Equinox Project | Thursday, April 2, 2009

I took advantage of the self-imposed downtime on the engine work to take care of several other jobs on the boat as the list or remaining work on my whiteboard continued to shorten.

The triangular base mount for the GPS/chartplotter wasn't a good or perfect fit with any of the available stock RAM mount fittings, and certainly didn't fit well with the narrow rectangular or circular base places that existed on the units that I chose for the boat.  I knew this in advance, of course, but in order to secure the triangular GPS mount to the circular RAM base I needed to make an adapter of sorts. 

From 1/4" fiberglass laminate, I cut a piece to match the size and shape of the GPS mount, and sanded it smooth.  I drilled and tapped for the GPS mounting bolt locations, and then positioned the circular RAM base beneath, marked for four screw holes--choosing from the myriad pre-drilled holes on the base--and drilled and tapped for additional screws there.  The idea is that I'd secure the "adapter plate" to the RAM base with machine screws, and then bolt the GPS mount to the top of the new adapter.  One of the GPS bolts would even pass through the RAM base for additional security, not that it was strictly necessary.

With the basics complete, I applied, over the course of the day, a number of coats of satin black spray paint to match the RAM mount. 


While on this tack, I secured the RAM swing arm to the wooden backing board in the boat, now that the varnish was complete.

Next, I installed a 1" stainless steel through hull in the deck near the mast, to incorporate the mast wiring, which would pass from a fitting on the mast through this deck fitting, enclosed in a 1" hose for protection and to provide a waterproof ingress to the boat.  After considering the situation and accounting for aft-leading halyard clearance, contours of the deck, and interior partitions and other obstructions, I chose a location for the wiring through hull that seemed the best compromise between reality and idealism, drilled a 1-1/4" hole, and installed the through hull with lots of sealant.  Then, I covered the top with tape to keep it watertight till the mast was stepped.


The holes remaining from the old mast wiring connectors--three of them--were on the starboard side adjacent to the mast. Earlier, I'd filled these holes with epoxy, knowing I'd not be using them, but cosmetically they needed some help.  To that end, I began to prepare for some gelcoat matching and patching, not only for the old mast wire holes, but also to repair a ding on the port cabin trunk, and to fill some unused screw holes in the cockpit bulkhead.

To prepare the holes, I reamed them all out a bit using a countersink as needed, and also sanded around as necessary.  I vacuumed and solvent-washed, and then prepared to begin my color-matching.  Unfortunately, I discovered that the gelcoat and hardener that I had in stock were not going to be usable, so I ordered more for tomorrow and moved on.


It was a good time to clean up and buff the cockpit area, which I'd not done earlier as I knew how much work remained in and around the space.  Using the same techniques and products as employed on the remainder of the deck, I finished the job in the cockpit, vastly improving its appearance.


With the engine in, I decided the time had come to install the companionway trim, which had been collecting dust in the woodshop for some weeks since I'd completed the varnish work.  I secured the trim in a bed of teak-colored sealant and screwed into it from within, as original.  While I was at it,  I installed the varnished trim rings around the cockpit winch pockets in the coamings.

The small piece of interior companionway trim was the last bit to go on the interior, so with all the pieces in place I took the opportunity to install bungs in the 12 screwholes so requiring, plus the larger bungs over the two bolted beams leading to the forward cabin.

My tool for the engine solenoid arrived, but the delivery was later than usual, late in the afternoon, and I decided to hold off on that task till the 'morrow.


Total Time on This Job Today:  6.75 hours

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