We have been working on our hanging locker for a month and a half now. It has really turned out to be a massive undertaking but so rewarding. You may remember from Demo Time! this particular locker held the small diesel tank for the heater. The hoses coming off the tank had leaked diesel onto the shelves which were bare wood so they soaked it up and the whole locker was a smelly mess. One of the first things we decided to do was take the heater, tank, and shelves out to get rid of the smell. We then decided to improve the design which we described in Grinding Down to Build Up.
In case you didn’t read either of those posts and didn’t click on either of those links above, this is what the locker used to look like:
And then we cleaned it up a bit and prepped the fiberglass for the new shelves:
And recently we have made huge progress by cutting the shelves, installing them, and starting to paint! The wood was donated to us by Erin’s uncle Joe and is really nice exterior grade wood that is probably as old as the boat. From what I understand it used to be an old electrical cabinet that power/cable/telephone companies used to have on the side of the road. They still have them but now they are all metal. The one I pictured in my mind when Joe was telling me about it is what I would consider vintage. Anyhow he recognized that this was a great piece of wood all those years ago and he saved it from the trash heap! Its been sitting on the farm waiting for the day that it could be of some use and that day has certainly come!
We used the old rotten shelves as templates but added three inches of depth to each one. We then cut them with a hand saw and epoxied the edges.
We then dry fit them and made sure they were level:
And finally fiberglassed them in place. We used four layers of fiberglass on top of each self and another three layers on the bottom of the top shelf. We tied in the top shelf to both of the chainplate knees with extra fiberglass radiating out from each knee both top and bottom. Ideally this will help distribute the stresses applied to the chainplate knees by the rigging.
This past weekend we were able to prime the whole locker and today we went back and applied the first coat of alkyd enamel paint. We are going to apply a couple more coats of paint and then make fiddles for the shelves out of some teak wood we purchased. There is also a teak hanger rod of course. By the way, the off white, dirty fiberglass floor of the locker is going to be saved for later. Its part of the larger pan that spans the whole boat and we are going to paint it all at once.
p.s. it is immensely satisfying knowing that I built this with my hands from raw materials. It is also very reassuring knowing exactly how secure the top shelf is in relation to the chainplate knees – if our rig ever comes down it will not be the result of chainplate or chainplate knee failure.