Saturday, January 31, 2015

Alberg 30 Boat Shelter

The boat is finally covered. I had started by looking at different types of covers people had used during refits. Problem was there were as many shelters as there were boats. One that I really liked was a wooden bow shed, which seemed very popular. The only problem: I am not a carpenter. While I can nail two things together, I'm just not a carpenter. At least I'm aware of this and probably saved myself a ton of grief trying to build the bow shed. I also found RV shelter intriguing but there were none in the size I wanted and they're expensive. So I set out to make my own. I found a place in Oregon that sold the shelter fittings and used their template to design mine. After a bit of trigonometry I had one designed and fittings on the way. Below are photos of the building process:
First things first: Most of southeastern Virginia is a swamp, or was one before it was drained and settled, and nature works tirelessly to return it to that condition. My yard is no exception. In order to make this into a suitable work area I had some stone brought in, about 5 tons of 57 grey. Cheap and effective! 

With the help of a friend I spread the stone....and soon found out that 5 tons wasn't enough. It was a good start but I will be ordering more in a week or so.

After the stone was spread, started building the shelter. Still not a carpenter, but I can work with steel!

These fittings make it a breeze, and within an hour or so I had roof assembled.

Next we lifted the roof frame onto the boat so we could get the legs under it.

With the legs under it and in place.

There is the shed, just about complete. I need to make this shed look as temporary as possible (to skirt city permits and rules for a permanent structure) so I set the feet of the shed in buckets and then concreted them in. Then I installed the cover. While it isn't quite done, it is now keeping Sal dry. I still need to install some X bracing to stiffen up the structure, but so far we have had 25mph winds on a few occasions and it has held quite nicely.

Now that the boat is covered and shelter nearly done I can get to refitting the boat. I am going to take some video and pictures of how she sits now for before and after photos of the project. These will provide me with references for getting her back together later.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Year, featuring cruisers from Maine

Happy New Year All!
Things have started to settle down a bit. I passed my boat handling test with the owner of the ferry and I am happy to announce I am now gainfully (part-time) employed as a captain. This is a big relief; and a time-consuming endeavor completed. I no longer have to go to the boat 2-3 times a week to practice boat handling. This has freed up some free time in the evening to allow me to catch up on other projects. One such project is a 302 engine rebuild. I am 90% done with that, and I hope to deliver it and collect a little boat money this weekend. Once that engine is finished I can start to get serious on refit.
This weekend I made preparations for the the boat shed I am building. I am making a 15'x40' shelter out of fence posts and a large tarp. It should do the trick without breaking the bank. It should also be strong enough to handle most weather, and temporary-looking enough to keep the City code inspector off my butt. I guess only time will tell if it's going to do the trick.
Now that we are all caught up on what's going on I want to share a few photos of some cruisers that I saw heading south recently. In Portsmouth, VA, at the start of the Intracoastal Waterway there are free docks that always have cruisers tied up. The time of year will usually dictate the direction in which the cruisers are traveling. This time of year there are typically very few cruisers; however, the last few times I worked the ferry I saw the boats below. Both had young cruisers living the dream of heading off to warmer and simpler places. What I found interesting about these boats is that they were both from Maine. Both crews admitted to getting very late starts south but were headed there nonetheless. This has given me renewed inspiration for getting my refit started.
Posts should become more regular as I have my PC up and working enough to post... and a very special Christmas present has enabled me to take high quality photos again. A good friend gave me a Canon DSLR T1i Camera- just what I needed! I was too cheap to buy a new one and still very upset over the theft of my T2i. But thanks to the generosity of friends, I am now back in business and re-equipped to dedicate some time to the blog.  

Here are the fittings that the fencing material will slide into

Bristol 30 sitting at the High St dock in Portsmouth, VA before continuing south to warmer climes

Crew says this outboard will push them 5kts in calm water. They said they were glad to have removed the old A4. This has me thinking about the upcoming repower of our Salacia

A beautiful classic sitting over in the corner of the High St dock basin. While piloting the ferry, I had been looking at this boat all day wondering where they were headed and what their story was

After work I had to take a closer look. There was a young crew of four. Owner said she was found in need of repair and over the last few years he fixed her up and was now headed to the Caribbean. He said she wasn't fancy but simple and in good repair. She sure looked good to me!