SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Friday, July 31, 2015

Nav Station Instruments and Electrical Panel Façade – Part 2

Installing panels in the frame required creative hinge work.

Test fitting new nav station electrical and instrument panels.

To provide the most ergonomic access to the backside of the panel we chose to hinge the aft, electrical panel section along the forward, vertical side.  Hinging the panel to swing forward provides easy access to the panel while sitting at the nav station.   It also places additional stress on the hinge.  To accommodate the additional forces I chose to surface mount the hinge. Then thru-bolted machine screws to attach the hinge to the panel. 

The BassPanel contains 20 D/C breakers, 8 A/C breakers, an A/C reverse polarity indicator, analogue load gauges for both D/C & A/C systems, and analogue voltage gauges for both D/C & A/C systems.

Being uncertain what devices may be added to the forward panel in the future, I felt the best option was to place the hinge along the lower, horizontal edge of the panel.    Thus panel swings down and rests atop the nav station desk.  This action provides access to the back side of the panel while sitting at the nav station.  Accessing the items mounted on the hull outboard of the panel can be achieved by kneeling on the nav station bench seat.

The forward, instrument panel hinges down.  The aft, electrical panel hinges forward.

I recessed the foreword panel slightly by installing the hinge to the vertical face of the panel and the horizontal edge of the frame.  This provides additional clearance between devices installed in the panel and the hinged nav station desk top that swings upward when opened.

The final install will include trim along the top and an arm rest / storage below the aft section.

Currently panel is simply slid into place for test fitting.  For the final installation we will secure it with screws and add trim along the top edge.  We also plan to build an arm rest / storage below the electrical (aft) panel.  The arm rest will hide the wire runs entering the panel from below.

See our Navigation Station Re-Fit Photo Album for images and notes current progress.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nav Station Instruments and Electrical Panel Façade

We are expanding the original electrical panel aft to effectively double its size.

Test fitting the enlarged frame for nav station over cardboard template of terminal block and bus bars layout.

We designed the panel to have two hinged sections.  Since the forward section will be easier to see and interact with while sitting working at the nav station this section will house instruments, alarms, solar charge controller, etc.  The aft section will house the new electrical panel.

The forward section took a bit of trial and error to layout.  Knowing that we will inevitably wish to add additional devices to the panel we choose to squeeze all the current devices tightly together and leave some empty space for future expansion.  Once we agreed on the layout, I transferred the design to a piece of 1/8” luan plywood.

Creating a template of the new instrument panel.

Actually cutting out the holes in the template revealed a few errors.

Creating the template allowed me to test fit the devices prior to making the first cut on the actual panel.   This proved fortuitous as the hole for the battery monitor was slightly undersized and the two holes for the 12V charging outlets we slight too far apart.  Better to make these discoveries on a piece of luan than the finished panel.  Once the corrections were made, I transferred the pattern to the panel and cut out the appropriate holes.

Cut outs completed on new panel.

Installing the actual electronics in the panel simple required drilling a few pilot holes for mounting screws.

Face on new panel with devices installed.

The devices listed clockwise from top are… High Water Alarm, Garmin GMI10 Multi-FunctionDisplay, Blue Sky Solar Charge Controller 2000E, Victron Battery Monitor, and West Marine Double 12V Outlet.

The backside of GMI10 and the Victron Battery Monitor appear fairly well protected.  The high water alarm is housed in a plastic outlet box.  The back of the Blue Sky Charge Controller consists of an exposed printed circuit board.

Backside of panel with starboard sides of charge controller cover installed.

Rather the take our chances on leaving it exposed, I fabricated a cover using ¾” starboard on 3 sides.

Lower edge of charge controller containing the terminal block remains open for wires.

Then capped with a ¼” lexan cover.  The devices terminal block is located along the lower edge so this side was left open.

See our Navigation Station Re-Fit Photo Album for images and notes current progress.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Prep Work for Nav Station Electrical Panel Upgrades

When we purchased Pilgrim it came equipped with the original 1979 Morgan Yachts electrical panel.

Original 1979 Morgan Yachts Electrical Panel.  We sold this panel to another Morgan Owner.

While still fully functional, this panel lacked the appropriate number of DC breakers to accommodate the system upgrades we have planned.  Due to the large analog meters and double pole AC breakers the panel also has a large footprint relative to the number of breakers.

Most of the original wiring associated with the panel was shoe horned into a tiny area below the interior of the nav station storage.  Since we plan to expand the number of circuits, we will also need more space to mount the “back end” (terminal blocks, bus bars, etc.) of the electrical system.  Our plan is to install plywood panels along the hull out board of the nav station.  These panels will provide a large vertical surface area for mounting various components of the electrical system.

First step of the process is to identify the location and orientation of the frames.  Frames are typically wood strips secured to the hull, typically with epoxy, that provide a mounting surface on to which interior structures (i.e. cabinetry, ceiling panels, wall coverings, etc.) can be mechanically fastened. 

X marks the areas need to be ground down to bare fiberglass.

The hull outboard of the nav station has little curvature and our access is limited thus orienting the four frames horizontally worked better in this location.  The lower, forward frame location is eclipsed by the nav station desk in most of the included images.

We plan to epoxy the frames to the hull so the next step is to grind the area under the frames down to bare fiberglass.  Time to suit up and make some dust…yuck.

Grinding complete.  Now where is the shop vac?

We have some of the original frames Morgan used for the headliner as spares so we recycled them for this project.  Thickened epoxy was then used to bond the frames to the hull.

Recycling unused headliner frames for the new electrical panel.

Once the frames were cured and permanently in place, we added a single layer of 3/16” reflectix insulation along the hull.

On a whim we added a layer of 3/16" thick reflectix insulation along the hull.

A few weeks ago we used some cardboard templates to begin laying out the electrical system.

Cardboard templates of the new panels are used for experimenting with the electrical system layout.
We used 3/8” plywood pre-coated with white Formica to create the panels.  These are attached to the frames using counter sink, flat head screws.

Ahh... a blank canvas for creating the new electrical system.

We now have plenty of real estate for mounting the new electrical system.

We drilled a few large diameter holes far outboard in the nav station seat.  These will be used for future wire runs.  Our plan is to cover the wire runs with a arm rest / storage cubby once the electrical system is in place.

See our Navigation Station Re-Fit Photo Album for images and notes current progress.