Piercing the nose

So I have been saving up to put in another steel order. I have four main projects that need more steel:

- the bowthruster: I need 14 inch pipe to make the tunnel
- the pipe raceway: I need two 15 foot long sections of flat plate and lots of angle
- the keel cooler: I need 2 1/2″ piping to connect the engines to the units mounted in the hull
- And lastly, I want to put a bulkhead inside the domestic watertank

So I placed my order with Colonial Steel in the Bronx and it came on Thursday.


These are the plates. I got two 1/4″ thick plates that are 8 feet x 20 feet and another that is 3/8″ thick. I will have to cut these down to size. I will be able to use the leftovers for the stair treads and other projects. These plates have a inked spec on them that says “Essar Steel Algoma”, which through a quick Google search turns up that they were made at the Essar Algoma steel mill in Sault Saint Marie, Ontario Canada.


And here is the 14″ pipe (.500 inches thick!) and all the angles, pipes and flats I ordered.

So I wanted to get right to installing the bow thruster tube. It weighs about 72 pounds/ foot so I will need the forklift to get it in place. I am going to set it on top of my scaffold and block it up to the right height.


Once it is at the proper height, level and square to the keel I can trace the cut onto the hull. The cut is not a circle! It is a slight ellipse as the hull is curved. I found it is easiest to push the pipe up to the hull and use the pipe to guide my torch head. Then you know you are getting the right shape. Wow, weight of the pipe is deforming my scaffold…


Then I push the pipe into the boat and start cutting from the inside, again using the pipe as the guide. And here it is poking out the starboard side. Next is to cut the ends flush to the hull, leaving a 1/2″ sticking out on each side. I am going to weld a 3 inch flange onto the hull around each penetration to beef up the area where the pipe meets the hull. As I told you in an earlier post, I have two identical 40 horsepower bowthruster units, so one tunnel down – one to go. The next one will be forward of this one.


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One Comment

  1. Posted October 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    a piercing! that hull has never been so pierced! it’s brave of you to do it. good luck.

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