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Old 05-08-2015, 06:15 PM   #1
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Manatee Pilothouse Enclosure

I have used the last bit of life out of the canvas and eisenglass that encloses the after part of our pilothouse, so time to replace them with Lexan sliders which many Manatee's have done.
First step was easy, remove the canvas and eisenglass.
I have filled all the screw holes for all the hardware used to hold the enclosure in place. Next modified the mast bottom bracket and relocate the radar antenna power cord.
I have contacted Beckson and they agreed to send me test strips of the Channel-Mate they sell which looks like a good choice for the Lexan tracks. Other options are aluminum tracks but the thought of attaching the aluminum with stainless screws makes it my last option.
The Lexan thickness I'm thinking of using is 3/16" or 1/4", it is available in dark grey, light grey, bronze and clear, I like the look and visibility of the light grey. I'm looking for ideas for how to handle the half doors and I understand from others that a 4" overlap of the Lexan works well.
Any ideas welcome as there is no set of plan's for doing this enclosure.
Bill
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:32 PM   #2
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Bill: The new Mango Mama owners just installed the Lexan panels this year and the boat is docked here on our compound. I could stop over and snap some photos of the installation if needed. Here's a shot of the back.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:29 AM   #3
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Larry that would be great. Looks like they used the tint I'm thinking of, the stainless steel roof supports in the aft corners is another concern. Did they do the enclosure themselves ? The enclosure looks very professional.
Also is that a stainless steel roof support post I see inside ?
Thanks
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:52 AM   #4
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Yes...the stainless roof supports are inside, as original. It is a very nice looking and very smooth operating enclosure, probably good enough to air condition the pilothouse. The windows are lexan, I think. I'll drop a line to the new owners today to ask for the opportunity to photograph the area.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:36 PM   #5
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Thanks again for the help Larry. If the owners had the enclosure built locally I would like to get in touch with the company. I believe that the pilothouse is one of the areas that Krogen had constructed the same on all Manatee's. Well almost, we don't have the small doors on the aft bulkhead showing in your photo, wonder what the doors are for ? Air-conditioning and heating the pilothouse sure would be a nice thing to have and this enclosure looks weather tight. How did they do the doors ??
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:58 AM   #6
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On HEY JUDE the doors you speak of are only wooden (teak) vents for the propane bottles that are stored horizontally under the PH seats. KK36 #99 had common vertical bottles mounted horizontally in the same location. I was told that is unsafe to do so, can allow liquid propane into the piping instead of intended vapor propane.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:21 AM   #7
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Thanks for the explanation HJ, and yes horizontal propane tanks not good. We have two vertical 10 lb tanks in the port side pilothouse seat locker with gage, solinoid valve and recesses to firmly secure them. Strange that KK3699 had them laying down, we are hull #69 built in 1987 and the short 10 lb tanks work very well and fit nicely into the seat locker. Maybe the larger tanks where a Bahama cruising option although the 10 lb tanks last forever supplying the oven range.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
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I also carry the 10 lb. tanks in that area, although I also keep two 20 lb. tanks in the port forward locker, left over from 4 mo. anchorages in the Exumas with the previous owner. The fridge is 110/propane also.

I took some photos of the pilothouse enclosure on Mango Mama yesterday. He says he uses the doors for access to storage, but I noticed also that he doesn't have a vent area on the side of the port propane locker, so that explains the louvered door. He is converting his 20 lb. tanks to horizontal feed as discussed above. Mango Mama is one sweet boat now.....still with some work to complete according to the owner, but is a boat ever complete? I'll publish the enclosure photos in the next post.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:05 PM   #9
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Sorry it took so long to get these photos on here, but my new I-phone 6 kept storing and sending the photos in "process" format which gave it a really greenish tint. Took me a chile to realize I had to change the format on the phone instead of through Photoshop. Anyway, here's the shots of Mango Mama and her Pilothouse enclosure.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:39 PM   #10
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Oh, by the way......here's a couple of bonus photos of Mango Mama's spiffy new helm setup. Nice way to install an upright MFD without glare or reflection in the windshield at night. With the helm chair set at 35" height, forward vision over the bow was still very good.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:20 AM   #11
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Thanks Larry and Robert for the photos of Mango mama's enclosure, the "how to" handle the doors and corners has been answered. The photos will help a lot constructing our enclosure.
The helm setup is great, Larry I can see another project forming in your mind.
Bill
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiDHo View Post
The helm setup is great, Larry I can see another project forming in your mind.
Bill
That's probably not too difficult, Bill, since it seems all I have in my mind is projects. I already have the material for my planned helm upgrade, but after seeing Robert's, I might change my plan. It looks great.
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:59 PM   #13
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Wow. That Mango Mamma pilothouse is slick for sure.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:07 PM   #14
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Reference post #1 I received the test strips of Beckson's Channel-Mate and after discussing installations with them found out that this product has not much lateral strength and is used in an existing window frame channel as a liners not as a stand alone window track. Also my need for three tracks on each enclosure side does not work well combining two and single track Channel-Mate.
I have decided that I will use StanPro 316 stainless steel window track as in the photos of Mango Mama's enclosure. Next step will be to relocate the aft roof corner posts inboard to clear the Lexan sliders.
Best part about this project on a Manatee is there is plenty of room to work around the upper deck area and being in a covered slip makes it ideal. I have set up chairs for my boater friend's to assist in beer and pondering assessments on what is the next step in this enclosure project.
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:27 PM   #15
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Corner post have been moved and measurements taken twice or maybe three times. The StanPro tracks have been delivered 6 double and four single in 8' lengths. Most Manatee pilothouse roofs hold water and when laying a straight edge I found the side roof sills where the Lexan tracks would mount had a 1/2" sag front to back that will require a filler piece or I'm thinking spacer washers to keep the tracks plumb. I plan to not use any materials that will need constant upkeep if I can, so the plan is to attach the s/s tracks to the existing fiberglass sills. Anyway it a work in progress and I will do updates in case anyone is thinking of doing this type enclosure.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:32 PM   #16
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I'm wondering about starboard spacers... no metal-on-metal, and easy to cut...?
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:16 PM   #17
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Starboard is definitely an option, it would require four 1 1/2" wide fillers with a taper along a 16" long strip with a height from zero to 1/2". I ordered a 3/4" X 24" X 54" piece of starboard for this project, probable not a hard job for a band saw.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:51 PM   #18
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Bill: Tried to reach you with PM, but??? Anyway, I wanted to show you these photos I took a couple of years ago on "Swannee", which kept the posts outside the installation.
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:27 PM   #19
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Thanks Larry, this enclosure is definitely worth thinking about. One of my concerns is the after corners with fixed panes, how to join them. Do you recall what product they used for the corner construction ? I saw photos of a west coast Manatee with roof posts moved inboard and the corner panes looked like they joined with glue. My Lexan outlet has a lot of window track items, I'm going to see if the corners can be joined into a stainless steel 90 degree joint using glass tape, probable not as the panes will tilt slightly out at the bottoms. The enclosures I have seen so far are all different which is no surprise, and is fitting because as we all know every Manatee is a little different.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:05 AM   #20
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Bill....the 2nd photo above is a good shot of the aft port corner. Looks like the windows are boxed with alum C-channel and a triangular alum plate welded between them. Click on photo to enlarge image.
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