Getting Her Ready

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Home Up

Escapades (a.k.a. Rainbow's End) was in great shape when we bought her; at least that's what we thought. Each new project seemed to reveal something that needed changing or fixing. One example was the wiring. We wanted more 12 volt lights, fans, and 110 volt outlets, all of which required new wiring. In the process we would find other wires that needed to be replaced or re-crimped because of corroded connections or stressed wires. Running concealed wiring on a boat is difficult in itself and it was very discouraging to have additional work that was never planned for. Although many of the changes were made for safety and repair, most were made to make living aboard more comfortable.

The biggest problem when downsizing from a house to a boat is the lack of storage space on a boat. The area over the settees on Escapades was open and made for a very nice, spacious feel; but it was wasted space. We had gotten some ideas on the cost of custom-built cabinets. What we discovered was that we would have to keep working for a long time to afford as many cabinets as we wanted/needed.  We decided to undertake the project ourselves.

Some of the most obvious changes are seen in the Salon. This is our living room, dining room, TV room, and even our berth on overnight passages. 

Port side before changes


We began this project while we still had a garage to do most of the cutting. Bob measured and fitted the pieces on our weekend trips to Kemah from Dallas. The louvered doors were necessary to allow for ventilation and matched the original design on the other teak lockers. The horizontal and vertical sides for the doors and the slats came in four foot sections. The vertical sides had slots already cut for the slats. All the pieces just had to be cut to size, assembled and the edges routered to give a more finished appearance. Then latches, finger holes and hinges had to be installed. Having the slots already cut for the slats simplified the task tremendously. Even so, it was a long, time consuming project that required a great deal of engineering.  

By doing the work ourselves we were able to make the shelves inside exactly the height needed for certain items. My contribution to the project was 'quality assurance' with final approval power. Actually, I did do the finishing on the cabinets. Thanks to Steve Carol, my former boss, I learned about tung oil. It's so much more forgiving than varnish. We were originally concerned that it wouldn't hold up in the marine environment but after a year and a half it still looks like new. We estimated the savings by doing the work ourselves to be over $10,000.00 (including cabinets added in other rooms). 

Other changes included reupholstering and modifying the cushions, making new curtains, moving/adding the 12V fans, moving speakers, adding 12V reading lights, and making doors for the lower lockers behind the cushions .

We added the cabinet with the double doors (below right) to house a 21" TV & DVD player. To landlubbers that sounds very small but it is a true luxury to have a TV that big on a cruising boat. We really wanted to place the VCR inside the same cabinet but the sacrifice would have been a much smaller TV. The aft end of the settee was moved in (toward the center of the boat) about eight inches which gave us the additional space needed for the TV and also greatly increased the storage behind the settee.

The table on the port side can be lowered so that the settee and table top make into a double berth. The settees on both sides are long and wide enough for a comfortable single berth.  We use the one on the starboard side for that purpose on overnight passages. We also have a lee cloth which attaches to the berth . We haven't needed it so far and hopefully never will. (Lee cloth: a piece of canvas attached to the edge of the berth at the bottom and to some ropes on the ceiling at the top; it keeps the person from rolling out of the berth when the boat heels.)


Starboard side before changes



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