with 3 inch wide strips of bead board, (attached to the deck beams and accented by teak battens over the area where the original deck beams are. Would like your honest opinion on this plan. During the winter, I see mildew forming (although I have a fan/heating rod going and hatches partly open…….. Go Gyrfalcon, what an amazing story, hope to see her soon! Best regards, Philip Hilgersom

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