Saturday, June 7, 2014

Like a Tick On A June Bug

Figure 52
Garmin 740 mounted above the pedestal over the binnacle
For this month, the major task is to add some needed electronics to the Constance Marie.  By all standards, installing a Garmin and using a hand-held radio for communications is no where near as elaborate as many of the boat systems in our yard.  The Constance Marie is a not a blue-water boat and I doubt She has ever been offshore far enough to lose site of land.  Her home is in the northern waters of the Chesapeake.  Heck, don't even need bottom paint because the water is all fresh until you basically hit the Rock Hall area.  Remember, we have those five great rivers joining together south of the peninsula.

Figure 53
Tie-wrapping of harness and transducer cable
Well, I thought long and hard about how I was going to install the Garmin and the transducer.  I bought it at a great price at the Annapolis Sailboat Show.  Plan A was to place the transducer as far forward as I could go.  I have 20 feet of cable to play with and did not want to get an extension cord for it.  I tried to get an electric sander underneath the head's sink to the left in the corner where the bulkhead meets.  The hull seemed pretty flat there to get the 22 degree or less angle I needed for the transducer to work correctly.  Just could not make it work so we went to Plan B.  Plan B positioned the transducer on the port side storage as far forward as I could get it.  I ran the transducer cable back along the port side storage inside the galley, through the storage cabinet where I have the Battery Switch, into the battery box and through the bulkhead into the engine compartment elevating it be tie-wrapped to the conduit of wires leading to the Instrumentation Panel in the cockpit.

One of most stupid things I did last year was to not run the transducer cable up through the pedestal and binnacle while I had the behind the engine compartment opened up and was working on the muffler and rear drain hoses.

LESSON LEARNED:  Think ahead and try to anticipate the needs of future projects so that you can plan better their approach rather than going to extremes with creative ideas.

Hardware inside the pedestal is tight because the steering is done via a vertical chain leading to a cable system to steer the quadrants leading to the rudder. What I decided to do was to cut a 1 1/2 inch hole through the cockpit floor and run thick walled PVC pipe up to the binnacle.  Hey it's my old boat, not yours!  I did in in such a fashion where I could permently seal the pipe through the floor but disassemble it in two places above the floor of the cockpit for when I needed to gain access.  I then cut some plexiglass and tie-wrapped it to the stainless steel support holding the cockpit table wedging it nice and secure.  I then hooked up the Garmin  to the plexiglass and connected the cable emanating from the verticle PVC pipe.  When not in use, just push the cable into the pipe and cover it. Went back to the transducer, added the polypropelene to the transducer overflowing the angle flange and gently lowered the transducer into its pre-set positioned.  We now have replaced the knotmeet (which I left in the throughhull) and depth gage.