Where we're at


We have really been back at it lately.  We are still dry-docked but plan to launch by the end of June.  We have put up paneling, torn out paneling, installed ceiling in the head and torn out ceiling in the head and many other fun and stupid things.  I know if you have redone a houseboat you are continuing the laughter you started when you first found this site.  We are making progress.

A quick order of business, I owe an apology to a number of people who sent me pictures of their Kingscrafts.  I really appreciate it and love the work you have done.  I promise to post some pics.  I hope if you are new here you will consider sending me pictures of your KC houseboat.  

We have replaced more of the flooring, installed led lighting in much of the boat, finished the pine bead-board in the salon, tore out the existing galley (what was left of it), built and installed the new custom upper cabinets, built and installed the new cabinet bases (doors are finished but not the drawers), put in blinds for the galley windows, finished all of the walls in the galley/dining area, started some of the finish trim, finished 1/2 of the knee wall of the salon (transition to the galley), laid luan in the galley, and installed hundreds and hundreds of feet of marine grade wiring.  Also, we fabricated a new Port HVAC duct system (behind the cabinet bases in the curve of the lower wall), completed 90% of the insulation, and spent a small fortune.  Doing almost every bit of the work ourselves has saved a ton of money, but the supplies and parts add up quick. 

In the very near future I will finish a quick disconnect system for the fly-bridge.  Additional plans include rewiring the helm and engines, building a counter-top, making the head fully functional (we really like the C head composting toilet we bought), and many other large and small projects.

The surface of the river was glassy smooth yesterday afternoon and that is the worst part of it.  I want to be out there.  This is an means to an end.  We won't be done when we launch but it will be time.  Thanks for stopping by - I'm glad you didn't forget how to get here.


PS  Wife update:  still going strong!  She is the best help and has really good ideas.   
Work continues!  We painted the flybridge roof.  We used Rustoleum 9100 & 9800 two part epoxy paint.  It was applied over the course of 3 days. 2 coats of 9100 primer and 1 coat of 9800 finish,  While is is brand new, I am very impressed with the initial results.  Easy application, good looks, and what appears to be a very durable surface.  The 9100 primer went on as almost a "rubbery" seal.  The topcoat seems much "harder".  The white we used is BRIGHT, BRIGHT.  We rolled it on after doing a thorough prep job and a degreasing wash (x2).  So far we recommend it, we will keep this product in mind in future posts.  Just a note, this is so much cooler than the bare aluminum.  Literally the difference between hot enough to burn your foot on a hot sunny day and not even warm to the touch.  Should make a world of difference on interior temperatures.

We finished the shower install except for the corner trim.  The cultured marble cut easily using a circular saw cutting backwards.  The backwall and sidewall were heavy enough to be awkward but doable.  The double threshold cut to fit on my power miter saw,  I cut the hot/cold handle holes with a holesaw in my drill.  I have never worked with cultured marble but it went very smoothly.  We purchased it from Imperial Marble and they walked us through the selection process and measured for us on site.  The delivery was a little slow (3 weeks) but overall we are happy.  My wife loves how it looks.  I think it adds class to the bathroom.

I built a vanity and we put a matching cultured marble vanity top on it.  I am proud of the vanity as I built the cabinet, face frame, and door from scratch.  The top false door needs to be built but it will get done soon.

Work continues with the electrical.  More wire on order.  We purchased used LP frig, water heater, range, and furnace.  I will be configuring the install soon.  Safety, reliability, and ergonomics will be topmost in mind in developing these plans.  We also continue to double insulate with rigid foam board, you can see this in some of the pictures.

Lastly, one of the next items is replumbing the hydraulic steering lines in the flybridge and reinstalling the flybridge when the paint cures for a few weeks.  Anybody up for a flybridge lifting party?  Socks or barefeet required. :)  White paint shows shoe prints like crazy!  Our plans involve an outdoor-area rug for the flybridge.

Thanks for stopping by.  We feel a lot better about the overall job with the Rustoleum epoxy.  We think this is going to be great solution for the roof leaks.  We are hoping to get to install some ceilings very soon.

Fair winds my friends,



1 Comment

We finally admitted it.
"Quick update

We continue to work on the boat in most of our spare time. The head is framed in and we are in the process of installing the cultured marble shower (a heavy job). The pocket door to the stateroom has been moved forward 6", widened 6" to 30" and the opening raised to where up to a 6'4" frame will fit through. The stateroom closet is gone, by choice. Approximately 45% of the insulation is done and we have one of the six lower windows re-framed in aluminum. The carb on the genny has been completely rebuilt. Probably 35% of the AC circuits are in and all of the helm wiring is gone. The helm will be on the list before we launch. I think I mentioned the upper decks sometime, we are still struggling to find a GOOD tig welder for the leaks. That is the number one frustration besides not getting on the water. The salon/galley stairs have been designed and rebuilt to save 8" of galley space. The rear steps have been replaced with a single step/workbench. Much easier in and out of the aft window and nice for short rests and work space (doesn't take up an inch more than the original stairs. Many other things too minimal to list.

We are not going to get out this year. We finally admitted it. The goal is to have it completely done for next spring. We took the boat apart staple-by-staple, screw-by-screw, wire-by-wire, and wall-by-wall. We really didn't realize we were going to do everything. We could have saved a ton of time by ripping it out all at once but I JUST DIDN'T KNOW

I'll put some pics on the website tonite if you care to see the progress/devastation.

I would have posted sooner but working on a boat is funner than talking about it.

KC55 "

This is what I posted on the forum I am on.  I am sorry for the delay in posting, I didn't want to be one of those people who started posting regularly and tapered off.  Can't deny the truth though.

One last thought.  Is "Admission" the fact that we aren't getting on the water or the fact that we are paying the  "Price of admission" into the houseboating world?  It ain't cheap - time, labor, and or cash, you have to pay somewhere.  I'm glad I picked this boat for our investment.




We are making progress, it's just slow. We have all of the carpet off of the top and need to finish sanding. I will have to fill the joints on the upper deck and then I will be able to paint. We have looked at sani-tred, sonoguard, and various other urethanes, but have decided on Devoe two part epoxy primer and paint for the upper decks. We replaced one of the lower windows (middle Starboard), cleaned most of the lower bilge and replaced about 1/4 of the interior decking. I ordered a c-head composting toilet after we ripped out all of the sewage system. All of the hoses were permeated and stunk. I realize this is a pretty radical move but I couldn't find a single person that actually owns one that isn't happy. We are completely redoing the head (new shower, toilet, and vanity) and moving the walls. I also am widening the pocket door from 24 inches to 30 inches(won't have to turn sideways to go through). The new layout of the head means none of the windows will be "split" by any walls. The boat will be radically opened up. Our plans are to re-float as soon as the head, roof, and through hulls are all done. We will have a long way to go but we want to be boaters and not just builders.

I have not been very good about these postings, work has been a killer and going to school has been a load also.  Work should be slowing down a bit, so I will try to post more pics soon.  Working on a boat is a LOT harder than making a webpage, but I want to have history here.  If you have a c-head please let me know how it is working out.



Ahh Spring...
Spring as in we have sprung some leaks.  The Starboard area above the couch/bunks and right at the shower wall next to the exterior wall were rotten.  Apparently there has been leaks for years, just very small.  A week ago Sunday it poured ALL day and these small leaks became very large and I investigated.  I found the wet, rotten wood and water damaged paneling.  We had planned on remodeling the head next winter.  We had also planned to remove the indoor/outdoor carpet on the roof next Summer.  Now we are hip deep into both.  The carpet glue has been epically hard to remove.  I won't bore you with my whinings about this. If you need to remove I/O carpet glue here is the secret.  Wait till a hot (90 degrees +), sunny day.  Pull up as much by hand as possible.  Spread brake fluid on remaining rubber backing/glue until entirely soaked (gallons).  Wait until visible vapor starts to be seen.  Scrape with carbide scrapper, sharpening often.  Then coat with epoxy stripper, scrape again and finally sand with belt sander,  Seriously, this is what I had to do.  UGH.  We are looking at a urethane roof coating, we will post this choice soon.  As soon as the leak is fixed we will remodel the head (full size shower) and get ready to launch.  That's right :)  water.

Right this minute you can see all the way through the boat, one end to the other.  I only intended to paint a little and maybe put up new curtains.  I am so tired,  floating on the water seems like a dream.  I look forward to running in to some of you, I hope if you see us (Empty Nestin') please flag us down and say HI.

Happy Valentine's Day!  I have been working 6-7 days a week for a while now, and with the shorter daylight hours the boat has been on the back burner.  This evening we went down to the boat and ripped out the central vac and worked on stripping out more of the unused 38 year old electrical wiring.  No pictures will really show a huge difference but we are making slow progress. 

The old central vac was cool, it would reach from the front of the salon to the very back of the stateroom.  It just doesn't suit us and takes up a fair amount of space under the salon.  We will just go with a regular vacuum.

I'm looking into Blue Sea Systems for our electrical upgrade.  Where would you put your Main? 

This is short but we haven't done that much for a while, I guess we just have a well rounded life :)


New Course


As you know (if you've been following this blog) I am wanting to repair the windows on our boat "Empty Nestin' ".  As I get further along in this project, the more things I find to repair.  Windows led to walls led to ceiling led to insulation led to wiring, you get the picture.  Well today started the tear out of the unused wiring.  The picture at the left is 3 hours worth of tracing wires and removing unnecessary circuits.  There is literally about a bushel of wires that had been spliced, jumpered, and abandoned.  This was well worth the time, I can now start to see what needs to be updated and what is good to go.  If I had to guess, I will probably replace most of the remaining wiring.  This is a different course of action than I had originally planned, but I want to do the right things the right way in the right order.

I still have a central vac to remove and the main A/C circuits to check out.  I honestly think I am close to going the other direction soon...replacing and repairing.  I haven't forgot the window frames, I will post info on those as we progress.  The nice thing about a boat is it ends somewhere.  I know if I keep going I will eventually be into everything and know exactly what shape all the systems are in.  It wasn't to long ago I was celebrating being a boat owner, now I realize I am owned by a boat :)  It is all good though, as I have said before, any day you step foot on a houseboat is a good day.

A final note, credit where credit is due.  My wife came down for most of the work today and helped a great deal.  An extra pair of hands is always helpful, especially an extra pair of soft, pretty hands. 

I hope you had a good day and got to be on your boat today.  If not, at least we are getting closer to Spring, hang in there.


Moss grows on trees. And indoor/outdoor carpet.  Have I ever mentioned that I hate Indoor/Outdoor carpet on our houseboat?  So, I had Sunday off, the first day in over 2 weeks, and we went down to the boat to talk over our plans.  We ended up scrapping and vacuuming the moss off of/out of the indoor/outdoor carpet.  It was there when we bought the boat and we knew it was in need of cleaning, but I would have rather worked on the windows.  You talk about wanting to do something and not having the time, I work 10 and 12 hour shifts now and have just as much daylight as the rest of you...no progress.

Speaking of no progress, the weather is a hindrance.  You probably thought the 6 degrees was a Kevin Bacon thing, nope.  The 6 degrees I am talking about is the temperature yesterday morning.  That kind of cold does help me stay away from and all aluminum houseboat.  That's the separation I mean.  We are supposed to have a heat wave of 45 - 50 degrees within a week.  If I am off Sunday I'll try to post pics and a little info on what we get done.

Winter is not the best boating time of the year here in Indiana.


I almost feel bad, but I have not had that much to post.  I have been working a fair amount of overtime and not been to the boat much in the last two weeks.  That is no excuse and I am going to start skipping sleeping at night to get some stuff done.

I have received some questions and have some to ask.  First, someone wants to know the number of single level Kingscraft Houseboats built.  I don't know, but a former VP of Kingscraft is working on some information and my hope is to receive that relatively soon and post it here on the site.  I am hoping for production numbers and a history of the company.  If anyone out there has any info I would love to get it and pass it on to everyone.

Next, a question was asked about sacrificial anodes and where to get them.  I have never purchased anodes (remember, I'm a newbie) so I won't suggest a place, but just want to emphasize the importance of checking them on a regular basis.  If you are new to aluminum boats, electrolysis is one of the few threats to your hull.  I would recommend going to houseboatmagazine.com and do a search.  There is a wealth of info and experience there.  Don't be turned off by this subject, it beats wood rot and it's just something to educate yourself on and take the simple precautions.

A question was posted about original price of a particular model year.  Unfortunately, I don't have the detailed, yearly prices, but you can go to the documentation page and find some info there to get a really good idea.  I know I can't afford a new houseboat now, so I am going to guess that back in the day it was a serious deal for a blue-collar family to buy one.  Getting a Kingscraft is a great way to break into this type of boating and have a solid investment that will last a lifetime.  Yes, I said investment, if you buy this boat right and be careful about what you put into it, I believe that should you want to upgrade in the future, you can be on the right side of things.  Buying a boat is expensive, owning one is too.  Having one is priceless (to me).

Now for my question.  Do you have any experience with this company, Foam It Green ?  Please let me know what you think or make suggestions about other similar products.  I would like to benefit from your experiences.  I have come to realize mistakes cost money :) but listening is free!

A quick update:  still getting started on the window tracks, I promise a detailed review and pictures.  I pulled the ceiling panels and am going  to run lights and speaker wiring before insulation.

Does anybody know how many days 'til Spring?  I do, too many.

Sorry for the slow progress.  That was for my wife.

Here's to dreams of sun, water, and fun,

I couldn't tell if this was going to make sense visually. It is a door pull.  The type of thing you would find on a medicine cabinet mirror door or a sliding shower door.  The base is 1 inch square and the cylinder is 9/16" diameter and is 3/4" long.  It is a door pull or more correctly in this case a window pull.  We need to have a way to reliably and safely open the windows on the boat.  No, I don't have the window tracks replaced yet.  That is the reason for this post, I thought when the tracks came in I could just pull out the glass panels, measure and cut the tracks, and reinstall the windows.  Wrong.  As I began getting my tools and stuff together to go down to the boat, I realized a few more details about the replacement than I had originally considered.  I will tell you this is going to be a detailed description, so if windows don't  excite you and dominate your thoughts, this may take a minute or two you don't have :)

The bottom track of the salon windows need to be 10'6" long and the tracks are 9'.  There will have to be a splice or joint to get the length.  While simple in concept, the reality of a potential leak point has to be addressed.  I have decided to epoxy the joint and back that section with 5200.  I will need to take my chop saw  down to the boat, and get some 5200.  I need to remove some of the existing screws and decide to match them or upgrade with a slightly different stainless flat head screws.  I will need a way to cover the opening if I can't get the window done in a day.  Plastic sheeting, duct tape.  A countersink bit for the mounting holes.  The tracks themselves need weep or drain holes drilled, which I am really wanting make ovals.  This is straightforward but not really. Since I am planning 50 holes 10x2 (salon) and 5x6 (lower windows) I don't want to spend $200 ($4 x 50) for a machine shop to make the oval drain holes.  These holes have to have the lower side EQUAL to the bottom of the track or the water won't drain completely OR the bottom of the track will have low spots which will affect the polyglide strips from attaching properly.  I plan on dilling in a drill press and machining on my table router.  I can't tell if this makes sense, I described it as well as I could.  I will post detailed pics when finished with this detail.  When this is all done and the panes reinstalled I will have to measure for the new pile strips ( the little seal strips that keep water and air from getting through the gap between the flat surface of the overlap of the panes).  Again, pictures to come.  The gap has to be measured to balance the appropriate seal and having too much friction.  Window seals/piles/felt strips, come in different heights, I didn't know this detail.  Finally, the decision to tint or not - this will wait. And lastly, installing the pulls (remember those).  I know I over-think a lot of things, Welcome to my world.

I did find out today that adjustable corner braces are available for building screen windows.  I am going to make screen windows as none came with the boat.  Did you know screen comes in aluminum, dark aluminum. fiberglass, no-see-um, and solar?  Have to consult with the wife on this detail.  White frames or dark frames or shiny aluminum frames for the screens, another detail, another question for the wife.

I am planning on replacing the porthole glass with one-way mirrors facing out.  Just a preference, but you have to get a certain kind or back-lighting ruins the one-way effect.  I will post the correct name when I re-ask the Glass Shop counter person.  PS we will be able to see out, the portholes will look like mirrors from the outside.  Optional detail.

So, no, I have not started the actual install yet.  I do plan on doing it right.  If I win the lottery in the next couple of days I will order windows, dual pane, tinted, pieces of art.  I don't plan on winning the lottery.

By the way, I have to re-glaze the front two windows, as a gap has developed.  This can be done anytimebefore Spring.

I think a good cleaning of the rear salon window and the back sliding door will get them up to snuff.

Windows - Do you take them for granted?  I knew this was going to have to be done, but not this soon, and I didn't think there would be this many details.  It's fun to imagine the finished product (or effect) and see it in your mind, and then go through the steps to make it real.  I salute those of you who have done this with a houseboat and are enjoying the fruits of your labor.  I really hope I don't break any of my window panes, That will be an entirely different detail to consider