Dust, dust everywhere.
Way back in 2008, we sandblasted the hull inside and out. Cleaning up the big piles of sand afterwards was one big job. Little did I know that five years and dozens of times working the shop vac later, we’d still be finding sandblasting residue! Well, that and all of the dust from grinding the gelcoat off the cabin top and then the fairing compound and primer when we made it nice and straight in preparation for paint. One of the places that was harboring the most dust was the original wiring, much of which I left intact. Note to self: when you leave bundles of wires in place during sandblasting and sanding operations, every wire in the bundle will be coated with as much dust as gravity can pile on top. Bump any of those coated wires though, and the dust will fall straight down into your eyes.
Why is it always the eyes???
Anyway, while the layout of the boat will change quite a bit when I build the interior, the basic layout of the electrical system won’t change all that much. The main panel will get replaced, but it’ll still be in the salon cabinet where Chris Craft put them. There will still be heavy gauge wire going to the genset, which is in the same location as the original, as well as 120vac and 12vdc lines going forward and aft to service the two staterooms. Only their outlet locations will change. And since the boat wasn’t on the water for very long before being hauled on the hard and forgotten about circa 1985, the original wiring is in surprisingly good condition. I’ll cut the ends back a bit, but the copper is still bright in the sheathing.
But first, I need to clean all the wires, replace all the looms and generally get the system organized.
I was very careful to mark each wire and loom when we first tore the boat apart back in 2008. Unfortunately, I marked the wires by making a tag out of blue masking tape and writing on it with a fine-point Sharpie. Over time most of the tape vanished, and the tape that remained no longer had any distinguishing marks from the Sharpie. I guess “permanent marker” only applies if the surface you write on stays in place and intact…
I carefully pulled each wire out of the looms and wire conduits, then wiped them down to remove dust. My coveralls, respirator and eye protection sure got a good workout! This also allowed me to trace each wire back to the main panels and buses. Now I pretty much know where each one goes.
It’s probably not a rare skill, but I have pretty much memorized the wiring on the boat. That should be good for winning drinks at any Chris Craft raft up. “Circuit #22? Oh, yeah, that’s the nav lights.”
Hopefully, this will be a more permanent marking system than the tape was.
With the wiring sort of out of the way, it’s time to get moving on the engine install. For that to happen, some very long pieces of stainless steel round bar–Aquamet 22, to be precise–need to find their way onto the boat.