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Old 30-12-2008, 20:55   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Boat: Columbia 41
Posts: 522
CAD Applications to Boat Improvements

I bought a Columbia 41 two years ago. There were several upgrades needed since the boat had been on the hardstand for 10 years and the previous owner lived too far away to do regular maintenance. Rainwater had dripped onto the galley top and caused the plastic laminate top to delaminate. I researched the best way to replace it and settled on stainless steel to match the new gimbled galley stove. It seemes that most cutting tools these days are computer driven. The input is usually a CAD (typically Autocad) drawing sent to the fabricator as an email attachment. I did a very careful measured drawing of the piece needed and sent it off. A phone call confirmed the order and payment made through a credit card number. Three weeks later the galley top was delivered to the marina. In the mean time the existing plywood substrate was reparied, filled and faired. The stainless steel went down in five minuted over contact cement.

I have also had new lexan windows cut this way by a plastic supplier in Las Vegas. Stainless steel trim rings to match were cut in North Carolina. All went together seamlessly.

Autocad LT is available for a $200 to $400 on ebay. It's easy to learn and very useful in planning out boat projects.
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