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Project Log:  Sunday, January 1, 2012

After spending some time fine-tuning and spec'ing out some possible electrical panels for the boat, I got back to things on board with the small upper pilothouse shelves.  Using the simple templates I made previously, I cut the shelves from 1/2" cherry plywood and tested the fit.  After a minor adjustment or two, I installed the shelves with glue, using a couple temporary blocks at the inboard end to hold the shelves level.  Later, this end of the shelves would be supported by cleats on the back side of the longitudinal bulkheads.


The spaces above the tankage on both sides begged for shelving, both to hold certain installations (probably the fresh water pump on the starboard side) and for handy storage, particularly for things like engine spares, tools, etc., as these areas were very convenient to the engine room.

I needed to maintain access to the inspection ports in the tank tops, and also long-term access to the bolts securing the exterior rubrails on the hull and the U-bolt fasteners in the caprail.  While I probably wouldn't be able to make the shelves completely removable, as their length would likely prohibit removal through the bulkhead opening, I did plan to allow them to be unfastened and moved around within the compartment, in case I needed better access beneath them in the future for whatever reason.

I'd roughly planned ahead for these shelves long ago by extending the aft bulkheads enclosing the tankage several inches above the tops, which height was just right for supporting the shelves I now contemplated.


With a level, I extended this height forward to the opposite bulkhead, where I installed support cleats for the other end of the shelves.


Beginning on the port side, I created a plywood template of the shelf, scribing the outboard end to match the shape of the hull and cutting the short ends to match the angles formed by the bulkheads at each end.  I left the inboard long end of the template untouched; all I needed was the shape of the other three sides.  I'd cut the final shelf to the appropriate width when the time came.  The width  of the shelf would be such as to allow access to the inspection ports without interference, as well as clear access for the tankage hoses and whatever else ended up running through the compartment.

Flipped over, and with minor changes, the template would work for the starboard side too, but I'd wait for that till I'd used the template to cut the actual port shelf.

Total Time Today:  3.75 hours

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