Monday, August 29, 2022

Houseboat build, pg5...

 I'm back with more pics! This isn't actually current, but I've just now had a little downtime to upload more info.The exterior walls are now reinforced with a complete interior metal stud setup, including top wall caps to tie it all together. The houseboat project is moving along nicely, and we're getting the appliances and other fixtures in now, for installation. Here's a bit of info on these pics...

Here's a batch of the 20ga 2x4 metal studs I used in the internal structure. These had to be cut to length to work correctly with the completed height of the houseboat. I designed this to have a total internal head room of 6'9". This was to keep the center of gravity as low as possible and be comfortable, but plenty of room for my wife and I. I'm 6'1", and since the inside will be illuminated with wall mounted indirect DC lighting, there's no need to a tall ceiling. 

Here's a batch of studs cut to reinforce the roof structure. These are VERY lightweight, less than 20% of a conventional wooden 2x4s, and aren't gonna rot like wood in a damp environment. 

The above pics are of the internal structure with all of the metal studs in place. Spacing is typical 16" off center, with the addition of a few extra studs for other purposes (rear emergency exit door and such). The flooring will be sheeted with 26ga aluminum, with metal studs on top for floor joists, and finally plywood underlayment for vinyl flooring. The entire structure will be "foamed" with closed cell foam to provide a vapor barrier and a superior insulation layer. 

Here's a photo of the top caps on the wall structure. This will provide a solid attachment point for the foor structure and really strengthens the overall strength of the wall. 

Next, we bought a lift to raise the pontoons up and off of the construction trailer for a little maintenance, one side at the time. The pontoons are about 1990 vintage and have a little pitting. Nothing serious, but we're going to coat them with a marine epoxy finish that is designed for this application, to fill the pitting and provide a barrier to prevent any further pitting in the future. Magnesium blocks will be attached to key location to help inhibit oxidation and provide a source for a sacrificial metal should there be any stray electrical currents in the water around the houseboat in the marina where it'll live. 

We picked up all of the Trex (synthetic deck board) for the front patio, and the rear deck (where the generator, LP tanks, etc will go...). This is a brown color and will never need to be painted, stained, etc.

The marine epoxy costings came in for the pontoon treatments. This was supplied by Paul at Progressive Epoxy Polymers in NH. Paul is a wealth of information and very well known in the boating world. 

New vinyl windows for the front and sides of the houseboat. VERY lightweight, and available right at Lowes. Wow, what a find. This will make for an easy cut and fit installation. We also picked up the full front door jam kits (not in this pic) for the front entrance door, as well as the lower thresh hold. 

In this box is the cool new vanity combo (cabinet, lavatory, etc) for the bathroom. The total package is only 55 lbs, and also came from Lowes. Weight is paramount in a houseboat, and we select most items based on weight. We get some funny looks while going around with a set of bathroom scales and weighing materials for the houseboat project. I'll post a pic when we open the box.  

Debbie found a person on marketplace who was updating a RV and had some light weight cabinet doors and drawers for FREE. Since we're building the cabinets from scratch, it'll be easy to work around these parts. Deb will strip and paint these, once everything is fabricated and ready for paint. 

More coming :-)....