19-Mar-13: The paint donation we got from EA Wilcox is fantastic. We have been grinding the steel in preparation for this primer coat of paint and we're now very confident that it is working well. We have only about 3 days work on the port side of the hull, then we'll move round to commence the starboard side. After that, it's a matter of a final coat all round, then putting in the masking tape to create a fine line between the bottom and topside paint coat which needs one more coat all round. Then we put on three coats of anti-fouling paint that's already been donated - then that will be an end to the main hull's painting for a few years (we hope!).

The other priority is welding in the starboard propeller shaft struts ready for dry-fitting the drive belt system and spinning up the propellers to check alignment!

Carl Nelson just advised a new way of attaching the stuffing boxes, I'm glad I showed it to him. I'd lathed off flanges with bolt-holes, now I'm regretting doing that because a way to clamp them down would have been useful! Ho well, now we find a way to fabricate it in angle-iron instead. How hard can it be?

11-Mar-13: David Hagedorn, a crewmember who has cruised over 1,000 nautical miles with IRG, cuts steel and makes hydraulic steering mounting base. Throwing sparks!

11-Mar-13: Many Forespar Marelon seacocks installed.

11-Mar-13: The Captain with Forespar Marelon deck-fill installation - water, fuel and waste.

11-Mar-13: David Perez with the Forespar Marelon water exhaust seacocks installed.

10-Mar-13: This is the paint we picked up from EA Wilcox, we started painting the hull with steel primer that's designed for oil rigs!

Grinding the hull ready to paint.

2-Mar-13: Ralph Marx volunteered for a day and we got a lot done including the final welding of the standpipe (Ralph did his first MIG weld here - a little scattered but enough on this strut to stiffen the pipe!), grinding the steel inside the pipe ready for primer paint with the rest of the hull, and then we saw a 1" 4'x8' board and put up the bulkhead that's necessary to mount the seacock, strainer and valve manifold! This pipe will bring in all the raw water for the boat's generator coolant and washdown hoses etc. The steel flange and bronze 3" NPT valve will be separated with a liberal coating of paint, gasket, sealant and nylon shoulder washers to ensure there's no galvanic corrosion.

28-Feb-13: Bronze 3" NPT ball valve and standpipe with PVC top cap for access to clean all the way down through the intake, with manifold Tee. Some have expressed concerns about the use of household plumbing here, but remember this is about at the waterline and handles very little pressure. With just one seacock to close for servicing or emergencies, this will be quite adequate especially when supported by blocks and clamps against the bulkhead all the way up the manifold. Notice the huge 3" NPT Groco strainer ready to be assembled!

27-Feb-13: Welded 3" steel standpipe with flange for all raw water intakes. Needs rust cleaning off and painting with anti-fouling inside the pipe, ready for bolting on 3" NPT valve.

23-Feb-13: David Hagedorn and Captain Ray cutting off the bottom of the 3" steel standpipe.http://youtu.be/uTtWzGGU_6w

9-Feb-13: A week in Captain Ray's life (click here for story) - machining the diesel-electric drive couplings, stuffing boxes and hydraulic tiller assembly in gold rush country, Nevada!


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