Lightening Ship

May 31, 2016  Hours spent building to date: 2,572

Handsome -- but it don't float the boat

I spent many hours over the weekend adding trim and finish to the roof, deckhouse and battery box.  But while it turned out beautifully, and was very fulfilling, I was disturbed by the fact that it wasn’t moving the Tardis very far from her current status as a piece of furniture into a functioning boat.

During the construction phase, the steps that would move the project forward were very obvious:   you can’t build a hull without frames, you can’t put on a deckhouse roof without a deckhouse, etc.  But in the systems/trim/paint phase there are a dozen potential projects a day, and the temptation is to do the fun ones.

I am a great fan of 18th century naval fiction and have probably read over a hundred books.  One of their favorite tactics when pursuing a slightly faster foe, or being pursued by a larger one, is “lightening ship” — throwing overboard every piece of unnecessary gear, the livestock, the water barrels, the captain’s furniture, etc.  So I have been busy “lightening ship” on the Tardis project trying to get to the ultimate goal:  in the water, weathertight,  and moving under her own power late summer/early fall of this year.  Here is the result:

Must Get Done

Plumbing — it’s all one system ending with the head, so I can’t stop now.  And a head is a very useful piece of equipment on a cruising boat.

Windows — the order goes out this week.

Hull trim and paint — it pretty much has to be done while the boat is on the trailer.

DC wiring — enough to get the boat started and for the VHF radio, tank gauges, nav lights, and maybe a couple cabin lights.


Cabin door

Mooring hardware

Depth sounder

US Coastguard safety gear

Will Have to Wait

AC wiring

Nav system — Probably just day trips this year.



Aft decking — this is very dependent on the engine installation, as has always been at the end of the list.

Teak and Holly Sole — I can do this when the boat is in the water if I have to.

Up in the Air

Cockpit trim — boat will look crappy without it, but not a necessity.

Veneer on stern — I’ll go with paint if need be.

Dinettte/Dinette table — I am trying to leave this area open for wire runs, but there aren’t that many under the new schedule, so I may rough something in.

Big Question

Bow thruster — a single engine outboard with a ton of windage is going to be a mess getting across the southwest wind and into my slip at GYC.  But it can be installed with the boat on the trailer in the spring — I did it on Memsahib, and it wasn’t pretty, but worked out in the end.

Forward cabin trim

Forward cabin trim

Getting roof trim to bend required epoxy, nails, and every clamp in the shop.

Getting roof trim to bend required epoxy, nails, and every clamp in the shop.

Roof trim finished

Roof trim finished

Battery box is finished with a waterproof lid designed by Ray

Battery box is finished with a waterproof lid designed by Ray








One comment on “Lightening Ship

  1. Richard Curtis
    June 1, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    Such craftsmanship! A joy to follow this build.


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