Well, more progress...
On a side note, I have finally received the last of my winches. One of the upgrades I wanted to make was self tailing
winches all around, and I have been purchasing
them as I found good deals. I also wanted to step up the sizes used, so here is what I have now:
sheet winches are older Lewmar
chromed bronze 43's. Big beasties...
Main mast halyard
winches are a pair of Lewmar
chromed bronze Ocean 30's. One shared for the Mainsail
and drifter, and the other for the genoa
and topping lift
Main sheet is a Lewmar chromed bronze Ocean 16.
is a Lewmar chromed bronze Ocean 16.
Main sail reefing winch is a Lewmar aluminum
As for progress on the "great big hole", I have managed to get the new deck plates cut and painted with primer to keep the rust away. That part was actually rough because when you get typical steel plate it comes with a layer of what is called "mill scale" on it. This mill scale is oxidized steel (rust) that forms when the metal is rolled to thickness at the factory. It must be removed before any painting can occur. One way to remove it is sandblasting (which I am not equipped to do, and is not allowed at the boatyard where I am doing the work). Another way is with a grinder (if you have all the time in the world and then some...). The method I wound up using involves some really nasty acid to dissolve the scale and leaves the bare steel. The acid used is not only dangerous to get on your skin, but produces toxic fumes which can burn out your lungs if inhaled. Needless to say a full body hazmat suit with a full face gas mask and special filters was needed, and with the Florida
summer raging, it was torture, but I finally got both sides of each plate cleaned and painted.
I wound up with a dilemma however. Once I get the new deck installed, I will have no access to remove the engine
, or any other large objects from the interior
. The old cockpit companionway
was the designed access for these items. I decided to design, fabricate and install a new hatch
to give me the necessary access. I wanted the new hatch
to have an opening of 24 inches by 48 inches to fit the current engine
or any upgrade I may install later on. The next consideration was that I wanted to be able to have both light and ventilation through the hatch, but did not want to build a custom opening hatch for this purpose. I settled on buying
two Bowmar 22 inch square aluminum
hatches and having an aluminum plate cut to mount them into. So, the design is to have a steel plate with a full opening of 24X48 with a rim welded to it, which is then welded into the deck over the engine. An aluminum plate with cutouts for two large hatches will be bolted to the steel plate, and the opening hatches will then be mounted to the aluminum plate. This gives me the light and ventilation provided by the standard hatches, plus the ability to unbolt the aluminum plate and remove it hatches and all when I need the large access hole. I had the steel and aluminum plates cut with a CNC water
jet machine to get a clean professional finish and nice rounded corners to keep things looking professional and prevent lines form catching on it. I welded a lip of formed steel to the bottom of the steel plate to provide the interface to the bowed cabin
top. I had holes cut in both the steel and aluminum plates for the fasteners used to secure them together and tapped the holes in the steel so that the machine screws will thread directly into it and I don't have to mess with nuts on the underside. I also sourced some nylon bushings to keep the stainless machine screws isolated from the aluminum plate and causing galvanic corrosion
. Other touches were countersinks on the underside of the holes in the aluminum so that when the sealer is applied it will squeeze the sealant
up around each fastener for a better seal. Now I just need to grind down the excess weld material and paint
it. Once the new deck plates are welded in I will mark out and cut the hole for the new hatch and weld the steel frame into place.