Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sabre 36 Shower Support and Cabin Sole Repair (Part 2)

After the demolition was complete I let the area dry out for about a month.  I ran a boat Caframo Air Dryer right in the hole.  The strength of the stick built cabin sole is amazing.  I could walk around the unsupported area with little flexing.

I could feel a challenge coming up.  The sole curves up from the center and the existing floor thickness is variable from top to bottom due to the filler.  There is no way to simply lay in a single piece and have it easily align on all sides.  I decided to build it back up in many pieces. There is also the issue of how to match the coloring and grain.  I decided to take it one step at a time and see how things materialized.


I had to come up with a way of supporting the new underlayment and bonding with the existing floor.  I decided to make some brackets out of 1/4″ G10 epoxy board and bond them to the existing sole.  I used 1/2″ Meranti ply to make a new shower support.  I decided to double it to improve rigidity.  I templated the new support before cutting and sealed it with a few coats of straight west system.

1/4" G10 epoxy board brackets to support sub-floor

1/4″ G10 epoxy board brackets to support sub-floor


Fitting new shower support

Fitting new shower support

After the new support was fitted and brackets installed, I templated using a piece of 3/16″ luan ply and transferred to the Meranti 1/2″.  To deal with clamping and curvature I drilled and tapped 10-24 holes in the G10 for mechanical fastening.  For fastening into the mast support beam I reused the 1.5″ slotted wood screws that came out during demolition.  Note that I filled all the old screw holes with west in an epoxy syringe.  I also did some drill samples in the beam and step to make sure there was no water damage inside.  Everything looked pretty dry.

I used epoxy on the brackets, shower support and subfloor edges (not where it is attached to the beam).  This will allow the patch to be removed if I ever opt for a complete sole replacement in the future.

Patch installed.  Edges were sealed with two coats of epoxy.

Subfloor patch installed. Edges were sealed with two coats of epoxy. Things looking better already.

After I fastened the ply I cut a slot in the center and inserted a small piece of ply as a center support.  The piece was epoxied to the hull underneath.  I also epoxied in the new shower support and screwed the subfloor to it.


Poor shot of new shower support with thickened epoxy seal. This will be covered with cloth later.



Below Decks Autopilot DIY Part 5 (of many)

Sorry for the delay but now time to finish this.

With the hole drilled for the arm bolt and the drive mounted the next step is the rudder position sensor (Simrad RF25 NMEA 2000 sensor).  I scoured the net for reference photos and saw a few where the position sensor arm used the steering quadrant as an attachment point.  After an hour study in the aft lazarette I could see no way to make that work.  I decided to use the tiller arm as the attachment point and build a custom base to support the sensor body.  It sits right next to the rudder shaft parallel to the beam.

I used some plywood scraps and a 4″ square piece of box aluminum (ebay) to make the platform and riser.  I tucked it in as tight as possible to the rudder shaft so the Sabre quadrant/steering covers would not interfere.  I also made it easily removable from the base in case the steering stuffing box needs servicing.  The base is epoxied to the hull with a few layers of fiberglass cloth.

I attached the other end of the sensor to the tiller arm using the threaded rod attached to a small stainless L bracket, screwed (drilled tapped first) into the tiller arm.  I don’t have any good pictures of this.

Rudder position sensor mount fabricated from plywood and epoxy.

Rudder position sensor mount fabricated from plywood and epoxy.

Sensor and stand being put on the base.  The sensor can be easily removed for service.

Sensor and stand being put on the base. The sensor can be easily removed for service.

Autopilot Install Finish