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Project Log:  Saturday, December 31, 2011

Though the layout details of the starboard pilothouse bulkhead were somewhat different than the port side, the basic process was the same.  To begin, I completed work on a fiberglass bracket to hold the heating system's expansion tank, installing studs flush from the back side to hold the supplied aluminum brackets to which the tank would be secured.

With this complete, I epoxied the block to the pilothouse in the appropriate spot, once more holding the block in place with a couple dabs of hot glue in strategic places.


The locker opening to access this tank--and the nearby hose connections for the fuel and water tank fills--would necessarily be in a different position than its counterpart across the way, but nonetheless I wanted the basic dimensions and positions to be as compatible as possible.  To begin, I laid out an opening identical to that on the port side at the bottom of the bulkhead, for access to the tankage and other installations that would go in the space. 

Then, I laid out an opening for expansion tank access, keeping the overall height of the opening equal to that of the port opening, though this opening was located near the forward end of the bulkhead.

I wasn't yet sure what, if anything, I'd install in the remaining area of the bulkhead.  I was trying to work out some seating arrangements, and thought I might need this space for a bulkhead-mounted bracket of some sort.  As always, one thing depending on 23 others.  Also, I wondered if the efforts required to build recessed storage areas in this area and that on the port side would be worth time, given the limited space available.  I didn't want to willingly waste potential storage space, but also didn't want to spend 30 hours building little storage units that would ultimately hold only the most insignificant miscellany.  As with all things, these questions would eventually work themselves out, though I didn't know the final answers now. 

At the top of each bulkhead, I planned a narrow, recessed shelf, which would work well as general storage for small items.  The shelf would be roughly 3" wide and as long as the bulkheads, or a bit over 48".  A similar shelf had been part of the original boat's layout.

When I installed the cherry paneling on the inside of the pilothouse, I'd intended to end it a bit higher than I did, leaving a bare fiberglass space to which to install cleats for the very shelves I was now contemplating.  But I forgot to do this, so the cherry extended all the way down to the place where the pilothouse molding took an outboard 90° jog.

After due consideration, I decided this was OK; I could install support cleats directly on the plywood.  This tiny shelf would serve no structural purpose and wouldn't be supporting significant weight, and while I'd have preferred the cleats be bonded to the fiberglass, I saw no reason why a cleat glued directly to the plywood wouldn't be more than adequate.  The paneling, secured in 5200, wasn't about to fall off, and I certainly didn't relish the prospect of removing 2" or so from the bottom of the paneling now.

Pressing on, I determined a likely position for the shelf and, after measuring and marking the depth on each side, I marked a level line along the length of the panels, then, after sanding the bonding surface of the panel to remove varnish, cut and installed hardwood cleats using epoxy adhesive and small dabs of hot glue to hold the cleats in place while the epoxy cured.  The arrows in these photos demark the cleats, which otherwise blended in with the surrounding paneling.


For the shelves, I made simple plywood templates of each end of the two shelves, scribing each piece to fit the necessary shapes.  To make this easy, I cut two template pieces for each side; they met just shy of each other in the rough center of the shelf's length, and once I'd cut the ends satisfactorily I simply connected the two template halves with some paint sticks glued in place, giving me the full-size template required for the actual shelves.  I marked the widths of the shelves on each template as needed.



It was getting late, so I decided to leave remaining shelf construction for next time.

Total Time Today:  3.25 hours

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