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  #1  
Old 07-16-2007
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Engine gauge re-org

I'm really considering a total reorganization of my engine gauges on my 75 Newport 28. Right now there are two separate panels on the boat, as you can see in the pictures below:





Between the gauges on the two panels, I have a working gas gauge, voltmeter, oil pressure, engine temperature and tach. There's only one ammeter, and it doesn't work. The gas gauge is way inside the cabin, and can be seen to the upper left of the electrical panel in the first photo. The ignition key and choke are inside the cabin as well -- the key is on the panel and the choke can be seen just above the fire extinguisher.

Needless to say, I have to look all over the place to see what's going on. Except for the ammeter, at least I have a working gauge somewhere for every critical element. Still...

What I'd like to do is get everything up onto the cockpit bulkhead in the second picture, where the two big gauges are on the right. They are the windfinder and knotmeter, neither of which work and both of which I can do without.

Would it be practical to have a panel right where those two are that would have all my working gauges, the choke and the ignition key in one place? I wonder a bit about the ignition being out in the weather, but the original key was down with the other gauges in photo 2, so I guess it wouldn't really be a problem. I figure it wouldn't be hard to get a blank panel that I could fit into the space, but are there any practical considerations that would keep me from doing so?

Thanks for any and all advice!
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Old 07-16-2007
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Getting the choke up there might be tough, with all of the curves the cable will have to negotiate, but it seems like a good plan. Will you miss leaning against a smooth comfortable cockpit bulkhead? That's my girlfriends favorite spot to be, leaning back, legs stretched on the seat.
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Old 07-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoDoubt
Getting the choke up there might be tough, with all of the curves the cable will have to negotiate, but it seems like a good plan. Will you miss leaning against a smooth comfortable cockpit bulkhead? That's my girlfriends favorite spot to be, leaning back, legs stretched on the seat.
Good point. I could put just the gauges up there, and leave the choke, switches and key where they are. I don't mind reaching down for those, I'd just like to get the info more at eye level.
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Old 07-16-2007
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Why don't you put the existing interior gauges on a hinged little board, and then you can swing it out on a short armature or simply the hinge itself with a tiny bit of shock cord? Then you can see the gauges and still get in and out of the boat, and when you're done, clip it back in place.
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Old 07-17-2007
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It would be a bit of work, but I would be tempted to fit a permanent board in the bottom of the companionway hatch level with the cockpit seats and build out a small bridge deck, then mount the instruments there facing aft... except for the choke. I think it's a good idea to have the choke close to the helm (assuming it's for a diesel).
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Old 07-17-2007
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I'd agree with Sailormann's suggestion... it would put the guages in a very easily visible spot, central to the cockpit, and increase the seaworthiness of the boat at the same time. Of course, my opinion may be biased, since I just finished adding a new bridgedeck to my boat.
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Old 07-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann
It would be a bit of work, but I would be tempted to fit a permanent board in the bottom of the companionway hatch level with the cockpit seats and build out a small bridge deck, then mount the instruments there facing aft... except for the choke. I think it's a good idea to have the choke close to the helm (assuming it's for a diesel).
That's way too much effort for me. I just want to move a few gauges around, not rebuild my cockpit.

Interesting idea, though. However, I'd also have to build a new ladder into the cabin since the existing one would be way too short. But how would it improve the seaworthiness of the boat? Anyone got a pic of what this would look like, I may be imagining it completely wrong.
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It would improve the seaworthiness of the boat by preventing water from downflooding into the cabin if the cockpit gets pooped or in heavy seas/bad weather. It also, depending on the design, could reduce the cockpit volume somewhat, and reduce the weight and volume of water that has to be drained if the cockpit gets pooped. I'll post photos of the bridge deck project I just did on my boat when I get to my office later this afternoon.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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Well, I see the point about blocking water from downflooding, but couldn't you achieve the same effect by putting one or two of your hatch boards in place if the weather is getting rough or poopage looks like a possibility?

I'm looking forward to seeing the photos when you get them. Sounds like an interesting project.
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Yes, you could, but it is very easy to forget to put the drop boards back in place... and on many boats, the dropboards don't "lock" into place.

After the last sail of last season, which you can see part of here, where I forgot to put the drop boards in and had about thirty gallons of water down below, I decided to add a bridge deck to the boat as one of my spring projects.

Here are two photos. The first is of the original cockpit setup. You can see the steps and the low companionway threshold. The second photo is of the cockpit with the bridgedeck.

I had to re-locate the water deck fill, and I decided to put it on the angled part of the bridgedeck, to prevent water from standing around it. The original one, which was black plastic and seen on the left in the first photo, was on one of the steps in the cockpit, and water would pool around it.

Sorry the boat is in such dire need of a good washing... The bridgedeck's new threshold is almost exactly the height of the first companionway dropboard from the original setup. That dropboard is no longer necessary. The bridgedeck added over four cubic feet of storage to the boat, which is a bit short on storage space being a trimaran, and added additional seating to the cockpit as a benefit.




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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-17-2007 at 09:47 PM.
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