I have been in a bit of a funk this past few days. I have found if I don’t have a set agenda or list of tasks set out I tend to drift a little. Its not that there aren’t hundreds of hours of work staring me in the face, its just that when you have a list of things, an order that they must be done in, I find I settle into work faster and get more done. When there is a project such as the cabin roof or the tanks the last few weeks, something with a start and end and a set list of tasks in between I can set goals and more or less achieve them. I did not do that this weekend and I drifted from job to job, doing a little before moving on to something else without actually finishing any one thing.

I am also starting the grieving process. As Nine Lives draws very near to launch, only 2 weeks now, I am starting to feel frustrated that I am still so far from finished. Remember that feeling of getting detention in school on a sunny day, you stuck in a classroom knowing your friends were long gone, already having fun, or worse, working over the Christmas New Year break, quiet at work because near everyone else is on holidays. That’s what I am feeling like right now. And it is resulting in me working slower, which ironically is exactly the opposite required to get my boat in the water sooner. Anyway enough moaning.

Before I explain what I did over the weekend, I passed another anniversary on Saturday. Whilst I started building the strongback in early October 2005, I first started gluing duflex panels together on 24th October 2005, so I am now into my fifth year of building. I have always budgeted on 5 years build time. At times over the build I have felt that I would finish in less than 5 years and others (like now) I feel it will take closer to 6. Actually I feel I will probably finish early 2011 about 4-6 months over budget if I dont hire help or about a year from now if I get help with fairing, painting and some construction from hired labor.

I pottered around until I decided I would de-core the rest of the doorway edges and prepare to uni rope back fill them. It took me pretty much all day to de-core the 7 openings, 4 in the starboard hull because of the toilet nook, and 3 in the Port hull. There will be 2 more doorways, 1 in each hull in the bathroom doorway in the Port hull and aft bedroom doorway in the Starboard but those walls are yet to go in and I think it might be easier to do all of that work off the boat (many builders have the foresight to de-core and backfill their doorways before they fit their bulkheads, I did not!). I also measured out and cut the uni ropes ready to wet out and apply, I cut a small piece off so I could roll it up and ensure it was the correct width in order to roll to the correct diameter. I found 400mm wide worked well which was fortuitous because the roll is 1300mm wide so I can get 3 lengths out of the width of roll. To finish I ripped off 3mm mdf strips just wider than the bulkheads, so about 30mm wide and applied clear packing tape to them. These are used to hold the wet rope in the slot and form a flat edge to the uni. My method is to put screws through the bulkhead so they protrude both sides, about 50mm from the edge and about 200mm apart all the way around. As I go along fitting the wet uni rope in the trench pre-filled with some glue, place the mdf strip over the top to hold it all in and using an elastic band as a fastener from one side of the screw over the mdf holding the uni in to the other screw, tightly holding it all down. It worked a treat on the bulkhead tops uni ropes but then I had gravity working with me. On the doorways I think it might be a 2 person job! I will soon find out.

Then on Sunday the weather had turned cool. The day before I had been cutting uni strips, and I still need to glass a uni strip around the foam of the cabin top in order to stiffen the roof a little more. That reminded me that I have been using left over coving compound to cove the foam to roof join and I still need to sand it smooth as well as keying the glass on the roof to accept the glass. So seeing as it is only going to get warmer as we roll into summer and on the roof it is unbearably hot in the warmer weather, I decided today was as good a time as any. This is a job I have been putting off for some time. When I glassed the roof I decided it was too hard to adequately smooth down peel ply, consigning myself to keying the entire roof area to apply bog. Today that decision meant I had to spend an entire day sanding my huge cabin roof. As annoying as that task was, it felt great to have it done, and, not that it was any consolation, but I will be sanding the roof (as well as the rest of the boat) at least another 3 times before I am done. Once I have glassed the foam edge I will be ready to bog the roof ready to fair it.

I also spent some time measuring and shaping the panel I created out of the last 25mm (bulkhead) duflex offcuts that will form the shelf in the walk in wardrobe in the port hull. I will make the cabinet that goes under it before I final fit the top, but the top is the starting point. It also gave me a physical idea of what space will feel like once it is fitted as it takes up more than half the space in there. I then started measuring and drawing plans for the cabinet that will house a normal drawer and the wedge shaped bin that will utilize the chamfer panel space. I did this on Wednesday evening and it took me over an hour, but will save me more time than that in that I wont be constantly climbing up and down to measure as I go. I intend to build the cabinet off the boat and fit it once it is completed. Of course I will probably dry test the size as I go.

The work I have been doing, like decoring the doorways, sanding the cabin roof, measuring for cabinets and the like are all LVI (low visual impact) and as such not much to see for the labor and also no pics on this site.

aft cabin decoreaft cabin decore 1

Not a bad month I guess. It did not seem like I got much of consequence done but I worked for 72 hours which is a little better than average but only a little. And I have crossed 4 years and also crossed 2700 hours so that works out to 56.25 hours per month. If I was able to average 72 hours over the 4 years I would nearly 3500 hours up by now. Anyway, I get ever closer to finished with each task big or small I cross off as done and with any luck, this time next year and launch will be in sight.

Time Spent: 72.00 Hours

Total build time so far: 2703.00 Hours

Total Elapsed Time: 4 Years 1 month 4 weeks

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Paul