Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Laying Copper

Two projects are now proceeding nicely. First of all we have now laid ninety feet of four inch wide copper strap under our deckto form the counterpoise for the SSB radio (see previous post for counterpoise discussion). We think there is room for another ninety feet. That will make about 60 square feet of copper to form our counterpoise. The process went well. The copper strap is easy to work with being thicker than aluminum foil but not so thick that you can’t easily bend it by hand. The picture at the left shows how it is laid in the companionway back to our aft cabin. The hardest part was removing the screws holding the teak and holly decking down to the old parquet. The screws were brass and had been in for awhile. You only get one chance with brass. Once you screw up the Phillips socket…you gotta drill it out! Did that for a number of the screws. So now the copper runs from dead aft under our bed through our aft cabin back and forth a couple of times, back and forth three times in the walkway from the main cabin to our aft cabin and then five or six passes up and down the starboard side of the main cabin. That’s where we ran out of copper. We simply screw the teak and holly flooring back down right through the copper strap if necessary. More strap is on the way.

The two pictures shown here show a nice before and after of the starboard side of the main cabin deck. Looking at the old parquet I can see why the previous owner put down the teak and holly!

So, we shifted gears and got back on the refinishing job. I think that is a job that will always be with us as long as we own this boat. If we always look to do a little bit, though, it should be ok. re-doing all of it at once is a large task though. We’ve sanded the toe rail and rub rail now portside. Tomorrow the first coat of Cetol…as soon as the frost is off the boat.

Have I mentioned that there is a FREEZE warning for Ft. Lauderdale. Sue and I heard on the radio today that the city went around and rounded up homeless people and took them to shelters last night because of the cold. That’s nice and it should be done. I’m just used to hearing those reports when the temps get into the single digits not the forties! I’m not saying Chicago’s homeless are tougher than Florida’s…but they are!

As things tend to go, today we received a book we’ve been waiting for: A gentleman’s Guide to Passages South. I can tell already this is a good book for us although the author seems just a trifle arrogant. The title refers to the old saying that, “Gentleman never sail to weather” - an old saying from the early days of yachting. Of course to get to the Caribbean from Florida you have to sail to weather against the trade winds and also some currents. This is often called the thorny passage. As with all cruising, though, if you are willing to wait for the proper moments and listen carefully to the weather you can make this passage in a number of short hops. As usual these days the question is, “but where will you be during hurricane season”? We’ll see… Anyway I thought it was interesting that the book arrived today as we are beginning in earnest to install our SSB radio because as I read the book I find that the author (Bruce Van Sant) totally assumes that you DO have an SSB radio to retrieve weather information which is crucial to making this passage.

So the boat is getting ready and the crew is getting ready. As tired as we are of Ft. Lauderdale and living in a parking lot this is still our best place to make ready for the next level of adventure.


brian said...

I'll bet when your ancestors got kicked out of whatever country they got kicked out of they didn't come over in a boat with counter porpoises. Come on

Scott said...

My ancestors did NOT get kicked out of Belgium. They came of their own free will after hearing a rumor that beer was cheaper in America.

LeahC said...

Cool pictures of the copper! Can you put some under stuff to get more sq feet? like under the underside of the table?

Jason said...

Leah's got a good idea. Would the difference in height make a difference (between the floor and the table underside)?

And I can just see your ancestors: "Thar be OldStyle in yon New World!"

Gracie Liberation Front said...

"My ancestors did NOT get kicked out of Belgium. They came of their own free will after hearing a rumor that beer was cheaper in America."

Sure, it's easy to talk about the cheap beer promised land when you're living the fat life on the labor of a slave-cat.

I just want to know - is there copper in the litter pan?

This is sounding nastier than I want it to - hey, I'm a happy guy - Cheney is shooting rich connected Republican lawyers - high five Deadeye Dick!

Frieda Pussy!
In Gracie (and flak jackets) We Trust.

Chairman Meow

Scott said...

As to more copper...adding copper on top of copper doesn't help. We are looking for more area in the horizontal plane only. Puttin outriggers on the boat with copper on them would help but that's not a very nautical look.

Oh, chairman...there is NOT copper in the bottom of the litter pan. I forgot! There will be later today. Thanks!

Gracie Liberation Front said...

If you put copper on the bottom of the litter pan and then connect it to the battery - you get Electric Pussy - one of my favorite 60's garage bands!


Chairman Meow