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Project Log:  Saturday, March 15, 2014

Over a period of a couple hours, I installed the water tank fill, saltwater washdown, and windlass foot controls, starting at the bow and working aft.

In each case, after final hole preparations (light sanding to remove any excess epoxy), I drilled and tapped for the appropriate fasteners, applied sealant, and secured the hardware in place.


The windlass controls were a little more involved.  I prepared the holes the same way, but because the bronze covers belowdecks had to line up with the fasteners from above, it made final installation take a little longer, since inevitably the covers didn't line up perfectly with how the screws actually went through the deck.  To get around this, I enlarged all the holes in the bronze housings' mounting flanges, allowing more leeway for slight misalignment, and in the end it was the constant back and forth between the chainlocker and the foredeck--separated by only inches, yet 60 feet apart in practicality--that made the controls' installation take inordinately long.



With all four things installed, I cleaned up the excess sealant and removed the tape from the deck.


In the afternoon, I turned to the main cabin handrails.  Like their counterparts on the pilothouse, these were simple teak planks secured to molded deck risers, in this case with four bolts per side.  To gain access to the underside for bolting, I had to remove overhead panels, which was a bit more straightforward here since I'd not yet built or installed the overhead trim (this actually saved a huge amount of time and irritation).  Still, I did not relish the prospect of removing the overhead panels.  I decided to attack it one side at a time to limit the discombobulation in the cabin, starting arbitrarily with the port side.

Here, the Overseers of All Things Overhead smiled upon me.    Each side of the main cabin was split longitudinally into two overhead panels.  I knew I had to remove the forward, larger, section at a minimum, so I started there, and without particular difficulty lowered the panel.  To my great delight, I discovered that the aftermost mounting hole for the handrail was within the boundaries of this panel as well; not knowing exactly where the hole was, I'd been concerned that it would be just aft of the seam, which would have required removing the second panel as well.  Nice.

Because the overhead light fixture was hard-wired (but with ample slack in the wires just for this purpose), I couldn't remove the light entirely, but didn't really need to.  However, I didn't like leaving the weight of the overhead panel dangling by these wires, so I rigged up a temporary wire tie support to hold the weight of the panel in mid-air while I worked (visible at the far right).

I also had to remove the overhead in the forward cabin; the head overhead, where the third of four bolts was located, was still raw and unfinished, so no issues there.

Installing the handrails was a cinch.  I used 3-1/2" long 1/4" machine screws, which were just the right length for the job and didn't require any trimming to remain clear of the overhead.  I backed up the bolts with large fender washers and nuts.  The bolts were tight enough in their holes, and beneath their heads, that I could wrench them from beneath without the bolts turning.


After reassembling the port overhead, I repeated the process on the starboard side.



Finally, after cleaning up the excess sealant and straightening out the disorder, I installed teak bungs in the screw holes.


Total Time Today:  4.75 hours

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