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20 October 2010 @ 02:14 pm
summer boat to winter boat  

Today, Wednesday at about 1:30 PM, I am inside the shelter brought back from Lousiana, after placing it Sunday on the boat where the tent had been since August 1st. All the goals I mentioned in the last journal entry were met, and I am very happy with how the boat is today.

I actually went beyond those goals, by also making a 4-1/2 foot by 6 foot screened porch in front of the 6-1/2 foot square shelter.

Here are the newest galleries showing all the improvements to the boat, which I now consider ready for "winter" down here:

side panels installed, solar panels now elevated and with 2-axis tilt, final pics of "summer boat", restored shelter, shelter on boat:

October 15-17, 2010

pics of inside shelter at night and pics of boat after screen porch was added:

October 18-20, 2010

(Also note the two pictures in the first gallery of the seaplane that landed right next to my boat last Friday!)

Sunday night, the first night I tested the shelter, the outside temperature dropped to 50, but inside it only dropped to 63, with no heat source except body heat. (Of course, in Louisiana in January I got through three nights down to 21 degrees with just small additional heat sources.)

I have not repaired all the minor damage to the inside walls yet since bringing the shelter here, or gotten them as clean as I intend to yet, but the gloss white paint did the job, making the inside as bright with just a single 5-watt compact fluorescent as a typical kitchen with all the lights on.

I expect to keep the winter setup until probably at least mid-April when the tent will return to where the brown shelter and screened porch are now.

I designed the screen porch to be quick and easy to remove and fold up and store under the roof, because the aisles around it on the deck are somewhat narrow so I may want it off the deck sometimes.

There are three doors in the 2-foot panels that enclose the deck now. The first is the center of the front, which lifts up and off so there is lots of room around the motor. The other two are on the sides.

The honey beige external plywood looks nice now, especially with the new brown shelter, but I intend to paint the wood (not the plastic trim) silver probably, to match the pontoons and deck edgings. I intend to also paint all the black pipe railings all over the boat with aluminum silver paint. And, the deck itself should eventually be painted so it lasts longer. It would look nice varnished, but varnish would darken it, which will cause it to get hotter, which is totally unacceptable in this hot climate.


Obviously, as you can tell from the extent of the additions the pictures illustrate, I have been spending almost all my time until today since the last journal entry just working on the new "winter boat". The only other thing that happened was the replacement of my front brakes Monday in Deland. Unfortunately it cost over $500 because one of the calipers was shot, and because the rotors had stress cracks, which is what was causing the slight wobble for so long.

In spite of this extra cost, I got some good news during the brake repair. I asked the mechanic if I could examine the underside of the Geo while the car was on the lift. I wanted to see how rusted the square pillars are that ended the life of my '91 Geo when they rusted away, and also just rusted away on my brother in-law Bill's '95 Geo Metro. But the design of that part of the Metro frame must have changed beginning in 1996, because my '96 Metro had a triangular set of supports instead of the big square one on each side. Further, the entire underside of the car was almost rust-free, with intact undercoating having done an excellent job!


Now, Wednesday, I am turning all my attention to going to Ohio by car as I've been talking about.

I am now thinking I will leave first thing Friday morning (October 22nd) and arrive in Columbus on Sunday morning (October 24th).