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Project Log:  Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Along with another small (and unrelated) project I'd been working on, I applied several coats of epoxy high-build primer to the new tank fill recesses, the first of several finishing steps.  I used a small disposable spray canister to apply the paint.


Next on my list was the V-berth area:  it was time to build the basic platform for the new berth.  Earlier, I'd determined that the basic height of the original platform would be fine going forward, and the replacement water tank's installation had been predicated on using the same platform height. 

To begin, I installed, with glue and screws, a hardwood cleat on the chainlocker bulkhead at the previously-determined (and as-original) height.

With a long plywood straightedge and four-foot level, I transferred the height of the forward cleat aft to the bulkhead at the aft end of the compartment and made a mark.  Then, to ensure that there'd be no chance of any semblance of heads-down attitude when sleeping, I made a new mark one inch above and struck a line across the transverse bulkhead.  Because the new berth would be full-width with no cutout in the center, I cut a cleat to extend directly across the passageway opening, and installed it level with glue and screws.


When I installed the bulkhead at the aft end of the water tank, I purposely left it slightly low, not knowing exactly where the berth platform would be.  Now, to create an interim support for the platform, I cut a plywood extension from 18mm plywood, and glued and screwed it to the existing bulkhead so that the platform would directly rest upon it.  Again, I used the long plywood straight edge to determine this height.


After taking some basic measurements (the berth area was 74-1/2" long, 84" wide at the aft end, and 14-1/2" wide at the forward end), I cut a cardboard template roughly to shape and used it to create a more accurate pattern for the plywood platform, after which I cut out the first half (port side) of the plywood platform.


After test-fitting the first side and making a minor modification to the piece, I determined that the two sides were symmetrical enough that I could use the port side to template the starboard side.  On each piece, I made reference marks to show where I needed access hatches for the water tank fittings and inspection ports, and also marked the locations of support cleats and bulkheads on the bottoms of the platform for future reference while making access hatch cutouts.  I made reference marks on the hull where the plywood landed so I could add supports there as needed.

Then, I removed the plywood to the shop floor, where sometime later I'd make the access hatch cuts and prepare the platform for final installation.  In the meantime, I had a bit more work to complete in the forward cabin before I was ready for the permanent installation.


I moved into the pilothouse.  I was ready to build the new dashboard platform, which would shore up the wiggly bulkheads, give me a flat surface on which to store tools and supplies, and allow me to continue with other work in the pilothouse.

To begin, I installed a full-width hardwood cleat across the forward (hidden) side of the bulkhead, extending directly across the companionway opening for the moment so that I could pull the two bulkhead sections into alignment with one another; the larger port section was floppy enough at its unsupported top that it tended to bend backwards left on its own.  I installed the cleat with glue and screws, keeping its top edge flush with the top of the bulkhead (which I'd already determined was level).


To temporarily support the pattern and then the dash itself, I hot-glued some support blocks on the forward wall of the pilothouse, after first marking a level line off the main bulkhead.

With some basic measurements, I created a cardboard template of the dash, ignoring for the moment the required companionway cutout.  The template fit fairly well, though I'd apparently erred with some measurements on the starboard side, causing the template to run short; that's why I make templates.   In any event, I scribed the actual contours on the cardboard, which I'd use to create the actual dashboard from plywood later.  For now, I was out of time for the day.


Total Time Today:  5.5 hours

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