Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Working" on Vacation.

Still in Hull, rolling the dice that the weather is going to let us leave tomorrow. The trip down was uneventful, the kid cried for a couple of hours, I ran a red light, normal stuff. A boat owner in Marshfield (15 min away) contacted me at the shop on Thursday about some zincs he need for his boat. Since I was going to be in the area I offered to deliver the zincs. Customer relations is the 4th most important part of this business. Before you ask......
  1. Know how to build boats
  2. Have a place to build boats
  3. Know how to fix boats
  4. Customer relations
  5. Know how to use the internet to maximize your exposure.
Feel free to add to or reorder this list. All I know is putting a numbered list in the middle of a post is always a winner. Someone asked about site stats and since I don't have much else to offer today.....
  1. Blog = 550 visits since Feb 11th, Ave visit 4min57sec, 2.6 pages per visit
  2. Main site = 453 visits since Feb 21st, Ave visit 4min28sec, 4.1 pages per visit
  3. Posts = 3 awesome, 7 good, 2 average, 8 below average, 2 poor, 1 awful.
  4. AdWords = 26,466 ads, 31 visits from ads, cost $5.53
  5. Business Generated = Zero, Nada, Zip, less than any.
Back to the zincs. The boat is a 42' Wesmac that we built in 2002, it used to be "Kara Lee" but since the boat has changed ownership its now "Breaker". The boat is in great shape and it was cool to meet the new owner. He was taking advantage of the weather and doing a little work on the bottom of the boat, looked like he was prepping it for paint. He had a few questions that I tried to provide answers for then I had to go the the Stop and Shop to buy a ham. That's it for the day. Slept in, ate too much, watched the Bruins lose in overtime, stayed one post behind.

Two posts on Sunday after driving 4 hours in a possible snow storm, should be my best work to date. Dan, Jeff, and John worked on the 36' Calvin (don't know what they did but they were at work). If anyone has pictures of any of our older boats please send them along. I have a large bag of photos that I'm going to start scanning in to the system and am looking for as many CIBW pics as I can get. As always thanks in advance.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm heading south.

Yesterday's post never happened, now today's post is going to be extremely short. I'm headed for Hull MA to visit my family and won't be back until Sunday. If you need to contact me to buy a boat just send me an email from the contact page at If I get inspired by the 4 hour car ride maybe I can give an effort on a late night post. But I doubt that will happen. If this is your first time to the blog.........most if not all the other posts are better than this one. Check the archive lots of great stuff, just not on this post.

I'm not even going to take time to put a picture in the upper left corner, and I ALWAYS put a pic in the upper left hand corner. Protocol has been broken and the pressure of the daily blog has finally cracked my brain. I started writing one last night at 12:30 but it made no sense and I deleted it (I should probably delete this one). Anyway, I'm heading out in about 15 min, I've given the crew instructions for tomorrow, Dan is in Canada playing hockey and won't be back until Monday.


I helped John roll the stainless steel for the 36' Calvin's muffler. Jeff started working on the forward floor. Dan closed in the two windows where the muffler is going to go. Fuel tanks are now in the boat. Other stuff happened those are just the highlights. Have another boat coming in for minor repairs in a couple weeks and sold a bait box (possibly).

Another post tonight so check back, the topic will either be a list of all the employees and their strengths and weaknesses or a rant about how much I hate to drive in Boston traffic. Not much boat talk, but if I don't write something then I fall further behind. No pics, no links, no video. All you first time readers, nice meeting you. Few states that haven't found the blog yet........ALASKA, HAWAII, VERMONT.............your on the clock. Comments will be answered in the order that they are received.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Shrimp Cooker.

Do not adjust your browser settings that is a video at the bottom of this post. Skipping to the end of the post just to watch the video will not be tolerated, you must read my broken sentences and mangled paragraphs before you get the big payoff at the end.

This shrimp cooker was brought to us by the owner of one of our earlier boats, the unit was in rough shape and need lots of attention. Dan tried to convince the owner that it would be better to build a new one, but here at Clark Island Boat Works the customer is always right. So instead of building a new cooker John pulled all the guts out of the cooker and proceeded to replace every part except the outer shell (aluminum). The inner shell was made out of thin stainless steel and blue insulation was secured between the inner and outer layers. The top edge was then banded and riveted in place. The working components of the cooker work like a boat exhaust, the burner (blue box) forces heat though a coil and the exhaust exits the tall pipe on the left. The coil heats up to a temperature hot enough to heat water to the cook the shrimp (amazing). This is just one example of the type of interesting welding projects that end up at our shop.

Over the years John has fabricated tons of items for the boats we build, but its his ability to do other things that gives us an edge over the competition. Whether its fixing a broken part to a snowmobile or building aluminum ramps for a moving company John comes through every time. If you need anything made of metal (aluminum, bronze, stainless, mild steel, etc...) bring an idea to Clark Island Boat Works and when the project is over prepare to be impressed. Just don't tell John how valuable he is, I don't want to have to give him a raise. Sometimes its tough to believe that the "metal artwork" is built in a small garage. Don't skip to the video at the bottom of the post, its a unguided tour of the inside of the welding shop.


36' Calvin = fuel tanks done, laz gelled, etc.
Northern Bay = more of the same, sand, gel, etc.
What I did = paperwork and billing all day!! (8:00am to 6:00pm and I didn't even get to the bottom of the pile)

No hits on the 42' Mussel Ridge yet, by Friday it should be sold. If that happens I might take a couple of weeks off to celebrate. The blog will suffer during my vacation but I don't think I would care. Thanks for reading. This one feels like a forced post, I only have myself to blame for that. We started a Google Adwords campaign so you might see some Clark Island Boat Works banner ads as you surf the interweb. Please don't click them!! Its a convenient way to get to the site but it costs me $$$ and is designed to direct new people to the site (not the loyal followers). It sent 10 new people to the site yesterday and it wasn't activated until 2:00pm, thanks Erika. Alright, as promised, the unguided tour of the welding shop. This video took like 3 hours to edit the sound and laugh track were the toughest part.

This typing is to center the vid.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hull for Sale, I'll even finish it if you want.

Alright enough messing around. Now that I have thousands of followers it time to cash in. The hull to the left is a 42' Mussel Ridge, very similar to the 42' Wesmac with a "better" keel and a larger engine room. There are other slight differences that are lost on me but I assure you that they are there. When the Mussel Ridge was first designed and built we built a lobster boat for a local fisherman "Xtreme Measures". Thinking that this was going to be the next popular hull we struck a deal with the manufacturer to split the cost on a second hull, expecting the hull to be scooped up very quickly. The next Mussel Ridge was built as a pleasure boat but the owner wanted to use an off-white color for the hull and use vinylester resin instead of polyester resin so the hull we had just purchased had to be passed over. After "Temperance" was completed we had orders for a few boats (2 36' Calvin Beals, and 1 37' Mitchell Cove) so the Mussel Ridge sat in the yard waiting for an owner.

When work slowed down we moved the boat inside and started to work on it. Fuel tanks, quarter guards, spray rails, and some bulkheads were as far as I felt comfortable going. I didn't want to tie up more money in a boat that didn't have an owner yet. As we need space in the shop the boat moved back outside and a tarp structure was built to cover the boat. The tarp structure was destroyed by high winds and heavy snow, it seemed pointless to rebuild it.

People have shown interest in the boat. One prospective buyer wanted us to install the engine and build a top (wheelhouse, trunk, side decks) but we couldn't agree on a price so the project was never started. Another possible owner made the trip to the shop, loved the boat, got a spec list together, selected a motor, acquired the necessary financing, contacted me about the second trip to the shop where he was going to make a down payment on the boat that we were going to build, and then bought another boat on the way to the shop (he never arrived at the shop). Unfortunately for me I got over excited about the potential sale and sent the hull manufacturer a check toward the hull (remember we split the hull price).

Now with the economy in a death spiral and the fishing industry struggling the Mussel Ridge has become part of the scenery in the parking lot. The computer says the hull and contents is worth $36,767.57. I would be willing to sell it for $32,000 if you want to take it off the property and I might sell it for less if you want us to finish what we started. I'll even throw in a 12' custom skiff if we close on the sale before the end of March. That is a great deal, ask anyone. Obviously I can't finish the boat for this spring but 2010 is looking great. Most economists will tell you that 2010 is when everything is going to be awesome again so act now before the orders start rolling in.


36' Calvin = all the bulkheads are glassed in, fuel tanks are on schedule (done tomorrow)
38' Northern Bay = fiberglass, sand, repeat.......and started to build the captains chairs
Welding Shop = completed the shrimp cooker (not pictured) starting cages tomorrow.

I was stressing what to post about today (am I suppose to say "blog about today"?) but that was pretty easy. Today was a day at the shop where lost of work got done but at the end of the day everything kind of looked the same. It's rare but it happens sometimes. Much like these posts, lots of typing but nothing is really being said.

I told my dad about the amount of traffic on the web site, his response "I used to figure that we would sell one boat per 300 people that came to the shop, it probably one boat per 6000 online." Lets hope he's right, otherwise all these posts are for nothing. Bleak. The good news is I only have to write ten more of these things. Last thing, the truck and mountain of snow isn't included in the purchase of the hull.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Construction after Destruction.

I know, sweet title. Possibly the first good title out of all these posts. Everyone showed up for work today even though it snowed 10" last night. Most of the time someone will call in with a shoveling emergency or a leaky roof but everyone braved the elements and we got some work done.
The 36' Calvin (photo to the left) is in the beginning stages of being finished. Everything that need to be removed has been and all the work from here to the end is making this boat better than it ever was. The old lazarette bulkhead had to be moved forward to make space for the new fiberglass fuel tanks (2nd photo). Bulkheads aft of the wheelhouse will be the front of the below deck lobster tanks. A second bulkhead will be positioned 56" aft to make the rear of the lobster tanks. The nuts and washers on the back side of the lifting rails have been glassed over, and the stainless steel exhaust system (not pictured) is in the final stages of production.

The shop flood of last week slowed the progress on the new tanks. With the water gone Otto glassed the baffles in the second tank and put a top on the first tank. Barring major delays the tanks should be ready to pressure test by Wednesday night. After the tanks are done we can put the deck back down and send this boat back to Rhode Island. With the new lobster tanks I would advise the owner to haul all the gear he sees between Maine and RI and see if he could top off both tanks. Just don't get caught.

I was on the 38' Northern Bay again working on the fly bridge. I talked about some hatches that I was trying to make but I was having trouble drawing a picture with my limited verbal skills. The photo (#3) of the bench and hatch should make this easier. The hatch hangs over the inboard edge of the bench utilizing the overhang as a handle. Once the fiberglass channel arrives a U will be built on the bottom side of the seat. The forward part of this bench is removable to make it possible for a person to sit facing forward. When the 20" section is positioned as it is in the photo it makes a 6'10" couch for someone to lay down on. We tried to mock up a center console for the owner to approve complete with a cardboard steering wheel. If he can make final decisions on that console then the flybridge should be done by Thursday.

In other shop news: lots of heavy snow = Dan spent much of the morning shoveling off the roof where the snow from the main shop had fallen onto the wood shop/break room. 36' Calvin = tanks, bulkheads, and the other stuff that I already talked about nearer to the beginning of this post. 38' Northern Bay = performed a stress test on the arch, 595 lb on the center of the arch standing closer than any three people should ever be standing, sag in the arch 7/16", hopefully that will be acceptable. Welding shop = John skipped break to "finish something up" and I didn't see him the rest of the day, must have been busy.

I have a customer looking for a molded top for a 36' Calvin, so if anyone knows were I can find one, thanks in advance. No links today, 3 pictures, if I had to grade this post I would give it a 5.45 out of 10 (just slightly better than average). With only 11 posts left I would like to get at least one visit from every state in the USA so if you could send a link to the people in the following states..........OREGON, NEVADA, would help...........I'm filling in the map from left to right.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Spotlight: The Shop.

All these posts about the boats must be getting boring for the audience. So here's a post about exciting metal buildings. Located at 4 Rein Road
St. George Maine
, the main shop (pictured) was built in 1997, the foundation had been finished for years but we were always too busy to worry about finishing the new structure. When one of our old clients wrecked his boat he wanted us to build him a new one immediately. With our only shop filled he proposed paying for the new building as down payment on his new boat. A deal was worked out and once the people at Morton arrived, the new building was done in about a week. Production on the 46' fishing vessel started shortly after the new building was completed. Boat capacity at the shop jumped from 3 to 6, that is the good news. Months after getting the new building set up a fire wiped out the old shop, half the tools, and two lobster boats that were close to completion. You would think that was the bad news. The real bad news was we didn't carry any building insurance. A couple weeks of depression later, we got back to work on the two boats in the "main (and only) building". Those boats were finished and then we rebuilt the two boats that were lost in the fire.

Welding is required on every boat that leaves the shop. In June of 2003 we had the opportunity to hire one of the premier fabricator in the state. I can remember a conversation with my father and I made a comment along the lines of "can we keep a welder busy full time?". Dan assured me that keeping him busy wouldn't be an issue. For the first couple months John worked from home in his garage. In August of 2003 we made him a garage (pictured) on the property so he wouldn't have to travel back and forth from his house all the time (he lives 1 mile from the shop). We invested in the building, tools, metal, and John ....... things couldn't have worked out better. My options as a builder are unlimited, John can make anything I need him to. And with his reputation all of the local fishermen come to us when the need expert welding done. Many of John's creations can be seen in the "launched" section of These online photos of his metal work have led to direct sales of radar stands, davits, and bow bits.

"Building A" was built in 2001 by an associate of Clark Island Boat Works. Dan allowed the building to be constructed on his land and in return we would get a boost from the additional business. Originally planned to be a rental facility for people wanting to work on their own boats, it became a semi-permanent location for a competing boat building company. Long story truncated. Eventually (2006) we thought it would be in our best interests to purchase the building and after some negotiating a deal was reached and we had a third building. Since Dan owned the land he was in a good position to negotiate. Boat capacity back up to 5. In the past we have rented the shop to people working on their own projects or moved boats from the main shop to building A when they are close to completion. Right now we have two boats that we built being repaired (Fish Tales, Mirage). The back of this building (not pictured) has been converted into a machine shop and is home to two large lathes and a Bridgeport knee mill.

Alright now you've seen the shop. Interior pictures are available upon request. I'll try to dig up a picture of the old shop and put it in a future post, just for a point of reference. For those of you that are following this thing everyday (thanks) and I completed the seaclear project. It wasn't all that cool or complicated, plus it didn't get messed up. The website and blog are now officially "killing it". As of 11:13 pm the blog has 300 visits (since Feb 11th) and the website has 132 visits (in two days!!). I could bore you with more stats (what state the visits are coming from, average page views, visitor loyalty, etc...) but I won't.

Thanks for tuning in, only 12 posts left, enjoy this while it lasts.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Getting what I deserve.

In Wednesday's post I mentioned that if someone fell down at work the posts would be better. No one fell down but as you can see I did injure my eye. I'm retracting my statement about the posts being better. Its tough to type with this eye patch, plus my eye still hurts 12 hours after the initial injury. Hopefully a good night of sleep will make the pain go away. I was cutting a piece of nidacore on the table saw and a chunk of resin was launched into my eye. Subconsciously I allowed myself to get hurt so I would have something to write about. If I had more stuff to write about then I probably would have dodged the projectile.
I stomped around for a minute then went back to work building fly bridge bench tops, wearing my safety glasses for the rest of the day. Should have stayed home today and read "Where's elmo's blanket?" to the kid.

When I wasn't trying to destroy my vision I was working on the 38' Northern Bay. The benches on the fly bridge got a hatch decision from the owner this morning. Guttered hatches utilizing a three sided gutter draining to the inboard side are what the owner wants. I tried to convince him to put in plastic hatches but at Clark Island Boat Works the customer is always right. The tops were already made so I was able to jump right in to the project.

The tops are nidacore and after the hatches were cut-out all the raw edges had to be banded with spruce/pine so they could be rounded and fiberglassed. Dan and I discussed how to attack the gutter and we decided to either have John make an aluminum gutter or get some structural fiberglass tube and modify it into a usable gutter. This is tough to visualize, I'll take a photo of the hatches in the morning and add them to this post.

We were going to perform a stress test on the arch but not enough people showed up for work. I was working above the arch all day and I think that the amount of deflection is acceptable. If the crew can brave the snow on Monday we'll do the test then. In other shop news: John finished the ramp brackets, Dan cleaned up the mess we made when we tore the deck out of the 36' Calvin, Dan Jr. glassed the hatch covers that I made and gelled the benches in the wheelhouse. Slow day at the shop but we did make a little progress.

The website might have lead to a possible boat sale!!! A guy in Maryland wants a skiff. I would be more excited if he was ordering a 42' pleasure boat but still its cool that my efforts might turn into actual business. This post is done. Staring at the screen is causing me eye pain. Thanks for your concern I'll be more careful from now on. 13 posts to go.

Friday, February 20, 2009

There is another new post under this one.......

The myth of the video blog disappeared within minutes of starting the side project. I have no confidence in my own ability to make decisions so I tried to contact the owner of this window to ask a few questions before I started. No response means no side project. All the tools and parts were laid out and ready to go, the video camera was set up and the instruction manual was open to page 2.

What were you doing with that window in the first place? Good question. I was going to put a electric heating element on the window. To combat the ice, snow, and frost of the harsh Maine winter on the ocean. The product was made by Seaclear Industries ( and works like the defroster on the rear window of your automobile. The instructions are simple and the whole job should only take 5-10 min (perfect length for a video post). My issue was the size and shape of the window. The window is much larger than the seaclear so do I center it in the window or move it to one of the edges? The window isn't a square and the top and bottom lines are not parallel so do run the square seaclear with the side, top, or bottom? Plus the window is replacing a window that already has the seaclear, and how much wire is available if the new seaclear is in a different position than the old seaclear?

Anyway, it would have been a cool project to display my skills but now I'm so filled with self doubt that I will probably end up sub-contracting the job to a local glass working company. If I cared less or could afford another seaclear I would proceed with caution and common sense. The window (once completed) is going to Equinox Island Transit. No more websites in () after the company name, if its blue you can click it. We built Equinox in 1994?? I was in high school and had a limited roll at the company. The original owner was Zoe Zanidakis, she was on the CBS show Survivor, she lost. Even though the boat changed hands, we have still helped maintain and repair the vessel over the years. This window has been fixed/replaced a couple of times already. Good thing for us boats always break.

Three links in one post, so interactive. The steering system for the 38' Northern Bay that was FINALLY ordered was changed again within 10 hours of ordering it. In other 38' Northern Bay news, I have to do a stress test on the arch tomorrow to measure the amount of flex. 5 guys (1000 lbs) on the fly bridge and see how much the arch bends. My guess, on record, is that the arch will flex 1". If this is acceptable then we will continue, if not then we will get some carbon fiber and reinforce the arch until it can support more weight.

Two posts in 3 hours, I might be the greatest. Thanks to your support, we broke 200 visits to the blog since my new content kick. I just have to find a way to direct more traffic to the site. Then turn the thousands of viewers into advertising revenue. Then I could stop building boats and just make up posts about my nonexistent boat shop. For right now I'll keep working at my actual shop and writing actual posts for my nonexistent audience.

Dust = Work is getting done.

Get ready for some serious blogging. For those of you that tuned in yesterday many times only to see that nothing had been added, sorry. Played poker last night and blew off the Thursday post. You'll all be happy to hear that I was the big winner, easiest 50 buck I had made all week. After I get this post finished I have an interesting project that might be posted as the first ever video blog on this site. It could be interesting depending on how badly I mess it up.

Pictured is the 38' Northern Bay minutes after the holes for the air vents had been cut in. There will be two Vetus vents ( on either side of the wheelhouse. Most of the time the cubic inches of air intake would be half of the motor's horsepower. This motor's hp is 567 so it would need about 280 cubic inches of vent. The owner wanted to make sure that the engine would get plenty of air so there is 600 cubic inches of vent. At Clark Island Boat Works the customer is always right. The air will dump into the seat backs and be routed into the engine room. Delta T fans will be installed to assist in the moving of air.

This bench located on the starboard side of the wheelhouse, although primarily used for sitting, will hide the back side of the vents. It will also serve as another bunk for sleeping and hatches cut in the top will open up a large storage area. There is another bench on the other side of the wheelhouse (not pictured). This bench is made out of nidacore (, a plywood substitute. Lighter than plywood, waterproof, but much more expensive. 3/4 inch nidacore 200 bucks a sheet compared to 50 a sheet for plywood. Why does better almost always mean more expensive?

So I actually got some work done these past couple of days, with the boss back I could focus on boats and not have to worry about running the crew. Everyone is getting sick, I've managed to dodge it for a couple of weeks but my luck may be running out.

In other shop news: 36' Calvin = tank work, exhaust work, lifting rail finished, and new tank area ready for tanks. 38' Northern Bay = benches, more arch glassing, vent holes cut, steering system ordered (finally) Welding shop = fixed a shrimp cooker, started building supports for a ramp, and other metal type fabrication. 35' Repair job (I have to ask the hull style, its very unprofessional for me not to know what type of boat it is) = new windows in the trunk side, more gel on side decks, air box built in back section of wheelhouse.

Much better post than I expected, got lots done yesterday. Getting caught up one post at a time. Anyone that would like to step up for a "guest post" I would be willing to turn over the reins. Halfway home, and if I can get another post done by midnight I'll be closer to the end than the beginning. Check out the Vetus site they have lots of cool stuff, and if I'm not mistaken CIBW gets a mention on the Nida-core site.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why does this feel like homework?

30 posts in 30 days, what was I thinking. These self imposed deadlines are killing me. Most of the time I just burn off a post to not fall behind even further. What I should have promised was one post a week for a year, I would have been more posts but I wouldn't have to write one every day. Alright, enough complaining, lets get this over with.

Erika is fixing the site, pics are available to some of the older boats in the "launched" section. I will try to provide better, up to date, pictures to the boats that have been missed. Plus I have to learn how to link the posts up with other pictures on the site and pages within the blog to decrease the bounce rate and increase the average time on the site. You are all reading too fast. 48 visits yesterday with an "average time on site" of 1:48 and that number is higher than it should be, one of you was on the site for 14 min. Thanks.

Previous posts have talked about building new fiberglass fuel tanks for the 36' Calvin. Pictured is the tank mold used to make the tank shells. After the shell is completed the tanks are cut to the desired height. Baffles are added and glassed into place, this cuts down on the violence of the fuel splashing around inside the tank. A top is screwed on and then the entire tank is glassed with multiple layers of fiberglass. Once the tank is dry it is sanded and pressure tested. 2-3 psi of air is pumped into the tank then dish soap is brushed on the tank. If you see bubbles the tank fails the test. Do not exceed 5 psi, the tank could explode. This hasn't happened yet, but the fiberglass doesn't stand much of a chance against a compressor with over 80 psi in it.

Once the tanks are finished they will be pushed to the stern of the boat and fiberglassed into place. I was going to hold them in place with 2-part foam but I wouldn't want the person ripping them out in 40 years to blog about how much of a pain it is to chizzle out old foam.

In other shop news: 36' Calvin = exhaust across the engine room and through the deck, removed the windows, built supports for the fuel tanks to sit on. 38' Northern Bay = sanding, glassing and cleaning. 35' Lobster Boat = prepped the forward floor for gray gel. The CAT salesman stopped by the shop and said that the new boat market is slower than he has ever seen. Rumors of another couple of repair jobs surfaced from multiple sources. Good thing boats always break.

The boss is back from his extended vacation. I'm sure that the posts will get better now that I can do more work during the day. Focusing on the 38' Northern Bay will be my task for the day. I was going to take a couple of days off and go to Hull, MA. That plan was canceled due to the weather, so I have to go to work. Tough to believe how boring this post is until you read it. I can't do any better...........maybe someone will fall down at work today. Reader suggestions on future posts would be helpful. Click a link, hang out, leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Before and After.

The site front page is fixed. I complain about the web site once and instant repairs happen. Traffic to the blog was the highest yet, but because there was no new content, average time on the site was the lowest yet. The fans have spoken, more boat talk less of everything else.

Funny exhaust elbows (pictured) had to be removed from the motor of the 36' Calvin. The old exhaust had developed a leak where the two elbow were connected. Bolts between the two had deteriorated and allowed the wet elbow to slide down. This was letting a small amount of exhaust into the engine room every time the engine fired. A consequence of this is everything under the deck is coated with a little bit of black. The wet exhaust elbow in the upper left corner of the first picture is suppose to be white. This was a wet exhaust system and its getting replaced with a dry exhaust. As I'm getting ready to explain what is happening it occurs to me that some of the readers might not know the difference between a wet and dry exhaust system. Explanation time.

Wet Exhaust: The exhaust from the motor is routed through a water jacketed elbow and the exhaust and the engine water travel through fiberglass pipe until both exit the boat. On the 36' Calvin the exhaust port was located on the side of the hull near the stern on the port side. Other locations for a wet exhaust exit would be through the stern of the boat or out the bottom of the boat. The underwater exhaust port has been the popular choice at Clark Island Boat Works.

Dry Exhaust: The exhaust from the motor is routed through stainless steel pipe to a vertical muffler until the exhaust exits above the cabin top. Flex pipe (pictured accordion pipe) needs to be added to allow for expansion of the exhaust system. Without the flex pipe constant heating and cooling would lead to cracks in the pipe. Because a dry exhaust isn't water cooled it will need to be wrapped with a high temp blanket to protect the rest of the engine room from the intense heat.
On this exhaust the port on the motor was 3" but to reduce any possible back pressure it was recommended to get the exhaust pipe to 6" as quickly as possible. Our staff welder/metal artist accomplished this by welding a 3" elbow to a 6" elbow. The next segment (not pictured) will be a double flanged pipe to get the exhaust to the far port side of the wheelhouse. Then up to the muffler and out though the cabin. John has this on the run, hopefully the exhaust can be completed by the end of next week.

The new elbow is so impressive that this post was just going to be a pic of the new elbow and the word "WOW" in 4 inch block letters. If I had stuck with that plan this post would be on time. I couldn't cheat the fans, all 6 of you, you deserve better posts. My goal for tonight is going to read some other blogs and see how people start sentences (personally i start most with THE, I, and the letter O). There must be more options then this......

In other shop news: I took a slack day and hung out with my nephews. The fuel tanks for the 36' Calvin have been started, a new bulkhead has been added to the boat (so the old laz bulkhead can be removed) Jeff was sick and stayed home. Dan and Clay gel coated the forward cabin of an old lobster boat (not pictured). John welded. And the boss didn't return from his vacation. He should be back today.

If you want to know how many posts out of thirty this is then you've read them all and I don't have to tell you (13).

Monday, February 16, 2009

This web site is so broken....

This would be a better front page then the blank square living at

I've been trying to direct traffic to the site and its been working. A major drawback are all the people telling me that the front page is broken. These are people that know the shop still exists and navigate to the other pages, not allowing the lack of a front page to totally ruin the cibw experience. However I have to believe that if a person stumbled onto the site through a google search for "+fiberglass +clark +lobster +maccaffray +boat" and they found a blank page, they would probably head for the exit
. Just when the blog seems to be taking off, the rest of the site is going to be my ultimate downfall. I mean this is suppose to be a professional business and our web page is a joke. Totally amateur. By now if Erika, my web site designer, is reading this she is at 7 (out of 10 on the anger scale). For everyone noticing broken stuff on the web site..........It is all my fault. I have been neglecting the web site for around two years and Erika has tried to hassle me about it, she even set up this blog figuring that I would get bored and type something every once in a while. Even the blog laid dormant for 3 months or so. Then Erika goes on a trip to Texas and I start using the blog. The site traffic triples in days and everyone is pointing out all these broken pages, and missing pictures, and awful blogs. Erika will be back in the next few days and I'm hoping she has time to fix up the web site.

Anyone looking to get a web site designed please contact Erika at She is excellent to work with and very talented at her job. However if you are extremely lazy and don't mind neglecting your website........she will let you. If you need constant supervision, you may want to hire someone with a more militant background. Thanks for all your help, we should have put a blog on the site 5 years ago. I did paste some code into the HTML of the blog page while you were on vacation, that's what probably broke the front page.

In other shop news: New fuel tanks for the 36' Calvin have to be 10" deep x 48" wide x 77" long to be 160 gallons a piece (231 cubic inches in a gallon). Also on the Calvin: more cleaning, some grinding, some welding, cut and drilled the lifting rails. (I had better slow down on this project if I plan to milk it until the middle of March) On the 38' Northern Bay: arch (not pictured) almost complete, gelled inside of wheelhouse benches, glassed center console on fly bridge. And finally, the real boss should be returning tomorrow, now maybe I can get some work done.

Other ideas for today's blog that didn't make the cut...

1. How much I hate to do paperwork.
2. The future of boat building, or lack of a future.
3. Should NASCAR have rules in place so the Daytona 500 isn't ruined by rain?
4. Best and Worst Music to build boats to.

That last one was never an option but lists look better with 4 so I made it up.

One dozen posts in One dozen days. Can I stop commenting about the number of posts, will it detract from the posts, will it make them better? If everyone who reads these posts got 3 of their friends to check it out we would be up to like 12 readers, think about that for a second.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Spotlight: Sea Hag

This post should be listed in the "on time" side of the ledger. It was started at 6pm and my intention was to finish it directly. I had to stop for dinner then a series of distractions and some cold medicine..... Anyway its 2:20 in the am, lets see how it goes.

Sea Hag is a 36' Calvin Beal that was finished in 2003. The boat is primarily used for catching lobster and lives in Rye NH. Based on reader feedback that are all the boat details that you are going to get. If you'd like to learn more about Sea Hag, please leave the following comment "I've got to know more about that boat". Keep checking back in the comments section for more and more details as they are requested. The rest of this will be an interesting story about the relationship between the owner of Sea Hag and Clark Island Boat Works. The facts might be exaggerated and/or changed to make for a better story.

Scheduling the completion of a project can be very difficult. Things will happen to delay a launch: other repairs take longer than expected, underestimating how long things will take, and unannounced vacations can all make a boat take longer than anticipated. I think in the case of the Sea Hag we just underestimated how long the project was going to take. The owner was looking to have the boat completed in April, like most lobster boats, and it had become obvious that we weren't going to have the boat done until much later. As you are reading this you might be asking yourself "why would he be talking about a boat that was late?" or you might be asking "is he trying to make my decision to pick another boatshop easier?" or you might be asking "why is the kid blogging at 2:20 am?"

Anyway, June of 2003, the owner of Sea Hag and 2-3 of his pals make the trip north to check progress on the boat and to help in any way they can. Back in 2003 there was no internet so the owner had no idea what he was going to be seeing until he arrived at the shop. The owner was not at all pleased with the amount of work that had been completed, and knowing that the boat launch was still weeks away he became irritated. He quickly progressed through the 4 levels of irritation.....

1. Mumble to yourself.
2. Kick dirt on shop floor.
3. Stare at boat while shaking head.
4. Mention something to the boss.

At the time I was just a worker and luckily didn't have to deal with the customers. That was my dad's job. And truthfully I didn't hear the conversation between the two, but my dad says it went like this.

"when is the boat going to be done?"
"as soon as possible, we're working as fast as we can."
"yeah well you said it was going to be done by blahblahblah and it clearly isn't going to be."
"the boat will be done when its done."
"discouraging comments, grumble grumble, blahblahblah....."
"look, we are trying to finish your boat. now you can either see if there is anything you can do to help or maybe you should just get in your car and head back to Rye."

Awkward silence throughout the shop for the next couple of hours, then complete attitude change by the owner. No more comments about the boat, he was actually in a good mood. We worked the rest of the day then the owner, his 2-3 friends, and myself went golfing. This has nothing to do with the post but I killed those guys on the golf course. The owner was a pleasure to work with for the rest of the project. The boat was finished in early August and the owner was extremely happy with the boat. And although it was late, he was extremely happy with Clark Island Boat Works.

Every year I go to Rye and help out with yearly maintenance: repair hauling side, phillyclad the deck, touch up the gelcoat.....And every year I get great Red Sox tickets. The owner of Sea Hag is one of my favorite customers, his boat lead directly to another project "Fish Tales", and from what I hear he will praise Clark Island Boat Works to anyone that will listen. Sorry we were late with your boat, thanks for your continued support.

I can't tell if this post is good or not, it might get deleted in the morning. Normally I wouldn't talk about a late project but I guess the moral of the story would be...........complaining doesn't help. (we're working as fast as we can)

How about that great photo at the beginning of the post. That's the best pic I have of this boat, if you have a better picture of Sea Hag please email it to me. 11 down, less than 20 to go.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

To My Wife

Thanks for everything that you do to help me do my job. Thanks for dropping off payroll. Thanks for filling out checks and envelopes. Thanks for letting me work late. Thanks for being patient when we have to drive "out of our way" to check out a boat. Thanks for picking up parts. Thanks for doing such a great job raising our daughter. Thanks for giving me the time to blog everyday. Thanks for everything, you are the biggest reason that I am able to do my job as well as I do. I love you, wife.

People tuning in for boat talk today, sorry. I don't expect much site traffic today. The first third of the 30 post journey is over. Jaime if you want me to delete this post, I will.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tanks out. Gross out.

Hello people of the world. If this is your first visit to the blog then I would recommend reading the previous posts before you continue. After you read those other posts this post will make more sense and you can see how much my posts have improved over the last 8 days. 27 visits on day two of the stat tracker. Site traffic is up 200% in one day!!! If this trend continues by the end of the 30 days we'll be rolling everyone on the planet (do the math if you don't believe me). If you first-timers disregarded my advice at the beginning of the post and are still reading........nice.

Dan Jr. and Clay started in with the crowbars and freed the tanks from the boat first thing this morning. Ropes, blocks, pry bars, and 4 workers were need to dislodge the tanks from the boat. Then once the tanks were pulled up we tipped them to the side to pump out the rest of the diesel fuel (I subcontracted that job to one of my employees the thought of diesel makes me want to vomit). After the tanks were totally empty we tied ropes around both ends and lowered them off the boat and onto the floor.

Photographic proof that the tanks are indeed on the floor of the shop. Also pictured are the parts of the deck that were removed yesterday. The scum line that you see on the tanks is where the foam was attaching the tank to the hull. The foam ended up being the toughest part of this job so far. All the foam was drenched in fuel, water, and slime. Even though the foam had been softened by the fuel it still was very tough and could only be broken out in small pieces. Dan Jr. and Clay deserve all the credit in the world for sticking to this job, I worked on other projects as soon as the tanks were on the floor (pictured). After using the vacuum to pick up all the water/fuel they used flat bars to break up the foam. I was going to bring the crew out to lunch today but after 30 min of playing in that scuzzy foam Dan and Clay reeked and we would have been kicked out of most dining establishments. I can't even explain the foam without using profanity and even then I don't think that words can do the odor justice. So..... If you are interested in getting a sample of the diseased foam please leave a comment that says "I need to know what that foam was all about" and your address and I will be happy to send you a small sample, for 6 dollars.

As you can see we have plenty of samples and most of them are in mint condition, limit one per customer. Supplies are limited so act fast, all sales are final, satisfaction guaranteed.

In other shop news I put a radar stand back on a 40' Wayne Beal after John (our welder) had shorted the aluminum stand. The owner had been having troubles getting the boat in and out of buildings and even transporting it over the road. Now with the shorter stand these problems should be eliminated. The entire crew was involved in the tank circus in the morning but afterward Jeff focused on the arch on the 38' Northern Bay. Pictures of a completed arch should be available by the end of the weekend. John began fabrication on a stainless steel 8" exhaust port. Someone brought us donuts for break, which we all appreciated.

Post number 9 in the books. Three pics (so lazy), by post number 23 it will be all pics no words, then maybe when I have nothing left, video post. My favorite part of these posts is the forced comments that I make at the end, I hope you are as uncomfortable reading them as I am writing them. The boat stuff should be enough.

Of the 16 unique viewers to this blog, 1 from Brazil and 1 from India. I thought that was cool so I decided to share. Its probably just a computer that scans all the blogs in the world gathering information on people to use against them when they least expect it. Or not.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So easy to destroy a boat.

This would be the worst time to walk into the middle of the operating room. All the plywood has been removed and the crossbeams have been cut to get to the leaking stainless steel fuel tanks. Everything under the deck is coated with a fuel/soot/slime mix, clean up begins tomorrow. This deck probably took a long time to build its a shame that we removed it in two days. The fuel tanks have been drained but they are tied into the boat with two-part expanding foam. Foam is no match for a crowbar so the tanks should be dislodged early Friday morning. There are stickers on the top of both tanks with the company's name that built them along with this, "Satisfaction Guaranteed", the owner of the boat should be contacting them about the two leaky tanks. I didn't include the name of the company that built the tanks because I wouldn't want anyone pointing out all my mistakes.

The wet exhaust was simple to cut out, the hole in the hull will need to be patched. I had the welder look at the exhaust elbows and after he stopped laughing he made a plan for routing the new stainless steel dry exhaust.

All the fuel lines have been removed from the tanks and labeled, however some of the lines might need to be replaced depending on their condition. So far so good, nothing unexpected, but problems are certain to develop, they always do. I am addicted to using commas, I use them way too much, and I usually use them incorrectly, react to my statement.

In other shop news: The support arch on the 38' Northern Bay was submitted and given the green light. Full speed ahead on the arch in the morning. Because the owner lives in Georgia I drew options of what I thought the arch should look like and sent him a picture via the interweb. He then printed the picture and drew another line and sent it back to me. How did decisions ever get made before the internet? That arch decision would have taken 2 weeks and 6 postage stamps.

Thanks to one of my subscribers now I'm tracking the traffic to the blog (using Google Anayltics). Nine views today, very strong. I would take the time to list you all individually here but I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone. My goal for the next 10 days is to get the number up to 30 views. So tell your friends.

Also, I think that I am using the "Labels for this post" box incorrectly. I've been labeling them number 1, number 2, 3, 4, etc... I think I'm suppose to be labeling them with words that say what the post is about (boats, fuel tanks, motor, etc) Good thing only nine people are looking.

24 Hours Later.

Change of format, straight to boat talk. Dove right into the 36' Calvin project today removing all the hatches and deck plates within a mater of hours. Once the hatches were removed the amount of water saturation had ruined the plywood around the hatches in the deck. Since the entire deck is being removed the rotten plywood won't be an issue.

After the hatches had been removed Clay started around the outside of the deck with an edge cutter to cut through the top layer of glass. After the outside edge had been cut he started cutting 3 ft squares and peeling up the old fiberglass. Once he was half done with the fiberglass removal, Jeff started to remove the plywood. The plywood removal presented a small challenge of getting the resin out of the screws. Because the screws that were used on this deck were Phillips head (x - head) instead of slotted the resin has a tendency to stay with the screw instead of being pulled up with the fiberglass. The solution was to take an old Phillips head screwdriver and a hammer and pulverize the resin (and ruining the screwdriver).

The entire deck should be removed by the end of the day tomorrow. We also had to remove a fuel tank under the stern of the boat (not pictured) and pump out all the fuel in the stainless steel fuel tanks before we could remove them. Using a 12 volt fuel pump we pumped all the diesel into 55 gal drums, there was about 80 gal of fuel in the tanks. During the fuel pumping process I tried to save time by not clamping the hoses to the pump and ended up getting covered with fuel. Face, eyes, hair, pants, sweatshirt, etc..... covered. After getting 2 clamps we completed the removal of all the old fuel. I can still taste the fuel. Lesson learned but the punishment didn't fit the crime in that case. The kid that was helping me didn't get any fuel on him and proceeded to laugh at my misery.

In other shop news the boat that received the new motor (pictured) is done and has been moved outside. Another old boat (not pictured) has been moved into the shop and I will be getting the repair list in the next couple of days. The steering issues that I talked about a couple of days ago are still unresolved. The 38' South Shore that we phillycladed on Sunday is going to get some minor fiberglass repair tomorrow and it was 45 degrees today. After 3 weeks of arctic air I felt like mentioning the warm weather was necessary. Our welder modified a stainless steel rudder for a local lobsterman. The boss left for Daytona yesterday, so I guess I'm in charge for the next week.

So how do you like the new format? Two pictures, shorter posts, no obsessing about the blog at the beginning of the post. This is by far my weakest effort to date, I'll be better tomorrow.

I should sub-contract out the rest of these posts to a professional writer. They would be much better and infinitely more interesting. 7 posts in 7.75 days.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More work is always good.

Biggest complaint about the blog so far: the titles to the posts are awful and unoriginal. I can't disagree, I will try to spend more time coming up with puns and word play in the titles. For the time being you'll have to get by on the great content. You will be happy to hear that the number of people following the blog has risen from zero to With all the effort that I am putting in there should be more followers. My comfort level with people even being my "followers" isn't very high so lets just call them fans.

A 36' Calvin Beal (pictured) arrived at the shop today and the timing couldn't be better. The "new engine" project (see post #2) will be finished tomorrow so one repair is concluded so another can begin. This boat was originally finished at Fraser Performance and built for a lobsterman in Maine, the boat has since changed hands and fishes out of Rhode Island. The boat is in good shape but the list of things to fix is slightly major.

1. Remove all deck hardware
2. Remove deck
3. Remove fuel tanks
4. Remove wet exhaust system
5. Build 2 new fiberglass fuel tanks (130-160 gal)
6. Build 2 lobster tanks under the deck (500 - 750 lbs)
7. Build new stainless steel exhaust.
8. Build new deck (plywood, fiberglass, sand, and gel)
9. Reinstall hatches and add two new Anchor hatches (24" X 40") for the lobster tanks
10. Make a lobster tray out of aluminum that will fit into fiberglass pipes attached to the lobster tanks under the deck.
11. Everything else

Eleven things, not a big list but some of the tasks on the list might take a couple of days. We are hoping to accomplish this job in 4 weeks. However, once the deck has been removed I will have a lot clear picture of what this job is going to entail. Tomorrow we will start ripping up the hatches and hopefully by the end of the day the boat will be dried out.

Trivia: The owner of the boat had to travel 14 hours (by water) to get the boat to Rockland, Maine. He arrived today at 2pm. Did he leave really early or really late??

Actual work that happened today: New Motor Project: filled hydraulic tanks, non-skidded the forward floor, installed the stereo, cleaned boat and prepared for transportation. 38' Northern Bay: met with a fabricator from Nautilus Marine Fabrication to plan for the SS rails (bow rail, hand rails, ladder, and radar arch) met with a woodworker from Hewes & Company to make a plan about teak trim, more sanding and gelling on flybridge. Along with the 36' Calvin (pictured) arriving another boat was delivered for repair.

I have no evidence to support my theory but I'm quite sure that these posts would be much better if i didn't write them at 11:30 at night. Tomorrow look for a post around 5pm, then post a comment if you like it more than these late night ramblings. I will always play to the crowd.

24 is the number of posts left and the number of posts left is 24.

Will I be able to quit........

Monday, February 9, 2009

Steering Issues

One of the things that I tried to accomplish today was to order the steering system for the 38' Northern Bay. You would think that this would be a simple task, it was not. Let me first say that Kobelt is an excellent company and all issues that I ran into were my fault. Again let the record show that Kobelt rules and I would recommend their products to anyone. 95 percent of our boats are fitted with Kobelt control heads and we've always been happy with the performance.

So the steering system for the 38' Northern Bay was never really set in stone. The brand of manual steering system wasn't decided on until very recently. Anyway, once the owner decided on going with Kobelt he contacted the company and talked with Don Zane. All the important information was provided: size of vessel, size of rudder, speed, desired turns of the wheel, etc... (putting etc at the end of the list would fall into the "glossing over things" category)

I contact Mr. Zane to check the status of the order and he tells me that he already has a quote ready to rock. During our conversation I hear that the boat speed is 22 knots. The top speed of the boat will be closer to 27-29 knots and I ruin everything by telling this to Mr. Zane. "Well that's going to change a few things let me work the numbers and get back to you." (anything in quotation marks is just an approximation of what was said)

Within minutes I receive two faxes: one with the original quote and the second quote with the longer hydraulic cylinders and different helm pumps. Through another phone call with Zane he assures me that the first system that he quoted won't work for this boat. Fine. the second quote is only 350 dollars more and should be just the thing were looking for. I call the owner and explain the changes: how the longer cylinders are needed for added torque and the variable helm pumps will give the user adjustment. "The first quote had fixed helm pumps on it, and I don't see the need for variable." (that was the owner of the 38' Northern Bay, again not really what he said)

For the rest of this I'm not going to explain myself at all.

The longer cylinders can't be used with a fixed helm pump.
Call the owner on Friday, tell him all the details, we'll get it solved by Tuesday.
Zane is leaving for a boat show on Wednesday.
On Monday the owner calls Zane to order the parts, speeding up the process by paying with credit card.
The parts don't get ordered and I'm back on the phone with Zane.
A measurement of the lazzerette show that the longer cylinders won't fit.
Shorter, but larger cylinders are quoted, with larger helm pumps.
This quote is 2400 more than the previous quote.
I call the owner, then call Zane, then I call the owner, then Zane, etc....
Compromise to the 3rd quote cylinders, and the 2nd quote pumps.
Rethink my original measurement of the lazzerette.
Accomplish nothing.

It is possible that the equipment on the second quote will work, a couple of modifications might need to take place but I'm confident that in the end things will work out. I would like to again throw my support behind Kobelt and thank Mr. Zane for his time and patience.

Actual work that happened today: 38' Northern Bay: fiberglassed the inside and outside of the benches on the flying bridge, sanded some of the fiberglass work that we did last week, started building the arch for the back of the wheelhouse. Boat with the new motor: tied up more loose ends (speakers, lights, cables, oil pump, oil crank case, heater hose manifold, etc....(3 times))

Two post in one day, back on track. Are these posts getting longer? I don't read them so I really have no idea. Boat from Rhode Island arriving tomorrow, needs lots of work. This almost guarantees stuff to blog about for the next 25 days.

Sunday Spotlight: Temperance

Because we rarely get lots of work done on Sundays I am going to use the last day of the week to spotlight a completed boat. Also technically this post is about 8 hours late, I was going to write it last night but fell asleep, sorry. My commitment to the blog isn't as intense as some of you might have been led to believe.

Name: Temperance (in photo)
Hull Style: 42' Mussel Ridge
Motor: 525 hp Lugger
Genset: 6 KW Northern Lights
Fuel Capacity: 700 gal
Water Capacity: 225 gal
Holding Tank Capacity: 40 gal
Air Conditioner: 2 Flagship Marine Units (18,500 BTU w/heating element)
Batteries: 4 8d Deep Cycle
Windlass: Lighthouse Stainless Steel "Super Windlass"
Anchor: Rocna 33

Looking at this list I'm not sure if this is the correct way to "spotlight" a boat.

The guy that owns Temperance found our company online and contacted me via phone, after 3 or 4 lengthy phone conversations a trip to Maine was planned where he was going to look at a couple of different boat shops. I tried to show the strengths of our shop, the quality, the highly skilled staff, and the cutting edge technology. However I made the sale by treating the client to lunch at Miller's Lobster Wharf. Long story short.......I invested 19 dollars to make a $400,000 sale. It is this type of risk taking that has made us a successful business for the past 28 years.

This boat is arguably the greatest boat that we have ever built and the owner was a pleasure to work with. During his trip back to Maryland after the boat was completed I was contacted by 3 interested parties in similar boats, unfortunately none of these projects ever moved past the speculation stage. I should have sent them all lobster rolls via FEDEX. (that is two uses of via in this post for those of you keeping count)

I think that the Sunday Spotlight will be more background story on the boat and less boring listed details. If the subscribers have a problem with that then please send me an email or leave a comment.

Actual work that happened today: Jeff, Dan, and I phillycladed the deck of the 38' South Shore. Phillyclad is a cement-like grit that can be rolled onto fiberglass deck to provide traction in wet conditions. More details on phillyclad in later posts.

One late post, strike one, my bad. Realistically it will happen again. 13.33% of my 30 post promise is now complete.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thanks for the feedback....

Looking through my thousands of boat pictures one thing has presented itself as a possible problem, I can't take a good photograph. Some of it isn't my fault, lots of times you can't get far enough away to show the part of the boat in context or there is so much dust in the air that you can't see anything but flash. Eventually when we hit the big time I'll have to hire a professional photographer.

One of the subscribers contacted me and said that I was glossing over a lot of stuff and that I should add more details. WARNING: The following will be a detailed description of the water system on the 38' Northern Bay. "People that read blogs like geeky stuff." Let's hope the reader was right.

Water Storage: The boat is equipped with two aluminum water tanks. These were built by our staff welder and send to Performance Production Painting in Auburn, Maine to be powdercoated with a green 3m product that will resist corrosion and make the tanks last forever. The tank on the port side of the boat can hold 100 gallons and the tank on the starboard side can hold 50 gallons. The tanks are different sizes to accommodate for the other equipment that has to fit in the same area as the tank. The user has the capibilities to connect the tanks with a crossover valve. Three way valves let the user choose which tank to get water from.

Filling the Water Tanks: On most boats to fill the water tanks you pull the boat up to the dock and fill the water tanks with a hose. Although that is an option on the 38' Northern Bay you also have the option to turn the sea water into drinkable freshwater using the Water Maker desalinization unit. The unit uses reverse osmosis to remove all the salt from the water and makes it cleaner than Figi bottled water. The two water pumps (one high pressure and one low pressure) that run the WaterMaker are the two pump-like things in the top photo. (top of photo, high pressure white on left, low pressure gray on right) To find out more about WaterMaker go to

Pressurizing the Tank Water:
A Jabsco water pressure pump pressurizes the tank water to 25 psi and has the capabilities to pump 5.5 gallons per minute. The water pressure pump is in the bottom photo and is the black unit on the left.

Hot Water: Once the water is pressurized it is split at a tee and one branch of the tee is hosed to an Isotemp hot water heater. (top photo, large cyclinder on left) The water heater has a 13 gallon capacity and can heat water using hot engine coolant or heat with a 110 volt heating element.

Water Outlets: The cold freshwater will be hosed to a deck wash down hose, a cockpit sink, a head sink, and a shower mixing valve. The hot water will be hosed to all the same places except for the wash down and cockpit sink. The types of sink fixtures haven't been decided on yet, I'll update the status as soon as the decisions have been made.

So that is a complete freshwater system, that was quite grueling to type. Its actually easier to install one of those systems then to explain how to do it. I glossed over a bunch of stuff, I didn't get into what type of hose is used, clamps and clips, or the wiring of the individual components. Next time there will be more details..........or less, depending on the feedback from my many subscribers.

Actual work that happend today: made a few wire connections on the boat getting the new engine, completed the construction of the flybridge benches on the 38' Northern bay, and prepared a 38' South Shore for phillyclad on the deck tomorrow.

BOOM, that took longer than is should have. I was watching television and couldn't stay focused.

Friday, February 6, 2009

That first post wasn't from November.....

In the previous post I said that I was going to add new content every day for the next 30 days. Just for the record that first post was made on 2/5/09 not 11/24/08, so as long as I post this before midnight the "streak" will stay intact. So please don't flood the comments section with negative comments about my lack of commitment. I need support right now, but I'm certain that no one is reading.

Along with the new construction of the 38' Northern Bay we are in the process of putting a new motor (pictured) into an eight year old lobster boat. Most fishermen will wait until their old motor blows up or breaks down before making the swap, however this installation was planned in advance and the old motor was still functioning.

The customer had been storing the new motor in his garage for a few years and with the hour meter on the old motor creeping up he felt like it was not worth risking another season with the old Cummins. This repower was exceptionally simple because the new motor was identical to the previous one.

Today we started gel coating all the areas that had been fiberglassed around the engine, tomorrow we have to tape off the floor for the gray gel.

During the motor swap: the raw water lines were replaced, the heater hoses were replaced, the throttle and shifter cables were replaced, the inside dripless box was replaced, and the largest hydraulic hoses were replaced. Most of the things that wear out eventually were replaced.......BEFORE THEY WORE OUT. The whole project will take about 3 weeks, and hopefully the new motor will last another 8 years.

12 minutes to churn that out, not bad, your welcome. 28 more of these and I can go back to ignoring the web site.