Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Craiglist find- $50 Bomar Hatch

From reading this blog you may or may not have picked on a few things about us so I will tell you: 1) We like finding deals 2) We like building things on our own. 
These are both done in an effort to save money. If I did not do it this way I would not be able to afford the boat I have. 
As our dream is to one day voyage to distant places, I plan on upgrading our boat to a live-aboard blue-water cruiser. Many of the items sold to make boats blue-water worthy, such as ocean capable hatches and portlights are extremely expensive. Because I want to build a capable cruiser and will not sacrifice safety I look for parts, used and new on Craigslist. Many times there are very good deals to be found. You just have to be patient and know what you are looking for.  
One of the upgrades we wanted for our Sal was more light and ventilation below. She is quite dark and stuffy down below when all closed up. This was something that I have been thinking about and preparing for as we start the upcoming refit. 

Here is a picture of the existing forward hatch. 
It's small and does not let much light in at all. The other thing it does not offer is an escape from the boat should there be an emergency situation, such as galley fire. We need a larger hatch. I had been thinking about making a wooden hatch but scrapped that idea. I was looking at buying a hatch like a Lewmar 60 such as James Baldwin of Atomvoyages.com installed in an Alberg 30 but at near $650 it was just too cost prohibitive for us. So I turned to scouring Craiglist for a suitable unit. 
Here's what I found yesterday:

Bomar 1000 series hatch measuring 18.5" x 18.5". There was no price, the ad said "make offer". I never like to insult anyone and always try to gauge what they have in mind. When I asked what he had in mind...he replied $50....not wanting to show much emotion I looked it over for a minute asked where he had gotten it from, and then said I'd take it.

Poor picture but as you can see from the photo this hatch is in great shape, even the lens! I will buy a new gasket and put levers to open it from outside like the newer Bomar units sold. Even then I believe I will have less than $150 in a hatch that cost $550+ new.

Another item I found on craigslist a while back was this 6" ABI portlight, NEW. These units were $450 when they were available, and they are no longer made. I found this one an hour away for $75 with screen. This will be added to the cockpit bulkhead near the galley to provide ventilation when cooking and another source of light over the galley. A great find!

Here is the video that James Baldwin of atomvoyages.com posted on YouTube showing the install of a similar hatch on an Alberg 30 like Salacia. He makes it look easy....not sure it will be that easy for me.

Looks like Salacia will be in the water for 1 more month. The trailer is nearly complete, just wiring left. It will probably take me one afternoon to finish it. With my vigorous work schedule this past few weeks I have not been able to get the mast removed from boat. Oh well, we'll go sailing for a few more weeks....horrible alternative!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Alberg 30 trailer nearing completion, Alberg 30 Salacia first sail of 2014

In the last post we were in the middle of a great weekend. Saturday night we went to an amazing concert, Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band. It was a spectacular display of pure musicianship, the band had so many talented musicians. They rocked for 3 hours straight! The following day we went sailing. 80 degrees, sunny and a good breeze out of the south made for a great first sail of 2014. We tacked back and forth just outside the inlet for 3 hours, it was much fun and more importantly...very relaxing.

First Mate enjoying the sail. 
We took it easy and just flew the large genoa. It was enough to push Sal along at 3-4 knots all afternoon. I am hoping to make 1 or 2 more sails before taking her out of the water. I'd like to sail out to the Chesapeake Light, about 12 miles offshore. We'll see if time allows....it should, aren't we the ones setting the schedule? In the meantime I am working on a video of our sail. I am practicing with some video editing software so it is taking me a while.

Progress on the trailer continues slowly but surely. All that is left is the wiring. 
A shot from the back just before installing the rear lights. 
I will be adding 4 additional supports to hold Sal in place, but this will be done at the boat yard with Sal still in the slings resting lightly on the trailer.

All the front clearance lights and DOT reflective tape installed. Really breaks up that black paint nicely.

Another side shot showing the tongue of the trailer all painted and ready to go.

This trailer is long, nearly 30 ft long. First Mate's classy 'Stang at the end there : )

Here is the wiring...yeah... it's a mess. I am  just beginning to tackle it. In the picture you can see I installed the new brake controller (top left); this unit will apply the brakes should the trailer break away from the tow vehicle. It is a safety requirement, and so there it is. 

Another shot of wiring spaghetti that I will have to sort out over the next few days. Once the wiring is completed the trailer will be ready.

All in all we are progressing along nicely and working to get Sal home so we can start her refit. I am beginning to give thought to all the areas and items that need to be addressed. It's nice to be able to turn my attention to something else. Stay tuned: there will be a boat on the trailer soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Beautiful weekend-In progress

The last few days the weather here has been great, nearly perfect! I finished all of the welding on the trailer and finally applied some paint to most of it. I was only able to paint the front half but its getting there. This Alberg 30 trailer will soon have an Alberg 30 sailboat on it.
Here is what our Alberg 30 trailer project looks like this am, starting to come together

We went to an absolutely great Bruce Springsteen concert last night, one of the best performances I've ever seen. The E Street band was amazing. They played for 3 hrs straight. It was well worth the money. Today WE ARE GOING SAILING!!!! It is going to be close to 80 degrees and there will be a nice southerly breeze. Check back for pictures and a sailing report

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Alberg 30 Trailer Coming Along- Almost Finished Construction

The weather here in Virginia has finally broken. We are now seeing the type of weather one would expect to see for spring, now that the temperature is up and it is not raining. I have been able to get quite a bit done on the trailer. 

Finally got some new tires for trailer. One more thing I can scratch off the to-do list. These 8x14.5 tires are not easy to find - I had to travel a few towns over. I repainted the rims and they look pretty good mounted to the reconditioned hubs. She's starting to look like something!

Back on the street! Yard is still quite wet...definitely too wet to lay on so I moved the operation to the street.

She's a long one. This Alberg 30 trailer is just a tad too long for my driveway.

All welding equipment ready to go. This day I completed a lot of the finish welding. Most of the added beam and keel supports were just tacked using the small MIG welder. I arc welded all the main supports and trailer tongue.

I also added some nice D rings. I have added 4 so far. I will add two more once I have the boat on the trailer. This way I can place them exactly where they will be needed. These small details take time, but in the end it will make for a very nice trailer.

I should be able to make more progress over the next few days. The weather is supposed to hold out through the weekend. If it does, I might have the trailer nearly finished. 

Still to do:
  • Wiring
  • Sand trailer
  • Paint....
  • Go get Salacia!