The winch bases. Work continued on the winch bases. As described in an earlier post, I needed to raise the winches, especially the primaries to ensure a sufficient upward angle on the jib sheets from the 6 1/2" high bulwarks to the winch. In order to accomplish that I made 2" thick teak pads from some 8/4 teak off-cuts. I drilled the bases part way through after marking the holes using the actual winches to be mounted. I determined the size the pads and took all the components with me to the Camp Lejeune Wood Hobby Shop. They have a drill press with a five inch reach allowing me to drill all the way through the bases at one time and ensuring that I had a straight hole. I cut the pads out on the band saw and used a very large oscillating horizontal belt sander to sand the pads perfectly round and with an 8 degree taper. Then, with my own 12" long bits, I drilled holes through the pads and the bases on the big drill press. After I returned home I placed them on the deck. It took some fussing to come up with a compromise position for the winches. One of the funny and often aggravating things about the Cape Dory 36 is none of the bulkheads are symmetrical. By that, I mean they are not exactly opposite one another on opposite sides of the boat. They are staggered usually about 4" but even more so under the cockpit. This has caused me some challenges I would rather have not had to deal with during several projects. This project, as it turned out, was another example. There is a bulkhead that runs under the forward edge of the starboard cockpit locker. I had to position the primary winch either on the forward or aft side of that bulkhead. I really wanted it in the middle but that was a no go. I chose to position it to the front of the bulkhead because it seemed more ergonomic when handling the tiller and it left me enough room to mount a boom gallows on the aft end of the boat, vice over the companionway, if that is what I choose to do. In other words, it left me some options that seemed desirable. However, the bulkhead on the port side is much further forward and ended under the location I had chosen for the forward staysail winch--rats! So, I left the winches on the deck for a couple of days experimenting with different locations and going about my other projects sort of testing to see what I like best or disliked least. I also looked on-line at other boats that I admired. I looked at dodgers to see which ones I liked, should we chose eventually to install one, and would that style work with the different winch locations I was considering. Finally, it was time to decide. I chose to install the forward winch a little further forward than I would like in a perfect world. The best way to exit the cockpit appears to be to step between the winches and because the forward winch is rather small there is plenty of room to work forward on the side deck around it. It's a compromise. But, the winch handles clear the stanchion, life lines, and each other with plenty of room. I think it will work. I briefly thought about replacing the Lewmar 44 ST winches because they are more than an inch taller and an inch wider than the Lewmar 40s that are available new. The 44's look overly large to me sitting on the 2" tall pads on top of the 4 1/4" bases but they are very serviceable and I have worked hard to not go down the rabbit hole of replacing equipment that works just fine with new shiny stuff. So far, we have kept the project close to the budget we allocated for the rebuild. We have purchased only the bare essentials new--wood, epoxy, biaxial, bedding compound, water tanks, hoses, seacocks, fasteners (a scary amount of fasteners), hardware for the tiller and some other odds and ends. To be sure, there are plenty of "new" items remaining to buy but it could have been much worse if we did not control the urge to always by new equipment. Anyway, with the decision made regarding the location it was time to drill the holes. I used an electric hand drill with my 12" long bits. I clamped the bases in place and using the previously dilled holes as a guide I drilled down into the deck penetrating the underside of the deck with one hole to check the location inside the boat. Satisfied, I then drilled the other holes (inserting some of the old bolts as I went to ensure the base stayed in the proper location) through the upper skin but not through the inner skin. After drilling all the holes I removed the bases and used a 7/8" diameter fostner bit to drill over-size holes in the upper skin of the boat down through the balsa core but not through the inner skin. Next, I used a scratch awl and dental probe to dig out a little balsa core all the way around from under the edge of the holes. Next, I mixed up some unthickend epoxy with 205 fast hardener and poured it into the holes. Here, things got exciting. I poured all the holes at one time thinking the temps were were pretty cool outside--about 55 degrees and heat would not be a problem. But, I was wrong. One set of holes started to smoke. I immediately drilled all the holes out with the 7/8" fostner bit. Incredible. Only one was still gooey--all the others were curing and very hot. I let the drilled out holes sit for about 45 minutes then I went at it again this time filling the holes in two stages about 45 min apart. I laugh now but I assure you I was not laughing at the time. About two hours later before the plugs were fully cured I topped them off with some thickened epoxy to ensure they were flush with the deck. I put heat lamps on the work areas to ensure the cold night time temps would not interfere with the epoxy curing requirements. When the 9" long bolts arrive I will drill down through the center of the 1" wide plug with the appropriate, but much smaller bit, for the fasteners. This solid plug technique ensures water can't get to the balsa core and also that the deck won't be crushed with the much softer balsa core as the only thing separating the upper and lowers skins of the deck. The bolts are on order and I expect them next week.