December 30, 2021
Arietta Phase 2-38
I removed the masking from the top surface of the sole for now, after removing a few drips of epoxy from the edges, though I’d want to remask it before installation for protection from the sealant; however, I didn’t want the crusty tape to contend with during final installation, and in any case I needed to lay out the screw holes for installation.
With a router, I trimmed the overhanging teak plywood from the bilge hatch, then cleaned this up and trimmed slightly more as needed for a good fit in the opening. Then I did one more dry fit in the boat to make sure the sole still fit as expected.
Using the old sole as a rough guide, I laid out screw holes in the new sole, slightly changing the position of a couple sets since the originals had not been placed as well as they could have been near the aft end and near the smaller opening at the forward end. I bored for 3/8″ bungs, and drilled pilot holes for the screws. Afterwards, I remasked the sole, covering the entire thing once more for protection. The owner planned to leave the sole bare, and sealant could easily stain the wood without protection. Up in the boat, I masked a double-width around the entire perimeter as well, to make cleanup easier.
Before installing the sole, I took care of one small job. The buss bar in the electrical locker had come free sometime after I’d installed it in epoxy a year earlier, and though I’d re-adhered it (this time with polyurethane sealant), and it seemed secure, we decided to add some insurance, since if this buss happened to hit an exposed positive terminal on the nearby panel, it could be a dangerous short situation. Earlier, in preparation, I epoxied small teak blocks to the fiberglass above and below the buss, and now, with those cured, I added small blocks to overlap and “pinch” the buss at each end, screwing these to the wood beneath. There was no way to directly screw the buss to the fiberglass since there was inadequate thickness. I also added a plastic buss cover, which protected the terminals and probably should have been in place long before.
After final cleanup and preparations, I installed the sole by applying a good bead of sealant all around the edges of the recess, then pressed the sole into place and secured it with 15 screws. I cleaned up the excess sealant, smoothing a clean line at the seam between the sole and the fiberglass, then removed all the masking. A little later, I returned to install teak bungs in all the screw holes; these would require trimming, but I’d await that till the next day to allow the sealant time to cure.
I removed the bronze lifting ring from the old hatch, and installed it in the new one to complete the sole.
With the work list essentially complete, during the afternoon I lifted the mast back aboard and secured it in the position it needed to be for the winter cover, adding a little support amidships at the mast step to keep the mast from bowing there when under cover. I removed the protective sheeting from the cockpit and cleaned up the boat, leaving things ready for the final steps on the morrow.
Total time billed on this job today: 5.25 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Overcast, 28°. Forecast for the day: Patchy wintry mix, 35°