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Project Log:  Friday, January 6, 2012

I'd achieved what I need to for the moment with the helm and electronics console mockups, so I removed them from the boat and removed most of the temporarily-installed components for safekeeping.  I maintained the wooden mockups for later use.

One purpose I'd had in creating the helm mockup was to determine whether the pilothouse fan heater--part of the hydronic heating system--would be better situated in the console, or whether it was even possible.  My exercise had proven that there was room for the fan in the console, but no particular benefit to installing it there; indeed, it would have made things more complicated within the console once the actual installations began, and with no particular requirement to install it there, I decided to stick with my original location on the aft end of the port bulkhead.  I went ahead and cut out the opening that I'd laid out earlier.

For now, I decided not to build any small storage cubbyholes in the bulkheads.  I could easily do it later, as any storage units I'd build would be things I'd insert from the outside anyway (and therefore didn't need to be built before final installation of the bulkheads), and for now, I didn't want to commit myself to something that I later regretted.

Afterwards, I lightly sanded the two bulkheads to clean the surfaces and remove any final pencil marks, then applied a sealer coat of varnish to both sides of the bulkheads, the final step leading up to their permanent installation.  The new opening for the fan heater can be seen in the right-hand photo.


I installed the newly-painted utility shelving in the tankage spaces outboard of the engine room, securing each shelf with several screws driven into the support cleats.  This would allow the shelves to be unfastened and moved if better access to the space beneath was required in the future.


Working from basic paper patterns that I made a couple weeks earlier, I prepared the 1/4" cherry plywood paneling for the aft bulkhead in the pilothouse, the final surfaces on board to be so covered.  Beginning with the larger port panel, I cut to the required outline, leaving excess material in the pilothouse doorway opening for later marking and trimming.  With the sheet clamped in place, I marked the window opening and doorway on the back side, then refit the panel for a final test.


To maintain the best access to the space beneath the cockpit in the future, I intentionally left the aft bulkhead covering short.  Since the pilothouse sole was several inches below the cockpit sole, extending the aft bulkhead all the way down would have impeded access to the aft fuel tank and other areas, as it did in the original construction that I'd removed.  I'd planned the whole engine room and pilothouse construction to maintain the best access possible, including the large removable support beam at the aft end of the sole.  I'd eventually cover the gap at the aft end with a removable piece of trim.

The pilothouse was too wide for a single sheet of plywood to cover, so there'd have to be a seam where the two pieces met.  I chose to locate the seam inline with one side of the door opening, where I could later cover it with trim.  With this in mind, I cut and fit the smaller starboard panel section to fit, leaving it clear of the lumpy-bumpy mess at the bottom of the bulkhead where the forward end of the cockpit propane locker was glassed in place.  I couldn't eliminate this area, and couldn't cover it with a simple panel, so I'd figure out some trim to cover this area later, probably incorporating a hose run within.

The sheet of plywood I used for this section--an offcut leftover from something else, and the last piece large enough that I had in stock--wasn't wide enough at the bottom to span the entire door opening, so I cut a small piece to cover that area, with its seams located at the edges of the door opening to later be covered by trim.  I removed the small section seen at the bottom of this test fit in favor of the new piece.

After lightly sanding the new panels, I coated the back sides (bonding surfaces) with epoxy resin, then, resting the backs on plastic spacers, turned the pieces upright and applied a sealer coat of varnish to the exposed surfaces.


Total Time Today:  5.5 hours

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