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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

posted Jun 2, 2011, 7:35 AM by Christopher Hubbell
This morning did not go as I had hoped, although I have to admit I was not completely shocked.  The picture at left shows what's under the cockpit sole, specifically directly under the pedestal.  The thick metal plate serves as a conduit stop for the steering cables, as well as a rigid backer plate to distribute the load from the pedestal mounting bolts.

The bright white fitting with a hose clamp is the steering cable conduit.  To its left (aft) is the transmission cable, and to the right (fore) is the throttle cable.  This picture shows the correct way to install the cables.  Unfortunately, this is not how I did it when I installed the pedestal.  I failed to note that the length tolerance on the throttle cable was extremely tight when I removed it.  That resulted in the throttle cable not being able to reach its mounting bracket on the engine when installed in the aft exit hole.  Yes, it's only about 3", but that was enough to cause an issue.

Since it takes quite a bit of time to re-bed the pedestal I was extremely hesitant about yanking out the whole thing again.  Instead, I pulled out the engine control cables from the top of the pedestal, then reinserted them from under the sole in the correct holes.  This is where the fun begins, and where I had a chance to recognize that I have not yet fully mastered using The Force to telekinetically move cables through a confined space.

It took about an hour to re-orient those cables, reattach them to the cable stop bracket, and then reattach the stop bracket to the pedestal.  All the while working blind because the bright sun reflecting off the white pedestal made vision inside the dark tube impossible, even with a Mini-Mag Light to assist.  Eventually, however, I was able to get it and all engine control cables are connected to the appropriate brackets.

The worst news?  Unfortunately, I had to remove the steering cables from the quadrant to make this happen.  That set me back another large block of time (and finger pain).  Essentially, yesterday's work was entirely null and void other than the learning experience it provided that greased the skids a bit today.  Very, very frustrating.

The good news is that other than some fine tuning, which I'm certain will be necessary, I am ready to install the compass on the binnacle tomorrow.  That will close off a funnel which directs water into the bilge, and as I stated yesterday, remove yet another box from the parts pile which clutters Ravat's cabin.  I'm very excited to see that pedestal once again capped off by a nice salty compass.