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Project Log:  Saturday, May 19, 2012

While I wanted to do other things also, the main focus of the day and weekend was continuing the varnish work in the main cabin.  This project had dragged on over several weekends, since I'd found it impossible to find the time to do any coats during the week; each coat required over 3 hours between sanding, cleaning, and the actual application, so it was tough to squeeze that in at any time other than the weekend.

With that in mind, I began with sanding and vacuuming the main cabin to get that out of the way before I started anything else.

Afterwards, I returned to the pilothouse sole to complete the modifications I began earlier.  Now that the new support system at the port forward side was in place, I cut the removable support beam to its new, shorter length and installed it.


The hatches required modification as well, to avoid the console and enable them to be removed for routine access.  I'd already made the layout marks as required, so my next task was to cut the hatches as needed to fit around the console.  With the hatches in place, the new structure provided the openings beneath the console for wires, hoses, and cabling as needed.


I had one more modification to make to the hatches.  To allow for unhindered access to the after part of the engine room and beneath the cockpit, I'd redesigned the supports to allow the aft end to be removed, as the original setup had hung several inches down below the cockpit sole and made access that much more difficult.  I wouldn't need this access all the time, but the removable beam had already proven invaluable.

But the sole had to extend aft past the beam, and this was not practicable going forward, in part because I'd need to build some trim to cover the gap between the sole and the molded aft end of the pilothouse above the sole.  I'd get to that in due course, but it was time to cut the hatches off at a point roughly midway through the width of the aft support beam, making the forward sections well clear of the aft end and eventual trim.

After making layout marks as required for the cuts, I took the panels down to the shop and cut them off along the layout lines.    Then, I screwed the short pieces to the after support beam (temporarily using the screws shown; final installation would depend on several factors), which provided a natural stop for the removable panels and wrapped up the major work on the pilothouse sole.


At this point, mid-morning, I decided to go ahead and apply the next coat of gloss varnish to the main cabin.  I didn't want to leave it to the end of the day, lest I get tired and tempted to postpone it.  With four coats of gloss on all surfaces, this would be the last of the build coats before switching to satin varnish for the final finish.


After a pleasant and extended lunch break, the varnish had tacked enough that it alleviated my concerns about continuing work in the pilothouse, so I started on a few of the installations in the console. My immediate goal was to install the electrical panel and get it out of its box in my office, but before I could do that it made sense to take care of some of the other installations first.

Because access would get more difficult the more I installed in the pre-cut holes, I tried to work logically through the process.  To begin, I installed the bilge pump switch, access to which would be made more difficult once I installed the engine controls nearby.  I pre-wired the switch with a length of 3-conductor bilge pump cable, which I'd eventually attach to a terminal block in a convenient place within the console, awaiting final connection to the bilge pump when I got to it.  I noted the terminals and wire colors for each, for later reference, and ignored the fact that the colors weren't exactly what they should be.  More on all this later.

I greatly dislike the appearance and function of standard 3-position bilge pump switches on the market, and a while back found this nice rotary switch that I liked much better.  The only downside is that the switch can't be wired from the front and installed from there, which is why I took the time to pre-wire it now.


Next, I turned to the engine controls.  Down on the bench, I installed cables inside the control, reassembled the housing, and, up in the boat, fed the cables through the console and to the engine, connecting the transmission and throttle controls respectively as needed.


This process took longer than I'd hoped since I found that while the control operated both transmission and throttle properly in forward, I couldn't move the control properly in reverse; the problem turned out to be a combination of cable end adjustment coupled with an internal throw adjustment within the control housing itself, and eventually I got it sorted out and bolted the housing in place.


Taking a break outside, I decided to move the masts from where I'd stored them out to a more convenient location.  There was still some hardware that I needed to remove, and other preparations to make as painting the spars was on the list for the summer, good projects for nice days when I wanted to move the boatwork forward without being stuck indoors.


Later, back in the shop, I turned to the steering pump/helm unit, the next item that logic dictated I install.  Before bolting the helm in place, I removed the blank-off plugs from the appropriate ports on the back and installed the required fittings for my hoses.  Once the helm was in place, I ran three hoses:  the two main Kevlar hoses for the steering cylinder, and a third, compensating hose required for the eventual  autopilot pump hookup, which I made up from standard nylon steering hose.

To protect the hoses from chafe where they ran through the bottom of the console, I installed lengths of hose through which the lines could run.  For now, I just led the hoses into the engine room, as it was late in the day, but soon I'd secure them and continue their runs aft as needed.



Total Time Today:  8.25 hours

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