I finished installing a new alternator today. That was nice. I cleaned the boat up afterwards, ran the engine in fwd for a little while monitoring the voltages making sure things were ok. I put away all the electrical tools and supplies I had strewn about and for a moment the boat was pretty tidy. I sat back and looked around, enjoying the moment of some more progress for the boat, getting better and better.
Then I pulled out a couple screwdrivers and started to take instruments out of my nav station. My nav station currently has a VHF, a battery monitor, a bilge control and a panel for my instruments. I'm going to be installing new TackTick instruments soon, so the instrument panel is no longer needed. I also wanted to rearrange the panel, and make it easier to work on.
After pulling most of the instruments out of the panel, the VHF was being stubborn and refused to come out. I've had the folks at YachtFitters (Terry and Justin) help me with a lot of work and occasionally I'll come across something they've done for me in the past and I'll sit back and admire what they did. As I do more work on my boat I can appreciate what they've done for me in the past more fully. The VHF was installed in a good spot in my nav station, but getting it there must have been amazingly tricky as access was incredibly difficult. Here's a picture of how the station looked at around 3pm today:
Getting at the VHF mounts required reaching in through the main electrical panel opening, around a hose from a deck scupper to its thru-hull, around to the radio at the edge of the space behind the panel. Then you have to unscrew and unbolt the fastener holding the radio on - with your finger tips. I don't know how they got it into that location, I wouldn't have gotten it in there.
Anyway, it needed to come out. I'm going to cut out most of the teak on the right side of the picture above, then cut a new piece of teak plywood to fit in the hole. I'll mount the new plywood with teak tabs on all four sides - so I'll end up with a service panel which can easily be removed so I can access the area behind the instruments easily, as well as work on their wiring/etc as needed. If in the future the instrument arrangement changes, I'll cut a new piece of teak plywood, cut holes in it to suite me and install it in place of what I'll have after this work. It should be much more flexible.
The only way I could find of removing the VHF was with my Fein tool - I cut it out. Here's the current picture, as of 6pm.
I no longer have a working VHF, other than my handhelds. Finishing will likely take all week. And I hesitate even giving that estimate, as in the past, I have needed to double or triple the estimates after seeing how long things really take...