Incidentally, the spots where water came into the pilothouse were
finally located. All three were from wires not screws. Both running
lights, port and starboard, have wires that pass from outside to in.
Those wires after 30+ years had developed drips. The third place was
where the original horn wires came inside.
Not a single screw was involved in
the drips. That is
where I initially was "certain" the leaks came from.
The Solution was a generous glob of
SilPruf. Voila: ZERO drips so far,
knock teak! I extolled Silpruf in the recent article
Michael (with Carrabelle pictures).
After I removed the wood panel over the old VHF
slot, I needed to scrub the area.
Fortunately I keep a small container of spray cleaner in the galley
so clean-up was a breeze.
If an item is used
frequently I try to have it where it is most convenient. I found
that storing all my cleaning supplies down by my head was
problematic. If I spotted something that needed a spritz of
cleanser, the thought of going below to grab the bottle would kick
me into the "I'll do it later" mode.
Now, because I have that small spray container
my sink these little chores are easily done with no muss/no fuss.
Making my world operate as simply as
possible is turning into my mantra.
I like to call this an efficiency kick. It's really that I want to
make things easy.
As for the overhead VHF slot on
the port side that
looked so icky, I needed to replace the cover. The experts suggest that black matt-finished Formica is a great option. I love the
look of Formica. The problem is that my cutting skills are seriously lacking.
A secondary issue is that
Formica has to be ordered in large pieces. That would cost far more
than I can justify. And too, I have seen the cuts I make with power
tools. It is not pretty.
Thus I decided to go to the Dollar
Store. There I found a white plastic dish pan. It was slightly
flexible without being brittle. I was certain I could cut it with
I traced the small panel that had hidden the VHF
hole with pencil.
Then I cut out the piece from my white plastic.
I placed the wood atop the plastic. Then I forced the ↓
SCREWS through to create matching holes in the plastic.
By inserting the screws into the original holes on
the wood panel I knew they would match the overhead.
Finally I screwed the plastic piece in place. It
I could see there was a darker place behind the
I wanted to hide the dark outline
where the former VHF was mounted.
To conceal the shadow I measured between the screws. My idea was to
slide in another piece of plastic between the screws holding the
plastic in place. Thus, I would
have two layers of white in the center.
From the scrap plastic I cut said piece:
To make sure it would fit I held the second
filler piece to
the plastic panel.
It was the proper height to slide between the screws.
The length would cover the gap without being too wide.
Finally I inserted that second piece of plastic between the panel
I made and the overhead.
I still am not ready to tackle the larger panel on the starboard
side. In the meantime I am looking for a bit thicker plastic.
Perhaps something like a Rubbermaid container will be a better
option. For now, the fix is certainly Good Enough.
learned: Plastic dish containers that
appear opaque do let light through. Buy better plastic.
Although I utilized scissors an X-acto knife would have been
easier to use. I also should have pre-drilled the holes
rather than screwing through the plastic.
Better still, I should
have added hinges at the top and a latch to the bottom. Then I
could have used that area as a cubby hole for something.
Next time with what I learned I believe my solution will show better
results. That larger panel on the starboard side also has switches
in it. It will need to be sturdy. The sort of plastic I need is
really a thrift store type item. I'll be keeping my eyes open.
Thanks for reading.