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Installing the hardware in the stern crossbeam

On the Saturday after we seated the stern crossbeam my husband Todd worked with me to install the remaining hardware between the forward crossbeam and central pod and the hardware that connected to central pod to the stern crossbeam. This was a fairly interesting process as I had to crawl through the stern crossbeam, which wasn’t much wider than my shoulders, to get to the connection point where the hardware needed to be installed.

Climbing into the stern crossbeam

As I climbed in I could hear Priscilla asking whether they should tie a rope around my ankles so they could pull me out. There was also some talk of applying grease, but the boat did that itself.

We had help again from the Oracle guy who couldn’t remember what hardware went where in the form of a few letters and numbers painted on the outside of the central pod near each bolt hole. In most instances these matched up with titanium bushings (and sometimes even bolts) with engraved letters or numbers—but not always. We had to spend a lot of time putting hardware in and out of each hole until we found the right combination of bolt, bushing and washers. Sometimes we even had to re-position carbon fiber plates that had come loose from the interior or exterior of the connection points.

Exterior of central pod showing some of the holes marked with letters

My husband Todd helped me install the hardware. I am inside coaching him about what changes have to be made to get the right size hardware in place.

One of the biggest problems we had to deal with were bolts that had damaged threads. Since they are titanium and metric and seemingly custom sizes we couldn’t exactly run to the hardware store to buy a replacement. We just had to continually put one bolt in after another until we found one that was the right size and that we could get a nut on.

Crawling out of the stern crossbeam

If you want to see the video that gives you some sort of idea of the tight, dirty space I had to crawl through to reach the connection point you’ll have to hit my Facebook page (just search for Jeanne Willoz-Egnor). I was completely filthy from head to toe (and a little bruised!) after this little hardware installation project.

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