Cushion Replacement,  Sliding Doors, Sill, Trim, Center Seat Support, Grill, Enclosure

 Cushion Replacement

When we purchased the boat the cushions appeared to be original.  Only something 21 years old could be in such poor condition.

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The bottoms of the cushions were plywood with plastic washers that acted as locating pins over the openings in the fiberglass seats to keep the cushions in place.  Since there are no hatch covers per say on the openings, the cushions always had to be in place.

There was an interesting “storage” system for maintenance products.

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Real hatch covers were made for these openings so the cushions did not have to be outside in the weather all the time.

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We made new bottom cushions from 2” Dryfast foam over ˝” Ensolite covered in Sunbrella.  The Ensolite had lots of holes punched into it to help drain any water.  The back rests were simply 1” Dryfast foam. The back and bottom of the cushions use a meshed fabric (Textilene) to further aid keeping the foam dry.

Cushion Central, Cutting “room” floor

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Finished Result (with the exception of the buttons in the back rests).

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The cockpit table pedestals have problems.  Gozzard very nicely provided recesses in the deck to set the base in, I suppose to make the cockpit sole flat in that area without any raised areas.

Unfortunately, water lies in this as well as gets into the aluminum base resulting in this:

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We dealt with this issue while we were hauled out this fall and winter of 2011.

This project is continued under the Veranda Painting section.



Sliding Doors

The doors on LIBERTY no longer have wheels on the bottom, but slide on what appear to be Starboard (plastic) glides.   Looking closely at the bottom of the door one can see evidence of mounting points for the original wheels.

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Current Slides:

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If you are looking to remove your doors, one simply needs to remove the interior, overhead trim that surrounds the door and the doors will tip inboard and lift from their “track”.

The fiberglass track on LIBERTY was badly grooved by the wheels, which is why I expect they switched to the slides.

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Since we were in the processes of replacing the exterior teak trim at the bottom of the doors with Starboard, we also decided to add a 1” SS piece to cover the damaged fiberglass.

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Nothing is as easy as it looks.  When we went to mount the stainless we realized that this region was not horizontal but had a pretty good angle molded into it, maybe to help release it from the tooling.  We ended up having to shim it, setting the track in epoxy to fill the gap.

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We had the same issue when we replaced the old “threshold”.  The original teak was truly beat and we decided that white oak would be just the ticket.  The light color would make a nice transition from the dark cabin sole to the light deck.  It does look nice when the doors are open but when they are shut it looks a little odd inside as you have the dark teak sole and doors with a light threshold.

Epoxy slurry to aid in shimming the threshold

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Threshold and stainless track for the doors

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Replacement pieces for under door trim

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Replacement pieces in place

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Since things were apart, it seemed like a good time to strip and re-varnish these doors.

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Center Veranda Seat

The black rectangles are Velcro fasteners for the cushions; the bright white piece above the seat is to support the backrest cushion.

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If you remove the center of the veranda seat on LIBERTY, you will find a hawse hole and cleat mounted near deck level on the centerline of the boat.  The seat was supported by some ratty teak pieces.

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Somebody very nicely used plain steel nuts to bolt these on.  Due to corrosion issues, the only recourse was to remove the wood with a saw and then use bolt cutters to release the fasteners.

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Replacing the wood with Starboard should eliminate any maintenance issues for the rest of the boats life.

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The semi-circle pieces are used to register the seat to the supports.

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Winter, while shrink wrapped is a good time to work on such projects.

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Grill Issues

We do a lot of grilling when aboard, and we are aboard for dinner more than most people.  As a matter of fact, from the time the boat goes in the water to the time it comes out we pretty much eat aboard almost every evening.  If you look in our dishwasher at home, you will find lots of bowls and spoons.  Breakfast is about the only meal eaten there.  We can go months without eating dinner at home.

You would think that grilling on a boat should be a simple task.  It seems to get complicated when trying to find a semi-permanent location for the grill and also find a small grill that performs well in breezy conditions.

On our last trawler we had a Magma Newport grill.  While it performed ok, we weren’t happy with it in breezy conditions as it would occasionally blow out.  Every once in a while we had issues with it not getting hot that we could not figure out.  It was normally fed by a propane line from our main tank but I learned to keep a separate regulator and small tank aboard for when it started to act up so I could swap things out and maybe still get dinner cooked.  We thought we would try a different brand next time.

When we got LIBERTY we decided on a Kuuma Profile 216 grill; compact, simple and a fairly new model.  Originally this was mounted on the boat deck but after a dozen or so trips up and down the ladder it was decided that this wasn’t the ideal place for a grill.  We have seen some Pilgrims with grills mounted up there but the out of the way location and the fact that this grill didn’t want to stay lit all the time made us look for another location.  We did try moving the grill behind weather cloths on the stanchions of the boat deck to get it out of the breeze but this seemed to make things worse due to back-drafts.

Eventually we settled on mounting it in the Veranda off one of the support tubes for the boat deck.  We could swing it outboard to cook and inboard when not in use.  This solved the location issue but we were still having problems with it blowing out.  In the end we went through about three different regulators until we found one that worked to our satisfaction.  We also learned how to adjust the regulator for best performance (there is a little socket head screw under the adjustment knob that requires a 1/16” allen wrench).  The self-extinguishing problem was still there however.

One day we got so frustrated that we had to borrow an old Magma Kettle grill from our boat neighbor to finish cooking our dinner.  It did the job quite well but it still wasn’t what we were looking for (and I can’t remember why).

More research and we thought we would give a Solaire Everywhere Infrared grill a try.  It had a 30 day money back guarantee and was essentially the same price as a Magma.

Three grills; we should become a grill reviewer

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The Solaire only cooks with radiant heat from a ceramic burner.  The thought was that once that burner gets hot, if the gas flow is interrupted from a gust of wind it will re-ignite itself.  In practice it seems to do just that.

The bird thought the ceramic burner needed to be checked out a little more detail.  We had to tell the bird that dinner wouldn’t be ready for a while, and if it hung around much longer it might end up on the menu.

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The instructions state that you never, ever cook with the lid shut; it is just there to protect the unit when not used.  When it is breezy and we are tied to the dock we might have to protect the grill from a lot of breeze (using an umbrella) depending on the wind direction to reduce cooking time, otherwise there is too much of a convection loss with the wind cooling the food.  We have now used the grill for two seasons and are quite satisfied with it.  Disassembly for a complete cleaning is quite simple.  We didn’t purchase the expensive Solaire rail mount, but re-used the mount that we made for the Kuuma.

Here is a good explanation of infrared grilling:


Veranda Enclosure

LAST DANCE (ex MOON DANCE) offered us their old veranda enclosure.  This particular one was made by EZ2CY and uses non-rollable (if that is a word) acrylic for the window region.  Rigid acrylic is an ideal material as it has great light transmittance characteristics and is even clearer than normal glass.  The down side is that it cannot be bent (making storage difficult) and it is expensive, almost in the extreme when used to create marine enclosures.  I have read that EZ2CY enclosures cost between $75 and $100 per square foot to have fabricated.  That translates to roughly $10k for a Pilgrim enclosure.  Looking at the construction technique used on these panels, you can see why they are so expensive.  Acrylic cannot be sewn, it must be glued.  The borders of the panel are stitched together and then the acrylic glued into the opening.

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The original design of this enclosure was such that it was to be left in place on a somewhat permanent basis.  LAST DANCE had a double track for overhead attachment which I presume allowed for the panels to slide over the top of each other allowing a maximum of 50% open area.  I understand there was also some sort of plastic track attached to the rail which had succumbed to UV and was removed.  How the panels attached to the lower track is unknown as the only remaining pieces were the major panels themselves.

LIBERTY once had an enclosure, now long gone.  What was left was the 24 turn buttons mounted below the rail and the overhead rail.  We made a lower attachment band that used those buttons and some pieces to attach to the vertical support tubes from Sunbrella.  Needless to say, once this thing is up, it stays up so it has become a spring/fall enclosure that is not used during the summer.  Access to the hawse holes for mooring lines is truly an issue as well as the use of our veranda mounted grill.  We have to remove two panels to do any grilling otherwise the smoke detectors will go off.  Removing the aft panels require sliding all of them off which is not a trivial task.

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We realize that an enclosure is really necessary when doing serious cruising to allow use of the veranda in inclement weather.  A vinyl window enclosure is able to be taken up or down fairly rapidly and would roll up.  Most Pilgrims have such a thing and that basic design works well.  Having looked through acrylic for a while now, it is going to be hard to give that up.

I have a plan on the drawing board that will (should) be the best of both worlds.  The idea is for a Sunbrella (or Vinyl) frame work into which zips (on all four sides) acrylic windows.  The top edge would be threaded into the attachment rail at all times.  The bottom edge would be made in two pieces (re-using what we already have made) so we could mount half or all the panels depending on the wind direction.  Each panel will zip into the top and bottom frame work as well as to each other so we could remove (or add) individual panels with four “zips”.   Since they don’t roll up they will need to be stowed flat.  It appears that there is enough headroom over the berth in the master stateroom to hang a small shelf to slide these into.  In addition, we will make five per side verses the four per side making them easier to manage on an individual basis as well as giving us maximum flexibility for removing individual panels to access mooring points and the grill.  Let’s see, $300 for zippers, $500 for acrylic, $?? for Sunbrella and Valmex nautica fabric, magic glue for the acrylic, lots of man hours; oh well, it is still less expensive than having somebody else make one for us.

At least that is the plan; stay tuned.

As we approach the end of the summer in 2013 and looked at the “to-do” list it became apparent that making an entirely new veranda enclosure was not going to happen this year.  We need to re-invent the wheel for this acrylic window deal.  I “think” I know what glue to use to attach the acrylic to the vinyl fabric for the sides but the more you think about things the more issues seem to magically appear.

We decided to compromise.  Since the biggest issue was threading the windows on in a specific order, how about making a new strip of fabric that threads into the track and has zippers along the upper edge?  We could then re-use the original windows by cutting the top edge awning rope off and replacing it with a zipper.  We were able to do just that although it was import to maintain the vertical zipper in its original locations.

The width of the panels (32”) still makes hanging them a bit of a chore, meaning it is almost a two person job if the wind is blowing but at least now we have a usable enclosure where we can put up or take down individual panels at will.  The cost was a little over $100 for the acrylic and zippers.  New ones (24” wide) are still on the list for some time in the future and maybe if we hit the lottery we can afford to have somebody else do the job.  In the meantime I will put in a little more effort in polishing out the scratches out of the ones we have.


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