7.15.2009

Westsail 32 - Tampa Bay Stainless Steel Fabrication - Stern Arch - Boom Gallows - Project Complete

Stainless Steel Fabrication - Stern Arch – Boom Gallows – Project Complete

We have made previous posts as this project progressed and now we are happy to report that the project is complete.

Overview:
The new stern arch is a base support for radar, GPS receiver, VHF antennae, loud hailer, forward and aft looking flood lights, ships bell, boom gallows, stern navigation light, cockpit light, VHF RAM microphone, 330 total watts of solar power in three panels, sheet cleats, spinnaker blocks, bimini frame, United Stes Flag and outboard cockpit seating. The new 1” stainless steel tubing life lines also terminate at the forward leg of the arch.

Basic Construction:
The two base legs of the arch are 2 ½ inch double wall stainless steel pipe. The cross pieces are 2”. The arch legs have a rectangular base with a 1 ½ diameter pipe extending 2” through the cap rail. The arch is bolted through the wood and fiberglass cap rail with 2, ¼ X 20, 316 stainless steel bolts on each of the four legs. All opening in the caprail were seled with 3M 5200 upon installation. All wiring is internal and enters the hull through the four legs.

Radar:
The radar is a Garmin 18” High Definition Radome that displays on the Garmin 5212 touch screen chart plotter. We had initial issues with the radome at first. We installed it and it would not work. The Garmin 5212 did not find radar. (radome new out of box ) No sound was heard from radome. I contacted the marine electronics supplier that I purchased the equipment from and he removed cover and saw that array was not turning. Array base was not connected to wave guide. The motor was turning but not contacting the array. Connecting screws were not there. It was obvious that the equipment was never tested by Garmin. The marine electronics dealer supplied screws and connected array base to wave guide as it should have been upon shipment from Garmin. We contacted Garmin and they so far have refused to pay for the labor and parts to repair the new equipment. We could have shipped the radar back to Garmin at our expense and waited several weeks for a new one. We like the Garmin products but we have issues with their repair and return policy. It is now working and we really like the display. I hope that Garmin sees the light and pays the repair bill.

GPS Receiver:
The GPS receiver is mounted aft and above the radar giving it an unobstructed view of the sky.

VHF Antenna and Loud Hailer:
The VHF antenna supports the back up VHF radio that is attached to the loud hailer which has automated fog horn signals.

Spot Lights:
The forward and aft looking spot lights are safety equipment and controlled from switches on the arch in the overhead dash board.
Ships Bell:
A gift from a very dear friend and it just looks damn cool!!!!!!!

Boom Gallows:
The Admiral and I had long debates over using star board or teak. We filled in previous bolt holes, trimmed it to fit, gave it a new finish and used the original teak boom gallows.

Stern Navigation Light
We replaced the old light with a sexy new LED Stern Navigation light.

Cockpit Lighting:
We installed an exterior Alpenglo dual power night vision light. This modification has already been very useful. http://www.alpenglowlights.com/html/overhead_lights.html

VHF RAM Microphone:
This installation in the overhead dashboard of the arch allows us to communicate from the cockpit and control the loud hailer.

Solar Panels:

We have a Kyocera 135 watt solar panels attached to each side of the arch on articulating arms. The articulating arms allow us to follow the sun with the face of the panel or stow them against the rails for weather or when sailing conditions dictate. We have one 65 watt solar panel mounted above and aft of the arch with the ability to lower the aft edge when it will improve performance. All 330 watts are controlled by one 60 amp xantrex three stage pulse modulated controller and attached to the grid with a 50 amp breaker for protection. This system provides all of the energy that we require at anchor with generous reserve. We may install a diverter in the future to power a heating element for hot water if the system proves to have enough reserve. We estimate that the solar system will payback in about 18 months through fuel savings by not running the engine to charge the 440 amp hour battery bank.

Outboard Cockpit Seating:
This modification may be the single best overall comfort benefit from the design of the new stern arch. The seats are aft of the arch and forward of the split back stays. They are sturdy, roomy and attractive. The forward edge is welded to the arch and the aft end is attached with trough bolts with backing to the cap rail. We used ¾ inch white Star Board for the seat base and will have cushions constructed. When you are seated underway you have an improved forward view as you are seated outboard of the hull giving you a line of sight down the outboard rail. We absolutely love this modification!!!!!

1” Stainless Steel Tubing Life Lines
We are now completely surrounded by stainless steel tubing from bow to stern except for the gates. We moved the gates to mid ship. They are now positioned on the stanchion forward of the shrouds to the stanchion aft of the shrouds. We feel very secure when we are sailing and one of us needs to go forward while underway. We were quite surprised to learn that this was a relatively inexpensive modification. We held the cost down by doing our own grinding of the saddles on the stanchions to accept the tubing and we also cut the stainless loops off the stanchions where the old lifelines were attached. We also did other labor intensive chores so all we had to pay for was the tubing, welding and polishing. This modification was decided on solely for the increased safety at sea.

Old Glory
Last but certainly no least. We have a new place to fly the American Flog, High and Proud!

The welding and fabrication was completed by Suncoast Specialties of Largo, Florida.
We contracted with Suncoast Specialties, 9161 131st Pl Ste F, Largo, FL 33773,727-584-3252 for this project. Bill (owner) worked closely with us from concept to final welding. The design was a joint effort between Suncoast, Admiral Nelson and myself. Bill took the original measurements and created the base design. We then worked off of some rather crude scale drawings that I did to assist with placement of the items to be hung on the arch. Bill tacked the base design together and delivered it for a test fit on the hull. We made a few modifications and we brought it back again for another test fit. The second test fit proved to be a very good idea. It was still tacked together so we were able to move the angle of the feet on the base so that they fit perfectly on installation. Be sure to tell Bill where you heard about his work if you contact him.

This project has taken much longer than we had planned but we are very happy with the end result. The safety, comfort and functionality of Mary Rose has been greatly improved and well worth the resources required for completion.


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