Thursday, October 14, 2010


We plan on launching the boat this January or February and are at a stage in construction where there is plenty of individual projects left to do. Rather than trying to map out a rigid schedule we typically climb the ladder to the boat and work on whatever job we feel like tackling that night. I find the flexible approach to be more productive for our crew....its all got to be done before she sails so if one feels like cutting and fitting "have at it" ...if electrical is your interest break out the wire! 

Speaking of wire, we've been tackling some of that lately. I decided that the led lighting and low current draw items would be easier to run from two Blue Seas fuse boxes mounted forward rather than running everything back to the panel. I located one of the boxes in the head on the port side and the other in the V-berth hanging locker on the starboard side. The small loads for the port side run into the head fuse box and the starboard side loads run into the hanging locker. The fuse blocks are wired back to independent breakers on the main panel.

So far we have an LED two way light over the galley (shines red or white), a spot reading light for the starboard settee / berth that currently has a G4 bulb that we will swap out for an LED bulb, and a surface mounted LED light in the head that shines, red, white, or blue. The crew calls it our patriotic light.
A gold plated Cantaloupi light is mounted to the aft cabin wall above the chart table and doubles as a chart light and reading light for the port settee / berth. We installed an LED bulb in it to keep the power demands low. Its remarkable how far LED lighting has come. You can get almost every type of bulb in an LED now. Its great for retrofitting existing lights into low power drawing lights without breaking the bank.

The original plan was to use all gold plated fixtures below decks and stainless on deck thereby reducing the need to polish as the stainless and gold plating doesn't tarnish like brass and bronze.
We managed to purchase only the one gold plated fixture before reality climbed aboard and we realized we would not have enough "fun tokens" (money) to outfit her all in gold on our budget! It does look awfully nice over the chart table though, the gold sparkling in the light. Perhaps someday we will retrofit the rest......perhaps.

We found some self adhesive low profile plastic wire chases at the local Lowes hardware store and used them to run the wires in on the surface of the cabin.
While at Lowes we spotted a low profile strip of six outlets and bought it and installed it behind the port settee back. It was a bugger to install back there but its a great place for it. The A/C wiring comes out of the panel into a GFI duplex outlet above the shelf on the port side Settee. From there it goes down and into the strip of outlets then carries on through the head and into the V-berth and ends in a duplex outlet. 
The entertainment system will be wired into the strip, things that aren't usually unplugged until they fail, DVD player, Hi def TV, Bose system, etc. Their wires will be hidden and tucked up out of the way.
The two Duplex outlets will be used for laptop computers, cell phones, etc.

Installing Deck and Cabin fittings

We placed the cowl for the chain locker onto the deck and moved it around until we were satisfied with the location. As the chain locker is a self draining watertight compartment there was no need to install a dorade box under the cowl.

 A hole saw was used to cut the hole, starting on deck and cutting through about halfway then finishing the cut from under the deck drilling upwards. Cutting the hole from both sides prevents fragmenting the laminate as often happens when pushing through from one side.

Once the hole was made the Fein Multimaster was used to remove the core material between the laminate and the void was filled with a mixture of West System Epoxy and colloidal silica.

Once cured a drum sander was ran around inside the hole to clean up any epoxy spurs and ensure we had a uniform surface. The fitting was then bedded in 3M fast curing 4200.

The same method was used to cut the hole for the bulkhead compass. The notch at the bottom was cut out using a small flat blade on the Fein Multimaster tool.

In response to the comment below and request for information; here is some pictures of the blades we have used in the MultiMaster tool.
The above blade we used to remove core materiel
The above blade was used to cut the lower portion of the compass hole


I really like the above blade with the flat portion. You can keep the flat edge very close to a shelf (for instance) and cut the bulkhead  neatly and flush to the shelf.

We have found the scraper blade  to be very fast at removing stubborn materiel. We used it a lot when re-coring portions of the deck to remove the balsa core and also on the hatches and window frames for removing old hatch gaskets and sealants.