A few people have asked me to send them photos of SKYE, showing this and that, details and whatnot… so I figured I’d post a bunch here, where they can be seen by them folks and anyone else who might find ’em interesting.
Here’s the completed installation of the Dickinson Adriatic diesel stove. I finished hooking up the fuel lines and wiring (for the draft fan) today. Haven’t checked for leaks and fired it up yet; the tank is bone dry, so I’ll bring some diesel next visit.
This is the view looking aft from the fore cabin area.
The cool little kerosene lamp on the fore cabin desk. Although I like the idea and look of kerosene lighting, I’m not crazy about the filling, cleaning, maintenance, smell and potential spillage and flammability. I’ll be using them mainly as backup lights, I figure.
A view up toward the pointy end of the boat. The deck prism above really helps light up this otherwise dark area.
The batteries — two Trojan T-105s wired for 12 volts.
The bilge! (Or wine cellar, perhaps.) And bronze floors.
The bookshelves under the starboard deck, and another neat kerosene lamp.
I really like the deck prisms, of which there are six. It’s hard to photograph how much light they bring in, but it’s considerable.
The depth sounder, AKA fishfinder. I need to figure a way to also mount it where it’s visible from the cockpit.
Chelsea ship’s clock. Has a great chime, and is pretty accurate, once adjusted. Also in frame is my low-tech, always-works, horn.
The matching barometer.
The ice box. Looks very well insulated, and performs like it as well. Tends not to break down as often as many marine refrigeration systems. 🙂
The all important Emergency Tequila. Just kidding… it was already on board when I purchased SKYE, along with some more booze. The little varnished bracket there is intended for a flower vase.
An ant’s eye view of the cabin overhead.
Very neat carvings in the cabin house corner posts.
Storage underneath and behind the settees.
A not exactly large, but still very useful, hanging locker.
This is a darn nice anchor windlass. It’s a Maxwell / Nilsson, which is no longer made. Two speeds, and works great.
The flue and smoke head for the diesel stove.
The forward cabin desk as seen from on deck through the hatch. Sorry about the exposure — not an easy lighting situation for the poor camera.
The fore deck — uncluttered and plenty of room to handle the sails and anchor.
Nice wide, clear side decks. The weather did not allow me to get but two coats of varnish on the house sides, which is why it’s not as shiny as it will eventually be. Might have to wait til next spring for coats three through six, unless there are a few more days like today, which was almost summer-like.
Just wanted to mention these folks: Off Center Harbor.
They have a large collection of incredibly well-made videos about boats, boating, boat building, maintenance, and more. I just discovered them, myself, and have spent a bunch of evenings enjoying all their videos and blogs. Modest yearly fee… totally worth it.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
In addition to making steady progress on SKYE’s list of things to do, I’m building a new dinghy for SKYE — a PT 11 nesting dinghy from Port Townsend Watercraft. Heck of a neat design, and the kit is fantastic. Having a fine time putting it together… the precision of the pre-cut parts is astounding, and the excellent (thick as a phone book) manual makes it very easy to build correctly.
Dodging the rain showers all day, but finally got the first topsides coat on:
Also gained a fancy neighbor:
Moon River is a brand new, Sam Devlin designed and built, “stitch & glue” plywood, very expensive vessel. The paint and varnish is perfect. I don’t think I could own a boat that looked that good, even if I could afford it. I’d be heartbroken with every little ding, scratch or smudge. SKYE is certainly catching up a bit, in the looking good department, however.
If the rain refrains from being a pain for one more afternoon, SKYE will be back in the water late Thursday (or maybe Wednesday?).
Before the rains returned and rudely displaced all that warm dry weather ideal for painting, I was able to get the boot stripe painted.
Not my first choice for color, but I could not get my hands on my first choice (green) or even my second (blue /gray). Well, there was a “Kelly Green” available, but it was a ‘loud, St. Paddy’s Day, had too much beer’ kind of green. There were several blues to be had among the various brands of paint, but they were either too blue, too dark or too light. So, I picked this gray color, called Kingston Gray, which I guess represents the typical color of the sky around here. 🙂
I like it. Gray, after all, does go with pretty much everything. I’ll also paint the bulwarks accent this same color.
The topsides are ready to paint white (Interlux Premium Yacht Enamel, semi-gloss), just as soon as it stops raining on me for a while. Could be next week sometime before that happens… maybe. So, launch day will have to be postponed, slightly. At least with the rain and high humidity, and 3 coats of bottom paint, the hull is probably kept from drying out too much more.
In the meantime, I’m building an outboard bracket. (Oh no! Not that!) Yes, but it will be relatively unobtrusive, removable, and attach to the aft edge of the rudder, rather than clutter up the transom. It will hold a Torqeedo T1003 electric outboard, also easily removable, which can be controlled from its detachable “tiller”, which can be up on deck, probably parked on top of the rudder’s tiller. This should make SKYE more easily handled in close quarters by one person. It was already pretty easy using the previous method — 2hp Honda on the dinghy tied alongside — but I found that, because I’m currently single-handing, it was a bit awkward trying to control both the outboard and the main rudder while standing in the dinghy, plus visibility was somewhat restricted. Also, I’m really impressed by these Torqeedo outboards. Since I will only use it for very short distances, in harbors and marinas and such, it should prove ideal.
In other news, I’ve grabbed a slip at the very nearby Swantown Marina (Link), luckily right near the bottom of the ramp and a short walk from the parking area. Seems like a very cool marina.
As I wait (and wait) for the truck to pick up SKYE (now scheduled for Feb. 11th), I thought I should make an “about” post which presents a bit more info about this unique vessel…
SKYE was designed by Lyle Hess, and is a full-keel, heavy displacement (relatively speaking) boat with a cutter rig. She is 31′ 8″ on deck, about 39′ 6″ overall, with a 29′ waterline and 10′ 8″ beam. She draws five and a half feet or so, and has a design displacement of 16,425 lbs. Ballast is about 5800 lbs.
SKYE was masterfully built by William and Elaine Eppick over a period of eight years, and launched in 1988. She is strip planked with Port Orford Cedar, 1-1/4″ thick, and has steam-bent white oak frames. The mast is Douglas Fir, square in section, with galvanized wire rigging, parceled and served. She has an ice box, foot-pump water pressure, simple electrical system, rudder steering with a windvane, a compass, VHF and a depth sounder. A very solid, simple, reliable, maintainable, low-stress boat. SKYE is of course named for the Isle of Skye, which is off the West coast of Scotland.
SKYE spent many years sailing the Pacific Northwest, and with her most recent owner (prior to myself ), she sailed from San Diego to Hawaii and back. I am the fifth owner, after the Eppicks, and purchased SKYE last November (2012).
In 1990, SKYE won the “New Classic” award from the Classic Boat Festival in Victoria, B.C.
SKYE attended the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival in the 1990s and also in 2004.
And here are a couple photos of the interior:
I’ll be adding more details about SKYE as I go along. For example, in that last image of the forecabin desk, the chair is an authentic soda-fountain chair from the 1920s or 30s, found by Bill & Elaine Eppick in an antique shop and rescued from its unappreciated existence.
SKYE is still in San Diego, currently awaiting being hauled out and loaded on a truck for the hopefully smooth ride up here to Olympia, WA. The truck has been unavoidably delayed, however, and won’t be able to pick up SKYE until the 4th or 5th of February, a week later than predicted.
I just returned from San Diego, where I spent a few days removing everything that was higher than the cabin top (except the mast, of course, which I left to the Shelter Island Boatyard and their crane.) Everything worked out well, with no unsolvable problems taking things apart. Lots of cotter pins to remove, though. Lots. I’m glad most of them were bronze rather than stainless steel, bronze being much easier to bend.
I’ll be restoring the home port text to “Port Townsend” since SKYE will be back in Puget Sound, at least for a while. Seems more appropriate than MA.