Thursday, 25 March 2021

Module Three - Install Port & Starboard Navigation Lights

 The switch unit comes ready wired to the three switches on the switch unit (top left) and three fuses (top middle) (fig 1). All I needed to 

(fig 1)

All I had to do is take a negative wire (black) and attach it to the negative busbar and a positive wire (red) and connect it to the positive busbar (fig 2): the top wires in fig 2.

(fig 2)

Next I took the one available wire from the top switch and extended it by connecting it to a long length of wire wire. The long length was routed up the side of the wheel house and across the top of the forward window. I had left spaces in the wheel house to accommodate the wires (fig 3). I also secured a negative wire to the negative bus and ran it with the read to the nav lights.

(fig 3)

The wires passed though holes behind the Nav lights locations and were secured to the negative and positive points on both lights (fig 4).

(fig 4)

both light were screwed to the outside of the wheelhouse, the battery connected and the top swith turned to on ... the light illuminated. (fig 5 and 6).

(fig 5)

(fig 6)

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Module Two - Deliver power to controls

In the previous module we delivered 'domestic' power from the battery, in the aft starboard locker, to the electrics panel inside the console in the wheelhouse.

In this module we will take the power from the two terminals we fitted on the electrics panel (fig 1) to the switch units located in the front of the Console .

(fig 1)

(fig 2)

The switch panel comprises three switches, top left, and three circular fuses, centre top. Bottom right is a switch that allows the voltage in Battery 1 to be read in the square window display above it- when moved right - or the voltage to Battery 2 when moved to the left. Finally, at the bottom left  there is a circular 12V plug outlet.
The back of the panel (fig 3)shows a series of wires that need attaching to the two terminals (fig 1) we fitted 

(fig 3)

Obviously there are too many wires for only two terminals and so we need to extend range of the terminals by adding two busbars (fig 4): positive bar on right and negative on the left. The negative terminal being connected to the left bus, and positive terminal to the right bus

(fig 4)

Now wires from the switch panel can be attached to bus bars. Electricity will flow from the battery, along the cables to the two terminals, then into the bus bars and through the red wires to the switch panel (fig 5) and back to the battery along the black wires.

(fig 5)


Thursday, 4 March 2021

Installing The Electrical Systems (Module 1)

Module One - Deliver power from battery to system controls).

There are two sources of power on the boat, both sources are batteries. One battery is for engine starting and the other supplies the 'domestic' systems. It is the latter we shall be dealing with in this section.

We have positioned the domestic battery in the aft starboard locker: left as you look at the picture (fig 1 and 2)

(Fig 1)

(Fig 2)

However, the battery power is needed in the console to supply power to  the controls of the systems (lights, navigation etc). For this to happen two cables are run from the battery terminal posts along under the starboard gunwale to inside the terminal.

Previously we had cut a door into the back of the console to give access to a plywood panel that would become the electrics board. (fig 3)

(Fig 3)

Onto the electrics board I screwed a two pole terminal block (fig 4 & 5). These were to become a duplication of the batteries terminal.

(Fig 4)
(Fig 5)

First I took the black (negative) cable and cut off a short length of insulation (Fig 6).

(Fig 6)

 The exposed end was inserted into a copper tube terminal lug (Fig 7) , crimped with a hammer and punch and sealed using heat shrink tube.

(Fig 7)
Heat shrink tube is a thin rubbery sleeve (Fig 8) that is placed loosely over the joint (Fig 9) and shrunk by blowing it with a heat gun to form a tight waterproof joint (Fig 10)

Fig (8)

(Fig 9)

This process was repeated on the red (positive) cable and the cables fed onto the electrical panel  and connected to the two pole terminal (Fig 10)

(Fig 10)


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.