S/V Hello World's Travel Log

carl's visit

As their Christmas present to us, Christy's dad Carl flew out this weekend to help us with boat projects. He's an engineer who's been around boats all his life so we planned to wring every minute of his visit that we could to help with projects. We had three projects lined up, specifically.

  • Radar install. We bought radar (Garmin 18HD) a few weeks back and would really like to get it off the couch and up on the mast.

  • Chartplotter. We bought a chartplotter to display said radar on (Garmin 4208) and wanted to mount that on a swing arm mount on the bulkhead next to the companionway so we can use it inside the vessel or outside.

  • Nav desk panel rebuild. We are re-organizing our 12v panel and adding an auxilliary 12v panel. To do this we need to completely rebuild the panel on the nav desk that our electronics are mounted on.


We had a weather window on Friday, the day Carl arrived from Connecticut so we decided to use that window to get the radar installed. We bought a Seaview radar mast mount platform from PYI, the same good folks that distribute the Max Prop in the US. We had a great experience dealing with them on our Max Prop and they didn't disappoint when dealing with them on the Seaview mount.

The box that we got for the mount had the wrong mounting hardware in it which sent us into a tizzy trying to get the mount assembled. We had to go buy new mounting hardware (twice) and it still never fit right. Turns out - we got the right hardware to begin with. We just got the wrong instructions. We called PYI on a Friday afternoon at 4PM. They weren't going to be open this weekend but I spoke with Jason on the phone and he walked me through the problem and determined we should be fine with what we have. But just in case, he was sending another employee home that weekend with a complete set of mounting hardware. If we needed anything, he gave us his cell phone number and told us to call him and they would get us sorted out over the weekend, even if it meant dropping by the boat. I can't express enough how impressed I am with PYI. This is the second time I've dealt with them and the second time I've been blown away by their service.

After several hours of futzing with the mount, buying hole saws to drill into our mast, and running here and there, we finally got to getting. Christy and Carl hauled my ass up the mast and I commenced to disassembling our old Vigil radar.

Me wrestling with the existing radar mount.

Carl trying not to get hit with the flurry of hardware I kept dropping. If you're standing below me while I'm in the bosun's chair and you hear "whoops", your safest course of action is to jump in the water.

Getting rid of the old radar guard.

We got the old radar off and we fashioned a temporary sling for the new radar. I wanted to verify that the new radar actually worked before we hauled it up the mast and riveted in place. So we hauled it up to a safe height using the sling, ran the wires down through a hatch and connected everything up. Then we fired up the chartplotter on the counter and watched the radar come to life.

Carl and I hoist the hillbilly radar mount up the mast for a test run.

Holy crap. It worked!

The radar once again, back on our couch awaiting install.

We got the radar fired up and running. I just about wet my pants, I was so excited. However, the weather conspired to put the kaibosh on the rest of the install. So we resigned ourselves to indoor projects the rest of the weekend.

Radar install: half way done.


We put some thought into how we wanted our chartplotter installed. We did a delivery on a beautiful Caliber 47 called "Bright Ayes" last year. They had a similiar chartplotter and radar setup. However, they had two chartplotters displaying the radar, one at the navdesk and one on the helm. That way you can use the plotter below decks and above while your sailing. This is an ideal setup if you can spare the cake for two chartplotters. We can't.

So we decided to put the chartplotter on a swing arm mount on the interior bulkhead just to the left of the companionway entrance. This way we can swing it out into the companionway while we're sailing. It's big enough to see from the helm. We can then swing it inside and use it while anchored for the anchor drag/radar alarms or for course plotting.

Part of the problem of the placement is that the chartplotter is heavy and deep. We decided to put the swingarm mount on a mounting plate and through bolt that mounting plate to the bulkhead. Part of the intricacy of the mounting plate is that surface isn't a true vertical. It's canted forward so the mounting plate has to accomodate that angle and provide a true vertical surface to mount the swingarm to.

After scribbling on some paper, measuring, scratching of his chin and a skosh of trigonometry, Carl came up with a plan. We would use a scrap piece of lumber to make a temporary mount. This allowed us to drill the holes at the proper angle and mount the swingarm. Then he would go back to Connecticut and his kick-ass woodshop and make us a proper mounting plate complete with a swingarm stop to keep the chartplotter from bashing into the bulkhead behind it.

Sizing and position the chartplotter mount.

Here's the temporary mounting plate for the swingarm, just awaiting the real deal.

Chartplotter install: half way done.

nav desk panel

Our current 12v panel has several circuit breakers that are doubled up. When adding electronics, the previous owners ran out of breakers and added the item to an existing circuit. No big deal, but we (I) wanted a clean 12v panel. We needed to add the chartplotter and another GPS at the helm and I didn't want to overburden existing circuits. So. We bought an auxilliary 12v panel to move some of the circuits to. Finding a place to mount the panel means re-organizing the electronics panel on the nav desk.

It started out looking like this.

It now looks like this. Better, huh?

Carl working on the electronics mounting shelves behind the nav desk panel.

What am I doing while Carl is toiling away? Ummmm...

It took us (Carl) most of the day to build the nav panel and we really did get most of the way done with the panel. We (I) still need to cut out holes for the electronics to mount into. I need to make wiring runs and build a mount up top for the new stereo we also bought and get it back to the boat and installed.

Nav desk panel: half way done.

It was a super productive weekend. Every project on the list got done. Just ya know, half way. At least it was primarily the hard parts that we got out of the way.

Carl, a thousand thank yous for coming out. Those projects would have been an order of magnitude more difficult without your help. Also, Christy would have endured an order of magnitude more cussing. Everybody wins!


McKenzie said...

I would put my money on seeing a unicorn before ever witnessing a "fully completed boat project" :)

Anonymous said...

I have to ask Carl if he does breakfast nooks too. Do you think he'd come out to Denver? No boats here.