Thursday, 3 June 2010

Thai Trawler Conversion

In January this year we bought a second hand traditional Thai fishing trawler. The idea is to convert it into a boat we can use as a family for weekends and short holidays to stay aboard.
For a long time I had been thinking of a way to get a boat we could stay overnight on or even to have a cabin for the kids to shelter in when tired or in bad weather. Of course finances did not stretch to regular options so my first though was to build a boat. But I never could find the right boat for that fit our criteria and was simple to build.
So after enlisting a few knowledgeable local freinds to help we found N. Nateetong for sale up a mangrove creek on Koh Yao Yai Island off the coats of Phuket.

Now we are well into the project and have managed to use the boat regularly in between bouts of work. Though up till now we have only made day trips as there is still no accomodation. For now the aim of this blog is document the conversion process and also show a few pics of us using the boat as it progresses.

Directly below this you will see the latest update, scrolling down will go backwards chronologically through the project. If you prefer to see it from the beginning forwards then please go to the first post and begin there.

Cheers, Leon.

Monday, 24 August 2009

A few more pics.

Other Thai trawlers

Had a rainy Sunday so instead going out to a beach took the kids for a cruise in our small boat up into the fishing port to look at the fishing boats and ferries. I took a bunch of pictures while I was there (sorry I did not photo shop out the grey sky) some to show how the bow goes down on the Thai trawlers when they are loaded and others just cause I see you guys are interested in working boats.

All these photos are taken in a creek about a mile long lined on both sides by commercial boats of all kinds, in some places they are stacked up so far into the creek that the bigger boats have trouble turning around. There are local boats that go out overnight, a couple of days or up to a week then there are boats that go from here to Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and further, sometimes staying out for a year or more. Yesterday we spoke to some Philippino crew on a Taiwanese longliner that were about to go out past Sri Lanka and stay out for 6-8 months. They obviously get serviced by bigger boats while at sea. A few years ago I was down in Irian Jaya, 2400 nautical miles from Phuket, (Indonesian side of Papua New Guinea) and met a fleet of Thai prawn trawlers that stayed down there for 2 years at a time. They were being serviced by a fisheries "research" boat that is generally tied up in Phuket.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Out of the marina

After lots of work it is time for a little break and use the boat and give the finances a rest too. Took her back down to Ao Yon yesterday and made an afternoon of it. Here are some pics.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Detailing Two

Detailing 1

Last week we undid the ropes and got the Nateetong mobile again to move her from in front of Mike's place to the Boat Lagoon Marina. All went smoothly apart fromt he steering being hooked up back to front so that turning the wheel to the right moved the boat to the left. Made the winding Boat Lagoon channel a little more challenging than normal.

Kao and Geng have been getting on with the painting as well as installing deck drains on the side decks. Yung and Lek have been busy welding up the top deck raili
ng, fitting the swim platform and today constructing the mast.

Today there were couple of carpenters on board tidying up the last loose ends from the wheelhouse job. Hopefully next week I will be able to get them to do the beds in the front cabin.

Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Wheelhouse furniture

Wheelhouse carpentry work is now finished. We are now focussing on external painting, must admit I am doing a very basic work boat finish with no fairing, but am using two pack local International paint.

Also want to get started on a railing on top of the wheelhouse this week and adjust the height of the forward awning, plus fit the swim platform.

Cheers, Leon.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Getting close now.

After a weekend of rain it thankfully let up today so work could continue. The outside is almost done now, door rollers and forward seat then onto floor and inside furniture.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Wheelhouse Day 9

Progress slowed a little this week, public holidays, lots of rain and Mike had a drama elsewhere so had to pull his guys on to a priority catch up. That is fine with me and now it looks like they are back on the job. My end has got slack too as we got a little busy and I had to put my two guys back to paying jobs for a little while.....This weekend I hope to do some myself and then put Kao and Geng back on the job full time next week.

I was not sure what material to use for the windows but decided to use perspex for now. I know it scratches easily but it is cheap and readily available and easy to work with so will do for this year.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

A few more update photos as the new wheelhouse structure starts to come together. In case you are wondering the sloped section at the aft end of the cabin is a cutout for a steep stairway leading up to the roof. Side doors and aft door will be sliding, windows I am still trying to decide. I guess for now, that for cost reasons I will go with simple fixed perspex and try it for a while. The three doors and two opening hatches in the roof will hopefully provide enough ventilation.

Cheers, Leon.