Thursday, September 2, 2021

Wireless Windlass Remote Control

One easy project we completed during the winter of 2021 was adding a wireless remote control to the windlass. Wildthing had a 12 volt, 1500 watt Lofrans Tigres windlass.  It is powered from our house bank. We never installed deck switches so the only way to operate it was to go find the remote and connect that to the electrical connection on the bullworks near the windlass. This is not always convenient so I took to the Internet to find some wireless remote options.

Lofrans has their own remote which costs well over $300 dollars.  I am always looking for a way to do things on the cheap so I kept looking. Trusty had several that were listed for use with winches attached to ATV, 4 wheelers for quads.  The contactors are the same and I found several models to choose from that would work on our 12 volt windlass.

I found this model which has two remote controls for only $20. It is a cheap Chinese made remote but for the price I could buy 10 of them compared to the Lofrans model.


The control box has to be connected to the windlass contactor which controls the raising and lowering of the windlass. Our contactor is located in the chain locker under the windlass. Two wires are needed for power, the other two wires connect to contacts that control the raising and lowering of the windlass. These were located on either side of the Imtra contactor. The blue wire is the wireless antenna.

The unit came with two wireless remotes. One can be easily attached to your key chain and the other is more rugged and some what water resistant. 

The installation could not have been easier and the price of the unit makes this a no brainer to add to any windlass. There was no need to run wires from the helm all the way through the boat to the windlass.  This wireless remote makes it easy to single hand and drop the anchor right from the helm station.  This wireless remote is my new favorite toy!

~~~ Sail On /) ~~~

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

February - April 2021 

V-Berth Reconstruction

After the completion of the aft headliner we moved onto addressing the v-berth rebuild. The portlights in the v-berth were neglected by the previous owner so the majority of the cabinetry was rotten. It was removed several years ago with little progress since then. The bulkheads were originally covered with a teak veneer so all of that was removed. I spent the next two months working on the v-berth removing the last of the rotten wood, cutting all the maple tambour for the bulkheads, building cabinets, shelves and flooring.

The original layout of the Pan Oceanic 46 v-berth had a nice queen sized berth with a cabinet on the port side and cabinetry and hanging locker on the starboard side.  The berth was in good shape so the focus was on the wall coverings, bulkheads, floor, headliner and cabinets.

Removal of the teak veneer

Peeling off rotten teak veneer

Aft v-berth bulkhead port side

V-Berth aft bulkhead starboard

Forward bulkhead and chain locker

Once the bulkheads were all clean the maple tambour was measured and roughed cut to cover all the surfaces. The maple tambour was chosen to lighten up the cabins. The old teak was just too dark. Once cut and fitted these pieces were all taken down for a final spray coat of Epifanes matte varnish.

V-berth aft bulkhead tambour

Berth face and step

Step for berth rebuilt and tambour fitted

Cabinet bulkhead tambour port side

V-berth forward bulkhead tambour

Slats were fiberglassed onto the insides of the hull to allow attachment of sheets of material and trim. For this we used 1/8 inch luan plywood. We sealed both sides with epoxy resin and painted them white with Interlux Brightsides paint. Brother Brad is becoming quite the spray painter and the results turned out amazing. Armaflex closed cell insulation was then applied between the slats.

Port Hull slats and insulation

Painted headliner and hull pieces

Finish coat on the v-berth pieces

Paint shop full of newly painted pieces

The master painter at work

Once the large pieces were painted we rough cut the teak trim. The teak will then be removed and varnished. We chose the top and windows for our lines and tapered the trim as it came to the bottom of the bunk. The teak slats were spaced 6 inches apart to match what was done in the aft cabin.

Port side v-berth

Starboard side v-berth

Port side v-berth trim rough cut

Starboard side teak trim rough cut

New Cabinet, Shelves and Hanging Locker

Work continued on the starboard side rebuilding the shelves and hanging locker. Two new bulkheads were fabricated and glassed to the hull.  Foam sheets were used to develop templates for the bulkheads. The shelving structure was fabricated along with insulating and painting.

Starboard side locker

Foam used to make pattern for cabinet bulkhead

New bulkheads glassed in starboard side

Cabinets enclosed with 1/2 marine plywood

Shelves added next to hanging locker

Shelf fabrication

Another cabinet added above hanging locker

The cabinet and shelving was then taken apart and prepped for painting. The hull was insulated and backing was added to cover the insulation in the lockers. The backing was the same Sintra PVC material we used for the headliner. We used flexible strips cut from PVC lumber to trim out the backer pieces. Maple face frames and doors still need to be fabricated to cover the shelves and hanging locker.

Lockers insulated with Armaflex

Backing panels put in lockers

Shelves added

Another project was to cut some flooring for the v-berth and build the last floor hatch. Luckily the floor was very small so it did not take long. A pattern was made of the floor to add a piece of subfloor to bring it up to the proper level.  A new hatch was fabricated along with teak trim pieces and recessed latch.

Made a pattern for the subfloor

Added the subfloor

V-berth flooring rough cut

Routed the floor hatch for the recessed latch 

One last piece to fabricate in the v-berth was the locker on the starboard side. A triangular piece of plywood was first cut. A hatch was cut out of that and hinges were attached. Flooring material was used  to cover the top of it. This locker will be used for sails or storage.

Bottom side painted with hinges attached

Fitting the flooring material to the hatch

All pieces glued up

Up on deck we redid a couple of the biggest sections of non skid. This process is the same as we have done in the past. We copied the process used by Youtuber Andy from Boatworks Today. We have picked up many of our fiberglassing and painting tips from his channel. I have a Phd from Youtube University as we like to call it. He has a great channel and his nonskid application is a must watch video.

We sanded the old nonskid off, wiped down the surface and applied a layer of Awlgrip primer. If the primer is recoated within 24 hours it still chemically bonds. The next day we applied a coat of Awlgrip paint and then generously sprinkled on the Soft Sand non skid product. We used the medium grit Soft Sand which is easy on the feet. The next day we swept off the excess and gave it two final coats of  Awlgrip paint. 

The toughest part of the non skid is getting the areas taped off correctly. We used blue painters tape with great success. Find a jar lid or bottle that resembles the radius you want to use for the inside and outside corners. Place multiple layers of tape over the corners, place the jar lid on the corner and use a razor blade knife to cut the radius.  This will give you consistent radiuses for your project. 

Sand Shakers made from plastic jars

Soft Sand sprinkled on

Port section primed

Radius taping detail

Completed sections on the bow

Starboard side section sanded and taped off

Details around the mast step

Wow, that was a busy few months! The v-berth is finally taking shape. We still have alot of varnishing and painting to do and we will be back in 2022 to put it all back together. I like to think we are getting close to the end of the project. I have so many of my friends ask me, is the boat done yet? Honestly, is any boat every done? In the mean time, it has been so much fun spending time with my brother and working on this old boat in tropical, sunny Florida!

~~~ Sail On /) ~~~