Kaholee Refit, Phase 3 | Saturday, June 28, 2008

I spent a productive day scratching item after item off my final list.

I began with the most important job:  installing the radar pole/solar panel mount.  One evening earlier in the week, I'd drilled a large hole through the deck to match up with the inside of the pole, and through which the various wires and cables would run.  I also epoxied a 1/2" fiberglass backing plate in place beneath the pole location for extra strength.

Then, on another evening, I test-fit the pole in place so that I could determine what sort of angled block I'd need in order to mount the pole vertically, accounting for the deck camber.  I made appropriate measurements, determined that bolts I had on hand were too short, and ordered replacement bolts.

With the foundation in place, I began today by milling the angled block out of a piece of mahogany, and cutting it to the proper shape and size.  Then, I temporarily bolted the pole in place; I found I needed yet another, in-between length of bolt for two of the four locations (since the bolts weren't fully threaded, the nuts came up against the shoulder before the bolt was tight), but I made do temporarily by adding some spacers.  This wasn't a permanent installation; that would have to wait till the boat was wherever she was to be relaunched, as of course the pole couldn't stand erect during road transport.

It was clear that I'd need some bracing off the stern pulpit to help support the pole and reduce the load on the deck; I planned to make these up from 1" tubing and rail fittings as needed.  (On order).  Once I had the pole up and properly plumbed, I tested the fit of the smaller support for the opposite end of the solar panel mounting area; it fit without a need for cutting, which was convenient.


Next, I moved on to installing the two GPS antennae, VHF antenna, and radome on the supplied bracket.  This went swimmingly until I went to secure the radome:  the bolts, which I'd specifically ordered to fit the threads in the radome, were the wrong size or thread.  I'd ordered these weeks ago, thinking that I had the thread figured out.  Obviously, I didn't; I thought they were 5/16-24 (fine thread), but it was clear that they were some metric thing instead. 

This wasn't a major setback--I ordered some metric bolts that should work (if they don't, I give up), but it meant that I couldn't complete the basic antenna installation today.  When the bolts arrive, I'll install them, and then lower the radar pole again so that I can install the top bracket, antenna cables, and solar panel before re-erecting the pole and connecting the cables as needed, leaving slack for later pole lowering for the transport.

Earlier in the week, I'd overbored and filled with epoxy various fastener locations for some of the deck hardware that needed mounting.  Today, I installed the final pieces:  cleats for mainsail control lines, a deck organizer, a rail socket fitting for the mast wiring, the brass tillerpilot pilot socket, and a new chainpipe for the second anchor rode.


I took care of a series of minor projects from my list, including replacing a hose on the engine siphon break with the valve that had come off the fitting to accommodate the hose (the hose simply pumped water into the bilge when the engine was running), reinstalled a T-fitting in the raw water intake line that had been removed to clear a seaweed clog earlier (the T is now downstream of the raw water filter), installing a third u-bolt to secure the LPG cylinder bracket, and that sort of thing--nothing of great interest, but satisfying to continue crossing these items from the list once and for all.

Finally, I fabricated some simple aluminum brackets to project above the stovetop and give the pot clamp holder a place to be secured.


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