Boy has the weather changed quick! 40 degrees F today with overcast skies and sprinkles. Just a taste of what is to come.
Today I cut in the saddles for the bow thrusters into both tunnels. First is to make a template on paper of the cut (taped up on the steel in the top right between uses) and transfer it to the steel tube. The oxy-acetylene torch is used to make the rough cut:
Then to use the grinder to smooth up the edges:
Then I fit the saddle to the tunnel and marked up the twelve 3/8″ mounting holes using a centering punch. When I do the final installation, I will use a gasket between the steel tunnel and the bronze saddle.
Here is a shot of the saddle with the bowthruster installed. If you imagine the tunnel is a clock, I decided to mount the thruster at 10:30. This is to allow for a height restriction in the forward tank and to allow for easy access to the hydraulic motor that will power this.
And here is a shot down the length of the tunnel with one of the two stainless steel props dry fitted to check for clearance:
Then I repeated the process to the other tunnel. Next step is to sandblast and primer coat the outside wall on both tunnels before putting them back into the hull.