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Old 11-09-2007
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Installing a windlass on a curved deck with base

I spotted the article here on installing windlass's and I thought eureka, I finally have found a solution, but alas no. I am installing a manual windlass and have a slight curve to my Catalina (75) 27 foot foredeck. I need to add a base for some needed height for effective operation of the windlass. The base is the problem, how do I get a gentle curve into it to reflect the curve of the deck? What kind of carpentry do I do to add the curve to the bottom of the teak?
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Why not make the base out of something like a HDPE cutting board? You can heat it in a low oven and bend it to shape.
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I laminated two eight-quarter thick teak planks together, to get the required height for running a chain rode at the correct angle to my bulwark-mounted anchor roller.

I then vertcally shaped the block to the windlass base's contour, using a band saw. All shaping of the block base to conform to the deck contour, was done by hand - using a convex shaped block plane. It's worked great without any issues for the past 3 seasons.
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Another, simpler way, to do this is to use a fiberglass/thickened epoxy base. There was a good article on doing this on the West Systems website IIRC.
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If the curve is gentle enough; that is definitely the way to go.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Another, simpler way, to do this is to use a fiberglass/thickened epoxy base. There was a good article on doing this on the West Systems website IIRC.
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Curving wood bases

The way to do this with a wood base is to make the piece with a flat bottom, place it on the deck with wedges or other supports to get it level athwartship and fore and aft. After it is blocked in place use a pencil on the deck to draw the curve and any angles around the perimeter. That is the material that needs to be removed. If a pencil laying on the deck is not tall enough to touch the base all the way around, tape it to a block of wood to raise it to an adequate level. What tools you need to use depends on the size of the base and your skills. A bandsaw would probably be my first choice following that with planes and rasps but you could simply use a belt sander for the whole job if you're careful.
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Making an epoxy base is just a lot faster and simpler... since you can actually use the existing surface to mold the base. You can also use the base of the windlass to make the top portion of the epoxy base, leaving it a very strong custom fit. This is especially true if the surface in question has compound curves, which are very difficult to work into a wooden base.

Also, a properly made epoxy-fiberglass base is going to be far lower maintenance than a teak base would be over the years. Personally, I'm more interested in sailing my boat, than varishing the wood work on it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCox View Post
The way to do this with a wood base is to make the piece with a flat bottom, place it on the deck with wedges or other supports to get it level athwartship and fore and aft. After it is blocked in place use a pencil on the deck to draw the curve and any angles around the perimeter. That is the material that needs to be removed. If a pencil laying on the deck is not tall enough to touch the base all the way around, tape it to a block of wood to raise it to an adequate level. What tools you need to use depends on the size of the base and your skills. A bandsaw would probably be my first choice following that with planes and rasps but you could simply use a belt sander for the whole job if you're careful.
I used a compass (circle drawing type) opened wide enough to span the gap atwartships of the block straddling the deck's crown. This is just one method of transferring a surface profile to the workpiece. In my deck, there was only a disparity of about 3/16" - at the most, between high and low points on the block.
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The compass method works but if you don't hold it at the same angle all the time it can throw your measurements off. I like the block of wood flat on the deck method better as it is harder to make a mistake. Also, almost anyone, anywhere can come up with a small block of wood, some tape and a pencil. I hate it when I'm somewhere and I need a tool and it happens to be back in my shop.
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To get the arc of the deck, I was going to use one of those tools that has thousands of little spikes and you press down on it and the spikes move into the shape of that which it is pressed against; this struck me as the lazest way.

The epoxy base sounds interesting but also as much of a challenge unless I am misunderstanding how it is used. Do you make something like a ground meat patty and lay it down with the windlass on top, how do you do it?
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