Small Projects



This page is dedicated to small projects for the Carver 325 - those that don't necessarily justify its own page. Each project on this page are simple, cost less than $100, and should not take more than an hour to complete. If you are not too sure about doing projects on your boat, these projects might be a good starting point to help you get your feet wet. So, get your hammer out and start modifying your boat!


Exterior Outside Fire Extinguisher Mount


Layout
 

 
Project Completed 
For a fire extinguisher to count, it is supposed to be mounted in its included mounting bracket. Many folks simply leave the extinguisher in the original box, tucked away in a storage bin. Will you remember where your extinguisher is in time of emergency?

 

 


 
The Carver 325 has a nice feature on the aft deck where the stanchions provide a handy location to mount a fire extinguisher on the outside of the boat. This is not the only extinguisher on board, and I encourage every boater to carry several. The USCG specifies the minimum number of extinguishers you must have - there is no regulation that prevents you from exceeding this number.
 
For this project, I am providing the concept rather than a measured drawing, since there is such a variety of extinguisher types, sizes, and mounting brackets - as well as stanchion mounts. The mount is made out of 1/2in thick Starboard or equivalent marine construction plastic. The proper sized holes for the stanchions are drilled into the clamps, then cut out on a saw so that 70% of the hole remains. For example, if your stanchions are 7/8in, drill a 7/8in hole (there is no need to make the hole larger than the stanchion).
 
If you cut off the holes at the 70% dimension, this will provide enough "interference" for the clamps to stay put on the stanchions while you attach the backing plate. The inherent flexibility in the Starboard will allow you "snap" the clamps on the stanchions.
 
After choosing a location that is readily accessable, yet out of the way, use stainless steel screws to attach the stanchion clamps to the backing plate, as well as the fire-extinguisher-supplied mounting bracket.

Update Your Exterior Lighting


Old Light
 

 
New Light 
After the boat becomes a few years old, the sun can take a toll on any thermoplastic fittings on the outside of the boat. On this boat, the outside lights yellowed, became brittle, and began to crack, due to damage by the sun's UV rays. I was able to find that the manufacturer made not only a new UV resistant housing, but they were soon to offer a chrome housing version. I delayed this project a couple of months until the chrome replacements were available.
 
I was lucky in that the manufacturer expanded their housing line, which provided a exact foot-print replacement. Other options would have been to upgrade to a different design or manufacturer. But before you decide on a replacement, its not a bad idea to check with the original manufacturer to see what their current product offering is. Especially if it is a small manufacturer, you may obtain advance information for a new product.

Updating Cabinet Doors


Old Doors
 

 
New Doors 
After purchasing the boat, one of the first items to be replaced were the Oak doors covering the electrical panel and the oak sliders. The oak was only 1/4in thick, and was warping, and needed refinishing. It was one item that simply detracted from the asthetic value of the boat.
 
I replaced the doors and sliders with 0.236in #2064 gray transparent acrylic sheet - obtained from Modern Plastics (www.modernplastics.com). They have a $25 minimum order, which was not a problem with the amount I purchased for this project. One word of caution with this material. Although it can be cut with standard woodworking tools, and at even 1/4in thick, there is a slight natural warp to the plastic. You have to make sure both doors have the warp on the same side - otherwise, the project will not be satisfactory.

Steering Wheel Detail


Old hub
 

 
Replacement hub  
The original steering wheel hub on the boat had a Carver Logo. However, when the boat was delivered, we discovered that the original logo had been either broken off or stolen. Maybe someone else decided they needed the logo more than I did. Such are the perils of purchasing a used boat.
 
Since I have a well equipped wood shop, I decided to replace the wheel hub with one made from Bubinga. The hub removes with nothing more than loosening a set-screw. All it took was about a half-hour on a wood lathe, a little wood finish, and I came up with a nice replacement. I think the wood accent gives the helm some "warmth" and brightens up an otherwise industrial looking helm.
 
Don't have a lathe? If you have a school-age son or daughter taking wood shop, or live in a city tha has a senior center or woodworking clubs, you can get access to a lathe. Or, if all else fails, a $300 dollar investment in an inexpensive lathe could start you on a new hobby. This is such a simple project that it could be a first project for a beginner.

Touch up Speaker Grill

I have used Polk DB 6xx speakers in my boat extensively (I have 10 of them), and the only issue I have is the gray grills on white fiberglass. A can of Krylon Fusion for Plastic paint, and a few minutes later, I have white speaker grills.
       


 

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