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Project Log:  Monday, June 8, 2015

With the windlass motor now (apparently) properly seated to the gear housing, and my epoxy-filled holes well-cured over the weekend, it was time to continue the steps leading up to the windlass's final installation.

The relationship between the chain stripper and the wildcat (and therefore the remainder of the windlass) was a key one, and fairly precise.  So although I'd done all the layout already, now that it was time to drill the actual bolt holes for both units I had to go through the process again to ensure that the top of the stripper fit properly in the wildcat's groove without hitting anywhere, while maintaining the wildcat's orientation to the chain coming over the bow.  So I played around and fudged things as needed to make this just so before marking the bolt holes again (a task easier said than done, since access to the holes was tight in most areas--I used a 2" stub of pencil with a very long tapered point to reach into the holes as required).  Afterwards, I temporarily pinned things in place with some short bolts stuck in the holes (not the final bolts) so I could check everything one more time, run the chain actually through the stripper and into the chainlocker, and contemplate the windlass cover and wiring exits through the deck.


The windlass cover, a fiberglass molding, slipped over the gear housing and motor, and I'd eventually secure it to the deck with four machine screws to allow for ready removal.  For now, I needed to see what sort of clearances within it required, as I had to figure out where to bring two large cables through the deck to attach to the windlass motor.  I made some reference marks in pencil and masking tape as needed to show the outline of the cover, and marked the screw holes as well for deck preparation.


There was little room left for the cables' exit, between how the motor and cover interacted with each other, and the fact that the chain locker space ended before the aft end of the motor (where there was the most room), obviating that location as a possibility. Plus, of course, the cables had to connect to the two studs on the motor, so that further dictated possible exit points.  The aft end of the nearby foot switches more or less demarked the chainlocker bulkhead for all intents and purposes.

As it happened, the only practical place to bring through the two wires was just aft of the windlass gear housing, and sort of under the curve of the motor just behind.  I had hoped to use a cable through-deck seal (i.e. cable clam) to run the wires and seal them effectively, but there simply wasn't this kind of room inside the fiberglass cover, so I'd rely on epoxy-isolated through holes (which I'd planned regardless) and plenty of sealant to do the job when the time came.  The area in question would be hidden beneath the cover, so I could gob on the sealant with impunity.

Removing the windlass parts once more, I drilled through the deck (leaving the inside deck skin in place) in two places with a 1" bit, which would give a large enough void, once filled with epoxy, to allow me to run through the cables with their 5/8" diameter, leaving plenty of core-isolating epoxy around the edges.  I also drilled partway through the deck for the four windlass cover mounting screws at the corners.  Then, I filled the resulting new voids with a thickened epoxy mixture.  Because I planned to tap the cover holes for machine screws, I used a high-density filler for this particular epoxy mixture;  this material would also help hold down the exothermic reaction of the epoxy in the large holes for the cables.  I left the epoxy to cure overnight; this should be the final pre-installation step, and with new bronze bolts on hand for the job, I looked forward to wrapping this up next time.


During my water system priming the other day, and in a moment of abject brain-deadedness, I'd briefly tried running the water system--including the galley sink's foot pump--with all intake valves closed.  This had caused the pump to gasp and shudder and stick with the pedal in the down position, inoperable.  At the time, I'd left it be pending more pressing needs, but now I investigated the problem, as I'd not yet pulled water through the system with this pump.

Fortunately, the only issue was a kinked output hose on the back of the pump, which I quickly remedied and returned the pump (or more accurately initiated the pump) to full operation.  This could be my most awesome video presentation yet!

By now you know that you can click here to go straight to the video if the player doesn't show up above.

Total Time Today:  2.25 Hours

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