November 10, 2023
Calliope Girl 11
I continued work on the mast step mockup and patterns. With the top layer properly fitted, I installed some alignment blocks with hot glue, which helped pin the top piece in its correct position. Each of the blocks had either a corner or a side that also registered the final height of the top platform for easy removal and replacement, which I’d have to do frequently as I patterned the two lower layers.
The surface of the top section was 1/4″ lower than the finished height required to allow room for several layers of fiberglass over the top, and to allow a bit of final adjustment room. My plan for the construction of the overall structure was to tap each section individually from the bottom up during installation, which I thought would add substantial strength to the whole arrangement. To allow room for the tabbing over each layer, I decided to use 3/16″ spacers cut from scrap plywood between the patterns as I shaped each lower section. So I cut and shaped two additional layers in turn, each with the 3/16″ spacers between. This was simply a trial and error process involving lots of rasp work to shape the foam, then checking frequently with the top section to get the right fit through all three layers. At some length, I got all three pieces properly shaped with the space allowance between each, with the top layer ending up level in both directions and the proper 68-1/2″ distance from the mast collar datum point. With three layers of fiberglass over the top when all was said and done, the top surface would end up the required 68-1/4″ down from the collar, matching the original.
These photos show the layers deconstructed one at a time just for interest, along with height of the lowest section above the bilge on the after and forward sides. With these patterns made, now I could use them to shape the three sections of 1-1/2″ thick G-10 to fit, and then install.
With the worst part of the mast step replacement behind me now, I turned to some additional disassembly in the main cabin and galley to round out the day and the week. I began by removing some potable water lines running down the starboard side between the galley and the forward cabin, to make room for the main cabin reconstruction, along with the remnants from the flexible tank installation, including the fill hose. I set aside the various components for possible later use. Next, I removed a length of battery cable that had run between the starboard battery bank and the negative distribution post in the engine room, and the various components of the propane system from the galley–solenoid and vapor alarm system and related wiring. The goal with the electrical in this boat was to avoid disturbing anything unless absolutely necessary, as the electrical system was rather new and in good condition, so I’d be doing a lot of working around existing wire bundles and labeling carefully those wires and installations I did have to temporarily move, or remove. There’d be more of this sort of work to come, particularly in the galley and on the port side, where the main battery switch panel was located beneath the settee.
Total time billed on this job today: 6.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 35°. foggy. Forecast for the day: Partly sunny, 47°