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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Finishing wheelhouse wiring and overhead panels

Worked this last weekend on wiring up the wiper motors and defroster fan in the wheelhouse. I also cleaned up the overhead wiring enough that I felt like I could close up the space with finished panels and not worry about it for a while. I went with flat black laminate over 1/2" plywood for the access panels to keep them light and to minimize the glare. There are three of these access panels, and each has a defroster vent centered over the window below. The fan coil unit in the overhead that feeds the vents is plumbed into the diesel furnace hydronic circuit. This will provide heat for de-fogging the windows either from the furnace, or from the engine cooling circuit (via a heat exchanger) when the engine is running. There are three settings on the blower, the highest of which draws 10 amps and puts out a lot of air. I'm feeling pretty good about where we are at with the wheelhouse console/helm/electronics package. That part of the boat is ready to go cruising...

We have begun collecting supplies and materials for the big winter job, which will be laying down the floors. I am going to start in the wheelhouse and work my way down the stairs to the galley, etc. The challenge with the floors will be the complicated shapes in the winding stairwell, and the 22 hatches (and a soft-patch in the wheelhouse deck) that all need to be framed out individually before the flooring goes down. I have this all pretty well thought out at this point. We'll see if it goes together as easily in the real world as it does in my head.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Looking for a quick weekend project, I pulled out the windshield wiper motors and hardware that's been taking up space on-board for about three years. The weather was nice and it seemed like a good time to put some holes in the boat. My biggest concern was getting a day with very light winds so I could contain all the steel shaving from the drill. Any metal bits that don't get swept or vacuumed up immediately will end up as a little rust stains on the deck, sometimes within 24 hours. To this end, I rigged up a little paper box that I hung under the drill. Hopefully I got it all... We are using pantograph type wiper arms. These use a dual linkage to keep the wiper blade vertical as it sweeps across the glass, providing much better coverage than a standard fan pattern wiper. Each wiper required a 3/4" hole for the motor and a smaller hole to secure the wiper arm baseplate. Their are four angles of sweep that you can set internally on the motor as well as a park function that can be set to put the blade to the left or right when off. Did my best to layout the height above the frame, motor sweep angle, and arm adjustment before drilling the holes. Fortunately (after some complications setting up the first motor) we found everything to be lined up pretty well, with good coverage and no wiper blade contact with the window frames. Kama Hele has a relatively high bow but doesn't really have much flare up forward, so I anticipate we might see a fair mount of salt spray on the wheelhouse windows. I'm eventually going to rig up some plumbing for rinsing the three front windows, with an on off valve at the helm. I had already fabricated a custom panel a while back that has wiper switches, and a defroster fan control. I'll be working on getting this wired up in the next week or so. That will just about do it for the wiring above the helm. I'll then be closing up the overhead with some removable panels trimmed out in matching black laminate to keep the reflections and glare down.