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Workshipping (1)

That's possibly too many lubricants.
Four years back, I sketched out a vision of what I wanted to do with the workshop in the forepeak of Alchemy. The first seven feet of the boat is a a snug, utilitarian room forward of the collision bulkhead that is reached by ladder beneath a strong steel hatch on the deck. I had ideas of putting a bicycle seat on a post in there, and having a fold-down cot for extra crew on the starboard side, and of having the windlass over the anchor well. I even wanted to cut a big, doggable hatch (above the waterline) into the saloon with an eye to ventilation and even working on the boom down there.

Well, a lot of that thinking has gone by the wayside. The ladder down into the forepeak is not a big deal and it is a compact solution to egress and the thought of engineering a square hole into the saloon...without compromising the deck support...seemed unnecessary. So did the idea of a folding cot down there. We've determined that we can stow storm sails and the light, if voluminous, cruising spinnaker in the available space if it's better laid out. The windlass was ultimately positioned farther aft so as to drop the anchor chain farther aft (better for weight out of the ends). The batteries powering the windlass are at the foot of the ladder (covered, of course) and on the centerline. The charger is on the bulkhead and there is now 12 VDC and 120 VAC (20 amps, too) outlets in this little compartment. Little bright lights to follow.
The heavier things are now farther aft and the tools and spares aren't all on the port side now. Trug is still misspelled.
This is the new look going forward. Experience actually sailing with a bunch of long/tall bits of gear have persuaded us that a sort of "rack" in which to stow the tiller, oars, PortaThwarts, and the sailing rig, rudder and centerboard of the nesting dinghy. Most of this gear is light and will, if restrained by shock cord, stay put even in rough seas, but the keyword is "restrained". The rest of the starboard side of the workshop space is now ready to have another 53 inches of working surface. This is, on most boats, an unheard-of luxury.
Working the grinder meant putting a fire blanket over the batteries to even nod in the direction of "to code"
Once again, welder/fabricator Andrew Barlow was enlisted to weld together three lengths of 1.25 x 1.25 x 3/16th inch L-bar mild steel into something strong enough to take a marine plywood top (that's my job to obtain and cut). The foredeck is covered in boxes of line, shore power cords, a few sailbags and other bits and pieces formerly loose on the starboard side and bungeed into lumps. As soon as the weather crests freezing, Mrs. Alchemy will coat the exposed metal and the weld beads I've now ground down to keep this stuff from rusting.
As can be seen, some of those tools and spares on the left would be better on the right.
I discovered, too late, that there was no 15 amp outlet on the marina's power posts. We've used 15 amp service successfully in the past via one of my 12 ga. contractor-grade extension cords, but this time, I had to take power from the 15 amp outlet inside the boat, powered from the 30 amp shore power service.
Stick around, you'll learn something.
Unfortunately, this circuit breaker kept tripping, and the irony is that I knew I was receiving two Honda eu2200i gasoline generators the very next day. Combined, these two beasts could have easily supplied Andrew's welding rig with enough juice to get the job done.
When sparks vacuum the entire compartment the next day.
So I spent quite a bit of time waiting for the breaker to trip and then flicking it back on. Andrew started to do shorter beads and eventually got full penetration of the welds, but it was an annoying few minutes and I was feeling the AC breaker board for any signs of warmth. There wasn't any.

So simple, but it will be so useful.
So we paint, and then I cut the plywood top to fit and then I bolt said top to the metal and rearrange the tool boxes and spares stowage. I have SS eyebolts so I can hang spare line more neatly, and eyestraps to keep everything lashed down. Lastly, I'll add a few more lights down there and get a larger "trug" for the anchor chain.
These are locked to the mast, so no funny stuff.
More fun to come soon as we ramp up to moving back aboard.

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