Friday, November 21, 2008

Installing Windvane Self Steering Gear Part 7 - 198

Note: If you have been referred here by another site, this is only part of a multipart series.  To see the rest of the story click here and start from the bottom.

After you are completely sure that you have the precise location for your hole, you get to drill the hole.  I was pretty apprehensive about drilling the hole thinking it would be the most difficult job of installing the windvane.  The reality was drilling the hole was easy.  I am sure many people look at the Cape Horn windvane and say to themselves,  "I am never drilling a hole that big in my boat", but after I installed the vane I realized I was just being silly.  I have four seacocks in my vessel.  If I wanted a watermaker I would probably have five.  The design of the Cape Horn windvane makes it an integral part of the vessel.  The one simple hole allows a extremely strong, yet beautiful matching of the vane to the boat.  

What you need to drill a straight hole in the right place:

1. A high quality (meaning more than 25 USD) hole saw and bit.
2. A small machinists  bubble level (six inches or less)
3. A square.
4. A bit extender
5. Three people.

 The bit extender makes your drill/holesaw longer so that you have a better chance of lining things up.  I put my level directly on the extender so I knew that my hole was being drilled completely level.  

My wife held a square next to the drill and bit, making sure the hole was being drilled exactly in line with the center line of the boat, and my daughter watched us to make sure it looked right and take pictures.  We did all of this with the boat in the water.  If I had access to a floating dock, I would back up to it and work off the dock.  My last choice would be to do this work out of the water.  I would be to worried that the boat would be sitting in the stands different than when floating.   

This picture is a picture of a hole saw coming through the inside of the lazarette.   The angle of the transom makes the hole go through it at an angle.  It would seem like drilling a hole so large through something off angle would be difficult, but the hole drilled very easily and keeping the drill level and square was easy also.  Notice that I have things in the stern labelled for help in identifying exactly where everything was going to end up.  

The completed hole.  Notice that the shape of the piece that I drilled out.  
Again, drilling the hole was easy.  If you are worried about installing the windvane as being something difficult, the hardest part is figuring out where it is going to go.  Installation was straightforward with the right preparation.  

Next up, mounting the unit.

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