Mast and Electrical

(Year Four, spring and summer)

Albin Vega mast and electrical

Underneath the companionway and cockpit floor, where originally the inboard engine was mounted but now will be my battery bank.
Note how the shaft tube is at a slight angle to port (an Albin feature.) Instead of just glassing over the shaft tube, I filled it with grease and a stainless steel threaded shaft, secured on both ends by a washer and two nuts (and a seal of 4200 on the outside.) Yes, I know; stainless is not the best metal to put under the waterline. The original shaft is actually a shaft within another tube (for the combi-prop), and without a prop fixture at the end of it, seawater would enter the shaft housing. I looked around for an old shaft of suitable diameter and length, but couldn’t find anything handy. For the price of bronze stock, I got enough stainless (sold in 6 foot lengths) to give this try, evaluate the whole assembly after the first haul, and if need be replace it with the spare length while I find a better solution. The shaft protrudes from the hull long enough to attach a zinc and function as an electrical ground.

Albin Vega mast and electrical

To build a secure platform for the battery bank, first I tried to use the original motor mounts to secure a flat surface that would be level while sitting in flat water. Well, remember how the shaft tube is angled to the side? It’s also angled down just a tad, so trying to square off the surface with shims was much harder in practice than in theory. Also, I figured if I’m going to make a bed for the batteries, I might as well extend it a little aft to better make use of the space otherwise just curving into the bilge. Note the thickened resin tabs under the small blocks of leftover mahogony to hold the bed screws. Yes, this would have been easier and faster if I had done this before I primed and painted the bilge and installed the surrounding wood pieces . . . BUT it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun!

Albin Vega mast and electrical

I think the base is 5/8" hardwood plywood coated with resin on the bottom, fiberglass and resin on top.

Albin Vega mast and electrical

All the wiring in one place . . .

Albin Vega mast and electrical

The board hinged up.

Albin Vega mast and electrical

The old antennae support was bendable by hand with hardly any effort.

Albin Vega mast and electrical

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