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Project Log:  Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sundays are good days for odds and ends.

A day or two earlier, I'd painted a couple small test patches on the battery boxes to determine if the epoxy had cured pas the point required for the paint to set up.  It seemed to be fine, so I went ahead and painted the battery boxes with gray Bilgekote inside and out.


In the head, I water-washed, then sanded, the cosmetic epoxy fillets at the juncture of bulkheads and hull outboard of the head platform, the next step towards preparing these areas for their final paint finish.  I also trimmed the teak slatted insert for the shower pan so it'd fit with the small changes I'd made to the shape of the area, which meant  simply trimming off an area in the top right corner that had once extended into an angled portion of the shower pan, an area I'd filled with the vertical bulkhead.


It struck me that I just didn't want to wait any longer to put in the final window, the aft-facing one in the pilothouse.  As I continued to refine my goals for this season's "completion" of the project, which meant getting her in the water and usable, I was unsure when, exactly, I'd be completing the work I wanted to do in the cockpit (including final paint work), and while that work wasn't technically required to launch the boat, having the window in place definitely was.  I hate barely-undone projects, so I cleaned up the window and installed it in the same way as all the others.  I'd paint around it when the time came.


I pared away the excess bungs from the newly-installed forward handrails, and applied some varnish over the bungs to seal them.  Hopefully soon I'd put more varnish on both sets of handrails.


I continued work on my boarding ladder mockup.  Reviewing some of the photos I'd collected from the Internet much earlier of various ladder iterations on different Fishers, I found a simple design concept (one that I'd seen repeated on several different boats) that I liked and thought would work well here, and do all the things I wanted it to, albeit with various changes to better suit our desired situation in the end.  What attracted me was the simple execution and, especially, the idea of a platform at the top.  I'd use this concept as a starting point and manipulate the idea as needed to suit.

Note: photos borrowed from various online sources and duplicated here without proper attribution.  Please email me with any objections or requirements for attribution and I'll take care of it.  Photos shown for conceptual purposes only.


Working with the PVC pipe certainly had its limitations, and what I created was a proof of concept rather than an accurate template.  Once I got the concept together that I wanted, I hoped I could find some local fabricator who could come to the shop, see the template in place, and work through the measurements and eventual construction accordingly. 

I started with a basic 3-step section of the ladder, and added horizontal braces at the top, extending onto the caprails at the transom, to simulate the beginnings of the support structure and top platform.  Various limitations of the plastic pipe medium, such as availability of applicable fittings to connect the pipe, meant that things would change subtly in the final versions.  To hold the "ladder" roughly in the proper orientation, I used some lines to secure it this way and that in mid-air.  I taped a few joints together as needed.



From there, I added horizontal braces from the bottom to the hull, omitting the idea of mounting flanges for the purposes of this mockup at this time.  What I eventually wanted was for the top rung and platform area to be at the same level--something I couldn't simulate with the current fittings I had on hand--and for the fixed portion of the ladder to extend close to, but not into, the water for ease of use from a dinghy on a regular basis.  Whatever final ladder ended up coming to pass would also incorporate a folding section that could be lowered several steps into the water for swimming and that, while stored, would still allow use of the top portion.




Ideally I hoped for four steps above the water, so I added a fourth rung to the mockup; this brought the last rung too far down for the moment, but that was something I could likely manipulate as the process continued.

There remained work to be done here, but I was satisfied with the basis for now, subject to various changes.  I also envisioned extending the side rails upwards at the top to provide secure handholds, and I'd work on that another time.  For the moment, I was out of time.

Total Time Today:  5.25 hours

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