Thursday it rained the better part of the morning, so filling and fairing fiberglass was out of the question. I decided it was finally time to pull the steering pedestal assembly and get it out of the way. I need to sand and paint inside the cockpit well and it’ll be a lot easier to do without having to work around it.
Disassembly was pretty straight forward once I got the compass removed, but it was a lot of in-&-out of the cockpit locker to disconnect steering, throttle, and shift cables. Also, there was a fair bit of corrosion on some of the fasteners (what a surprise) so a good shot of PB Blaster came in handy from time to time. The fun part was wedging myself back behind the steering quadrant only to find that I’d brought the wrong wrench with me to disconnect the cables. Jeni was at work, so no one available to hand me the right wrench. Uhg, back up topside to grab the correct wrench and weasel my ass back around the rudder shaft. Once I got the pedestal out of the cockpit though, I was amazed at how much room we had. Definitely a strong argument for the merits of tiller steering vs. wheel.
I also managed to get the shore power inlet relocated out of the cockpit where I always seem to be tripping over the cord. Now it resides nicely out of the way on the outside of the starboard coaming. The boat used to have a telephone & cable tv jack next to the shore power inlet. Since we now get our tv and telephone via the miracle of science called radio waves, the phone jack has to go. The old Standard Horizon speed/log meter will eventually be replaced and relocated out of the footwell, so that hole is also getting glassed over and filled before paint. The engine instrument panel will stay where it is, but we’ll most likely update all the gauges in the future.
So I’m getting pretty used to this giant cockpit with all this room to work and relax now without the steering pedestal in the way. Who knows? Maybe we’ll just steer with the tiller from now on…