October 11, 2016
Next on the agenda was to deal with the holes left over from the old engine gauges, located at the forward end of the cockpit. I prepared the area for patching by grinding away the paint and gelcoat from around the old openings, creating an area of raw laminate ready to accept new fiberglass. After cleaning up the area, I masked over the holes from inside.
I filled the holes with a thickened epoxy mixture, keeping it flush with the adjacent fiberglass, and later, when the fill was setting up, I applied two layers of fiberglass over the whole area.
The owner wanted the new gauge panel mounted to starboard of the helm, at the aft end of the cockpit, where there already existed an opening leftover from an autopilot installation. Starting with this hole, I laid out the opening for the new panel, using a template I made years before, and cut out the new opening. This cutout was complicated somewhat by a glassed-in stiffener inside the cockpit coaming, which I had to remove as best as possible to allow clearance for the gauge package. Eventually I had enough clearance, and dry-fit the panel so I could drill and tap for the fasteners. I’d wait on final installation for the moment.
Total time billed on this job today: 3.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation:
32°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, low 60s