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Project Log:  Saturday, February 16, 2013

Before I could install the final overhead sections in the boat, I had to finalize some of the wiring in the pilothouse.  During an earlier wiring stage, I'd drilled holes though the deck for the running lights and two GPS antennas (the main one and the dedicated one for the AIS), and then sometime between then and now I'd treated those holes to avoid water ingress into the deck core. 

Now, I led the wires through their respective openings, leaving the excess above deck for now.  When it came time to paint, I'd have to deal with these wire bundles, but that was the minimal price to pay for getting the wiring and overhead done at this stage.

The AIS antenna was hard-wired at the antenna end, so in order to install its wire now I'd be dealing with the antenna and some wiring during painting, but again I chose to do the rough installation now, and deal with the antenna in the way to achieve the greater good of wrapping up wiring tasks and the overhead installation.  Removing the corner trim in the pilothouse, I led the antenna wire down into the space beneath the dash where I'd installed the AIS unit. I took down a section of the main cabin overhead to access this space and tie up the excess antenna cable and make its connection to the box. 



At the same time, I decided to lead a computer interface cable (a funnily obsolete serial plug--seriously, Dude?) out from beneath the overhead for future use when I had to set up the AIS system.  This way, I'd not have to remove this overhead panel again, at least not for routine access.  There was a nice little space at the outboard corner for the cable to pass around the overhead cleat and out the overhead next to some corner trim.  I'd probably install a simple junction box here to hold and hide the cable now and in the future, but for the moment I just bundled and tied it up in the corner after I reinstalled the overhead panel.


These tasks complete, I installed the final sections of overhead paneling, starting in the forward cabin.  Sometime later, once I'd installed the forward hatch, I'd figure out the details for trimming out its opening.


Then, I installed the four pilothouse panels, finishing up by installing another overhead light fixture in the center.  With all the overhead in place, now I could get to work on the trim required for the seams and screw locations.



The "dirty little secret" of the interior so far had been the head compartment, which was still in its completely raw state.  Much earlier, I'd installed some temporary work shelving, and for many months had used the space for tool and other storage, a very handy thing.  But with the most significant interior work complete, and the other areas of the interior at at least a passable stage of completion, it was about time to start seriously thinking about what to do with the unfinished head compartment.

So I took the rest of the afternoon to clean out the head, removing piles of unneeded tools, scraps, and supplies, and generally reorganizing what I had on board to better reflect the jobs ahead. I removed the shelves and brackets, as I could keep my tools in the storage locker across the passageway, or in the forward cabin or elsewhere.

My plans for this space were simple.  I planned to install a toilet and showerhead only, with essentially waterproof surfaces elsewhere to make the whole space available for this use.  I'd probably close off the space against the hull, and hopefully hide plumbing there as well, but I planned no sink, cabinets or other storage areas, or basically anything else, choosing instead to optimize the small space for its required uses.  By keeping the whole space simple, free from unnecessary corners and so forth, it would work well as a Navy shower stall--an onboard luxury that we were greatly looking forward to, but which brought it its own levels of complication and logistical issues.

Despite these simple plans, I still didn't know what material to use to finish off the space.  Waterproof (or at least realistically water resistant), simple, and easy were the requirements.  I planned to use a manual Lavac toilet, the best and only manual toilet worth consideration, which I'd likely purchase soon to have on hand for planning purposes.  With the space cleaned out, it was ready for action whenever I was.

Total Time Today:  4.5 hours

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