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Jul 15-16: Interior Lighting & Propane System

We've been spending every second working on the boat and we're starting to see some progress. It's not easy to shun our friends and disappear into boat-land each weekend, especially when they're having fun or doing something cool. Still, we must soldier on. Sailor on?

Sara has been casting her designer eye at the interior of the boat, and this weekend we made some cool changes. We replaced all the interior lights with higher-wattage bulbs, which makes a big difference! I guess we're going to need more solar panels than we thought.

Sara also replaced all the light fixtures, 120VAC sockets, and decorative trim in the main cabin, styling a bridge between the conservative varnished-teak wood and the contemporary brushed stainless fixtures. It's coming together and looking really good.

I attacked the propane system: it needed all new parts. The old pressure gauge was frozen, the solenoid was completely rusted through, and the airtight locker was anything but airtight. It was a real bitch to pull apart. We installed all new bronze fittings, regulator, gauge, hose, solenoid, and sealed the locker with caulk. We couldn't finish the job for lack of one stupid fitting, but we'll cross it off the list next weekend.

We also scrubbed, scraped, rubbed, and even sanded the stove and surrounding area clean. It turned out to be a lot more work than I first thought, but the results are just beautiful. With a new element we found online for $40, and several hours of elbow grease, it looks like new!

Something we haven't written about yet is the interior cushions. The old cushions were worn and in dire need of replacement, so we took Sara's mother up on her oh-so-kind offer to make us new covers.

We ordered the fabric, some 40 yards of Sunbrella, and shipped that to Colorado with the old covers last week. This week we placed our order for the 4" high-density closed-cell foam and the awesome 2" memory foam topping. It took a lot of measuring, re-measuring, and measuring one last time to make sure we got it right.

The cushions are a huge job- you can't underestimate how much work it is to sew the covers together into a complicated three-dimensional shape. They're not just straight rectangles, four of the six sides of each cushionare non-orthogonal! There's twelve cushions!

Cutting the foam isn't much easier, but we won't be doing that for another few weeks.

Sometime during the weekend I went back up the mast and installed the radar antenna mount and the radome itself. That was the easiest part of the whole installation! Running the stupid wire was sooo much more work, and we got lucky it was possible at all.

We also did a lot of planning, measuring, and list-making for the upcoming weeks. I think we know what we want to do with the solar panel, although I still need to get SS tubing and build some railings to mount the panels on. The anchor situation is going slow: we know what we need, but it's so much work we're paralyzed in the planning process.