Anchor, Chain Locker, and Anchor Roller, Part 9, Anchor Roller Platform and Hardware, Installation

The anchor platform, fully installed
Ten months had passed since I had constructed the mahogany anchor platform for Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25. In the interim, I had varnished the platform (along with many other pieces of mahogany), I had modified the chain locker panel, and I had restored the deck of the boat to something of its original glory by compounding the gelcoat with an electric buffer and then waxing it. Additionally, I had polished the original stainless steel hardware (such as the stemhead and pulpit) on a bench grinder with a buffing wheel attached. Oystercatcher was now ready, at long last, to receive her varnished mahogany anchor platform and the hardware for it. How I carried out this installation is the subject of this posting.
The first thing I needed to do was to redrill the holes that I had filled with epoxy (so as to protect the balsa core within the deck). For this this I had to use a long drill bit to make it all the way through some of this material. Afterward, I dry-fitted the bolts to make sure that everything lined up just right.
For the anchor roller, there were five carriage bolts, 5/16 inch in diameter.
For the mahogany, there were two 1/4 inch hex-head bolts.
After I had determined that all the hardware fit into these holes, I made small reference marks on the deck around the perimeter of the anchor platform. Then I removed the platform and thoroughly cleaned the appropriate area of the deck with xylene. This solvent would remove the wax that I had earlier applied to the deck.
In lieu of using a polyurethane, such as Sikaflex, or polysulfide, such as Boatlife Lifecaulk, in my installation of the anchor platform, I used butyl tape. This was the same material that I had used in my reinstallation of the many different pieces of deck hardware that I had removed. You can buy butyl tape at your local hardware store or at an RV store, but I opted to buy mine from Maine Sail on his Compass Marine website (see the link on the homepage of this blog of mine that you're reading). Maine Sail's attention to detail and his love of quality in all things related to the refitting and maintenance of sailboat led me to trust his words on the quality of his traditional-style, long-lasting butyl tape. I should note that in the refitting of Oystercatcher I used almost six full rolls of his tape.
I applied butyl tape not only to the underside of the mahogany but also to the fiberglass shelf at the peak of the bow. This was where two of the five carriage bolts for the anchor roller would pass through the deck. I wanted the butyl tape to seal the holes. I also wanted it to serve as a flexible foundation of sorts for the roller. On account of the camber of the deck, the anchor roller would not be entirely flush with the deck, especially along the port side. The butyl tape would thus serve as a shim to fill the gap on this side.
After I had dropped the anchor platform into place and inserted the two 1/4 inch hex head bolts to hold it in place, I applied some butyl tape to the mahogany itself. This would seal the three holes for the three carriage bolts in this area, and it would help to raise the aft end of the anchor roller up just slightly. This was necessary because the mahogany was about 1/16 inch lower than the fiberglass shelf at the peak of the bow.
I then crammed butyl tape down into the small gap between the mahogany and the fiberglass shelf. I did not want any water to accumulate in this gap.
Now it was time for me to install the anchor roller with the five carriage bolts. If you click on the picture below and look closely, you'll see that I wrapped the heads of all the bolts with butyl tape before I installed them. I had done the same thing with the 1/4 inch hex head bolts in the mahogany. I used a helper for my installation of the hex head bolts. A helper wasn't necessary, of course, for the carriage bolts, since they, by their design, do not spin when you tighten down their nuts.
After this I used a putty knife to cram butyl tape into any crack I might find along the edge of the mahogany.
I filled the small crack along the forward edge. The crack in the picture below looks larger than it actually was because of the slight bevel that I had given to the forward edge of the mahogany.
I also filled some small cracks here and there along the starboard side . . .
and the port side.
The following weekend I installed the remaining pieces of hardware. I began by cleaning the surface of the mahogany with acetone.
I also cleaned the hardware.
Additionally, I cleaned the screws, just I had earlier cleaned the carriage bolts and hex head bolts.
Then I applied the butyl tape.

In keeping with the advice of Maine Sail, I also applied butyl tape to the screws after I had inserted them through the hardware. This ensured that the butyl tape would form a gasket of sorts in the beveled hole in the mahogany.
After I had installed this hardware I could, at last, call this part of the project complete. I could not, however, call this entire project complete. There still remained several tasks to complete before this new anchoring system was ready for use. My work on those tasks is the subject of my final postings.
This ends this posting on how I installed the anchor platform and the hardware for it on Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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