Steve's Tolman Project 66th page...

July 24th, 2005

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm getting down to the wire with finishing this thing enough to have a launch on Sept 3rd. There's no shortage of things left on my list and I swear that the list grows longer as my deadline looms closer.

I've been trying to work a little in the evenings and hit the boat running on the weekends. Little bits of paint here and there or sanding makes a difference. You'd think that a boat would be easy to paint, especially when you are headed in a work boat finish sort of direction. Even considering that I'm not at all being hyper picky about the finish, it's still pretty time consuming to prep the raw epoxy finish by sanding and then cleaning, primering, letting it cure, then sanding, then adding another coat of primer, letting cure then sanding, then touching up, sanding, cleaning, let it cure (about a week), then finally a coat of paint, then letting that cure for 24 hours, then scuffing the surface, doing a second coat, letting that cure.... and on and on and on. I'm actually not whining so much about the painting anymore since I found a relative rhythm to the thing.

The main hull is done except where a certain someone banged the ladder against. It's yellow, and well, rather bright. Spray rails are sanded, then re-epoxied with graphite filled epoxy. I got rid of some runs when I sanded them and now reintroduced runs with the fresh coat of epoxy. And so it goes... Two steps forward and a leap and half behind. Added some lovely green paint, and will soon be adding some red paint too.

Dick came over and made up some custom battery and power cables using his gigantic crimping tool. I think Dick's cables look better than the Suzuki factory made battery cables. I'm running #2 for the batteries, and #6 forward to the fuse box. This is all very high quality Ancor marine grade tinned wiring, as well as Ancor connectors, and Blue Sea fuse box, Power Posts, etc. I'd cheaped out on the current switch panel, but will eventually upgrade to something decent. It's amazing the quality differences between this SeaDog switch and the Blue Sea switches. I tried getting a fuse out of the cheapy switch panel and fiddled and finally had to use a pair of tweezers to pull the fuse. Then the fuse cap just would not grip the fuse. This scares me. I think about being out on the ocean and rocking all over the place and trying to track down a blown fuse that refuses to come out of the switch panel. Nope, not for me.

Made up a battery tray holding and leveling device to fit in the bottom of the battery compartment on the starboard side. Will make one up for the port side also.

Also started connecting some of the wires Dick made up. And started hooking up wires and control cables to the outboard. Well I tried to anyway. My lovely Suzuki dealer did not give me the right cable for the tachometer to the outboard. So I can't start the motor as soon as I'd like. That's annoying.

Made up the cuddy cabin handrail. Haven't glued into place since I'm not sure what kind of wood this is, I'm wondering if the epoxy is going to stick. I think it may be teak. I had a big board that I'd squirreled away about seven years ago, and finally got the gumption to cut into it.

Had a baby possum move into the chicken's egg laying box. I chased him away twice this week. First time I'd reached in grabbed a couple of eggs, then reached to the back to see if there were any more eggs, and this little critter bit me. Didn't draw blood so I don't think I'll get a rabies shot. After he bit me he fell over and played dead. That was pretty entertaining.

next installment...