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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Each heating unit has a fan speed switch, and many of them also have thermostats to provide more constant temperatures.
Gyrfalcon originally had cast iron radiators – these have all been replaced by the new hydronic heaters.
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.
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.
We also put a heated towel rack in the master head (there will be a few luxurious touches on the Gyr).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.