Sea Glass Refit | May 30, 2007

Today, I reduced myself to supervisory role, as the owner Mike and his friend Scott arrived to put in the ports.  I had originally planned to put the ports in with Mike, but when he said that Scott was also coming, I was not displeased to step aside. 

I began early on by installing some protective plastic over the sidedecks, which I taped in place.  Installing ports is a messy business, and I knew that some protection was needed to keep the caulk and tools off the decks.

Once the work crew arrived, we began by preparing the new Lexan for the installation.  Using the appropriate deadlight frames as guides, we scored the protective paper on the Lexan and then removed the resulting edge piece, leaving the paper in place on the field for protection during installation.

Mike had painted the frames just the night before, but unfortunately the color didn't turn out to be exactly what he had expected--which was just as well, since the fresh paint was overly soft and easily damaged during the multiple installation steps.  Eventually, he started referring to the existing paint as "primer", knowing that an additional coat of a new paint was required.

The series of photos below shows Mike (inside) and Scott (outside) working on on of the frames.  Scott was enthusiastic with his application of butyl sealant to the first port, so things were a bit messy at the getgo.



While Scott and Mike continued with the other deadlights and then the two opening ports forward, I began cleaning up the excess sealant from the completed one, first using a plastic squeegee to remove the bulk of the excess and then plenty of paint thinner for the remainder.  Overall, the installation went fairly smoothly, with no serious problems to report.



With the ports installed and cleaned up, we continued with a few minor items, mostly to help Mike get organized for his final flurry of activity required before launching.  We culminated the day by running the diesel engine in the shop, after hooking up a temporary water source.  At this time, we discovered--quite by accident--that some skilled electrical engineer in the past had brilliantly decided to use red-colored battery cable for the negative leads on both batteries, and black for the positive.  Smart fellow, that.  Fortunately, the batteries turned out to be dead, so no harm came from hooking them up completely backwards the first time (before the idiotic error was discovered).  With the help from a portable jump start kit, however, the engine cranked immediately and presently settled into a comfortable and throaty growl without issue.

Total Time on This Job Today:  6.5 hours

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