October 2, 2017
To remove the bow pulpit, with its inaccessible fasteners, I chose to grind a flat area on the tops of the round-head slotted machine screw fasteners, which then allowed me to center punch and drill out the fastener head so I could push the shanks through. I’d managed to remove two of the six fasteners in the traditional way during an earlier session, so I had four total to remove this time.
Afterwards, it was straightforward to unbolt the two forwardmost pair of pulpit bases located further out the wooden bow platform.
For the moment, my goal was only to remove all the deck hardware, and now only two pieces remained: the forward sections of jib track, located just forward of the winch pods on the sidedecks. Earlier, I’d removed the aftermost several fasteners from each track, which were located in the cockpit lockers. The remaining 7 fasteners on each side had to be accessed from inside the cabin, where they were hidden behind the molded liner and tougher to access.
The port side went well enough, as I found I could relatively easily clamp onto the nuts from beneath with locking pliers.
I initially thought the starboard side might be easier, since access was through a locker in the head that initially seemed pretty accessible. Here, however, there was some additional trim in the way (I removed it), and then I found that all the fasteners were overlong and had been substantially bent to one side or the other, perhaps to hide the long shanks above the edge of the liner. The bend meant that even if I could get to the nuts, I couldn’t easily get the nuts off. I straightened the bent bolts as much as possible with a hammer, and, with substantial time and various techniques–mostly Vice Grips from below and impact gun from above–eventually removed the last section of track and its fasteners. In most cases, I managed to get the nuts loosened enough to pull up the fastener to the point that I could cut off the head from above, which then allowed me to push the bolts through.
I spent the remains of the day cleaning up the tools and detritus from the previous days’ work efforts, and planned to soon cover and move the boat outdoors for storage till her turn for the bulk of the project arrived later in the winter, and to make room for another project due to arrive soon.
Total time billed on this job today: 2.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Clear, 32°. Forecast for the day: Sunny, around 70