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Project Log:  Friday, January 24, 2014

The forward hatch was ready to install; I'd prepared the fastener holes earlier in the week.  So I applied sealant to the hatch flange and installed the hatch with new fasteners, cleaning up the excess sealant afterwards.


While I was in the area, I went ahead and installed the two inspection ports in the forward bulwarks.  For each one, I drilled and tapped for #10 fasteners, applied sealant, and secured the ports in place.



Moving aft, I prepared to install my custom tank fill enclosures.  I ran a tap through the fastener holes in the pilothouse to clean out any primer and paint that might have gotten into the existing threads, then applied sealant to the mounting flanges of the enclosures and secured them in place with screws.




I cleaned away the excess sealant from the pilothouse windows by scoring along the edge and peeling away the excess butyl.


Long ago in the project, I made the decision to stay with the port style that had been installed in the forward cabin.   The ones I'd removed were, I think, something that had been added to the boat later in its life rather than a stock installation:  basic Lewmar aluminum opening ports--nothing special and not my favorite, but functional.  The same type of unit was still available, and I elected to purchase new versions of the ones I removed to keep the installation simple.  As I turned to the installation of the replacements, I experienced some regret over this long-ago decision, but that particular ship had long since sailed and I pressed onwards.

I had to ream out the existing openings just slightly to fit the new ports; I used a drum sander for this.  Then, after a dry-fit,  I installed the new ports with butyl sealant on their mounting flanges, tightening down the ports securely with screws through the inside mounting flange that pulled the unit tightly into place. The screws supplied with the ports were too long for my installation (based on cabin wall thickness), so I'd ordered shorter replacements earlier in the week.



I hated the rather haphazard, careless positioning of the ports in their respective places, but there you are.  There was nothing I could do about it now.

Outside, I cleaned up the squeezed-out sealant, completing the installation.



The ports came with cheesy plastic interior trim rings to cover the mounting flange, but I thought the aluminum and exposed screws looked just fine--in keeping with the rest of the boat's windows--and was a better look than these plastic things.

There were bug screens too, but I left those in safekeeping for now.

I spent the rest of the day installing all the remaining aluminum ports/windows, the rectangular ones in the saloon and head.  These were basically smaller versions of the pilothouse windows, so my procedure was the same.  For each one, I cleaned the frame of old sealant and debris, test-fit, drilled screw holes, and finally installed with butyl sealant.  When all was said and done I removed the excess sealant from around the perimeters of the windows.




Just before I took these photos I'd vacuumed up dust and lightly solvent-washed the wood, resulting in the wet, streaky look to the woodwork around the ports. I was too impatient to take my photos and be done for the day to wait for the solvent to evaporate.  Sorry.  But regardless, it was sure nice to fill the gaping, raw holes after over three years of emptiness.



Total Time Today:  7.75 hours

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