Saturday, October 25, 2008

At the Heart of Winter

Winter is here. We moved into our new slip this week. The dockmaster and assistant, Sebastian and Howie, came by the other day with the marina tender and hauled Willie and I into our new slip on A dock.

It is an awesome slip. We are right at the bottom of the gangway. A bit high traffic, but once the shrink wrap is on it won't matter. The advantage is for walking the dog. We can have him up to the grassy area in under 30 seconds. Love it. Plus it gets good sunlight-- not too many building shadows. That is crucial for winter.

Now for the good part of this post. I uploaded all the pics of the heater install.

This is an old picture of our main cabin looking forward. You can see the little cubby at the bottom right of the picture. Even when the cabin was finished and new there was never anything to cover this hole. It is just a storage cubby and a place to put your feet if you try to lay on the starboard settee. It is just too short of a space to use as a real berth, and it was kind of ugly as a cubby.

So, I took some liberties with it in order to install our Dickinson Propane heater. Here I have removed the trim and am getting ready to box it in.

This is the first piece of teak that had to be cut, and the most vital one. It is half inch thick and more than sufficient to hold the weight of the heater. You can see here how it expands the cubby by adding in the triangular area. Yay for more storage!

I posted this pic before, but this time it is a bit more in context. You can see how I finished out the triangle cubby. (I don't really like the word "cubby" so I don't know why I keep using it!) Anyhow, the lid lifts off and now there is a giant cavern behind there, inclusive of the old storage cube. :) The cushions are cut down to size, and we have to send the covers out to Jenny's mom who will sew them to fit the new cushion sizes. She's great like that.

Then there was a portion of the project which has no pictures. They wouldn't be fun anyway. I had to run propane hose under all the settees and cabinets and through the bilge and out back to the stern where the propane tanks will one day be mounted. For now they are just sitting on the helmsan's seat.

And now, for this weekend's headache project. Installing the thru-deck fitting for the flue. To be sure we are free of leaks and to avoid rot I bored out all the screw holes to an over-large size and filled them with epoxy. This way the screws are now screwed right into epoxy and even if the screw holes leak the water won't get to anything damage-able. It was during this process that we discovered we have foam core decks-- always thought they were balsa wood core. That's nice, I like the foam idea better. Warmer and less prone to rot.

Here is the flue installed from below:

Here is the entire flue pipe. It had to curve forward and towards the center in order to avoid the indoor handrail, the outdoor handrail, and the opening port all at once.

And here is where it comes out above deck. It is a double walled flue. It pulls air in the lower mushroom and exhausts out the upper mushroom. That is also what makes the propane system self contained. It pulls air and exhausts through the same double walled flue pipe.

One last thing before, we see the finished product. There seem to be a lot of safety police among our friends and family, so I wanted to show just how far the cushion really is from the heater. The instruction manual requires 2 inches, and we are 4 inches out, plus it is at the bottom where it never gets too terribly hot. :)

Tada! Victory and fire!

This is the flame on "low" setting:

And here it is at night on high, all cozy and snuggly looking:

Hooray for nice clean warm and simple heat. I'm happy it is done, but wow, that was a lot of work and a lot of money by the time all the little extras were purchased. Should be well worth it though.

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