Monday, April 30, 2012

Moving instruments

Just a simple idea.  Maybe a couple hours at most.  Just move the speed/depth instrument from the left side of the cockpit around to the front.  Over on the left side, someone is always sitting in front of it.  Not good.  So we wanted to move it to the front just above the companionway.  Step 1: pull the speaker (easy) to get to the back of the gauge.

Well - that's the end of the easy steps.  Crud!  

To get to the new location, the center section of the companionway had to come out.  To get that out, much of the overhead in the cabin had to come down.  It's amazing how many little pieces of wood go into the headliner of a sailboat!  There are trim pieces, headliner sections and backing pieces under all that.  Just to get to the 12 little bolts we needed to access.

Once we got to it, drilling the new hole and installing the gauge at the new location was easy.  

Now just bolt it all back together and voila!

Not so fast, naive one!  Seems like that center section of coaming was press fit way back when the boat was built.  Either that or it was made from some special type of fiberglass that expands when air gets under it.  Whatever happened, it would not go back into place.  No amount of pushing pulling, stomping, or pleading would make it fit.

Of course, that's when we ran short of time and had to leave for a couple hours for a 1 year old birthday party, leaving Phil alone with a dremel tool, a saber saw and a too-big piece of fiberglass. Who knew what we would find when we returned.

Nothing to fear!  When we got back, the coaming section was about a 1/4" narrower and it fit perfectly!  A little filing, a little butyl tape and it was time to snug it all up.  

Next time I suggest an easy, 2 hour project, someone please knock some sense into me!

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