September 12 - Moved the Lonestar home for the winter.
September 26 it was time to move the engine and house batteries forward
to improve the balance of the boat and because there was no neat place
for them in the transom while there was an unused compartment
immediately behind the anchor locker. A tray was fabricated that
matched the hull profile and provided a flat surface for the batteries.
A cable was made up of two #1 stranded conductors (for the
battery) and a #2 conductor for the house battery. Also included was a
2 conductor #18 to run a 12 volt fan to exhaust the battery compartment
into the anchor locker whenever the engine is running. The cable was
pulled through conduit prior to terminating the battery ends and the
free end was spiral taped to facilitate feeding it through bulkheads
from forward to aft. The conduit was run behind the seat back and under
the shelf that supports the seat back to keep it out of the way and
protected from damage. The helm is being replaced and the aft end of
the cables will terminate in a battery switch in the new helm.
The next task was to do something about the helm, a confusing rat's
nest of wires with Marette connectors, black tape, duct tape, in-line
fuse holders in series with other fuses and unfused circuits -
generally scary and unserviceable . The first task was to carefully
dismantle the old helm, marking all the wires for identification and
removing the instruments, then remove the helm itself.
October 2 & 3 - I finished tagging all the wires and pulled out the old helm.
I started going through the ship's wiring and pulling out
everything that was "left-over" from previous owners or no longer
required. This boat was simply SCARY! I found more battery feeds
(unfused) running from the transom to the helm - not one but THREE.
Every time someone added a circuit, they ran another set of (unfused)
power wires! I even found one set fed from the helm back
to the transom that was cut off and unterminated and tucked into the
stern, just waiting for the hot wire to make contact with the hull and
burn a hole through it or set the boat on fire! I found more Marette
connections and even a +12 wire 'insulated' with duct tape! When I got
done stripping unnecessary wiring, the cable bundle was 1/3 the size it
had been LOL!
new helm was made but I tried red paint, like the port side of the bulkhead
but didn't like the finish - too rough - so I stripped and repainted
flat black. If I don't like that, it will be black leatherette like the
With all the electrical parts in, it was time to start assembling the new helm ..... I like! Wiring the new helm required about three days.
the hew helm in place, it was time to fit the rotary steering system
and route the steering cable - that took a bit of re-work since the
steering cable is NOT very flexible! After the steering, sorting out
the ship's wiring (which meant rewiring the electrical parts of the
transom) took a full day and liberated nearly a half a bushel of
unneeded wires! The remaining wires from the transom were bundled and
routed under the gunnel (rather than loose in the side tray) and two
days were required to terminate the ship's wiring on the new helm and
some redesign to accommodate the battery cables.
the front of the ship in order, it was time to clean up the stern, to
do something about the 200 pound dog house that covered the engine and
the rear deck that had obviously been leaking for years. A new rear
deck was made in 2x6 and 2x8 in the form of a turtle deck and sheeted
with plywood before being installed on the boat.
new turtle deck is higher than the original and sloped to the stern so
water is shed over the stern rail and into the gunnel gutters on each
side rather than leaking in around the edges. The increased height also
means the dog house dosen't have to extend into the turtle deck.
The panels closing in each side were also provided with a hatch (which
the original didn't have) to provide some rough storage space. The
fuel system was rearranged, moving the filters and lines from the bilge
(where one of the unsupported lines was nearly completely cut through
from vibrating against a rib!) to the starboard transom.
Yes, that is SNOW on the turtle deck. We had our first snowfall of the year on the night of October 29/30.
A new dog house was made and installed
to replace the 200 pound dog house! The top opens (no tools) for engine
and bilge check or by removing 2 screws, the entire dog house hinges
forward for engine maintenance. The top was made flat as a table and
cooking surface and will later be covered with a suitable material.
Soundproofing/insulation is yet to be added to the inside of the dog
fridge will be tested and if it works properly, it will be installed at
the forward end of the cabin extending into the (never used) anchor
locker, which will also help transfer more weight to the bow and
improve the ride and handling. If the fridge doesn't work, the same
space will be used for a cooler (since I can not afford a new