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Project Log:  Friday, February 28, 2014

I had to run errands and take care of other business all morning, but after lunch I got back to work in the head, with the through hulls.  To begin, I lightly sanded inside the holes in the hull, and around the backing plates as needed, and also sanded away the bottom paint around the outsides of the holes.  After cleaning up, I inserted the through hulls from outside and taped them in place.

Inside, I threaded on the flange base fittings to determine how much, if at all, I needed to cut off the length of the through hull fitting.  The intake fitting was OK as is; I was able to thread the flange on all the way without bottoming out. 

However, as expected, the discharge fitting was too long, and with the base threaded on all the way there was about 1/2" of excess length beneath.  So I'd need to cut down the through hull by about this amount.


After cutting off the excess, I rechecked the fit.  With the fittings now tightly threaded and rotated to the orientation I wanted, I drilled holes from the inside for the base mounting bolts, inserting a bolt into each hole before I drilled the next.   Then, outside, I milled countersinks at each hole location so the screw heads would be flush or slightly recessed. 


After cleaning up the spoils once more, it was time for final installation.  I heavily applied sealant (4200) to the through hull flange and portion of the neck, and inserted them in the holes, taping them in place as needed.  Then, inside the boat, I applied more sealant around the through hull threads and at the bolt hole locations, and threaded on the flanges and seacocks most of the way, till they were nearly tight but I could still adjust the base to the correct position; then, I inserted temporary bolts from inside to align the bases with the bolt holes. 

Note that I pre-installed the valves on the flange bases down on the bench before installing things in the boat.  This ensured that I could get the valves oriented the way I wanted.


Back outside, I inserted bronze bolts, coating them heavily with sealant, into the holes, pushing out the temporary bolts on the inside in the process.  The sealant was thick and sticky enough to hold these bolts in position on their own.  Now, I used a through hull installation tool to tightly thread in the through hull the rest of the way, now that the flanges were locked in place with the bolts.

Inside once more, I installed nuts and washers on the bolts, and tightened them securely before cleaning up all the excess sealant inside and out.


I'd been accumulating projects and installations for the pilothouse roof, saving them so I could do everything at once and be done with it.  This included the handrails, GPS antennas, running lights, and a pair of rigging U-bolts at the aft end.  For access beneath, I had to remove the headliner, so that was my first task.  While I'd designed the headliner to be removable, it certainly wasn't something I wanted to do on a regular basis.  It took perhaps 30 minutes to remove all the trim, and the panels themselves.


My goal for this late afternoon was to get the fastener locations marked and epoxy-potted before quitting time, so I could continue work next time.  To begin, I dry-installed the handrails, dropping bolts through their holes to align them properly.  This was important since their final position would affect where the running light boards ended up, as these went just forward of the handrails. 

First, down on the bench, I drilled mounting holes through the running light board bases, located so they went through the angled feet beneath.  Then, by eye and trial and error, I finalized their positions on the pilothouse roof, and marked the hole locations.


There were two GPS antennas:   one main, and a dedicated one for the AIS.  I'd previously located these and run the cables, so their positions were pre-determined.  I'd mount the AIS antenna directly to the deck, but had a small riser for the other one, and I used this to mark the location on the deck, and to mark fastener holes.  After masking as needed, I overbored all the fastener locations with a 1/2" carbide Forstner bit, leaving the inside deck skin in place, and filled the voids with a thickened epoxy mixture, leaving that to cure overnight.



Total Time Today:  3.75 hours

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