It was essential that it worked right but also that it looked right. so the answer was to build a box frame 90mm high that matched, and raised, the support runners. This was made of decking timber, which just happened to be exactly the right thickness (and was also the cheapest)
I then used 10mm ply to pick up the rest of the framework and added fascias, screwed from the inside so there were no fastenings showing. These were made of our most common building timber Radiata Pine (Monterey Pine) and were stained with Cabot's "Crabwood" stain and varnish to match the existing timber.
I have already mentioned in previous posts that LK is fitted with underwater exhaust outlets. Not only are they horrible to paint, they also hide any evidence that the engines are pumping water and this has always been a considerable concern. A couple of months ago, I procured a "save your engines" kit from the USA, which consists of 2 flow sensors that fit to the raw water inlets to each engine, and a panel on the flybridge that lights up in the event of flow failure. See http://www.aqualarm.net/comerus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=3526.
The sensors were relatively easy to fit to the pipework between the raw water strainers and the engines, but it also requires wires to be run from the engine room to the flybridge - which was not quite so easy. Fortunately my good friend and fellow 453 owner, Bert, advised my the best route for the wiring. This included removing several fixings on the bridge and removal of a wall panel from the inside of the saloon. Even then getting the wire from one place to the other was a frustrating and time consuming job and I ended up running a spare cable of 8 wires through at the same time, just so I don't have to pull the interior apart again if I need more connections up there.
I also did a oil and filter change, so LK is now ready for the summer (although there is still plenty more to do - it is a boat after all!)
We've just spent a week up in the Bay of Islands helping Charlie and Pauline get their boat ready for summer as well, in payment for their help we had with Loopy Kiwi a few months ago. Mercifully, Charlie's boat is a bit smaller than LK and it is much less stressful carving bits out of someone else's boat than it is your own. We had very co-operative weather while we worked and it looks like we can expect a long hot summer. It will certainly be our intention to spend some of it up in the north in the continuation of our cruising lifestyle around New Zealand.