December 27, 2021
Arietta Phase 2-36
When I hooked up the new solar panel a few days earlier, I’d forgotten that the small, existing, after solar panel, which the owner had previously used wired directly to the battery with an adapter and alligator clips, needed to be incorporated into the new solar charger/controller as well. Now, removing the alligator clips from the adapter, I wired the after panel in along with the new panel on the sea hood, using some pin butt connectors that would allow the two wires to fit neatly into the pinch-style terminals on the solar controller. By still using the adapter, which plugged into the wire leading from the solar panel, one could, without affecting the hard wiring of the controller, easily detach the solar panel when the battery was not on board, since the solar panels would always be live when exposed to light. Similarly, on deck I unplugged the cables leading to the forward panel.
Beginning work on the replacement cabin sole, I began by removing the cleats around the bilge opening; these were glued and screwed in place but came off without too much difficulty. Then, using the old sole as a guide (always using the top edge), I laid out the shape on a new piece of 1/4″ (6mm) marine plywood, which would become the substrate for the 1/4″ layer of teak and holly veneer plywood chosen for the top surface. I cut out the new plywood and carefully cut the bilge hatch opening, adding 1/4″ to the opening on each side to allow for solid teak trim to rim the opening, like the original. Then, after a test-fit in the boat to ensure the new panel fit properly (just a bit oversized for now to await final trimming later), I used the new substrate to lay out and cut the teak veneer plywood for the top layer, though in this case I only rough-cut the hatch opening, leaving a bit of excess to be trimmed later once the two layers were conjoined.
Next, I masked off the surface of the teak plywood for protection, then wet out the bonding side of both layers of plywood with epoxy before returning with a thickened adhesive batch, which I troweled on with a small notch before clamping the pieces together on the bench.
There was no more I could do for the new construction at the moment, but up in the boat I cleaned up the remnants of old sealant from the edges of the fiberglass recess and made other preparations there so it would be ready for the new installation when the time came.
Total time billed on this job today: 2.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 23°, mainly clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, 33°