I began manufacturing a hard dodger a couple days ago. The canvas ones are pretty and all but when you really need a dodger they just won’t stand up. One of those guys pictured above landing on deck and …. well…ya get a wee wet 😛
Progress is slow as I am redesigning it on the hour with each new piece cut out and welded in. I really wish I knew how I manage to measure things incorrectly so often when I am living by the rule of measure twice and cut once. Well it just aint so. I measure 3 or 4 times and yet I am often cutting twice 😦 Thank God welding can help make up for my incompetence. Speaking of welding…. I am slowly improving. I think one major mistake was I wasn’t providing enough power as I was fearful of burning through the steel. I finally turned it up for the gauge and I am now getting much better results albeit my aim still needs improvement.
Manufacturing with steel has some distinct advantages over a fibreglass boat as I can easily (well relative for me) weld the dodger directly to the cabin top. With fibreglass I would be drilling holes and bolting it down with back plates, so I think this is somewhat easier and probably stronger. Now that I have the framing structure in place it is very strong and stable.
I initially considered using plate steel as the roof but I have changed my mind and will now use 3/4 inch plywood as it is much stronger, stiffer actually, and will allow me to stand on top should I need to. I can also insert sweet little windows in the roof flush with the surface by routing a recessed edge.
Yesterday I went into the big smoke to pick up my electronics. It felt a bit like Christmas until I had to pay for them. The it felt a bit like bankruptcy 😛 I will begin installing the hydraulic auto helm in a day or two by manufacturing a base in the lazerette. I can’t start to install the electronics until I get out of the indoor storage as I will have to cut some holes in the steel and the management at the harbour won’t like that too much. Hopefully I will get outside this week. Maybe it will warm up and dry out a bit too. Wouldn’t that be nice 🙂
I am quickly running out of time. I have to return to work the end of May. Bills to pay you know. I figure I have another 2 good weeks to dedicate to the refit. I do have to complete a recertification in Controlled Substances for work and that will be a pain in the butt that no narcotic can alleviate. Aa well the last few days in May I will have to knuckle down and review for the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) course I have to do.
Next week…… Autohelm installation 🙂