Sunday, 22 March 2020

Steering Gear - Cable Installation Part 2

I didn't take enough photographs of today's final episode of the steering gear installation. Trouble is when you're totally involved in solving the many problems, cameras are the last thing you think of.

Having reached the console with the cable I had the problem of feeding it through the bulkhead and then through 90 degrees to route it behind the control panel to were I was to fit the helm mechanism. The restriction on bends in the cable is they must not be tighter than an 8 inch radius. 
    This part of the operation worked out much easier than I had anticipated. With the minimum of fuss,  through it came. At this point the rubber tube protecting the actual cable was pulled off and discarded and the cable fed into the bottom of mechanism until it could move no further. 

The helm (steering wheel) was now turned and engaged the cable; turning continued and drew the cable right through the mechanism until it appeared through the top aperture of the mechanism. The 12" tube, supplied as a guard, was placed over the cable and the wheel turned until the cable was fully through and engaged with a 'click!'

All that was left to do was insert the two security clips (and instruction label).

Trying to insert these two pins was turning into a nightmare: I was trying to fit them with my fingertips in a small area. I had to rely on feel as I couldn't see past my hands. I had a lunch break and remembered my wife had some tiny long nosed pliers in an earring-fixing kit. They did the trick in a couple of seconds.

It now only remained to re-attach the door.

I just hope the cable is long enough, but I don't think it will be. 

When the engine arrives we will be able to determine if I need a longer cable.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Steering Gear - Cable Installation Part 1

I have watched a number of cable installation videos and they all seemed straight forward. That was never going to be the case with me! In theory, the cable goes from the helm to the rudder, or outboard motor in my case. If you have bulkheads in the way, you simply drill a hole in them and feed the cable through the hole.

'Seagull' presents a few helpful features, for example: the brackets that connect the hull and gunwales can be drilled allowing the cable to pass through them. This keeps them securely held out of harm and view. 

I decided to feed the cable from the stern despite many advocating that it's best to it from the console back to the stern. My reason is that there is a big coupling at the rudder end that would present a problem when I tried to move it along the routing.

I spent hours drilling and chopping out an aft access-hole, this had to be done by burying myself in the aft locker to work on the spot in question - very cramped and difficult.

After a few tries of the cable, and cutting out more and more, the cable finally began its journey.

Routing the cable through the brackets wasn't a problem.

Tomorrow I will cut cable access holes in the console to join the cable to the steering gear.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Steering Gear - Installation

The steering gear arrived and my American friends will be pleased to know it's 100% US built.

The first move was to assess where exactly to fit the helm. It didn't take me long to realise that my smart-arse idea of the backboard for the electrics was going to impede the helm gear. To overcome this I had to drill and cut out a trapezium shape from the backboard.

Using the pattern supplied I marked, drilled and cut out the face-panel to accommodate the retaining bracket.

Into the bracket I had to install the helm 'machinery'

The casting is fairly heavy normally, but when I tried to install inside the console with nuts and bolts from the outside it was nearly impossible.... but not quite, as my bruised wrists testify.

With two people it would be easy, but there was only me! I was pleased to see it in place.

It only remained to fit the actual wheel to complete this part of the installation.

Tomorrow I will install the cable to connect the helm to the outboard motor, which I still haven't purchased.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Work on the Back of the Control Console

You may recall that I built a shelf into the back of the console as a base board for the electrics to be fitted to.

Rather than leave the electrics open to the world I have boxed them in and added an access hatch.

These hatches a really good value for money, costing just over £20 each.

I just couldn't resist dropping the control panels into place for a sneak preview of how the Console will look when finished.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Steering Gear

Time to order the Steering Gear. First I need to work out what I need.

New Installations:
Measure cable routing path from wheel centre line to engine connection, as follows: A = Centre-line of wheel to gunwale (or deck, if routed downward), B = Dash to transom, C = Gunwale to centre-line of cable connection at centred tiller. For Cables Mounted to Transom: Add A, B & C, then subtract 6” and round up to the next foot. Order that length cable.

Seagull's A + B + C = 1' 6"  +  9' 7"  +  2' 1"  = 13' 2"
Then 13'2 - 6"= 12' 8" round up to next foot = 13'

I've ordered a 13 foot kit

This will allow me to complete work on the Console and prepare to receive the Outboard Motor

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Work on Console Locker

You can never have too much locker space and that's why I've decided to put a locker in the bottom of the Console.

As the hull is curved where the bulkhead at the front of the locker will meet it, I decided to make a cardboard template of the that curve.

The template fitted nicely and I transferred it onto 1/2" marine plywood. The bulkhead was cut to shape by the jig-saw, but, as often happens, I still needed  to spile to get the bulkhead to fit.

The next move was to cut a hole for an access hatchway before gluing the edges with epoxy resin filters along the left and right edges.

  The hatch was offered up and found to fit satisfactorily.

The hatch will be secured in situ after the glue has cured and the bulkhead painted.

Today the shackles I'd ordered for the fenders arrived: you will see on the last posting that the spring on the fender hooks wouldn't snap shut as the rope the fenders was too thick for them.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Rope Fenders - Part 2 : Manufacture

I cut out three lengths of 12mm  dia (1/2") Manila rope: two @ 15 feet long and one at 8. The distance from the midships cleat to the transom was ideal for measuring these lengths. All ends were bound in duct tape to stop the rope unwinding.

I began by looping a 15' rope onto the post of my jig at the rope's midpoint, and inserting the fid through both strands. 

The second 15' rope was fed through the first rope with the aid of the fid and centring it.

The shorter length was then incorporated between the other four strands.

The ropes were taped together to stop them from moving around during the procedure that was to follow.

 The ropes were suspended from a hook and chain in order to allow better access in the procedures.

The crown knots at the base were tied tightly and tensioned equally .

Rows of crowns were tied and tensioned evenly to form the wall of the fender.

When the crowning reached the top, the loose ends were threaded back into the wall using the fid.

The final loose ends were removed with the new razor sharp scissors.

The finished fender was hung from the boat's port forward fender hook. Here there is a slight problem insofar as the rope is a little thick and prevents the retaining spring, on the hook, springing back to lock the fender in position. The solution I think is to use shackles to secure the fender to the hook.

Overall it was an enjoyable learning experience apart from the cold draughts (drafts) from the North Wind straight off the ocean. I will try to make the next ones in my warm studio if I can get the chain and hook located securely.

I would score my fender 5/10: it's a little too loose and not fully symmetric; I think I pulled harder on some ropes than I did on others