After a break for the holidays, this is my first post of 2013. Christmas, New Year’s Eve – just too busy to even think about the boat. And too cold and rainy to boot.
We had nice, but cold weather today, so I went to the boat yard to take care of a few little items. First, I finally put on my off-season hatches. I remove the nicely finished hatches for the winter months, and replace them with a couple of older pieces that still serve, but aren’t very attractive. First, the winter hatch board is actually the original piece I received with the boat. It’s one piece-construction makes it awkward to stow due to its size. On top of that, whoever put it together failed to apply a finish to the inside of the board, and it warped, then cracked. I repaired it several times, only to have split again from exposure. Several years ago I built new swash boards out of three separate pieces, and consigned the old one to off-season service.
Second, the old original plastic hatch – not even sure who made it – was cracked and deteriorating, and I built a new hatch from teak. You will notice that it’s not attached at the hinges. It is secured from the inside with a shock cord, and is tightly held in place.
I also took the opportunity to top up the batteries, which were fully charged when the boat was hauled out. They still had a full charge, as within ten minutes, the charger switched over to “float charge.” Looking at the battery installation made me realize this was another area I had neglected. They just aren’t installed very securely. I need to build a box in place that will positively contain the batteries in any situation. As you can see, they are just sitting on the battery shelf. When the battery box tops are on them, there is a shock cord that stretches across the top to hold them there.
There are also too many wires connected directly to the batteries. Only the bilge pump float switch should be directly connected. I think the (nearly useless) fuel gauge is connected directly, and some old radio wiring that no longer attaches to anything is still connected. I clean the terminals and wire ends every year prior to launch, so I never have problems with connections or starting the engine, or any other wiring/electricity issues. But still, this is just very poorly done. Another project. . .
And Happy New Year to all – glad to have you back, and hope your year has started well!