In order to remove the old sailing instruments, the Datamarine depth sounder and knot log, I had to remove the cuddy hole cabinet installed in the cockpit combing. It was impossible to reach the set screws in the locking rings holding the Datamarine instruments in place otherwise. I climbed into the engine, on top of the engine start battery, pulled myself high into this area, and still my arms were 6″ too short to reach the set screws. There was just no way around it… the cubby had to come out. They are held in place by only 4 screws accessible and easily removed from the cockpit, however 30 years of Poly-sulfide sealant had a strong grip, too strong to pry loose. I thought, what if I got my Dremel tool with the diamond cutter?
First I applied two layers of masking tape to protect the fibreglass surface around the cubby from the Dremel cutter. Then I ran the Dremel cutter around the cubby, cutting the sealant like butter. After about 1/2 hour, I was able to pry the cubby a little bit away from the combing and cut the remaining sealant with a curved hobby knife. Everything went well and within an hour I had the cubby removed from the cockpit combing. I will use Boatlife “Release” to soften the old sealant to facilitate cleaning it off the combing and the cubby before re-installation.
Now the set screws securing the Datamarine instruments are easily reached and can be removed. Also, the bolts and backing plates for the primary winches can be seen and checked. There is one cubby on each side of the cockpit, near the primary winches. Having them more easily removable would allow better access to the primary winch mounting bolts.
The cubby’s have a built in drain which can be seen in the last photo. The short piece of hole was not connected to anything and just emptied on top of the engine start battery. Now with the hose easily reached, I can run a longer hose direct to the bilge area and keep the engine start battery dry. I am happy with today’s progress and can now remove the old instruments making way for the new Raymarine autopilot and Tri-Data instruments.