A new hole

We got up early this morning, well, early for a day off, and rode the bikes to the boat. We’d both been fantasizing about the ride and the job we’d do once we got there all week long so we were out of the house within an hour of jumping out of bed.

The ride was fast and cool under a cloudy winter sky but it never takes us more than a half hour to get to the marina from the community. It’s about a five mile ride through the incredible Bluff Point State Park that spits us out practically on top of the marina in Noank.

The job for this week was the demolition of our piece-of-shit, power hog of a  top loading refrigerator. Age unknown, model unknown, manufacturer who cares? The thing has got to go!

This past summer we discovered that we only had two major power draws on our entire system and those were the auto helm which wasn’t really that much and the fridge. The rest of the boat runs off the most cutting edge in 21st century power efficiency. LED lighting through-out the boat, 18 lights in all that draw a total of 1.8 amps when everything is turned on and our chart plotting, navigational, radar system which draws a total of 2.1 amps while it’s running. We have two fans that draw 1.5 amps each when on the low setting and when everything is on it draws a little more then half of what the fridge draws when it kicks on, which, by-the-way, was all the freaking time on those hot summer days.

So the fridge had to go!

We thought at first it would be a quick demo like the starboard cabinetry but we discovered almost immediately that this sucker was built right, most likely by the first owners or by the manufacturer as a ice box.

The compressor was located in the starboard-side aft lazarette on a fucked-together shelf next to the starter battery. It had so much rust on it when we bought the boat that we thought the previous owner was lying when he said it got cold. The only reason we didn’t replace it almost immediately was the fact that it worked, and I mean tenaciously. Just the fact that it worked at all made me respect the thing, well the manufacturers anyway and it was such a pain in the ass to get to that we just kept using it. We both agree that that was a mistake.

I got the tile off easy enough while Dena pulled the compressor out of the lazarette.

After the easy part was out of the way we grabbed the sawzall and had some fun!

After that we switched off digging out the old insulation and fiberglass.

…I love this shit!

As Dena continued to plow into the Styrofoam and fiberglass I took load after load to the dumpster of the detritus and I barely kept up.

Each time I’d come back with the dock cart she’d have the cockpit full of busted up refrigerator parts just waiting for me.

Until finally we were looking at bare hull.

That space is going to be the bulk of a pilot’s berth, plus a hell of a lot of storage space and a couple of cat hammocks.  We’re going to cut a hole in the aft bulkhead (the farthest wall back in the picture) large enough for our feet and calves.  The head of the berth will be just this side of the other bulkhead, the one we cut back.  We put a nice curve in the top so that it would still be strong without having any sharp corners.

Tomorrow, we scrape and clean (after a couple hours of work on our day off, but that’s another post).  Then, Thursday is break-out-the-chemicals day.  Stay tuned.



  1. Hahaha…Nothing says it better than “Rip & Tear”. also, a great way of relieving stress. Give a person a sawzall and watch their day get better immediately. Keep us posted. Aloha

  2. First of all, this heavy not fucking around tear her up demolition process is super sexy. Sawzall for the win.

    Second, what’s the purpose of the pilot’s berth? I looked it up but didn’t get why you might need it. Do you mean it’s literally for the person at the helm, or is that just a vestigial name for a narrow, tucked away sleeping area near the cockpit? Are you basically building a guest room?

    Third, Oh yeah. Tell me all about strong + curves, you are singing my song. (See item #1)

  3. “not fucking around” “super sexy” “a new hole” Wow, I didn’t realize this was a porno site, I’ll have to check in more often.
    ———or wait, maybe my mind is there cause it’s been too long since—uhh, sorry, TMI

  4. Tom you are so right! There is nothing better for stress relief than a sawzall and maybe that’s the main reason we started this project in the first place. The stresses of our new work environment are things we’ve never really dealt with before. Such as people shitting in the hallways, walking into our apartment in the middle of the day, lost, ambulances in the middle of the night and of course the on going death lottery. Like I said these are things we’ve never dealt with so grabbing a sawzall and a big hammer, beating and ripping the shit out of something is an awesome feeling.
    Kate: The pilots berth is a place for us to rest while on a port tack, meaning the wind coming from the port side and angling the boat to the starboard. If you’ll notice all of our settees are on the port side of the boat including our main berth in the forepeak. So after all that port-tacking this past summer we decided to put in a settee to starboard so that we could go below decks and relax no matter what tack we are on.
    …And yes, the Pilots berth is for short napping while on long off shore cruises.
    We had a pilots berth on S/V Sapien and we used it quite a bit when we sailed to Hawaii in ’06. On those long dog-watches we would set an egg-timer for 15 minutes, when it went off we’d get up, look around, check the radar and the rig and then go back to the berth. It worked out quite well.

  5. On a wooden boat, a curved member for supporting the deck with minimum weight:strength is called a knee. You see that shape all over those boats. Sexy – yep!

    We’ve verged on porn, Dad, but this one is all you…

  6. I’m at my parents’ house for Christmas, where cable TV plays about 16 hours a day. I turned to the Travel Channel’s Extreme Houseboats show to see what other people do with their boat projects. Yeah, those digs are bear little resemblance to your realm, don’t they? My question, again and again: Why do you need this luxury superhouse to be floating? Is it just for the view? Seems to me you’d have all the problems and hazards of a home in the water without any discernible benefit. It doesn’t move, right? Actually sailing that house seems as ridiculous as the pirate ship office towers in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
    Ok, whatever. Lots of people on cable shows make choices and have lifestyles I don’t understand.
    But this one made me think of you, putting in a guest room through a new hole in the bulkhead. One of the homeboat owners has a prefab place he bought out of the Neiman Marcus catalog called MetroShip. It’s a two-level, three bedroom jobie. The TV pops out of the ceiling; has a full-on kitchen and a shower. I found an article in New York House magazine, check it out here: http://kimplummer.com/NewYorkHouse_KimPlummer_ABoatWithaView.pdf
    The homeowner’s name?
    James Lane.

  7. Water has a calming effect, I can remember sitting by the pool after work while my kids swam and feeling the stress of the day ‘flow’ out of me. Add rich people with more money than common sense and you get that semi-floating, somewhere around here there is water, way of living. I’ll bet they only use it for weekends or vacations.
    One thing for sure, they are not sailors, they are floaters, and anyone can float—well almost anyone.

  8. As I’m sure you can imagine I’ve never really understood a boat that doesn’t go anywhere or a home that sits on top of the water… It doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. A boat is made to move and a house is not. If you put a house on floats and then stick it in the water you are begging for degradation issues. The only two things that keep degrading growth off the bottom are chemistry and movement… The chemistry is outrageously expensive (more expensive than a lawnmower for a home that’s for sure) and you have to do it every other year or so. Movement is simply impossible for most houseboats so the upkeep on those things tends to be not worth the time and effort that most of them need. The Million dollar view is the only rational but that is so self centered because I think most of them are ugly and destroy the view for everyone else… Obviously I’m not a fan.
    I did see one of those Metro-Ships right on the Hudson River across from Manhattan in Jersey this past summer and for the first time I got it… It was very low profile, kind of Bauhaus looking and had the most killer view you could imagine, and yes, it had a working engine. Of course I googled it and discovered that the price for one like the one I saw was about $700k and that’s not including moorage! So really, what’s the point?

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