>Progress on holding tanks and a radar arch for Pandora.

>It’s been a very long winter and the last of the (record?) snows are now melted.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that it’s 25 degrees out and it’s 11:00.  Not what you’d expect for late March.  Alas, I digress.  The really good news is that I continue to make progress, if slow, on the projects for Pandora.  The fridge upgrade is done with a newly installed compressor and cold plate so that we will have a true freezer instead of the wimpy little box that couldn’t even hold ice cream. Can you imagine a proper vessel that doesn’t have the ability to keep ice cream? Hmm…  On the true other end of the spectrum, literally, I am also making progress on the holding tanks.   While the going is slow, with work being very busy (another good thing) there’s just not a lot of time for projects like this beyond the weekends.

One evening after work this week I did take some time to enjoy a few hours in the shop constructing the framework for an ottoman for the main salon of Pandora.  My friend Marc who lives aboard his SAGA 43, and has for many years, showed me this idea on his boat and I had to have one.  The ottoman is constructed out of 5/8 marine grade cherry plywood and is designed to have a full hight cushion that will match the new cushions being made for the main salon.  The box is lightweight but sturdy and has internal supports made out of 3/4″ oak.  The entire box is fastened with #6 pan head self tapping SS screws.

This shot shows the box in it’s rough form.  The next step will be two coats of varnish on the interior and then I will drop it off at the canvas shop to be covered with a nice contrasting cover of Ultrasuede.  The top is designed to be removable so that we can use the interior for storage.  The interior is 18″x18″x12.5″ so that’s a decent amount of space.

Before I drop it at the canvas shop, I will put a few coats of varnish on the interior.  I wouldn’t want to have those chips and cookies stored in a compartment that isn’t varnished, would I?  Only the best for Pandora’s Pringles.

As the plywood is relatively thin, I needed a structure to screw the fastenings into, so these stringers, rounded of course, will serve nicely.

The cover will have the cushion affixed to it and the interior lip will fit nicely into the base of the box.   When we are under way the ottoman will nestle between the dining table and the port settee.

While I try to do most projects myself, the new radar arch isn’t something that I can tackle on my own.  Sorry about that.  However, I could make a great looking arch out of wood.  Perhaps not.  Anyway, my arch is being made up in Canada by a terrific fabricator Klacko Marine and will be shipped down in the next two weeks.  The owner of Klako, Doug, did all of the stainless fabrication for Pandora when she was built.  Doug’s work is really first rate.  While the arch isn’t yet done, Doug sent these photos as an update on his progress. Notice that there are horizontal bars on the side of the arch that we can climb up on to escape rising waters, no make that to service the radar or other instruments.  Perhaps some will even choose to jump from the arch for a swim.

This photo isn’t of my arch, but it shows how the radar will fit on top of it once I move it from it’s current spot on the backstay.  The nice part of this is that I won’t have to purchase another mount and will just be able to  slide the Questus unit on top of the bar that will be welded directly onto the arch.

My holding tanks are progressing slowly but surely and are now ready for two coats of gelcoat to ensure that it’s not only water tight but vapor tight as well.  Black water tanks (aka: sewage) must be really well made as they tend to become stinky over time.  Now that all of the interior work is completed I will secure the lids with epoxy paste, lots of screws and several layers of fiberglass mat.  I will also cut an access port into the lid so that I can clean the tank as needed.  These tanks will be first rate, I hope.  I should note that I wouldn’t have been able to make this project happen without the help of the folks at LBI.  While their main business is doing industrial fiberglass and other fabrications for the Navy and others, the owner is an old friend of mine as he sold me and Brenda our first boat, a Legnos Mystic 20 Cape Cod Catboat.   We had a great time aboard “TAO” and cruising on that boat took us from Western Long Island Sound as far away as Nantucket.  This article from the Chesapeake Catboat Association shows photos of her sister ship Gull who was owned by our great friend Bill Hoover.  He did love that boat. Yikes, another digression, and a major one at that.  Back to LBI.  Along with the fabrication business, they have a terrific line of fiberglass and resin supplies. You can view this source to get an idea of these resin supplies.  Deb, in their customer service area, was a great help to me in making this project possible.

There are several fittings that will provide an inlet and outlet for the “stuff” to get into and out of the tank.  These fittings are fiberglass reinforced plastic and are bedded in several layers of fiberglass mat.  These guys aren’t going anywhere.

It’s good that I like this sort of work as these projects are time consuming.  However, as much as I like working on Pandora, I much prefer sailing and that’s likely to happen soon with warm weather just around the corner.

That’s all for now.

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