How To Keep An Old Man Busy
Just buy him a new boat!
Purchased November 2010
I’m prejudiced as can be, but I think the projects were worth the effort and the $$$$$$. Check out the projects below:
The spill pipe (where the chain goes through the foredeck) is cut, and the holes are drilled for the bolts and wires. The uneven deck, due to the smooth and non-skid gelcoat, required rubber shimming to level the installation. The foredeck is balsa core composite construction – the balsa is visible in the spill pipe hole. The C-Dory hull, decks, cabinetry and pilothouse are all made with cored sandwich construction.
The windlass is bolted down, the chain threaded through, and the anchor in place. To complete the install, I will seal the base of the windlass and apply several coats of varnish on the exposed balsa core. Next – wiring and installation of the switch and circuit breaker.
The up/down switch (top) and circuit breaker installed. (Just beyond wheel.)
Wires viewed from the V-berth, show switch to windlass is wired – and it works fine! Note chain coming through deck, dropping into chain locker.
This project is done! I am very pleased with the results as it works as intended. In February, after several more projects are completed, I’ll be trying it out on the Delta.
Dual Battery Installation
The project is shown here nearing completion. Note the open hatch at left; that’s the starboard lazarette where the single battery was installed, taking up much of that whole lazarette. That is also where the battery on/off switch, the negative buss for grounding, and several other electric items are placed. The battery was in the way of everything. So I moved it down between the tanks along with another battery that was in the port lazarette, but not connected in any way to the boat’s electrical systems.
The two batteries are now installed between the gas tanks, on the sole, and out of the way. Both lazarettes are now clear of bulky batteries. The port lazarette can be used as a bait tank as it is watertight and has a drain hole, but is not plumbed.
Here the new 1/2/both/off/ dual battery switch is installed and out of the way. I learned how to do this installation by doing it all wrong to start with, and taking a total of about eight hours over three days to finally get it all done right and working properly. Whew! Thanks to my very knowledgeable friends, Rich and John, for their counsel and advise which got me through this first time dual battery and switch installation.
The VHF Antenna Moved
This is the VHF antenna, mounted on the roof. I knew when I bought the boat, this mess would have to go!
This photo shows the re-location below the port cabin window – where it belongs! It wasn’t a big job, but it required drilling a few holes and making sure I got the mount at the right level. I hope it’s straight up when the boat sits in the water!
Done – and it looks great!
VHF, AM/FM and XM Radio Installations
The shelf is removed to install the radios.
Here the AM/FM radio and XM cradle are installed. Included but hidden behind the radios is the XM modulator which takes the signal from the XM satellite antenna (also hidden) and puts it into the AM/FM radio antenna which will be attached to the front window.
The shelf is back in place – and the XM radio is playing my country music, even though it’s coming from the speaker held by only a wire! Attached to the bottom of the shelf is the sub-panel which distributes 12 volts to the radios and fans.
All done! At the top of the shelf is the single speaker, the music radio and the XM radio. Below the fans are in place along with the sub-panel, etc. That little AM/FM radio was all of $30 from Walmart. It is a retro model with no pushbuttons and only a “bass” push button to give it a bit more bass for music. To change stations I turn the knob just like back in the 60s in a stripped down Volkswagen! I’m very happy with the electronics shelf.
The Heater is Installed
(This is the old, un-vented catalytic heater; to see the new vented heater, scroll down the page.)
The little Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic heater hangs on the cabinet door, just inside the cabin door. It will be stowed in the cabinet, wrapped and secure when not in use. A brace will soon be placed under the cabinet door to support the weight of the heater and keep the door from swinging.
With this portable set-up, the heater can be turned to the outside as shown here. My hope is that it will warm my back as I sit in the cockpit fishing on cool days. Note the little propane tank which has yet to be tied down.
The little heater is very efficient and burns much less propane than the typical open flame brick heaters such as the Heater Buddy types. And very importantly, it produces much less moisture. Next month I’ll be fishing aboard FishWisher IV for the first time, and I hope this little heater does all I expect of it!
Balance Beams and Scotty Holders in Place
The balance beams are waiting for some action!
Downriggers are Mounted
Downriggers are mounted and FishWisher IV is looking like a fishing boat!
Fiberglass Work and Color Change is Underway
Bora, my fiberglass repair man – and a darn good one – works with one of his men filling in holes in the cockpit area the prior owner had placed for canvas. I’ll be adding my own, much improved canvas soon. The forward worker is prepping the black gelcoat which will soon be burgundy! I can hardly wait!
Stage one in hole filling: note the brown patches where holes used to be. They have been ground out and filled with fiberglass.
Stage two in hole filling: The fiberglass has been sanded and another substance has been placed. When dry, this will also have to be sanded, then gel-coat applied.
Here the boat is masked for in preparation for spraying the new gel coat on the shear stripe (hull) and the roof line. I can’t wait for that black to be replaced with burgundy!
Wow! Love that color!
And… done!! I love the new look – but out of the sun the new burgundy is so dark it’s hard to tell it from black. But the plan is for lots of sunshine and lots of fishing!
The Boat Signs
The boat signs arrived – and after what I consider “fun” work, they are installed. I’m real pleased with the appearance!
I purchased these signs from Letters-Decals.com for a fraction of the cost of other lettering sites on the ‘net. They are good, quality signs and they shipped for free – and very quickly. I can’t ask for more!
The New Kicker Motor is Installed!
I sure would have preferred a Honda 8 HP kicker, but not for double the money of this perfect little Tohatsu! Tohatsu makes Mercury outboards 40 HP and below, and are used world-wide. This little beauty was about half price of the Honda, which would have matched the main motor, but aesthetics are worth only so much! I’ve already done some trolling with this lil’ kicker to put some hours on the break-in requirements, and, because it’s a two cylinder, it runs very quiet and smooth. Many thanks to my ol’ fishin’ buddy, John, for his help on this project.
The tie rod connects both engines so I can steer the kicker from the helm. This was made for me by my buddy, Rich, in Oregon. Thanks, Rich! It works great.
An autopilot for FishWisher IV!
I was spoiled with an autopilot on FishWisher I, my first C-Dory that I sold during that dementia period a few years back. That first autopilot was mechanical for use on cable steering, and was a very big project, cutting big holes in the dash, etc. What a job it was!
FishWisher IV has hydraulic steering, so the new autopilot is bit simpler. It requires an electric pump fitted into the hydraulic steering lines, coupled to a computer to control the pump, with the computer connected to the GPS already aboard, and VOILA! A grand autopilot that will troll in a circle, zig -zag, and even do clover-leaves! Amazing!
The autopilot came in this box with everything needed including even hydraulic fluid and the wrenches! I set about installing this amazing thing a few days ago.
The hoses were all complete with fitting on both ends, and I had to do a bit of changing to the steering behind the helm:
Behind the helm, the two steering hoses are removed in preparation for the new hoses to be added.
I’ve attached the new hoses to the electric pump and the rig is ready to install.
The old hoses are reattached to the steering and the new hoses from the pump are also fitted. The pump is at the lower left. Note the Raymarine computer attached at lower right which is ready to be wired. This is where it gets a bit challenging as computer, warning buzzer, switch, GPS and pump all get wired together.
What chaos – but I think I know what I’m doing so far. The computer is pretty much wired to everything else, and I’m in the process of connecting the NMEA output wires from the GPS part of my Raymarine A70D GPS/chartplotter/fishfinder unit to the new autopilot.
I spent a couple of mornings trying to get the autopilot and GPS talking to one another, and finally I got it figured out. Thank God for all the info on forums on the Internet. When sitting still, and the GPS and autopilot are talking, the screen on the remote says “Too slow”. For two or three days I kept getting “No GPS fix” which meant the wires weren’t connected properly.
Here the little curtain behind the helm is back in place – sort of, due to the hoses taking up so much room – and the mattress lays near the helm.
Six months after this install and lots of frustration with the autopilot, I have learned that for the main reason I wanted an autopilot, trolling lakes, this one is useless. One must be cruising faster than four or five MPH for it to work. I troll much slower for trout and kokanee, so for that purpose it was a waste of money, time and effort. Still, it steers the boat nicely at any speed above 4 or 5 MPH. I noted deep in the owner’s info that it isn’t designed for slow trolling. It’s too bad they didn’t make that clear from the start! I would not recommend this autopilot for slow trolling! Live and learn.
New XM Radio Antenna &
Control King Control for the Tohatsu.
I was losing the XM radio signal due to the radar arch because I was using an indoor antenna. Depending on the boat’s location relative to the satellite, blind spot would simply turn off the music. With the new antenna attached to and above the arch, the signal is always clear and the music never stops!
The Control King:
The Control King sits atop the intake manifold of the Tohatsu 8 HP kicker. With this new device, I can control the engine speed from the helm.
The control for the remote throttle control at the helm. This sure beats running back to the transom any time I need to change speed while trolling.
Cabin Upholstery and Rugs Updated
The new upholstery and rugs are burgundy, matching the gelcoat much better and greatly brightening up the cabin.
Another view of the new upholstery and carpet.
The old gray/black upholstery once matched the black gelcoat of the shear stripe, etc. before I bought it. It is a dreary color and, again, I’ll never understand why anyone would want a boat with black stripe and interior!
New Delta Canvas installed!
The Delta gets windy – and now with the new canvas and large Eisenglass windows, I’ll have some shelter from the wind. And when it’s warm, the windows zip off and I’ll have shade and an open cockpit.
Sign over Cabin Door
I really like this old Irish proverb, so I placed it above my cabin door. Maybe it’s a bit much, but I think the sign turned out very cool. If true, and a feller spent all his time fishing, he could live forever! That is something to strive for.
New Platinum Cat Heater Installed
Here is the new heater mounted to a cabinet door. A block of rubber supports the door from the cabin sole. No weight is on the door.
The old catalytic heater which this new, vented, catalytic heater replaced was not vented, and the moisture in the cabin was intolerable. It also set off the CO alarm if run on high, so I had to run it on low – and with the windows cracked open a bit. I ran the new PlatCAt heater for 1½ hours with the cabin sealed shut and not a drop of moisture developed and the CO alarm remained silent.
The cabin was 37° when I fired up the heater, and 1½ hours later it was just 45°. The PlatCat is not a blow torch, but a gentle, extremely economical producer of radiant heat that produces heat upon contact with its surroundings. It would likely take several hours to heat the cabin from the mid 30s to the 60s. But in real life I will fire it up in the evening before the cabin gets so cold, and run it all night long. It comes with a thermostat so I can set a reasonable overnight temperature and the heater will cycle on and off as necessary to maintain it. The little heater consumes only 1/8 pound of propane per hour, so it is very, very economical.
The thermostat sits just under the helm seat. This may be a temporary location as it may be moved depending on how it works here.
The vent sits outside in the cockpit. 100% of the combustion by-products are vented out of the cabin. In the event of any heater failure, it is designed to turn itself off. Still, I would not recommend using any heater without a CO alarm!
Here the heater glows in the darkened cabin on my first overnight trip after the installation. The heater ran all night, about eight hours or more, and used only about a quart of propane. In the morning, the cabin temperature was 64° and the outside temperature was about 50°.
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