Monday, February 6, 2012

Wheelhouse overhead bead-board and lighting

Back to carpentry for a bit. We are getting close to finalizing the design and layout of the wheelhouse helm. I wanted to get the ceiling done before any of the helm stuff gets built and installed since the ceiling work makes such a mess. Another bonus with getting the overhead installed is that it includes permanent lighting so it will be easier to work up there in the evenings. Pretty much the same drill as the lower deck overheads: armacell glued to the steel, nailers installed, wires run, mineral wool panels cut to size and held in place with the finished tongue and groove bead-board. I drilled holes for the lighting fixtures as we went, then wired and installed the fixtures. This was a fun and relatively painless project with good reward at the end. The wheelhouse looks vastly improved and the lighting is great. I used the same close-out IMTRA and Cantalupi fixtures with Marine Beam 10 LED clusters. Having spent quite a few nights on the boat now, I am totally sold on these lights. They have good color temp, run very cool, and use a ridiculously small amount of energy. All the wheelhouse fixtures combined draw about 2 amps. The big unfinished plywood panel in the forward center of the overhead will be a mounting pad for all the overhead electronics like VHF radios, Radar, etc. I'm taking a pretty traditional approach to the layout. No  wall of expensive flat screen monitors for this boat... primary view from the helm will be of the route ahead, with electronic displays on the periphery.
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