I bought a steering wheel for the Zip off eBay. It arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't be more excited.
But, you might look at a photo like this and ask, "Why does a 'boat,' in a condition like that, need a steering wheel?"
|Here she is. My Glen-L Zip in her current state. No make-up. Covered with boxes, tools, parts, old sandpaper, and lots and lots of dust. Ahhh yes.... isn't she pretty?|
And you'd have a point. But here's mine: At some stage she'll need a steering wheel. And when that time comes, she'll have one.
Kidding aside, for me, the steering wheel is a key focal point of a boat's personality. It's the point at which you and the boat interact. It's like looking into her eyes. Like holding her hands. It's important. That's why I didn't want just any steering wheel.
I wanted something with a simple and classic look... yet also with a more "modern" tactile feel. I also didn't want to spend a fortune to get one. It turns out, that criteria is apparently quite a lot to ask.
Ever since I started this Zip project, I have looked and looked and looked for the "perfect" steering wheel. I never really found one. What I did find, however, is that my eye kept getting drawn to the simple but elegant three-spoke designs with wood or faux wood wheels. I also found that, among those wheels that I found more appealing, I could expect to pay something in the neighborhood of $125-$200. (Hey, that's better than the classic Riva steering wheel I wanted originally.... until I found out it was gonna cost me about a grand. No way!)
So, I grudgingly accepted the fact that I would pay up to $200 if I found one that I really, really liked.
Then, about 3 weeks ago, one caught my eye. It wasn't quite as nice as the $200 wheels I was seeing online... but it was close. Better yet, it was new-in-the-box for $57 with free shipping. The design and the price combined to jump off the screen at me, saying: "This is your wheel."
So, here it is.
It has a great tactile feel... very much like the wheel on a 3-series BMW. The faux burl wood is plastic, but looks nice to my eye. One of the things I like about it is that the faux burl wraps all the way around the wheel. So many are just plastic inserts, showing plain black plastic on the back. The overall design, to my eye, nicely balances the classic and the modern. I'm looking forward to actually steering the completed boat with it.
Oh yeah... I've got to finish building the boat first. There's that....
So, you think a steering wheel is putting the cart before the horse? What about these windshield brackets I bought last year?
Heck, the frames weren't even built yet. See the dashboard in the background? But, do you know how hard it is to find these windshield brackets on eBay? For a reasonable price? Sometimes you've gotta act while you have the chance... cart before the horse, or not.
Okay. In other news...
The unending cosmetic repairs to Perseverance just keep going. I've also screwed down the new floorboards, but haven't glued them or finished painting yet.
|Sanding epoxy runs along the transom knee.|