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How bad is bad enough ?


Wommasehn
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Muckla is ill.

Its fore-deck-rot. 

First thing I noticed was a crack in the paint. Strangely straigtht and strangely perpendicular to the center line. I removed the paint and found a glue-line where the front-piece  had been joined to the main part of the fore deck - with no scarph, no butt-block and no glass cloth - but now rotten plywood around. Obviously this joint had losened and moisture got in. 

After some initial swearing, I thought of Chick's nice essay on "How good is good enough" and thought well - this is defenitely not good enough - what a sloppy workmanship! Then I remembered, that the boat including this joint is 25 years old  and you might expect some age-related issues. Is 25 yrs good enough? - how bad do you have to make it that it might be called really bad? 

 

Meanwhile I raked, chiseled and sanded away the softish wood and 2 gaps opened, to port I found more rot and cleaned it out too. I considered a new piece of fore deck but then it seemed that a local repair would be easier. First I applied some wood preservative. As the underside of this part is not accessible I wondered how to make a stronger joint. I cut 2 plywood patches to fit under the gaps, drilled a hole in each one, fastened a string and inserted them under the deck. By  pulling on the string, I turned them right side up and I could apply the pressure to glue them under the deck (Photo 2: dry-fit on port, inserting on starboard). The remaining cavity I closed by glass + epoxy. A missing small piece in the middle-carling (or is it deck-stringer?), I have filled with a dowel, wrapped in glass + epoxy.

As I have a shortage of fillers, I used partly sanding-dust and partly wheat-flour (high- density-filler on the lower and more important parts). Seemes to work ok.

There's something more: the forestay-fitting is reliably bolted to the carlings, just where the center- and the intermediate carlings meet (the light wood in the photo). But how is the center-carling attached to the stem ?? - I can't see it, I can't feel (or hear or smell) it - it's just not clear. So I decided to make some aditional fastening by drilling an oversized hole through the base-plate of the pullpit,  through the deck, through the carling and into the stem. Then  I cut a 8 mm threaded rod, filed some notches into it's lower part and epoxied it in. This will be very strong, I think.

Having had a week off, I could work on the boat a few days in a row. Tomorrow I'm back to "real work" and the next boat-job will be sanding. What a great fun.......

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  • 2 months later...

Done!

Done is better than perfect as someone said on this forum. Muckla & I agree. The paint- and bedding-jobs may not be exeptionally pretty but its strong, its watertight and looks ok from a distance. 20 ft should be ok for a 20-footer, right?

Unfortunately there is more to do than this repair - but we are getting closer to finally starting the sailing season.

And that is good enough.

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