First, we did get the back edge of the hardtop mounted to the arch in a more permanent sense. After moving the hardtop, I drilled two holes for the 3/8 inch bolts that secure the two outer edges and temporarily attached the hardtop to the arch to keep it from flying away. A combination of jack stands and a line run from the main halyard held it in position.
The next day I marked the location for the wire chase holes, and then we unbolted and moved the top about a foot forward so I had access for the hole saw. We cut the holes in the arch and cleaned up the edges with some sandpaper. I then applied a strip of white rubber weather stripping to the upper front edge of the arch to act as a seal between the arch and the top. The strip could span gaps from 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch and should provide a weather seal between the two. I will eventually caulk the seam as well, but this should work fine as a seal for now and as a backer for the caulk later.
|Mounting bolt at the edge of the top.|
We then moved the top back into position. I cut some gaskets from a sheet of 1/16 inch nitrile rubber to cushion the mount points and allow for the minor irregularities in the surfaces. We then re-bolted the top corners to the arch using the gaskets as well as the previous hardware.
Next I needed to add the additional bolts that will hold up the top. These bolts will serve a dual purpose as they are also the bolts that hold the blocks for the davit system. Unfortunately, the mounting flange on the back of the top didn't line up with the arch as well as I would have liked, so I had to devise some spacers to fill the gap. Using the gasket material and some fender washers, I was able to secure the blocks and the top.
|The davit bolts with spacers.|
I was also able to find a welder who could create the supports for the front of the top. He has come out and taken measurements and has one of the supports made thus far. His work quality seems quite good, but he doesn't seem to do polish work. (I think he described his work as more "utility grade" but he seems to do a very good job). That is OK with us though, as I think I would prefer a more "brushed" look to the supports anyway...should reduce glare. With any luck, we should have the supports later this week.
|I don't think a caption is really needed here.|
That should get us to my last post where I discovered the issue with the D-ring.
In other news, I've now added two new pages to the blog. The first is a list of places I've found where you can get marine grade parts at better than average prices (previously mentioned at the end of another post the other day). I'm thinking of adding a services section to that list. Right now the service section would be a pretty short list, but I may have at least a couple entries.
I've also added a projects page. As some friends have noted, Blogger isn't the best at searching, and having a page with project overviews and links to the relevant posts seemed like a good idea. Right now it has the hardtop project listed as well as my posts on LED lighting and the salon window rebed.
If you would like to see anything else on either of these two pages, drop me a line or post a comment and I'll see what I can do.
And one last relatively unrelated bit: A couple days ago The Boat Galley blog did a post on some food grade, reusable dessicant packs they were reviewing. In the post it spoke about the ability to dry them using a microwave. Since those packs use silica gel as the desiccant, I did a little searching and found that, yes, you can use a microwave to dry silica gel. I found instructions where you microwave the stuff for a couple minutes, check to see if it is dry, and do additional 1 minute cycles until it is dry. I tried it with one of the desiccant jars I made a while back and it works. So, I no longer have to try drying the stuff in the oven, but can use the microwave when we are plugged into shore power or have the generator running. All in all a much better option than those DampRid buckets that are used once and thrown away.
Well, enough rambling for today. Too much work left to do and we are pushing to get out of here as soon as we can.