This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Saturday 30 September 2023

Great weather to start October


I’ll be sure to plant green beans again next year.

In May of this year I planted three different types of tomatoes, two zucchini, two yellow peppers and one small green bean plant, all in pots sitting on a sloped retaining wall facing south. What surprised me is that the tiny green bean plant produced so many beans all summer long although it is plagued by grasshoppers, snails and I assume earwigs at night. 

The tomatoes were great and I had more than we could consume on a daily base so I froze plenty after making tomato sauce from them. The zucchini are still growing too, but not as fast as they did during July and August. Perhaps I give up on the peppers because they were late and are so plentiful, huge, plump and inexpensive in the stores that it seems almost a waste of my effort for me to grow them. Besides I never had much luck with red ones. 

Many of my flowers are done blooming for the season but there is still some colour in my flower beds and with the hot weather we are having at the moment, maybe we get to enjoy them a bit longer.

Benno had been happy that we had some cooler temps that made working in the boat so much easier. He did a lot of electrical work with hookups and rewiring. We took off the fabric ceiling material as many of the wires are now running there. They will be hidden under a false ceiling and Benno finished the strapping already. Maybe you noticed, but the two vertical supports between the front windows are a bit bigger now. Inside are six wire cables in the right one and 4 (so far) in the left running down to the breakers underneath the steering console. Just like I mentioned, cables will be hidden.

Our last trip to the Toronto area netted Benno some round 3 inch long 1-3/4 stainless steel round bar pieces from the Metal Supermarket. Last week he manufactured on his lathe five covers from this 316 grade stainless steel, which are installed over now obsolete thru hull holes on the starboard site of the hull. The idea was to close those holes without major wood/paint work and this way thru hulls can be reinstalled if the need arises.

I did some more painting with the brown/beige Epoxy paint on the shelves behind the helm man’s  seat. Benno is building a cabinet on top of it that required him to remove a small support using a chisel and flex grinder. Not an easy job!

Btw, in my last post I mentioned my technique of varnishing. It was taught to me by a Danish Shipwright when our sailboat “Najade” was being built and the wood used was white Oak. The way he showed me was that when using Oak (not all wood types need this) The first coat of varnish is being thinned down 50% with Mineral Spirit. It brings out the grain that can be scraped off with the metal scraper when the paint is dry. Then the next coat can be sanded lightly and if needed scraped again to take off any dust particles. After the final coat is dry the varnish is rubbed down with extra fine (0000 steel wool and 3-in-one oil) to give it a satin finish. To note, never insert your painting brush/foam/roller into the paint can as it will jell up over time. I use a coffee scoop and a plastic container from which I paint. The same goes for any other paint if you want it to last longer.

Aside from the ongoings in the boat, Benno decided he will relocate the VHF antenna from the deck to the little stub mast and therefore the present cable will be too short for that. However it is long enough to hook up the antenna if mounted to the roof of his shop to the VHF radio mounted inside his shop. He has a 12V power supply there anyway. Now if working in there he can listen to the VHF traffic on Lake Erie ;-)

I think I stop for now for this post or it will be overload. See you next time on this blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Time is slipping by


With a month long gap in-between blog posts there were lots of projects that got completed on the boat. The weather had been hot throughout August, which made work inside the boat in the afternoons feel like working in a sauna. However, it did rain occasionally and when it did, torrential! Boat building or refitting takes a lot longer than house projects but we knew that from the beginning, because we built a sailboat (Najade) and a power boat (Diesel Duck) before. Besides, it is supposed to be a hobby for Benno that has become an all consuming job but fun nonetheless. 

As for me, I help, support and come along to get “stuff” for the boat and then do the usual garden-house-shopping-cooking-etc. Our son and grandson came for a weekend visit to round out the month. It was nice to have them over, meanwhile the girls and mom were out shopping for back to school outfits.

We had been contemplating what to do with the dashboard (the area in the so called wheelhouse where navigation instruments are being mounted and the steering wheel is located) It is slightly curved and covering it with material for those contours looked complicated. In the end I painted it with an epoxy based paint that turned out to be difficult as well (what a headache that was) as the paint rollers either left lint or disintegrated with this specially mixed paint. I went through 5 different types of roller materials and ended up applying 7 coats using up the whole can of paint. It took a week to thoroughly dry.

Twice we made a trip to the Toronto area to purchase wood from Noah, a marine wood supplier and to pick up the electric toilet, hoses and other supplies we had ordered from Holland Marine in Mississauga, who is in our opinion the best marine supplier in Ontario. The toilet is an Italian brand product from Tecma with a powerful macerator pump and is distributed through Thetford Marine. This model will flush with fresh water from the onboard tanks. According to the salesmen at the Miami Boat Show, this toilet pump can shoot 60 ft. I noticed on the sticker at the pump that the pump is actually made in Canada. We had this type of a toilet on our Diesel Duck and really liked it.

Cutting and designing fiddles and corner straps with rounded corners that frame the new fibreglass panels we bought in the states took some time and then I varnished them before they were installed. Benno also plugged them (covered the screws) then sanded those plugs after cutting them off and I had to re-varnish those areas on the strips and rub them with extra fine steel wool saturated in 3-in one oil to give them a smooth and satin finish.

Lots of electrical connections are being done. It also involves to re-run all new cables and use marine wire. The previously installed wire were non marine grade and ran above on the walls in the forward cabin, wheelhouse and salon. We pulled and gutted them all. Benno wants to have them invisible by running them underneath in some cases and in new channels and in-between a false ceiling but of course accessible if needed. 

Since our days revolved around boatbuilding there were not too many other interesting activities to report. Our pickup truck got a little paint job done on the front fender area where someone didn’t judge their turn correctly and left us with scratches but didn’t think it necessary to report it to us :-( also at the same time the hood got a new coat of paint because it had an area with bubbles. All good now.

Hopefully you find the boat activities interesting even though you are not a boater!

Thanks for dropping by again.