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Worse things happen at sea :( Repair advice needed.


Aphers
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Thanks once again. All looking quite promising from here.

 

I can't get good enough quality ply for the butt blocks so I'm going to use glass cloth instead. I be won't shy about wrapping glass cloth around the gunwales which should help too.

 

I've been provided with 300gsm cloth and it looks very heavy... I think I'll see if I can get something lighter for the outside.

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Today's progress: I've glassed both sides of the bow crack and screwed it all together with pieces of ply either side. It does mean working blind to some extent but I think it'll be ok.

At the same time I injected the gunwale with firstly neat, then thickened, epoxy, and clamped it all together.

 

There was another damaged area up by the foredeck, where a crack had appeared. Nothing had gone out of line so here I just glassed over the area inside and out.

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Moment of truth today, peeled back the plywood. Looking pretty good I would say. A little messy around the edges in places but that will tidy up ok. There was one slight void left- that's the problem working blind- but I've filled that now.

Very happy that the hull is level on either side of where it cracked.

 

The crack at the foredeck was just a hairline on the outside, so I glassed that, and then decided to throw a bit of glass on the inside too. Not very proud of that particular bit, I should have sanded back a bigger area, but it hadn't actually cracked on the inside so in not too bothered.

 

Next job is the stern, but it's blowing half a gale here and the boatyard is very dusty, so I'm going to take the test of today off...

 

 

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Started on the stern repair. There was quite a big gap here, where I'd had to remove loose and damaged splinters of ply. Because of the amount of filling required I didn't want to attempt doing both sides at the same time and risk leaving voids.

 

I wedged a stick in place to do the bulk of the work, getting the panel to push out to where it needs to go. Then on the outside I screwed on a temporary ply shutter, covering the crack and pulling both sides in to line. I've now glassed up the inside, with another piece of ply to help get the shape right.

 

Tomorrow I'll remove the ply and glass the outside. And after that it's just reattaching the gunwale and the structural repairs will be finished!

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1 hour ago, Aphers said:

Tomorrow I'll remove the ply and glass the outside. And after that it's just reattaching the gunwale and the structural repairs will be finished!

 

Be careful what you say, boat projects always take twice al long as you thought

Looking good.  Getting the hull fair would have been my biggest concern, and you seem to have made good there.

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27 minutes ago, Hirilonde said:

Be careful what you say, boat projects always take twice al long as you thought

Looking good.  Getting the hull fair would have been my biggest concern, and you seem to have made good there.

Oh yes I know all about 'boat time'!

It's been a week since I put the boat in the yard. Total number of hours work so far is not actually that much- but there's always a lot of thinking time involved.

 

I'm really pleased that I've been able to get everything back in line, and won't have any ugly steps to try to hide.

 

Hardest thing from here with be down to my working conditions and materials. I wasn't able to source microballoons, which I find the best for fairing the edges of the glass, so I'm using West 407 low density filler which has silica mixed in. It will do but I seem to spend ages getting it to a smooth enough consistency. Also, working outside in a windy and dusty boatyard will certainly make painting interesting...

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Got a couple of days of unsettled weather coming up, which will delay things. But I got the gunwale reattached today, which is the last structural repair.

Next up I need to tidy up around some of the glass work- probably shave down any rough edges and runs with a sharp chisel, before fairing. Wish I could get proper microballoons!

 

I've been touching up minor scrapes pretty much since launching the boat, and have had to use a standard shade of International Perfection, which doesn't exactly match the boat's original colour. So I'm going to take this opportunity to do an all over coat and she should look brand new again.

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I was using an old tub of West 407 for fairing, and found it very lumpy and gritty. Ok to just build up a big volume and sand back, but very frustrating if you tried to smooth down taped edges etc.

Anyway the guy who is paying for the repair got me a new tub, because he couldn't get the microballoons I wanted, and wow what a difference. Clearly my old tub has got damp, or contaminated with dirt, or something. So I think the lesson is to keep your powder dry!

 

Anyway, today I made the decision that fairing and sanding had to stop, and I moved on to the painting. There are still some low spots and slightly rough patches here and there but I can't keep throwing ever more time at this. The standard I had originally aimed for wasn't exactly perfection.

 

Got the bare areas painted today, tomorrow I'll aim for a full coat, and probably do a second one, then it's just a case of re-fitting the fendering, rowlocks, etc, and we go back in to the water :)

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Launch day!

The boat is looking better than she did before the accident. I gave her an all over re-paint and came up with a better way of attaching the pool noodle fendering, so that they no longer sag. One of the rowlocks had a lot of play so that got a few blows from a hammer whilst it was off, much better now.

 

Thanks to everybody for the encouragement and advice- especially Alan and Graham. You really cannot see the repair unless you know exactly where to look, and it pretty much blends in with the general level of finish that I aimed for originally.

 

Great to have the boat back. I was loaned another dinghy for the duration of the repair, and it really made me appreciate how good the Spindrift is!

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22 hours ago, Captain Tim said:

Does the noodle fendering add flotation that would help just at the point of a capsize and maybe prevent it?

There's around 40 litres of buoyancy in the noodles (they're extra wide ones, 4"), so about enough to float the dinghy even with the three buoyancy chambers flooded. Which is very comforting!

 

I haven't actually capsized the boat yet, but I can stand on the gunwale with my full weight and the noodle starts to dip in to the water. I'm sure it's adding a useful amount of extra stability.

 

The other benefit is as a spray deflector, and if course it has saved the paintwork countless times. If only it was a bit less cheap looking!

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