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Project Log:  Tuesday, January 3, 2012

As I neared the time when I'd be permanently installing the pilothouse bulkheads, I had to make a decision regarding the location of the pilothouse hydronic heating fan.  Based on simple volumetric calculations that I'd made, I specified the smallest size fan heater for this space.

I had a couple options for the location.  The first, and most likely, was at the aft end of the port bulkhead; there was ample room behind the cabinet, and also in the face of the bulkhead for the heater as long as I mounted it vertically, which was an acceptable position.  This location would also be convenient since it was near my intended location for the diesel boiler (port side of the engine room), and also en route to the second fan heater located in the main cabin.

From some thin cardboard, I made a simple template of the overall register grate dimensions, as well as the cutout required to insert the unit, then, working off some basic marks I'd made to assure proper clearance, laid out the potential cutout on the bulkhead.


However, another possible location might be somewhere in the helm console.  Before I could commit to the location on the port side as laid out above--probably the most likely location--I needed to get to work on the helm console to see where, or if, the fan heater might work within.  Beginning work on the console was on my work list for later in the day.

First, however, I finished up the preparatory work in the pilothouse tankage spaces and applied a coat of gray Bilgekote to all areas behind the longitudinal bulkheads, as well as the new utility shelving.  As always, it was satisfying to cover up the bare fiberglass and wood with fresh paint.



I spent most of the afternoon working on a basic mockup of the helm console, the beginning of one of the tasks I'd most been looking forward to.  With plans for built-in electronics, gauges, and so forth, I'd been anticipating this for some time now and savored the process.

I had to start somewhere, so I essentially recreated the console as per original; I even used the original front panel as part of the mockup.  The only change I made at this early stage was to increase the depth of the lower section by an inch to allow more clearance behind; this was where I planned my electrical panel and main service area.  However, some of my planned installations might require other manipulations along the way, so I expected to make changes going forward.

Using a couple saved pieces of the original console as guidelines, I build the new console of 1/4" templating plywood with cleats of scrap wood, all held together with hot glue and drywall screws.

I temporarily installed my new helm pump unit so I could gauge clearances around and beneath the wheel.


With the mockup temporarily clamped in place in the pilothouse, some of the final configurations began to fall into place in my mind.


My rough plan for the electrical panel, which I'd been working on and specifying details with a vendor, called for it to be centered in the recessed space beneath the wheel.  The outer line represents a recessed frame that would surround the panel, while the inner line represents the panel dimensions itself.  Because I was also contemplating a door over the panel enclosure, determining clearance for the operation of the door was also an important part of this initial layout.


Total Time Today:  5.75 hours

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