This is always the exciting part for me. How does it look, fit, work with the rest of the interior? Did I calculate right? Did I blend the stain correctly to match the other woodwork. Will it solve problems or create them? Does it do what I hoped it would? The only way to know is to install and use it. But sometimes the installation can be a challenge.
I visited my local hardware store for fasteners of sufficient size. Then offering up the cabinet to the designated space, I marked, drilled, straightened – all those things we need to do for installation. I was a little concerned that the cabinet squared up to the space correctly, and looked visually straight and level. Then after installing the fasteners, I was satisfied with the all of that. In fact, I was elated. Until I took a closer look, and discovered that somehow, the doors had managed to get uneven in the way they meet together.
Where did I go wrong? Well, as I thought about it, I realized that the right-hand side of the cabinet (port side of the boat, actually) is hindered from lying flat and true to the bulkhead by the curvature of the overhead. I had trimmed that corner of the locker, but not nearly enough. As I backed out a few mounting screws from the port side, I discovered that I could put the locker back into square by pulling out the bottom corner on the port side. What I needed then, was a shim behind that corner. I rummaged through my scrap box for a couple of appropriately dimensioned scraps, and made the adjustment with them. After that, longer fasteners were required (I moved that corner away from the bulkhead more than half an inch) so after another trip to the hardware store, I secured the locker permanently to the bulkhead, and now it looks like this:
So the next step is to install the radios. Straightforward with the VHF. I ran the wires and antenna cable into the cabinet. No problems. The AM/FM/CD player was another story. Nothing difficult about the mechanical or electrical connections – I just didn’t understand how to connect it all. It’s been 20 years since I installed a radio like this, and I didn’t realize that the memory wire must be wired. Not wanting to have a constant draw of millivolts to the radio, I didn’t connect it directly to the battery. In fact, I didn’t connect it to anything. I didn’t realize that the radio wouldn’t power up without having it connected. I thought it was faulty. My slip neighbor plugged it into his wire harness (he has a similar radio) and of course it fired right up. As we talked about it, he mentioned that he wires the direct battery wire (memory wire) with the regular power wire. Ah, now I get it. So I’ll try again tomorrow. Anyway, final photos of the locker installed follow: