Compass, Part 2: Installation of Mahogany Panels

The Ritchie SR-2 Venture compass, dry-fitted in the mahogany panels in the cabin trunk
Having constructed the mahogany panels for the new compass in Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25, it was now time to install them, or at least to dry-fit them into place. In this second of three postings on the installation of my new Ritchie SR-2 Venture compass, I describe the steps I took to install these panels - these panels that would serve both a practical purpose and an aesthetic one.
From a practical standpoint, it should become immediately obvious from one glance at the picture below that these panels served to conceal the original compass hole. Not only was the original hole smaller than the hole that was necessary for the new compass, but also it was not well placed. For some odd reason the installer had decided to mount the compass quite close to the companionway way. Given, however, the other odd installations that were here and there around the boat, this was not surprising. Is it really that hard to bring forethought to a project? In other words, is it really that hard to sit back, imbibe a glass of hops and barley, and think through a small project from beginning to end? Why do some feel the compulsion to go tearing into something with hell-bent abandon without weighing the pros and cons of one approach or another? I'll never know.
The interior panel, partially installed.
As seen from afar. Pay no attention to the plywood and cardboard around the stove. These were mock-ups I had created in an attempt to figure out how to protect the electrical system in this area of the galley. I would later abandon this plywood approach and would adopt a fireproof, protective curtain approach.
At this time, I also experimented with the mounting of a second mahogany panel on the interior side of the cabin trunk. I thought it might be good to mimic the panel that I had applied to the other side for the mounting of a binocular rack. I did not plan to mount a binocular rack on this side (since it would encroach upon the stove), but I thought it might help to balance things from the visual standpoint. After taking a little time to think through this, I decided that this area would look better without the extra panel. It made things a little too busy looking, and it really served no practical purpose.
Before abandoning the idea, I experimented with orienting the extra panel vertically, so that the ribbon stripes would match the top panel. I didn't like this look either. Too much accentuation of the vertical.
Just as was the case with the panels for the GPS, these panels for the compass would just barely cover the original hole. This was one reason why I needed plenty of screws in these panels. The panels had to be nice and snug against the cabin trunk.
I used my Makita jig saw with a reverse-cut blade (Bosch T101BR) installed, so as to minimize the damage to the gelcoat.
For the installation of the panels, I used the cockpit seat as a reference
This turned out to be a bad idea. I should not have assumed that the seat was level. As you can see in the picture below, the panel is clearly not level.
Fortunately, I was able to widen a few of the holes that I had already drilled in the fiberglass. This allowed me to correct the panel.
This made things much better.
Now that the panels were installed, or at least dry-fitted into place, I could focus on my next task: installing the panels with adhesive/sealant, and then installing the compass itself into its new home. These steps are the subject of the third and final posting regarding the new Ritchie SR-2 compass that I added to Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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