Day 305 Desk aft,Wiring thru aft
My desk was a bit of a challenge what with the curving in of the hull over the 8 feet. The cabinet faces could have been even with the hull, but that's not what I wanted. ( Not to mention the problems with the drawer slides needing to be wedge shaped! )
The desk top aft, dubbed Genas' desk, should be easier as there is less of a hull curve inward. It wasn't. Because the desk is 2 feet shorter, getting the required curve was much harder. I thought the half round on the face might snap.

I took some time to slowly bend it in. Steaming wood to get a curve is always an option, but in the winter, and with no garage, it wasn't going to happen here!

The top photo attests to my success in the endeavor. I have filled the crack openings with "Gorilla glue". This stuff is pretty cool! You apply it sparingly as once it begins to cure, after about an hour, it grows in size like a slow dense foam. Once hardened, it can be sanded and takes to stain very well but doesn't seem to discolor like fill does. The strength of this stuff is amazing as it doesn't get brittle like ordinary wood glue. The guy at Windsor Plywood told us to be careful how much is used in a confined join as it is capable of actually splitting wood as it expands!

The photo above right shows Genas' cutouts for under her desk. She will cut out face patterns from some 1/8" oak ply and glue it on. ( One of them on in top page photo )

Gena ran some of the wiring aft today and encased it in lomex. ( That black plastic vacuum cleaned hose stuff! ) A small sub panel will be mounted around her desk somewhere and that will be the distribution point for all lights, fans cigarette lighter plugs, the toilet and accessories in the aft stateroom.

Inset in the photo to right is a box where several connections branch out.

Connecting wires in a marine environment cannot be taken lightly. It can be a weak point in the electrical system, and has long been debated it seems.

As we work in the field of electronics, and mobile radio installations, we have seen what salt corrosion can do. Anything exposed to the elements either directly (by contact with water) or indirectly (by salty air) corrodes amazingly fast.

We can always tell if a customer has been hauling salt, sulpher, calcium, or livestock, just by the color and extent of damage over a given time that there is. Even plugs near the area where the brake and throttle pedal are can be extremely corroded as a result of salty wet boots being in the area over time. ( They use a lot of salt and calcium up here in the great white north! )

To make matters worse, the moisture will actually wick upward into antenna cable, then become trapped thus creating a continuous chemical reaction with the copper. Our way of fighting this is to use nickel or silver  plated coax cable. Unfortunately, regular wire plated like that is unheard of.

The debate as to what kind of a connection continues. Some say a straight crimp connection, with no solder,  is always best as there will be galvanic corrosion between solder and copper wire, which is true. The problem is, the crimp connectors are also a different metal! If moisture or moist salt air gets inside the wire casing, which it always does, the strands will begin to loose connection one by one at the crimp point thus reducing the amp load capability which will cause increased resistance in the remaining, and overloaded, strands.

]Our solution, the best in our experience, is to solder the wires together, or crimp soldered wires, and use 2 coats of liquid rubber over them. ( Tape is no good as it seems to leak unless used in conjunction with silicone.)
To us, this is a good solution for joining 2 wires but not 3 or more. The paired wires coming out of the joint can't be completely covered, or will break apart eventually due to movement.

An exterior  plastic junction box ( like the one in the above photo ) seems like a great solution. Inside it will be a gold plated terminal block, like the ones used in high end car stereo systems, completely sealed away from the elements. These are fairly expensive because they have gold ( I guess! ) so buying in quantity would be better. The wire ends will be soldered, pushed in and screwed down. For added protection, everything inside the box could be covered with silicon grease, but we'll leave it at that!

In any case, wiring in a marine environment can't be slipshod, and everything must be done to ensure minimal exposure to the elements.

Connections at switches are a weak point, but switches can be replaced easy enough.

The photo to the left shows some of my cupboard doors in place and the first coat of stain applied.. Looks like the latches are going to work just fine. (Yay!)

The "shelf" flips up half way in and will have a piano hinge attached soon.


The change in color of the oak from staining has made things a little less bright. This is ok as the aft stateroom will be used for sleeping mostly, so why not have a cozy atmosphere?
 I had to mention the following.

To the right is a picture of a stalagmite the formed at the mouth of the cockpit drain due to the day time heating and night time refreezing we get this time of year. The pipe coming down form the cockpit is very thick wall so expansion from the ice won't split it. It just looks kinda cool!

After we went into the house, I got to thinking about it. Suddenly I realized that it posed a danger! Up in the cockpit there was a lot of ice and snow already frozen solid. Tomorrow once the sun comes up it will begin to melt as it did today. The problem is it will have nowhere to drain as the mouth is plugged. All of the connections inside that will drain into this pipe aren't sealed so water will start pouring into the aft then flow down to the sump, getting into plastic lines etc. I went out into the boat and sure enough it had already happened while we were at work. There was a huge frozen skating rink under the floor in the closet. Damn!

I aimed the heater on to the pipe then Gena went out and chipped and chiseled away at it until it all broke free and came out. Nothing was damaged but just goes to show, mother nature can catch you off guard, any time!


Day 305:
8 hours - Made desktop aft, stained cupboards aft, wired aft

DAY 304

Expressions by Nicole

Days 306+