Deliberately Making Holes In The Boat

I created a gaping hole in the cabin side today. Maybe 6” in diameter.

This is part of the “destruction for construction” mode we’re in at the moment as we tidy and clean and get this lovely old boat of ours ready for the next phase of her cruising life.

There are a number of items we have aboard that fit the boat’s personality and aesthetic really well, some of which are just not available at any price any more. Our compass is a case in point.

We’re a tiller boat (no wheel) so no steering pedestal on which to place a binnacle compass or any associated navigation gear. Instead, we use the bulkhead that forms the forward end of the cockpit for this stuff, including a bulkhead mounted compass.

We bought this piece of kit in Houston probably in 1992, driving miles up I-45 to the specialty store that had it. Sure, we could have gone with something more readily available at West Marine (maybe anyway) but we really wanted the bronze bevel that this one has and we were willing to pay a premium for it. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference on a boat this compact.

Over the years, the dome has gotten crazed and there’s some very slight leak somewhere (there must be - there’s a bubble of air in the compass that was not there before. It’s not like mineral oil will evaporate, will it?). Apparently there’s a way to get the compass repaired, with a new dome and new oil inside and all. In order to do that, we needed to remove it to send it away.


Removed it was, leaving a huge hole in the side of the bulkhead.

Which I promptly covered with a custom-crafted, lovingly finished, perfectly-suited-to-the-traditional-boat cover.

I think I should go into business.

Perfect fit.

Perfect fit.