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Project Log:  Sunday, November 15, 2009
Home Page > The Project > Project Logs > 11/15/09

A new day, and fresh invigoration.  I'd basically decided overnight to cut out the cockpit--pretty much a foregone conclusion all along, but well worth stepping back from just a little before diving in.

Before beginning, I looked things over once more, and confirmed my decision.  I spent several minutes making some reference measurements of various seat widths, heights, cockpit well depth and width, and so forth, all of which might come in handy during later reconstruction. 

Then, I made some layout marks for my cuts, choosing a more or less arbitrary distance from the deck edge (an inch or so inboard of the end of the flange), and about 4" in from the ends of the cockpit, since I planned--at least for now--to leave small tabs of the old structure in case I wanted them to tie back into later.

I made the rough cuts with a reciprocating saw equipped with a carbide blade, which made short work of the removal.  Beginning with the cockpit sole, I cut out the cockpit in manageably-sized pieces, bit by bit.





Once the major structure was out of the way, I switched to a jig saw--also equipped with a carbide blade--and trimmed the cockpit back to my layout lines, leaving even borders all the way around.  I also cut away the forward face of the cockpit well; I'd left this in place at first, considering whether I might reuse it, but soon decided it was better for it to go.  The aft end might go later, but for now I left it in place, since it was bonded to a bulkhead and mizzen mast compression post behind.  Meantime, I removed two scupper fittings from the after end that I wanted to save.


I also cut out the bulk of the charred aft bulkhead, the one separating the lazarette from the cockpit lockers.  Later, I'd remove the remains, and replace the entire thing, but for now I removed enough only to allow for me to eventually crawl back there to do the final grinding required--something I was not looking forward to and wasn't going to face on this day in any event.



Next, I removed a longitudinal stiffener from the starboard hull (the port side had apparently been removed years earlier under previous ownership), and sanded the area, and also cleaned up the cut edges around the cockpit opening, as well as any other areas that required additional grinding after the weekend's work.

It was very spacious without the cockpit in the way, and I didn't miss the deathly black hole that had been there; now it was bright and open.  Having the badly damaged cockpit out of the way would streamline many of the upcoming projects, from remaining demolition to the eventual structural repairs.

(I'm not sure why the photo taken from the port side turned out so dark--sorry.)


After cleaning up, I decided to remove the steering quadrant.  I'd noticed earlier that the wooden blocking to which the bracket was secured was burned and loose, and this would require replacement.  Removing the quadrant looked like it ought to be easy--and this time, it actually was.  I removed the four bolts that secured the quadrant sections to the rudder shaft, and then removed the packing nuts and packing.  Finally, I unlagged the bronze base piece from the wood and removed the bronze pieces for safekeeping and possible reuse.

The wooden blocks came away from the hull with only a slight kick.


How easily these boats come apart.  Don't be deceived, though:  as quick as the demolition has been, it will take far, far longer to rebuild these things that I cut out in only a few hours.

Total Time Today:  4.5 hours

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