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,
We finally admitted it.
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.
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.
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.
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
The window tracks from Marinette arrived! They were sitting on the porch when I got home from work. The polyglide (I think that's what it's called) came in the mail today too. The polyglide is the plastic strip you put in the bottom of the channels for the glass to slide on. I stuck my finger in the picture for scale. I made a drawing in "SketchUp" with dimensions, I hope you can see that. My initial impression: very nice, good quality extrusions. These seem very substantial and should be a permanent solution. They will obviously need to be cut to size, mounting holes drilled, polyglide installed, and the windows installed. These were a fraction of the cost of replacement windows, call John at Marinette Yachts for pricing. I am very happy with these and will show the install here when I do it. These aluminum window tracks are much nicer than I had expected (much more substantial) and now wished I hadn't agonized over the decision. We will still have to buy new felt strips for the windows and do the install, but I have a very good feeling about these.
John at Marinette has been very responsive (you might have to leave a message), and helpful - I highly recommend Marinette Yachts from my experience of ordering window tracks from him.
I intend to start the install tomorrow, but I still have to buy felts and screws, prep the old window and frame, and have good weather. We will see (a little pun intended)
Happy New Year
PS the KC55 stands for KingsCraft 55', I know it's pretty obvious, but just in case you were wondering.
It's a little difficult to tell from this picture, but the counter on the Portside of the rear of the salon is gone. You can see the ugly green refrigerator right in the center of the picture. It is temporarily moved to the back of the galley. The pile of wood is a pile of wood :) As usual I learned something today. The thing I learned is that we either have a leak or unbelievable condensation right above the counter I tore out. The was water standing on the ceiling tile in the port rear corner of the salon. I couldn't find any obvious point of entry. I will track this down before reinstalling a ceiling. Ah, the joys of owning a boat. I can't wait till the window frames come in. As soon as the water issues are fixed, it will be time to start making my imagination become reality.
By the way, I really thought my wife and I had discussed tearing out the counter. I guess we had not. When she stopped by to see how I was doing, I was a little surprised to see a bewildered look on her face. She thought we had "talked" about removing the counter, and I thought we had "Talked" about doing it. She is OK now , but I am supposed to verify moves like this in the future. Sounds reasonable to me.
By the way, if you find my truck keys, let me know. I know I had them with me when I drove down there, but they must have been stolen by elves while I was working. My wife really enjoyed coming back down for a second look at the boat.
Ive posted new pics on the main page, I know there are a lot, but I am trying to track this whole deal. I caption them if that helps. Hope you enjoy,
P.S. Carpet on the deck of a houseboat sucks. I have just been meaning to say that for a while. I can't see why you would want to glue sponges to your deck so it can be almost permanently wet. Rant mode off.
This was the best picture I took today for a comparison with the one on the home page (and currently above on this page). It looks a little different without paneling, couch, curtains, and ceiling panel. You may have thought my title for this posting, "They don't build them like they used to" was about our boat. But really, I was talking about the sleeper sofa I tore apart today. Holy cow. That was a tank of a couch. The sleeper mechanism weighed a ton and the frame had approximately 38,000 fasteners in it. I hope our new one is built as good.
Speaking of how they used to build things, the Kingscraft is amazing. The number of welds and the amount of aluminum is amazing. I realize now I should have looked the boat over more closely, but that was just inexperience. What I know now is that I did my homework picking out a Kingscraft. Even with leaking windows, the interior repairs are all cosmetic. The Window frames are not cosmetic, but I knew they were in bad shape. I really feel a newbie can comfortably buy a Kingscraft (if they do their homework, inspect the hull, and have a current survey) with a great deal of confidence. I am still very happy with our purchase, even with a few surprises. It's funny how experience will teach you the things that "old hands" will tell you for free. You would think after 50 years I would listen to people with experience a little more closely.
This is only a small portion of the fasteners I removed today. This may not see like much, but there is not a piece of wood or trim on the boat that isn't securely fastened down. I am sure new boats are well built, but they really did it right back in the day. We are going to go back with whitewashed woodgrain paneling for a "beach house" feel. After adding insulation (which should help with condensation, heating, and cooling) we will restructure the refrigerator area and open up the boat a little. I've started working with SketchUp, a free drafting software package, and hope to show you a few examples of my "vision" for our baby. Details in the future.
One quick thing I wanted to point out before I close today, The channels on each side of the front door. If you are a Kingscraft refurbisher, you already know this, but if not it's interesting/important. The channels on each side of the door house electrical, mechanical lines. This is pretty ingenious and secure. I am really glad I opened up the ceiling. Just thought you would like to know.
Have a great Christmas and a wet wonderful New Year!
It has been a rough week. I thought I had a sinus infection and it turned out to be the full blown flu. I had never been sicker than I was last Thursday nite. Enough of that.
I finally got back down to the boat this evening after work.I finished taking everything out on the Port side from the counter forward. This is why I feel better now, not just that I'm all but over being sick, I just want to get going on this project. It surprised me in a way that they used pop rivets to attach the paneling. I had assumed they would have used screws, but I guess in a production scenario rivets are faster and less expensive. They definitely have a clean look. I am considering going back with rivets when we do the reinstall on the walls. I could always drill out the heads if I need to remove a panel.
I talked with John, of Marinette Yachts, today. He seems like a good guy. I asked him a few questions and he seemed more than happy to talk with me. I had to get exact measurements tonight so I can place my order tomorrow. I think the aluminum tracks will be a fantastic improvement over the rotten factory tracks. Hopefully no more leaks and usable windows. I put a link to Marinette on the Home page, if you get ahold of him tell him KC55 said HI. I will document the install of the tracks and post pictures when I get going on that job. I am excited. By the way, he said he could do aluminum fabrication and he could do struts and other items. A good thing to keep in the back of your mind.
I made a series of measurement this evening of parts of the boat, I will try to put up a "Dimensions" drawing soon on the Documentation page. Did you know that the Flybridge deck (including the "roof") has 260.25 sq ft of surface area? This could be handy to know if you were considering Line-x ing the decks.
One last idea before closing. We are seriously thinking about redoing the ceiling in the salon. We saw a boat on Lake Monroe this Summer (Dan's Gibson) that had the coolest ceiling. It has a channel that runs around the outside edge that kind of conceals rope lights and the window shades. My question is this. If you were redoing a ceiling, what material would you use. We are considering wood flooring (laminate), bead board, and sculptured tin (if that is even what it is called, the plastic version anyway). I would appreciate any pictures you have or experiences you have had doing this. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org. PS Dan, if you read this, please send me some pics. I'll post them here and give you full credit. Thanks.
Why try to think up a good idea when someone else has already had it and worked out all the little details.
I promise pics next time.