Thursday, 13 September 2012


All of the day was spent with Richard making and fitting the timber frame for the cratch doors.  The task was more complex than usual because the steel bulkhead has been twisted with the three separate sessions of welding to this one area. (ie, the original welding; the unauthorised modifications to the foredeck; and the reinstatement of the original deck).
After cutting and machining the oak Richard made a jig to hold the timber so it could be screwed into a rectangle with right angle corners.  It was then tested in the opening before being removed and the overall height and width reduced by 2mm.  The frame was then reassembled and given a good coat of ‘Impreg’ to improve its resistance to water.  The frame was then drilled and countersunk so it could be screwed to the steel door opening.
I suggested we use stainless steel machine screws as it would improve our ability to conduct fine adjustments when installing and plumbing the frame.  Richard readily agreed to the idea which is how it was eventually secured.
Before the frame was fitted into the opening Richard applied a liberal beading of adhesive around the outer faces of the frame.  He also cut a length of timber exactly the same internal height as the door opening which was used as a ‘straight-edge’.  The machine screws were used to adjust the sides and the straight-edge was used to check the vertical sides of the door were perfectly straight.  After he was happy with the final alignment another bead of glue/sealer was applied around the outer edge of the door frame.  We now need to leave it overnight to allow the adhesive to set.

It doesn’t look like much but there was a full day’s work in making and fitting the timber doorframe
Very little of the frame will actually be seen once the doors and architraves have been fitted. 
Tomorrow Richard will start on the doors.  We have decided on stable doors that will be on ‘drop hinges’ (ie, removable).  The upper doors will be glazed and the lower doors will have vertical tongue & groove panels.
Nick spent some time in the engine bay mounting the fuel gauge amplifiers.  They must be higher than the fuel tanks which is why he has fitted them inside the control column.
He made a mounting plate from a piece of ‘Hexi-panel’ which has been machine screwed to the inside of the cockpit rear bulkhead.  The two amplifiers were then screwed onto the plate and wired back to the gauge and instrument panel in the back cabin.  Completing the wiring connections at the cabin end is probably something I can do tomorrow.  Although Darren is back and may want some assistance with the second coat of undercoat on the cabin walls.


Andrew Denny said...

Wonderful reading Tom, as always - very useful. However, a small bit of pedantry on my part:

As I understand it, those aren't the cratch doors, they are the doors to the 'well deck'.

I thought the cratch was the assemblage at the front that covers the well deck. With the triangular board being the 'well deck'.

Although friends who come on my boat usually refer to that section as the cockpit, or sometimes (just to irritate me) the poop deck.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Andrew,
Yes, I think you are correct about my misnaming of the doors. They would be cabin doors rather than cratch. Well deck or foredeck? I describe the rear (semi-trad) area as the cockpit?