Any boat owner will tell you, it is always a little nerve wracking to drill a hole in the boat.
This eye is a location for the helmsperson to affix their harness in rough weather tethering themselves to the boat. Gee, I hope we do not use it
But wait, there’s more…
About a months ago, our 23’ SSB radio antenna arrived. We stored it below. We got tired of stepping over it. So today, we installed it. Why not? We’ve got the drill out. We’re in a roll.
Many boats owners opt to use the backstay (metal wire or rigging holding the mast at the rear of the boat) as an antenna for the SSB radio. This requires cutting the backstay and installing two insulators; one at the bottom and one at the top. This will insulate a piece of the rig and form an ideal radio antenna. While this might appear cleaner (not having a huge whip antenna), I see two problems. One; if a person touches the backstay on the insulated area while the SSB is transmitting, they will receive a severe burn and electric shock (and you know Murphy is just waiting for that). Two: If the masts were to ever come down and a cry out for help needed to be sent, with the mast down the antenna is also gone. While this antenna is a bit of an eyesore, so long as the mast doesn’t hit the antenna on the way down, we’ll have a better chance of calling for help.
Note: I attached the antenna base to a piece of string while I was working on it. This ensured I would not drop it into the water. Without the string, everything falls into the water. Ask me how I know this.
The weight of the antenna and the structural load forces required me to strengthen the fiberglass. This is done by adding a backing plate with resin on the underside of the antenna mount. This spreads and evens the load over a larger area.
Now that my antenna is fully erect… (insert your own joke here).