Saturday 29 July 2023

Fitting Out | Tabernacle Pivots

I had been thinking for a long while that the threaded rod supplied was not a great choice for the mast pivot in the tabernacle. Because with use it would gouge the mast.

So when I found that the 10mm stainless rod for the rudder was surplus to requirements (because it should have been 12mm) I decided to make both tabernacle pivots for the mast and bowsprit from the scrap rod.

I cut the rods to the correct length and thought about cutting the M10 thread on each end.

I was prepared to give it a go myself, but it was immediately obvious that the tap and die sets on sale in tool shops or online were not suitable for stainless steel. Special equipment was needed.

So I found a workshop locally that could do it.

I took the rods to the workshop, expecting to leave them there and collect them later.

But the guy in charge did it while I waited.

The main business of the workshop seemed to be the repair and refurbishment of enormous trucks. They were doing something to an aggregates carrier while I was there, using a huge pneumatic hammer. The noise was unbelievable.

On top of that they had heavy metal rock blaring out at an even greater volume.

If the workers weren't already deaf, they soon would be.

Anyway, the guy cut threads for me while I waited in exchange for a modest cash payment.

Here are the rods shortly after manufacture.

I cleaned them up and filed the roughness off the ends and fitted them.

Here they are in place in the tabernacle.

Here is a close up of the mast pivot.

That looks OK!

Fitting Out | Ventilator Cowls

With all the Dorade box hardware now fitted I could finish off by installing the ventilator cowls.

They were however an extremely tight fit. There didn't seem much chance of slipping them easily into place. You can see that in this pic.

The cowls are made from a flexible rubbery material, so I left them in a backet of hot water for a few minutes to soften up and applied a smear of soapy water on the lips of the ventilators.

That worked. They slipped on easily.

Here are both cowls fitted.

And here is a close up of the port cowl.

I can't make up my mind if I like them or not. I guess they will grow on me with time ...

Fitting Out | Mainsheet Block

In the previous post on this subject I explained how I made a support pad for the mainsheet ratchet block, because it could not be fitted as supplied.

The support pad received several coats of primer and was wet sanded with a P800 grit to obtain a flat surface.

Five coats of gloss followed, and when fully hardened the pad was again wet sanded from P800 through to P2500. Lastly the usual finishing process followed, with P5000 and P9000 polishing compound.

Here I am finishing the finish.

The block was then test fitted onto the pad. Here it is, on the deck where it will be installed.

I marked up the location of the through deck fastenings for the support pad and drilled the holes. As here.

I used a pair of magnets - one above and one below the deck - to check that the holes would be in the right place. You can just see the uppermost magnet in the top half of the picture.

Then I test fitted the pad itself, with the block attached. Here it is.

I used Pozi pan head machine screws with dome nuts in the interior.

Then I decided that I didn't like the Pozi screws and replaced them with slotted pan head screws. Like this.

That looked much better.

But I then realised that the dome nuts were a weak point on such a highly loaded component, with less than 5mm of thread to grip the screw. I thought they could easily become loose and get wrenched out.

So, I used slightly longer pan head machine screws (35mm) and Nylock locknuts for the final installation of the ratchet block.

Here is the permanently fitted block.

And this is what the nuts look like underneath the deck.

I have yet to fit the spinnaker sheet cleats and the chainplates, but I can't do that until the mast is up, which will be when the boat goes onto its trailer.

So now we move onto fitting hardware to the spars. That feels like progress!

Fitting Out | Cockpit Locker Hatch Covers

The time came to install the hatch covers for the cockpit lockers which I had rehearsed some time ago.

The rehearsal went smoothly but I thought it prudent to do it again, just to be sure. Because encountering a problem part way through an installation with loads of sealant all over the place would not be a good experience.

A quick test fit revealed that neither cover now fitted due to accumulated paint on the locker edges.

So I scraped away the excess with a sharp Bahco scraper, as in this pic.

I then drilled out the screw holes to 5.5mm for the 5mm machine screws which secure the hatch frames. I find that this helps to achieve an easy fit when there are a lot of fastenings to deal with. I did that for the portlights too.

Cleaning up the excess paint had taken the edges of the deck opening back to bare wood, so I applied two coats of epoxy resin to seal them again.

Then I test fitted both hatch covers once more. This is the port cover in place and partly taped up for sealant.

A dress rehearsal now revealed that there was insufficient room in the port locker between the inside rim of the hatch flange and the deck stringer to tighten the locknuts.

This had not been discovered in previous test fittings because I didn't use locknuts and it was easy to tighten by hand. This was now not possible, and I would have to use a socket to tighten the nuts, and there was no room for one.

So I sharpened up a good chisel and hacked out a shallow recess behind each screw, like this.

That left more bare wood, so I sealed it with epoxy resin and bilge paint and all was well for final fitting.

This is the port hatch after final installation.

And this is the one on the starboard side.

All turned out well, but I did experience some drama when I found that the sealant started to cure before I could fit and tighten all sixteen fastenings. But I worked as fast as I could without messing things up, and we got there. Not without using a lot of methylated spirits to clean up excess sealant!

Not too many more bits of deck hardware to fit now. Scary.

Fitting Out | Portlights

The final task in fitting out the cabin was the installation of the portlights.

I did this in the way described in detail in the previous post on this subject, and all went well.

Here is a view of the starboard portlights from the exterior.

And here is the view from inside the cabin.

Looking good!

Fitting Out | Dorade Box Inspection Ports

With the ventilators now permanently in place it was time to install the inspection ports inside the cabin.

Here is the flange fitted on the port side of the cabin.

And here it is with the inspection port fitted.

This is what the cabin interior looks like now, with both inspection ports in the forward wall.

 That's better.

Fitting Out | Companionway Slide Bumper.

When I was trimming the companionway slide to properly fit the hood I found that it closed with a bang against the front inside face of the hood.

I decided to fit a small rubber bumper to the slide to protect the surfaces.

A test showed that it worked well, so I drilled a pilot hole ...

 ... and fixed the bumper in place with a stainless steel screw. Like this.

Job done.

Fitting Out | Ventilators

I mentioned in a previous post that the ventilators did not fit properly in the Dorade boxes, because the threaded interior part that seals the ventilator when closed impacts on the through deck fastenings.

I could have used small wood screws to fix the external flange to the deck, but that would almost certainly not be strong enough.

I thought about making a gasket to fit over the locknuts inside the Dorade box. That would require a lot of work for something that might not work, so instead I made some small pads for the threaded seal to bear upon, preventing it from grinding on the locknuts.

Here they are. They are made from scrap 9mm plywood, sealed with epoxy resin and painted.

And here is the starboard ventilator sealing piece seen from inside the Dorade box, test fitted with three pads in place.

You can see that the seal now screws onto the three pads instead of the locknuts. It still seals the ventilator from the outside.

I was thinking of this as a temporary solution at this stage and fixed the pads in place with double sided tape so they could be easily removed at a future date.

I think I might make those gaskets after all, when the boat is complete and I have time for 'vanity projects'.

This is the starboard ventilator, test fitted.

You can just see one of the pads inside the Dorade box.

And here it is masked off with blue tape and the screws held in place with Blu Tak so I could fit the washers and locknuts from the interior.

And lastly here is the port ventilator after its final fit with sealant and locknuts.

That was a lot harder than it should have been, but we got there in the end!

Saturday 15 July 2023

Fitting Out | Preparation For The Portlights

 A quick test fit of a metal portlight showed that they no longer fitted due to the build-up of paint on the edges of the portholes.

So the holes had to be cleaned up, like this.

I used an abrasive cylinder in the drill. It did a quick and effective job.

I then made a final test fit of each portlight, practising final installation which will be with sealant.

First the outer flange is held in place with two machine screws, taped down so they don't move.

Then the portlight itself is fitted from the inside and secured with a dome nut and washer on the two screws. Like this.

Then the other four screws are inserted and taped in place, and the remaining washers and nuts are fitted inside.

Here is the fitted portlight, looking very smart. This one is open.

Final installation will be made in exactly the same way but with sealant on the inner and outer flanges, to completely seal the holes.

I removed the portlights and labelled their boxes so that each would go back into the same porthole, eliminating any issues about fit.

Having cleaned up the porthole edges they were now bare wood, which did not seem a good idea.

 So I masked off the topsides and applied two coats of clear resin to seal them up.

Next time we revisit the portlights will be their final installation!

Fitting Out | Ship's Cat

Our cat developed a keen interest in the fitting out activities, with a particular fondness for the metalworking vice while I was cutting screws to length.

That's one very weird cat ...

Fitting Out | Companionway

The companionway drop boards and their retainers had been languishing inside the house for ages and it was time to give them a test fit.

The retainers are fastened in place with stainless steel machine screws, with washers and dome nuts inside the cabin.

Here are the drop boards in place.

And here is the companionway slide in place.

That looks good.

Next task was to fit the hasp to allow the slide to be locked. I made a test fit on a piece of scrap to get the dimensions right before drilling holes. This is it.

Then I marked up the slide and drop board and used the drill guide to make the screw holes in the slide. My first attempt at freehand drilling did not go well!

Here is the hasp, dry fitted.

Lastly, I made the final instalment of the hasp and the slide runners using sealant and set them in the cockpit to cure, as here.

That's the companionway finished!

Fitting Out | Bowsprit & Bobstay

It was soon time to start thinking about fitting out the spars, and I accordingly sought out the very first sheet of the plans, which the build manual tells us gives exact locations for the hardware.

It's half right, as usual. Some fittings are accurately located, and some we will have to guesstimate.

Anyway, I pinned the plan for the spars on the wall, and started to figure out what goes where.

Here it is, up on the wall.

That feels like progress!

The bowsprit looked quite straightforward, so I started with that. Dimensions for the pad eyes are given, and I marked them out on the spar using masking tape. Like this.

Next came drilling the holes for the machine screws. They are through spar fastenings, so have to be accurately drilled.

Here is the pillar drill, set up for this exercise.

It is very important that the bowsprit is level on the drill table both lengthways and sideways to get perpendicular drill holes, so using a spirit level is essential.

Here the holes are being drilled.

I test fitted the pad eyes using the stainless machine screws and plain steel washers and nuts - the final installation will be made with stainless locknuts which are not reusable.

A test fit of the bowsprit had earlier revealed that the bow eye was ever so slightly out of place. Either that or the bobstay supplied in the sailing hardware package was a tiny bit too short.

Either way, it would have been a miracle if the bobstay fitted perfectly. I hadn't even realised that it was included in the sailing hardware pack until I opened it up and was expecting to make my own, so length would not have been a problem.

Anyway ... the problem was easily resolved by moving the bobstay pad eye backwards a fraction, by turning it around.

This is the bowsprit with its bobstay in place.

And here you can see how I have reversed the lower pad eye for the bobstay, so it through bolts to the jib pad eye only at one end instead of both.

The shackle supplied for the bobstay looked a bit flimsy to me, so I substituted it for a much more substantial one. Here is the bow eye, shackle and bobstay.

That doesn't look as if it's likely to fail any time soon!

We are definitely getting there ...