M/V Cloud Nine

M/V Cloud Nine
A 1973 North Sea 38' pilothouse Trawler, made in Osaka, Japan by Kita Trading Co. Ltd.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Opening Pandora's Box

Work, work, work.  That's what we've been doing on Cloud Nine since we brought her back from Port Townsend in August 2011.  Being that she's a 38-year-old wooden boat (translation:  in need of a lot of work), and she'd been neglected, every project we started seemed to uncover another area that needed tending to ... it was like opening Pandora's Box!

In all reality, Jerry has been the one working on Cloud Nine, day after day after day.  You see, I've been working full-time for an accounting office and just recently semi-retired.  I say "semi" because in all reality, at the age of 56, nothing is financing this retirement.  So, in between small side jobs teaching QuickBooks to anyone in need and picking up a couple of bookkeeping jobs, I join Jerry in the daily trip to the marina to work on getting Cloud Nine ready for a little summer cruising.

Most days will find my Energizer Bunny (what I affectionately call Jerry because of his endless energy) down at the marina working on the boat with occasional runs into town to our local Home Depot for tools, screws, glue, wood, paneling, more glue, etc.  Then a run back home to get on the internet to research how someone else resolved whatever problem has come up on this specific day.  Jerry is one of those guys who can do anything mechanical, electrical or with plumbing.  And what he doesn't know, he'll read and read until he learns how to do it.  Sometimes it doesn't work right the first time, but nothing gets this man down -- he just tries again.  He loves to quote Winston Churchill's "never, ever, ever give up".

For those of you interested in all the work that's been accomplished, the following is a list of everything done so far.  For those of you who could care less ... come on, admit it, there are a few of you ... you can skip this paragraph and continue below to the before and after pictures.  Jerry didn't take pictures during the process nor did he write down all that he did, but this is pretty close to what's been done:   In the v-berth, port windows were leaking and were removed with a temporary marine plywood closure in place until new port windows can be installed down the road; mattress was moldy due to said leaks and was removed and replaced; all the old vinyl wall covering removed, wood walls painted, and some vinyl replaced.  On the foredeck, the teak decking was leaking, support holding anchor was rotten, portions of inner hull were rotten; so teak decking was pulled up, marine plywood laid down, epoxied in place, and we've put the first of many layers of Safe-T-Deck paint; rebuilt anchor winch base and replaced rotten areas in inner hull running along foredeck.   Upper deck:  hole in upper deck dug up and patched with putty; propane line pulled and rerouted so that all the pipes ran outside of the boat with only two connections (one at tanks and one at stove).  Boat had no scuppers on the sides for water on the foredeck (just small drain holes), so scuppers were installed.  Dickinson heater had no connections, so we plumbed diesel fuel to it but grew tired of hearing the pump running all the time, so Jerry set up a gravity feed system with aluminum tank on the top deck; diesel fuel can be pumped up to the tank, then turn the valve and the diesel returns to the heater through gravity.  That didn't resolve all of our problems with the Dickinson heater, as it was not putting out the heat it should, so he took apart the carburetor and rebuilt it, took apart the entire heater for a thorough cleaning.  Kitchen:  when we went to move the kitchen sink to a more "usable" location, we found we had to replumb the entire boat with PEX because 38-year-old plumbing from Japan did not match anything available now in the U.S.; new counter in kitchen, extending old one further into salon to create more workable space; new propane stove and refrigerator; new sink, faucets and water filter.  Bathroom:  laid new tile down on floor; changed fitting on shower and moved heads and handles to a more convenient location; took out the forward head.  The explosion in January 2012 caused more problems:  replaced one window with three more to replace in the future; replaced antenna which was shattered in explosion and replaced radio at the same time; all doors will need to be replaced as they are just glued back together at the moment.  Other things we did were take out equipment no longer working or needed (TV antenna, direction finder), put speakers for stereo system in the pilothouse, and install electric heater in wall.

Before and after pictures of the work so far:
BEFORE:  Old kitchen with raised bar. 

Old kitchen had raised bar cutting down amount of counter space.

AFTER:  Bar removed and counter extended gives much more counter space

Old bar removed and counter extended gives more of an open feel and allows more working space.

BEFORE:  Kitchen from pilothouse.  The old sink was stuck over on the left side, right in the corner, which did allow more drawers, but forced you to bend way over in order to use the sink.

AFTER:  New sink moved over to right giving counter space between sink and stove (also new as old stove was rusted out at the bottom).  New stove is a Seaward and we love it!  Yes, we lost two drawers moving the sink, but it's much more convenient where it is now. 

BEFORE:  The salon and kitchen from the back door of the boat.  The salon has lots of space and most would love it the way it was, but ...

Oscar, our wood-carved Rainbow Rock Fish oversees our work.

 AFTER:  The addition of paneling warms up the salon.  Headliner has been pulled down because it was rotted after 38 years.  Reinforcement boards were screwed up into open areas to reinforce the top of the boat.  While it's open, new speaker wires have been run to surround sound system and wires also run for 110V lights above the settee.

So lots and lots of work done so far on Cloud Nine and yet, when you look at her current pictures, she looks like she still needs a lot done, and you'd be right.  We figure at least another year of hard work on her to get her "pretty" but we're going to enjoy every minute of it!  At least that's what we keep telling ourselves.

In the meantime, we're going to take her out for a 2-3 week cruise June 2012 and give ourselves a break and a little vacation.  We'll post photos of our travels and let you know where we're visiting.  

FOLLOW UP:  A couple of comments by friends asking if I'm planning on lifting my "delicate" fingers and do anything to "help".  (Don't you love sarcastic friends!)  So, just putting in that I'm taking all of the varnish off the teak on the outside of the boat as well as the one who has worked on the v-berth.  We have more photos to post with changes and will get to those soon.