We have been working fast and furious to get new projects finished for a possible trip north to the Chesapeake. One of the projects was to get the chartplotter installed at the flybridge, which we have had for months, and to reinstall the compass as well as replace the non-functioning amp gauge with a voltage meter. There are those that prefer an amp meter but we much prefer to know at a glance what the alternator is doing by the voltage it is putting out. The replacement was pretty straight forward with only a bit of rewiring. The compass had been mounted over on the centerline of the bridge so viewing it from the helm was a bit awkward. In addition I had built a box to mount the plotter rather than spend $300.00 for a navpod. The box was built from teak plywood, epoxied over and painted with Awlgrip. Since all of this needed to be mounted we decided to paint the helm area with Awlgrip before mounting the equipment rather than mounting it and removing it again later for painting. Both the compass and the plotter will be very helpful and important on the trip north. We choose the Standard Horizon CP300 plotter because we had used it extensively on our previous boat and were very pleased with the performance. We are not big fans of integrated systems so the stand alone plotter fit very nicely into our budget. IMO is the best bang for the buck, was very dependable for us in the past and is very user friendly with a simple menu set up. In addition it uses the C-Map navigation chip and again we do prefer that to other formats.
We used Awlgrip Cloud White with a base of three coats of 545 primer followed by three coats of paint. As is our usual practice, the primer and paint were rolled on using foam rollers with no tipping needed. A thorough sanding with 220 grit was done between each coat. The Awlgrip calls for sanding with 300 grit but in the past we have had issues with the paint sticking. With the 220 we have had no issues. After painting, the teak was sanded to bare wood and coated with Sikkens, as we have done with the handrail, caprail, window frames and hatches. The results look fantastic! There are still sections left to be done but we won't have to remove anything that we just installed to do those areas. Once the painting and varnishing were finished, the hardware was reinstalled and everything was properly bedded to keep the water out from under the bridge. We are currently working on installing speakers in the flybridge to run from the stereo and CD changer in the main salon but those are not yet finished.
One other small but important project we completed was to mark the anchor rode so we know easily how much rode is out at any given time. Our system is very simple and consists of strips of nylon webbing sewn through the line. One strip is at 50 feet, our minimum, then two strips at 75 feet, three strips at 100 feet, four strips at 125 feet and so on. This gives us both a visual reference and can be determined at night by feel without being rough on the hands. It runs through the capstan on the windlass with no problem. We also have about another half dozen projects under way and will post them as we complete each so stay tuned.