Kaholee Refit | October 2, 2007

I got back in the swing of things today and attacked a number of odds and ends on board, mostly related to plumbing and electrical systems.

I began in the cockpit, where I wired up and installed the shore power receptacle in the previously-cut hole.  I also installed the plug for the Standard Horizon RAM mike (remote microphone) for the VHF.  On the other side of the cockpit, I installed the city water inlet, and also temporarily (without sealant) installed the engine controls.


Next, I turned to addressing some additional equipment and installations that the owner and I determined were necessary during the recent visit.  Allen wanted a cockpit shower arrangement, as well as a salt water washdown for the decks, and had originally provided me, in with the boat gear that came along with the boat, a plastic shower arrangement, like the ones you see on RVs or on a lot of small powerboats.  Unfortunately, we couldn't use this device since it would not have been appropriate to use in a seagoing cockpit, as it was made of inexpensive plastic and contained large openings inside the enclosure that would have allowed water into the boat. 

So we searched for another solution without much success; I found a decent-looking shower box in a catalog, but it had been discontinued and was unavailable.  Eventually, at Allen's suggestion (he's in the IT business), I purchased a plastic project box from Radio Shack that would be the right size for a custom enclosure.  I planned to use the box as a mold to build a fiberglass box that would be watertight and strong enough for use in the cockpit well.  The box was just the right size to contain a low-profile faucet that Allen purchased specifically for this purpose.

To begin this project, I first located and laid out for the cutout in the cockpit well.  I chose a location a bit forward of the city water connection on the starboard side, and allowed for a 1" flange on the new shower box so that the top of the flange, when installed, would be at the same height as the adjacent city water connection.  Using a metal plate that came as part of the project box as a template, I marked the location of the cutout, and then added 1/2" to each dimension (1/4" on each side) for clearance to accommodate the additional thickness of the new fiberglass box.  After protecting the edges with masking tape, I cut out the opening.



Note also that this opening provides good access to the back side of the city water connection so that I can connect the hose easily; otherwise, I would have put the hose on the back side before installing it.

Next, I prepared the project box as a mold for the new fiberglass box.  I hot-glued the box upside down to a piece of scrap plywood with a smooth surface, and then coated everything in a few coats of paste wax to act as mold release.  I was particularly vigilent in waxing the wooden surface.  Then, I fiberglassed over the top of the box and onto the plywood, creating an overwide flange that I'd later trim to the desired 1" size.  I used several layers of material, beginning with a layer of 10 oz. cloth over the box and then two layers of 15 oz. biaxial material on all surfaces.  I laminated additional material over some of the corners and seams as necessary, as well as on the back side of the flange. 

I called it quits at this point, figuring I had enough material to allow the part to be strong enough on its own if (when) it pre-released from the mold, but I planned to add more material later as needed to ensure a stiff and strong part.

This looks like a mess, because there's a lot of excess resin around the edges that I squeegeed off the part, and I let the fiberglass run wild on all four sides of the flange for later trimming.


In a related project, I installed a new saltwater washdown pump in the starboard cockpit locker, and ran wires back to the panel location for eventual connection.  The pump came with the wrong hose barb, so I ordered the correct ones.

To wrap up the day, I installed a final interior light in the head--Allen purchased this extra light during his visit, since we were one short--and ran a pair of wires to the port saloon bulkhead, where the cabin heater was soon to be installed; the wires are required to power the circulation fan of the unit.  I think this wrapped up the basic wiring runs on the boat, other than some electronics wiring and the heavier wires required for the anchor windless.


Total Time on This Job Today: 8 hours

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