Sea Glass Refit | May 21, 2007

Today, I got going on some hardware installation--or at least on the initial planning, layout, and the inevitable ordering of the correct fasteners.

I started with the pile of hardware to be installed, prioritizing the items that I'd have time to install within the scope of the project (pulpits, stanchions, chainplates, and mooring hardware).  Then, I determined the fastener sizes needed for each piece, checked to see whether I had appropriate sizes in stock (yes for some, no for many), and made a list of what I needed so that I could order them without delay.

I began with the two pulpits, and placed them on deck in their approximate positions.  While the brand-new stern pulpit fit easily and without issue, I immediately noticed a problem with the bow pulpit:  the entire rail was somehow off-kilter, and aligning the four bases so that they all fell on deck highlighted the fact that the bases were in different locations on each side.  I had noticed, during earlier deck repairs, that the original mounting holes were not identical side-to-side, but I chalked it up to sloppy installation at the time; the pulpit had already been removed, and I had only the holes to go by.  I didn't think much of it at the time.

In the event, I now had to make a decision:  install the pulpit as original, with the bases misaligned from side to side; or align the forward two bases, which caused the two aft bases to skew wildly out of position, and then try to force the aft end of the pulpit into submission--and the proper alignment.

Below, these two photos show roughly how the pulpit fell when all four bases were on deck; the bases are 2-3" different on each side, but all four bases fall upon the deck.



In these two photos, I have aligned the forward two bases, and this clearly causes the after bases to skew several inches out of proper position, with the starboard base falling outboard of the toerail.  Further testing with the rail seemed to indicate that the rail itself was somehow bent wrong, or had been hit and straightened poorly, and that it was asking too much of the rail to attempt to force these two bases into position and perfect alignment.  Reluctantly, I therefore decided--upon consultation with the owner--that installing the pulpit as original, with asymmetrical bases, would have to be the better way to go.


With that decision out of the way, I moved on to the stanchions, and determined the best position for each of the three bases on each side.  Because of some limiting factors, most notably the eventual position of the genoa track and sheet lead outboard of the cockpit (which I determined from reviewing some older photos of the boat that I had), the placement of the aftermost base had to end up just at the forward end of the cockpit, or about 6' forward of the stern pulpit.  I couldn't evenly space all three bases between the pulpits, but in the end I was able to space the three bases equidistant from each other (about 54"), with a slightly shorter distance from the forward base to the bow pulpit.  But with the actual lifeline attachment point well forward on the bow pulpit, the lifeline length would be roughly equal to that at the aft end, so the whole setup should look good in the end.


I also located a new bronze mooring bit on the foredeck, choosing to mount it in more or less the same position as the original bow cleat.  For now, we elected to not install any stern cleats, as the owner hoped to find some bronze ones to replace the original aluminum.

With all the basic hardware laid out, I marked the positions and installed masking tape on the deck for protection, cutting out the area beneath each piece of hardware.  Then, in the cored areas of the deck--everywhere but at the stern pulpit--I drilled oversize holes through the top skin and core, leaving the bottom skin in place, and then filled these voids with thickened epoxy.  I allowed this to cure overnight before continuing.



Finally, I sprayed Alexseal primer on the four deck hatches (forward, lazarette, icebox, and companionway), which I had prepared the other day.

Total Time on This Job Today:  5 hours

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