The "Live-Anywhere" Boat - Construction

The plate drawings went to Pierce Aluminum in August, and the boat was actually set up on a massive steel building jig in October.

It is hard to take good photos at this stage, largely because the shiny aluminum reflects its surroundings, giving us almost no contrast. Still, these shots have some interest and give a little idea of the finished boat.
Click the thumbnail for larger image.

An overall view of the framing at an early stage

CNC-cut frame parts awaiting assembly. All the aluminum arrived on pallets already cut like these parts. Note the notches for longitudinals

Looking forward from the Forward Engineroom Bulkhead along the Trunk Cabin Side

Fuel and water tanks being tacked together

December, 2004 -- Construction to this point has gone very fast, at least in terms of hours. This is mainly because of all the advance planning that enabled just about all the parts to be water-jet cut by Pierce Aluminum. Because the plates come from the 3-D computer model of the boat, there is very little chance for measurement errors and almost no time devoted to pattern-making and fitting.

An indication of the care and pride these men take in their work

The tanks being welded up. They will be closed and tested before being installed as a unit into the boat.
The "green flash" is the aluminum being welded under the protection of an inert gas.
The tanks in the foreground with the boat (no transom yet) in the background. Looking right into the Owners' Cabin!

Looking aft along the port side
Really hard to get a good shot of this!

Scott welding the tanktop on.

Plates for the curved bow. On left a steel pattern, on right the real portside plate. More parts, all numbered. The odd-looking pieces will be shaped into fairings for the bow thruster. A rendering of the port side of the engineroom, which is a very busy place. Here you can see some of the batteries, the inverters, the air compressor for the horn, and the washer/dryer, among other things.

March, 2005 -- The tanks are all assembled now and have been pressure-tested. Actually, though it doesn't yet show in the pictures, the tank / inner bottom assembly has been set up in its place on top of the upside-down boatand the rest of the plating is being tacked in place preparatory to welding.

In the meantime, the outfitting team has started ordering pumps, doors and windows, hatches, and all the myriad other components that go into a boat.

This view lets you appreciate her size -- although they all look big in the shop and much smaller in the water! The boys are doing a beautifully clean welding job!

April, 2005 -- Well, nothing ever goes as fast as one hopes. The boat is going together fast in hours but not so fast on the calendar, mostly because the first aluminum boat (which turned out to need a lot of changes after being "finished") is still absorbing a lot of welding time.
Still, we hope that all the plate will be tacked on by next week and that then the straightforward welding up of the seams can start. We hope to roll her over sometime in May.

Mid-May, 2005 -- Now that the plating is all on and welded to the frames, the boys are welding the plate seams, and it looks as though we will move her out and roll her in June. Then the deck and superstructure will go on and the outfitters can move in and start assembling systems.
Kyle (L) and Scott (R), the two perfectionists who have done almost all the work to date. Guess it's time to clean the lens! This view shows the skeg and shaft tube. The scale of everything makes the 4" diameter tube look small. The port quarter showing the cutout for the port over the aft cabin desk. Now that the weather has improved (at least sometimes!) we can open the doors and get some better pictures.
This shot of her starboard bow gives some idea of her size and seakeeping qualities.
Head-on, she is both sleek and powerful. It is still impossible to get a vantage-point for a shot of the whole boat -- this is about what can be done. The hole in the forefoot is for the bow-thruster tunnel.
A shot of the transom -- a big piece of 1/2" plate. Equipment and supplies are accumulating in storerooms all over the yard, everything from the main engine to the sounders for the tanks to a pallet-full of batteries. Here, as an example, we see the cast aluminum watertight doors for the forward and engineroom bulkheads. They will be welded into cutouts (that are already there) after the hull is rolled over. Beyond them are the ports (with emergency covers) for the aft cabin.

June 2, 2005
Anyone visiting Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding is first greeted and checked out by Oakley. Oakley's person is Stephanie who, with a very few other women, holds down the fort, dealing with mountains of paper, timecards, bills in and out, employee relations, safety manuals, pnone calls, and generally makes sure that everything runs smoothly. This is not an easy job, considering the number of boats being built or refitted at any given time and the number of people working on them.
It is no wonder that Oakley takes his job seriously.
July 14, 2005
Moving Day!
Here she starts out of the shop with planks laid out ahead for the rollers to run on, towed by a forklift.
A very focused Scott driving the forklift.
Dave, the resident genius at Lyman-Morse Fabrication, watching his baby being moved -- and for the first time not under his direct control.
Now that she is out in the sun for the first time, one can appreciate her size and shape. She loomed large inside, but there was really no vanatage point from which to see the whole boat.
Scott and the Architect getting it straight.
With the boat outside, the crane crew can begin to set up.
It proved quite a job to get her free from the building jig where she spent the last 9 months, but here she is, hanging in the slings and about ready to be rolled over. We don't want to see her in this position again! Or this one either!
Here she is, upright, although a little down by the bow, for the first time in her life. All that remains now is to get her firmly blocked on the trailer, then backed into the shop again. With the tight clearances, this was something of a project but it seemed anticlimatic after the drama of the roll-over.

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