Lazarette Modifications, Part 11: Additional Cleats for Stowage

The additional cleats, dry-fitted into place
After I had completed the initial painting of the lazarette, and after I had completed most of the rewiring of the boat (some important parts of which wiring were in the lazarette), I conducted another dry-fitting of the water tank and the water tank shelves in order to remind myself where exactly I needed to locate the house bank battery box shelf. I would need to route the bilge hoses between the water tank and the battery box shelf, and if I did not allow enough space between the water tank and the shelf, then there would not be enough room for the hoses. While engaged in this dry-fitting, I became distracted by a couple of unrelated problems that I had never fully resolved in the earlier stages of this lengthy lazarette modification project. Specifically, I had never fully figured out how to secure the potable water hose and the shore power cord that I planned to stow in the aft end of the lazarette.The more I thought about these problems, the more I decided I needed to resolve them before doing anything else. Therefore, I stopped what I was doing and started focusing on these issues.
In the dry-fitting of the battery box shelf, I started by making sure the shelf was level before re-marking the hull with a Sharpie marker.
I also doubled checked to make sure that the water tank would still fit through the cut-out after I had glassed the battery bank shelf into place.
The tank fit snugly between  the new, white cleats, just like it was supposed to.
Afterwards, I temporarily installed the largest of the bilge pump hoses to make sure there was enough space between the tank and the shelf. It was at this point that I started being distracted by those unresolved stowage problems in terms of the fresh water hose and the shore power cord. As you can see, there is nothing to prevent anything placed at the aft end of the lazarette from sliding downward toward the area where the house battery bank box would be located.
I started to think that maybe the best way to stow the shore power cord was to put it in a tool bag and then somehow secure the bag in place with bungee cords.
First I placed the bag on the starboard side, aft. It's the black thing in the background of this picture.
This seemed to fit well in this space. Getting the bag into this space was quite simple, since I had earlier cut the hole in the cockpit. I simply knelt at the aft end of the cockpit, leaned over, and slid the bag into place.
Yest, the bag fit well in this space, but then I remembered that I needed to route the water tank vent hose and the the water tank infill hose through that space. Remember that on the starboard side of this vessel there is a cavity at the aft end which leads upward to the cockpit coaming. I would route the hoses upwards through this cavity. The water infill hose would go to a deckplate on the cockpit coaming while the vent hose would lead forward through the coaming all the way to the galley of the boat.For more on this, see my article, "Plumbing, Fresh Water Tank."
Putting the bag aside, I began to experiment with the shore power cord by itself. I believe this picture makes it very clear that in this current set-up the cord could easily slide down into the battery box area. The cleat that I had earlier installed (to the right of the cord in this picture) would prevent the cord from sliding into the reserve battery box, but there was nothing preventing it from sliding in other directions.
I didn't like the idea of having the cord on the starboard side. I was afraid that the heavy cord could break the vent hose fitting.
Having puzzled for some time over various ways that I might secure the shore power cord with bungee cord, I suddenly came upon the idea of installing cleats on the aft water tank shelf. These cleats would do the job far better than bungee ever could, and they would allow me simply to toss the shore power cord up and over the cleats. Gravity would then hold the cord in place.
Hitting upon this idea, I climbed out of the boat and went to my scrap wood pile to find a couple of pieces that I could use as mock-ups. While looking through the pile, I was suddenly struck by good fortune. There were two, wedge-shaped pieces of fir that ended up fitting perfectly into the space in the lazarette.These two scrap pieces were the negatives, so to speak, of two cleats that I had previously cut and installed on the boat.I believe they were the ones that I installed in the V-berth mid-locker. It really doesn't matter. This was a rare stroke of good luck, and that was all that mattered.
I experimented with different arrangements for the cleats, trying to maximize the stowage space on the outboard side of the cleats while allowing for plenty of space on the inboard side.
I had to have enough room on the inboard side to slide the fenders into their dedicated stowage area on the starboard shelf.
There also needed to be enough room on the inboard side of the cleats for me to stow bags of trash, since this was the only place on the boat that would reasonably accommodate these bags.
I finally settled on the arrangement you see pictured below. It was not symmetrical, but it was certainly practical. Notice that I have added a dark green garden hose to the starboard side. I used this hose as a stand-in for the potable water hose that I would later purchase and stow in this space.
Satisfied with this arrangement, I removed the battery box and then the battery box shelf, and I climbed back there and marked the position of the cleats on the water tank shelf with a pencil.
After this, I experimented with the water tank shelf itself to see if I could remove it from the lazarette after I had installed the cleats on it.I had not installed the cleats at this time. I just had them resting on the shelf.
Fortunately, the cleats did not present any problems in terms of removing the shelf from the lazarette through the cut-out.
At my work table, I inspected the marks I had made with the pencil, and I prepared to temporarily install the cleats on the shelf.
First, I drilled three holes in the shelf for each cleat.
Then I clamped the first cleat into position, allowing the shelf to hang outward beyond the edge of the table.
Sitting down, underneath the table, I drilled upward, through the pre-drilled holes in the plywood shelf and into the cleat.
Then I flipped the shelf over, and using a countersink bit on my drill, I countersunk each of the three holes on this first cleat. Finishing this short task, I then screwed the three 1/4 inch stainless steel flathead screws into place.
Below we see how it all looked after I had screwed both cleats into place.
Wanting to knock down the sharp edges of the cleats, I broke out my router, installed a round-over bit, and got to work.

Afterwards, I used a quarter-sheet sander to knock down any remaining sharp spots, making sure to keep the bottoms of the cleats as sharp and square as possible so they would form a nice, cleat joint with the shelf.
Now it was time for some epoxy work. At this time I was epoxy-coating some luan for the alcove boxes in the main salon.This luan would both conceal and provide access to the electrical work that I had recently done in the alcove boxes.
Since I had drilled new holes in the previously epoxy-coated and painted shelf, I decided it would be a good idea to coat these new holes with epoxy while I was doing this other work.
As always, I applied two coats of epoxy, the second coming several hours after the first.
The next day, I flipped the cleats over in preparation for applying the two coats to the other side.
The first coat. Notice how portions of the Douglas fir are flat and thus not glossy. This is because these portions have absorbed a lot of the first coat.
After the second coat the entire side was glossy.
Several days later, after the epoxy had fully cured, I returned to the work table and sanded the cleats with 40 grit paper.
Then I broke out the Pitthane, the two-part polyurethane that I had used for the other parts of this project.
The first of two coats on the first side.
After a couple of days I was able to work on the second side.
The second side after its second and final coat.
While working on the second side of the cleats (and other unrelated pieces) I had enough left over paint to apply some to the underside of the house bank battery box shelf. This area of the shelf would be difficult to reach after I had glassed the shelf into place, so I figured that now was the time to paint it, and since I had extra paint, it made sense to use it here rather than to throw it away. I left the sides of the shelf bare, since I would be gluing these areas of the shelf down to the battery box cleats (which I had not installed at this time in the lazarette).
This digression on these water tank shelf cleats was a bit time-consuming, but I considered it to be a worthwhile endeavor. With these cleats, valuable stowage space in the lazarette would have gone to waste.

This ends this posting on how I created the additional cleats for stowage in the lazarette of Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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