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Working Through the Through Hulls

posted Jun 7, 2011, 12:53 PM by Christopher Hubbell
The last two days have been focused on through hulls.  I have now drilled all the bolt holes in what is hopefully a correct orientation.  The new backing plates appear to be doing a great job in making things solid, and are infinitely better than the rotten plywood I scraped out.

This job, like all of them, has proven more complex than I'd anticipated.  Getting the bolt hole drilled at a proper angle while doing Yoga on your head against a compound curve is no small feat.  And did I mention that in my boat, only the bow and engine through hulls allowed a traditional drill?

All of the other holes I drilled I had to make pilot holes from the inside using a Dremel tool with right-angle adapter and an extra-short bit.  I would then move to the outside and drill increasingly larger holes until I reached the intended diameter.  This took me a LONG time.

At this point I have all the plates prepped and ready for installing the fittings.  I still need to take care of a few things before mounting the through hulls:
  • Once I mount the cockpit drain sea cocks there is no way I'll get the fuel tank out for cleaning / inspection.  So, it's time to yank the tank.
  • I think that I ought to do the painting work in the settees before mounting those fittings as it will be hard to work anything but a Q-tip brush in between that spacing.
  • Barrier coat needs to be applied to the area where I attached a new fairing block for the depth sounder.
All in all, this project is going well.  It is monotonous, and has dragged on longer than I'd hoped, but it's almost done.  I will say that these Groco flange adapters and ball valves look like they could have come off a Navy aircraft carrier.  They are insanely built and look like something I could trust my family's life to - unlike those old gate valves.