Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Suite Tara

While the work on Me Voy is progressing at a snails pace recently, I wanted to take you on a tour of our new stateroom aboard TARA. Its not actually that new any more, as we completed it last year, but it has taken this long to catch up.

As you may know, two years ago Tara jumped into our lives and stole our hearts. This was a true case of 'love is blind' as we enthusiastically handed over some green in exchange for a rotten wooden boat. You know what happened next, you've seen the deck replacement, the hull repairs, the paint jobs etc. Beneath all that however, waited the aft stateroom, or the master bedroom as you'd call it in house. We used it mostly for storage, and for a brief time a workshop. We slept in the guest stateroom, in small bunk beds, while the ideas for the aft stateroom ripened. 

 The hole you see will be covered by plywood, that will be the ceiling of our stateroom below as well as the floor of the deck above.
As far as the interior of the boat goes, the worst damage occurred in the aft stateroom, as rain leaked through the deck, rotting out ribs, planks, bulkheads and of course the deck/ceiling itself. Most of the damage was initailly hidden from view,  with only minor water damage actually visible. That's how it is with most boat jobs. There is a small section that is visibly in need of repair, which soon turns out to be  a huge section that was simply being hidden by paneling or fiberglass or whatever material that is hiding the damage. Fiberglass boats are especially good at hiding huge problem areas for years. We've seen some boats that looked perfectly reasonable on the outside with only a small soft spot, only to discover that the whole core of the boat is soaking wet and the boat is garbage. This wasn't exactly the case here. We knew there were very ugly things hiding beneath the bulkhead, and we were right.

This was our first introduction to the stateroom, port side.

First introduction to the starboard side of the room. 

The first step, after burning lots of incense to get rid of that funky grandma smell, was to remove the existing bulkheads (walls) and beds, along with all the rotten ribs and beams, replacing them with new wood. In case of the overhead beams, Travis scarfed white oak of the same dimension to existing beams at a point in which they were no longer rotten,  epoxing and screwing everything as he went. In the case of the hull beams,  he scarfed some ribs and also did what is known as  'sistering' where new ribs are attached next to existing ribs that are solid. An invaluable resource in this operation was the Gougeon Brothers book called The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction. Its very well written, with lots of pictures to keep the instructions both clear and detailed.


Some new ribs are sistered while others are scarfed in place.

Overhead beams scarfed and epoxied with epoxied Okume plywood


Port side of the aft stateroom with new ribs 
After all that, the fun part began.  We have been tossing around ideas for the room all along this process, ranging from cedar lined walls for a cozy cabin feel, to bamboo plywood for the ultra modern look. In the end we decided to keep it classic and continue with the white and mahogany theme  that was already present throughout the boat.

We debated over the layout of the room, and decided that the previous arrangement of two twin beds on either side of the room was unacceptable, and opted for a full size bed on one side and an office/library on the other. We borrowed the idea of the cutout shelves along the side of the bed from the guest bedroom, making the cutouts oval to complement to windows (ports). These little compartments are quite handy for storing all kinds of things without intruding on sleeping space. They also keep many things tucked away and impossible to fall out during particularily moody seas.

This Chris Craft Constellation was built in 1961 for a Navy admiral who must have had a fancy for mirrors. We kept one mirror in our salon, but the mirror in the stateroom had to go. We were dreading this project, as it was a big and heavy mirror glued to the wall, but our fears were unfounded as it easily slipped off the wall, out the companionway and next to the dumpster all in one piece.



 With the mirror gone, the design agreed upon, and the materials purchased, things were moving pretty quickly. We worked together on both sides of the room at the same time using the back deck as our workshop to cut all the big pieces of plywood and mahogany. Creating something new was a nice break for both of us from the usual restoration and maintenance work. We did this during the hotter days of summer, utilizing the room's air conditioning system making the work very pleasant and gratifying. With both of us working together the room started to come along rather quickly.


The office area is beginning to take shape as mahogany plywood becomes a table.

For the office area we envisioned a large work table and shelves all in mahogany, with mahogany drawers set in white for bottom storage. Rather then making the table top square, Travis had the brilliant idea of giving it a sweeping curve in the front. This gives it both more room and looks awesome in profile. We also included some hinged compartments for extra storage. The back half of the desk top lifts up for storage, and the small rectangular cut out you can barely make out in the front hides my scanner.
In less then a month we had the room ready for habitation. We were very happy to leave our bunk- bed style bedroom and stretch out in the master suite. My computer was also very happy to finally have a home other then the galley table. It didn't take long for this room to become one of our all time favorite places to chill. 




A light from Lowes turned upside down with a switch installed. I can't believe they didn't think of this.
Stained glass film on port windows looks beautiful anytime of day and gives us much needed privacy.
This is pretty much the sleeping orientation every night with Travis and me squeezed into the empty spaces.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW! The transformation is amazing! Congratulations on a job very well done!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the dog and cat are enjoying the new room as well. Nice job

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Wow, this is truly impressive and we love the office/library! Great job ... you ought to submit this to um .. somebody! =)

Anonymous said...

I've seen that exact light on display at Lowes! Very creative to turn it upside down and install a switch. It looks cool with a switch.

jomamma said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!! That desk is awesome. Hubby can feel Travis' pain, he's replacing the siding on our house. Like you said what looks like a small area of water damage can revile a rotting 2x6 15 feet long. Worse than that... no 2x4s or 2x6x at all! What the hell is holding this wall up?

Travis and Maggie said...

LOL Jomamma, that's how we felt after taking a look at some of the deck. The only thing to do was perhaps throw some seeds down and grow a garden in that mush. I guess houses need TLC too?!

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

You two are amazing! Please come to my boat and finish some stuff...

jomamma said...

I guess it goes to say, even if you live in a cave you have to have constant up keep, or a stalagmite will fall on your head (or is it a stalactite?)

Travis and Maggie said...

I never thought of it that way Jomama, that might be our new saying next time someone talks about the maintenance on a wooden boat...

jomamma said...

I'll be here all week with captions, saying and boat names.

rob said...

Really great Job Guys! well done, your getting there!

Valerie & Damon said...

Wow~! I love it!! The white does so nice brightening it up, and I love the wood and stain, very creative, and fabulous use of space! Our boat is cement, so it's good to know she's solid as a rock, but damage under wood around the wheelhouse -- yuuuuuck, huge job. Can definitely appreciate all the work that goes into a job like that.

Tux said...

Wow - I know a lot of people say fix your boat up yourselves, but few have your eye and talent! I'm jealous. Very impressive work.

Travis and Maggie said...

Thanx Tux. We were used to people eyeballing us when we first started with apprehension. Now I know why. The truth is most people who start with big dreams of boat restoration never make it past the third month when things really become hard and the realization of just how much work this really is hits you even harder.