Long overdue update

It’s been far too long since the last update. Rather than try to cram everything into one gigantic entry, I’ll break up this progress report into a few smaller bite-sized (byte sized?) entries. Let’s begin with how Sabino’s doing since being floated.

Short story: very well.

She’s been making very little water since her launch back in July, so we’re happy with how the bottom work went.

There are 3 main areas of focus with her these days:

1) finishing all the engine & boiler work
2) finishing the work on her canopy
3) building new benches for the upper deck

Jason and his team have been working steadily on re-installing all of the pumps and other mechanicals. Looking aft of the engine room, they have set up the major pumps now.

The Vacuum and Feed pumps are the only pumps directly involved in the operation of the engine. If you’re curious about what each of these pumps do, here’s a good web page with animations that can explain it far better than I could. FYI: The Vacuum Pump in the illustration is the same thing as the Air Pump described on the steamboat site. The terms are interchangeable.

The Bilge Pump pumps out any water in the boat’s bilge.

The Fire Pump powers the fire fighting hoses and pulls water in from outside the boat.

Sabino’s boiler is coal fired, and the coal is stored in bunkers outboard of the engine. Here’s the opening of the port side bunker, showing the new paint and metal liner.

Soon, the team that have been working on the canopy and pilot house varnish work will start in on the woodwork along the aft wall of the engine room. You can see a bit of it in this photo.

It’s very much in need of love and attention.

Speaking of love and attention, let’s go to the canopy.

Mark has led the restoration effort on this huge expanse of overhead varnishing and painting.

The varnish job starts with carefully stripping and sanding the bead and cove cypress woodwork between all of the painted deck beams.

Some of the deck beams were in bad shape and had to be removed. Here you can see where two of the old beams were. The fasteners holding them to the decking have been removed and the holes plugged.

The bright varnish beneath the old deck beams shows the construction history of this deck. When this deck was installed, the cypress was varnished ahead of time, off the boat, and then installed. This makes the varnishing task easier by orders of magnitude. In our case, the cypress is still in good shape, so it’s not worth disassembling the entire canopy just to make the varnishing task easier. Instead, Mark and the team work overhead, section by section, carefully stripping, sanding, and eventually varnishing the underside of the deck.

Next, the deck beams get some attention.