“It gets worse before it gets better,” said Luke from the boat yard as we wandered over to the water’s edge.
I stared down into a massive hole in the back deck of our floating home. It’s a huge new access point for the engine, batteries and water tanks. It’s the first step towards making the floor area on the back deck flush, then eventually covering it with some fancy wooden hatches. All of this was discussed and planned but right now, it just looks like a huge gaping hole in our home.
“Looks great, Luke,” I say bravely.
Odin’s been sleeping over at the boat yard for 5 weeks now, while we’ve been sleeping over at hotels, Airbnb apartments and our family’s spare room. Ah yes, the sweet smell of suitcases and unsettledness again.
We’re expecting another 2 weeks of boat work before everything’s done and we can take her home to the island. The original schedule was 4 weeks, but we now know ‘boat weeks’ are 10 days long. Fact.
The rest of the renovation is progressing wonderfully. Every Saturday morning we’ve been visiting to check on the developments and every Saturday we feel increasingly lucky to have found such awesome, skilled people to do the work. We discuss in detail whenever they deviate from my illustrated plans and they come up with better ideas all the time. It’s an honest, top quality job – and you can’t ask for more than that.
Here’s a quick show and tell of where we’re at.
The front cabin (bedroom) extension
The work started by carefully marking out the extension dimensions, tacking steel together, then welding the new structure in place. The old front portholes will be re-used on the new steel when they cut through and open out our new bedroom next week. We hope to find some small, long windows to add to the doors at some point in the future too.
Eventually Odin’s wheelhouse will be our dining space, our cruising central party space and a spare bedroom. We want to line the walls, add some super comfy storage seats, doors and a removable canvas roof and walls.
Everything is done by eye on a boat. The steel curves were achieved through human brute force and when you run your hand along the sweeping curl, it feels like our home will last for centuries to come.
Rudder pillar tube and bearing
Back on our mooring, the rudder had been keeping us up at night. A strong wind, or a wake from a passing boat would start the 100 year old steel banging. We had jammed a bunch of plastic hose and cable ties around the top of the tube to stop the movement, but it was a temporary fix.
Following a difficult bit of surgery out of the water, the old beast was replaced. The remains revealed years of quick, concrete cheap fixes on the rusted hunk of metal left over. It pays to do a job properly when you get the opportunity.
That’s about the size of the situation at the moment.
I can’t wait for the big reveal in a few weeks, freshly painted white and wonderful, ready for the next stage of her fit-out back at the island.