New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Engines, Drive trains, Propellers, Steering, Ground Tackle and other mechanical system

New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby RadioZephyr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:51 am

After pricing it out a few weeks ago, I decided to pull the trigger on replacing the original Datamarine instruments on my boat. They all work just fine, but they're more than 30 years old, and I wanted to bring my boat into the 21st century. More importantly, they're installed in two gigantic Edson pods that take up more than a foot on either side of the steering pedestal. Removing the pod apparatus would free up a ton of cockpit space, and generally make it easier to get by the pedestal.
IMG_0081.jpeg
The old setup
IMG_0081.jpeg (75.31 KiB) Viewed 953 times

I decided to go with a set of Raymarine instruments, as they could connect with my older Raymarine autopilot. Also, the i70s is nice and compact, and could take the place of all three Datamarine units. I was originally looking at a Navpod GP1300 for the pedestal guard, which would house just the i70s and the autopilot (I use an iPad as my primary chartplotter), but then I found the Scanstrut Helm Pod SPH-3i, and I much preferred the design. It attaches to the pedestal guard via U-bolts, rather than requiring that you drill and tap mounting holes for it in the stainless tubing. The only holes you need to drill in the guard are for the wire runs, and those don't have to be perfectly aligned or tapped.

For the new guard, I went with the NavPod single bend AngleGuard, as Edson's was pricier. I decided to upgrade to 1.25" tubing, rather than sticking with the 1". It required a new top plate ($141 on Defender), but I decided that the additional expense was worth it after checking out a neighbor's 1.25" guard. It looks better in my opinion, and grabbing onto it just feels right.

So last weekend, after removing all of the old instruments and pods from the pedestal, we fitted the top plate with the included gaskets and attempted to put the new guard in place so that we could drill holes for the feet. Guess what? It didn't fit! Despite being made for the Edson 335 pedestal, the stainless steel top plate I ordered was the wrong size. Specifically, the 2" riser that's molded into the cockpit sole obstructs where the feet on the 335 would normally go, so Freedom asked Edson to make them a custom bracket (the "C238") that places the guard forward about 2.5". I had actually always liked that little riser under the pedestal, but at the time I was cursing Gary Mull’s name for designing it. Why couldn’t he just make it like everyone else’s boat!? (Oh wait…)
IMG_0295.jpeg
The offending riser
IMG_0295.jpeg (84.21 KiB) Viewed 953 times

IMG_0296.jpeg
So close! As you can see, we were at least able to rebuild the wheel brake, so the day wasn't a complete loss.
IMG_0296.jpeg (117.84 KiB) Viewed 953 times

Unfortunately, Ken at Edson confirmed that they never made a version of the C238 with 1.25" holes. It seems my only option is a custom-fabricated part. I’m in the process of pricing this out at the moment, so any recommendations of machine shops that do laser/waterjet cutting in the Boston area would be appreciated. The plan is to just make a copy of the NavPod top plate’s design, which is laser cut from 3/16” stainless plate, and then has two short pieces of tubing added to reinforce where the guard goes through it. Shouldn’t be too tricky, right? Ocean Equipment has graciously sent me the cad file for their top plate, which should make the design process fairly simple.

Updates to follow!


PS: Anyone interested in the old Datamarine units or the pod housings?
Last edited by RadioZephyr on Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Josh
F36/38, Hull #25
Boston, MA
User avatar
RadioZephyr
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby RadioZephyr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:59 am

Here is a comparison shot of the two top plates:

IMG_0302.jpeg
Ever so slightly off
IMG_0302.jpeg (60.72 KiB) Viewed 952 times
Josh
F36/38, Hull #25
Boston, MA
User avatar
RadioZephyr
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby bad » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:30 pm

Darn..... have you considered having the guard legs bent. May not fit through the guard plate. Or consider having custom feet welded.

If you have it made of stainless, 316 grade that is elctropolished would keep the rust staining to a minimum.

Erik
bad
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:14 am

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby RadioZephyr » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:32 pm

bad wrote:Darn..... have you considered having the guard legs bent. May not fit through the guard plate. Or consider having custom feet welded.


I hadn't considered those options, but I think a custom top plate is the way to go. Bending may work, but I'd prefer the look of a straight guard and a new top plate. I've found a waterjet/laser cutting place that will cut the part out of 316 SS plate (same as the NavPod) for $150. This doesn't include polishing it, or welding on the two bushings, but it's still a very fair price as far as I'm concerned. I'm working with a friend to come up with the modified CAD file, and then I just need to find someone to do the welding and polishing. I don't imagine those steps will be terribly expensive, but who knows?

By the way, if any other F36/38 owners are interested in upgrading to a 1.25" pedestal guard, I'd be happy to provide the modified CAD file for the top plate.
Josh
F36/38, Hull #25
Boston, MA
User avatar
RadioZephyr
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby rafontaine1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:03 pm

I did the upgrade to 1.25" guard a couple of years ago. Of course ran into the same problem with the base of pedestal. I bought a 1.25" drill bit and drilled out the original top plate, sanded it and repainted. Looks good and only cost me the price of a drill bit on Amazon and a can of spray paint.
Rich Fontaine
s/v Liberte
Freedom 36, 1986
Portsmouth, RI
rafontaine1
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:34 am
Location: Liberte, F36, 1986, Portsmouth RI

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby RadioZephyr » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:20 pm

Rich,

That was our first thought! However, the guy I spoke to at Edson specifically discouraged it. In addition to being over 30 years old, mine is pretty weathered, and I worry about doing anything to further weaken a part that I'm going to need to rely on to potentially hold my weight in rough weather. If it had spent the first half of its life in fresh water like yours, I may have been more willing to roll the dice and save a couple (hundred) bucks ;)

However, I think it's worth the peace of mind. Also, it's going to look amazing in stainless.
Josh
F36/38, Hull #25
Boston, MA
User avatar
RadioZephyr
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby rafontaine1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:12 pm

Josh
I had a similar concern and angonized over drilling it out. The reduction in materials thickness was only 1/8" so went for it. So far so good even with all the electronics hanging on it and the cockpit table. I'm surprised Edson wouldn't consider providing update bases to accommodate the larger diameter or even replacement bases.
Rich Fontaine
s/v Liberte
Freedom 36, 1986
Portsmouth, RI
rafontaine1
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:34 am
Location: Liberte, F36, 1986, Portsmouth RI

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby RadioZephyr » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:38 pm

Yeah, the table was another concern. When I asked Edson about why they didn't make an new version, the guy made it clear that this setup is really rare, with only a handful of boat models that required the special top plate. Honestly, the riser design probably does a lot to reinforce the steering pedestal—likely far beyond what you would get from just bolting it to a flat cockpit sole—but issues like this can explain why it didn't really catch on. I'm sure we can all think of one or two other Freedom "innovations" that are similar... 8-)
Josh
F36/38, Hull #25
Boston, MA
User avatar
RadioZephyr
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby RadioZephyr » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:26 pm

Quick project update: I've received my new top plate from the waterjet place, and it looks great! When we were modifying the CAD file, I decided to add my initials to it, just for kicks. I know it's a tad silly, but it's fun to customize stuff like this, and it didn't cost any extra, so why not?

The next step is to have a machine shop chamfer the edges, polish it up, and weld two bushings with set screws to the two 1.25" openings for the pedestal guard.

IMG_0499.jpg
IMG_0499.jpg (66.77 KiB) Viewed 795 times
Josh
F36/38, Hull #25
Boston, MA
User avatar
RadioZephyr
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: New pedestal guard for F38 is trickier than anticipated

Postby katorpus » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:30 pm

Jay

I hope you don’t get a finger snagged in that “Z”…could be painful and expensive.

You might consider “underlaying” the letters with a piece of acrylic epoxied to the back side and pouring in epoxy dyed black then sanded & polished smooth flush with the top face to fill in those letters before installing it.

---John (Glad that my initials all have rounded letters) Brougher
katorpus
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:51 pm
Location: Freedom 40 Cat Ketch, Hull #61, Corpus Christi, TX

Next

Return to Engines and Mechanical Systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest