Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Few More PDQ Tweaks

rev. 8-1-2013

Spreader. A few weeks ago, while sailing in brisk conditions, the spreader attaching the bow of my tender to the davits snapped; plastic in a place where metal made more sense. I made a replacement from some 1" x 1" x 1/8" wall aluminum square tube that I had in the "might need" pile. I'm much happier with this, and that if it ever does fail, it will bend rather than break. It is also lighter.

I added very heavy wear pads; they are of a reinforced canvas product, many times thicker than the tubes, and are glued on with 3M 5200. I did not drill the center of the spreader; there is a small aluminum strap intended only to center a spectra sling. I also trice-up the dingy when snow season comes; a pair of 25-foot x 3/8" docklines go from the davit cleat, through the welded eye at the tip of the davit, under the dingy cross-wise, and up to the davit cleat at the other end.

Yamaha Seat Belt. All PDQ owners know the story; at some point the lock-down mechanism fails and different method of hold-down is needed. In a prior post (I Hate Yamaha) I described my battlefield solution. Back home, I made something more permanent from a truck strap and some climbing webbing. So far I am happy with it, though I may devise something more elegant next time I haul out. Or I may stay with this simple, sturdy solution.

(3-5-2012 the hold down latch on the port engine seized. Fortunately, when I made the strap and fittings for the starboard engine I made another for the port engine and installed the required fittings.) 

The cracks in the cowling were caused by me falling on it a different day; they have bee repaired on the inside. There is a FRP block secured with caulking and a rope pad eye (2 holes and knots on the ends of the rope) at the aft end to protect the plastic (not FRP) in this area and to keep the strap centered.

Salon Pilot Berth. The salon table, like may cruising boats, can be lowered and made into a berth. King size on the PDQ! Often it is the coolest place to sleep. Sometime I simply want a good place to crash, closer to the helm. Unfortunately, lowering the table requires clearing the table, retrieving cushions from under the port sleep berth, and raising and lowering the table itself can be physical, if it sticks. I pulled my back badly this summer fooling with it in a swell. So I created a pilot birth from a simple leaf and some foam scraps. This pilot berth is also VERY comfortable for lounging and watching movies. It can be rigged in seconds.

I removed the cleat that the table edge rests on (when lowered into a bed) and replaced it with a leaf on a piano hinge. The cushion is covered with two pillowcases joined with Velcro, so very limited sewing was required. When not in use as a mattress extension, it serves as a bolster in the starboard berth. The leaf is supported by the helm foot rest box, which is a perfect fit.

rev. 8-1-2013 I later replaced this board with one 13.5 inches wide, reaching nearly to the floor. The narrower board would allow the filler cushion to slide off sometimes, where the wider board does not.

Table Storage. Accessing the table storage always required clearing the table. Small items could roll off the table in rough waters. The solution: a tray with fiddles and a panel on the bottom (not shown) that just fits the opening. Access is a simple matter of lifting off the tray, and the tray cannot slide. (note: I stole and then adapted this idea from another PDQ owner with a different table design)

Nothing earth shattering, just a few ideas to make cruising easier. About $20.00 was spent on all of these projects together, mostly on the hinge and a spectra sling. I like making something from nothing. Having a big "might need" pile helps.

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