Motorwell drains and deck framing

All of the metal on this boat is polished 316 stainless steel.  All of it.  No aluminum.  No bronze.  No brass.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  316 stainless steel.  This is fact 1 in this story.

Fact 2 is that the transom is painted already, and thus any transom penetration (of which there are many) needs some kind of trim around it to hide the rough edge of the cut hole.

With those two facts as background, consider that the motorwell needs to have a pair of drains so that water that collects in it has a place to go.  Then consider that I spent a LOT of time googling around and found not one example of a polished stainless motorwell drain fitting (or really anything that could be pressed into service in that capacity.)

Taken together, all this means it’s time to dust off the metalworking equipment.  I took some 1/8″ 316 flat bar and fashioned rough “washers” with 1″ holes drilled in the centers and rough circles cut out around the holes to form a 3/8″ wide washer surface.  I then cajoled my buddy Joel – a spectacular welder – to fuse these washers to a pair of 1″ OD 316 tubes.  These then went to the Hardinge to get machined to a reasonable shape.


As machined they were pretty good – no chatter in that low hour sweetheart of a lathe – but they had more of a “brushed” appearance than a “polished” one.



So I chucked them up again and scotchbrited them on the lathe to get the welding color off and generally smooth them out, and then mounted a sisal wheel in my grinder and compounded them until they were reasonably shiny.


I’ve now permanently installed the plumbing thruhulls in the transom.  The motorwell drains will sit above and slightly inboard of them.  The holes are drilled, but I won’t install them permanently until the interior is painted.  On the inside, the holes will not be trimmed out, but will just be painted openings.  The tubes will be cut off so they go about half way into the transom and just held in place with 4200.  Here’s a shot of how the transom will look.  Less the motor, of course.  I’m pretty happy with it.


We also installed the forward deck beams today.  Definitely makes the interior feel smaller!


Tomorrow I’ll spend some more time on the interior fairing process and generally putter about with details.  There are a lot of details to attend to at this point.  Good times!



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