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2017-07-26

Back of 'house changes

In the midst of things...the plywood had been removed, revealing some rust requiring remediation
Reliable readers will recall that the pilothouse recently got a new companionway hatch; we are quite pleased with it to date and only a few tweaks (like a way to secure it fully open with some sort of chock in the deck or via a light chain) remain to be done. But a lot of old and suspect plywood was removed in the process: essentially, the outer "skin" of the aft part of the steel pilothouse frame, and while there was a reasonably intact paint job beneath, there were also plenty of small holes used for mounting said plywood which will need to be dealt with. There was also the matter of the AC shore power connections.

As can be seen, there are two of them. The boat can accept a combined 60 amps of power, which was probably what the house in which I grew up drew. I never use two shore power cords in daily use, although I occasionally run a second 15 amp line if I'm using a high-draw power tool so I can continue fully charging while I work. Nonetheless, the removal of the plywood sheathing on the pilothouse would leave these sockets literally dangling, so I had to improvise.
Mrs. Alchemy did the paining, of which there's more to come. We need more paint.
I took an offcut of UHMWPE plastic, the same type I used for the traveller stand-offs last fall, and measured either side of the plug assemblies plus their respective width. I then bored with a hole saw two holes 1/8" larger than needed with the club's workshop drill press. This plastic heats up easily and I had to take it slowly. The dry fit was promising, so I disassembled the two plug assemblies, tidied up the wire ends (which looked remarkably clean after who knows how many seasons) and reinstalled it with the "backing plate" where the plywood once was. I think it looks fine.
If I weld and run the A/C, I'll need 30 more amps.
The plugs are protected from the elements both by the overhang of the trailing edge of the pilothouse roof and by a vertical sheet of metal as seen to the right in the above photo. The plastic block should resist UV and weathering well thanks to this.
I had to lengthen the wires a touch, so self-amalgamating tape to the rescue.
Six small wood screws set into undersized drilled holes made the lot of it secure and (one hopes) dry and the power was restored with no errant lightning bolts. The next step in the rehab of this end of the pilothouse will feature shortly.

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