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Cole 26 salvage


Ken_Potts
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   A new project arrived at my house last week.  It's a Cole 26 that has a large hole in the starboard side and has spent some time under water.  I wasn't looking for this kind of project but I happened across this one and couldn't pass it up (I've noted this design in the past as a possibly fun boat to have and the price was just right).  There's quite a bit of work to do after the hull is fixed since some of the cabinetry on the starboard side has been knocked loose and the engine and electrical system spent more time than they should have submerged in salt water, but every big project is just a number of smaller steps.  I've already gotten the boat moved to our driveway, emptied it of gear and detritus and removed the rig. The next steps are to:

1. Build a cradle (the stands in the photo don't belong to me).

2. Clean the oil, diesel, salt and gunpowder (from  flares) out of the interior.

3. Get advice from a local shipwright about what furniture needs to be removed to patch the hull.

4. Fix the hull.

   There's a lot more after that, but that's the start.

 

   I'll post pictures occasionally as I progress.

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  • 4 weeks later...

   Steps 1 through 3 are complete.  I'm now cutting and grinding my way back to good material.  The hole is now roughly as large as it will get and I have a little more grinding to do to remove old tape joints from the inside of the hull and trim the bulkheads up properly.  On the advice of the shipwright I'm going to get all the cutting and prep done before I start putting any material back.

   Right now the boat kind of reminds me of that scene from "The Life Aquatic" where the camera pans across a cutaway of Steve Zissou's boat and we see what all the crew is up to.  I'm missing the Portugese David Bowie, soundtrack, though. :)

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   Beanies are too warm for a Perth winter and I don't need a Glock as long as I have my Kimber.  I'm not sure I've read about the Roths but a quick check of Wikipedia tells me I probably should.

   Now if only I could find that darn shark...

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  • 1 month later...

   There wasn't enough curvature in the hull to need real spiling on these "planks" but I did plane each one a bit in the forward half because there's less curvature forward.  That was sufficient to keep the strips level and follow the tiny bit of compound curve in the hull.

   Once the strips were in place I added battens to keep them in line with each other.

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   Here's where I left things today.  I've got some stiffeners cut to make the mold more rigid before I take it off the hull but I haven't epoxied them on yet.  I'll get them all cut first before I start mixing goo.

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   Just as an aside:  My other project this weekend was to learn how to make an eye splice in double braid rope.  After several frustrating false starts I managed this one in 10mm rope.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll find a volunteer at work to help me try to pull it apart.  I'll put a double bowline on the other end and we'll stretch it between a couple of trailer hitches to see if we can break it.  I think (I hope) I'll end up just getting my truck dragged backwards by my co-worker's heavier truck but we'll see.

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   The truck pull didn't happen today.  Maybe tomorrow.  In the meantime here is a picture of the mold on the boat with stiffeners added.  I was very careful to locate the stiffeners so that they wouldn't interfere with removal of the screws that secure each "plank" to the hull ('cause I'm smart like that) but somehow the lower end of stiffener #5 was located directly on top of one of them.  I had to do a little surgery with my wife's favorite reciprocating saw to expose the screw.  Given that I planned ahead so well I suspect sabotage - There's no way I could have made a mistake like that :)

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   Robert, you're not the only one who has recommended I read "Two against Cape Horn".  Last week a co-worker showed me a photo from a page of that book showing the mold the Roths made. I'm definitely going to find a copy and read it.  This boat needs a new name (Knight Errant just doesn't do it for me) and "Whisper" is one of the possibilities.  Other ideas are "Heart of gold" (Zaphod Beeblebrox's ship) and "Nautilus" (captain Nemo's submarine).  I'm open to other suggestions, too.

   A neighbor was walking by on the weekend and she told me the boat will look really pretty once I finish covering it in wood paneling  :)

   And I'm really not a saint.  The price was right - It cost more to move the boat to my driveway than it did to buy it.

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Heart of Gold? Where you gonna put the bistro?

Nautilus? Did she really enjoy her time under the sea?

Belafonte is the name of Steve Zissou's (the fictional one, not the lawyer one) boat.

Phoenix may not be out of order, in this case, either.

I do like Whisper, too.

Everyone should read the books Hal Roth wrote about their cruises. Even if just to read about what times were like a few short decades ago.

I will hold off on the beatification nomination, then, but I don't think frugality will discount you from sainthood.

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The bistro will be on the foredeck but I'll hide it with an SEP Field.  The name Nautilus would be intended to honor the time this boat has spent underwater as well as offer my wife an opportunity to paint a clown anemone fish on the hull (Captain Nemo).  I'll add Belafonte to the list but I don't think I like the fire association with Phoenix.  So the current list of potential names in no particular order is:

- Heart Of Gold

- Belafonte

- Nautilus

- Whisper

 

Lennie - Have you got any name ideas to add? I'm certainly not averse to Grateful Dead references.

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How much flex and twisting was possible once you pulled the mold off the hull? I suspect there was quite a bit, which means the patch will not be the same shape as the hull, when cured and placed over the hole. You may be able to simply force the patch down, especially if the skin is relatively light. I make this type of repair from time to time and I leave the mold in place, over well feathered edges around the perimeter of the existing hole. The fabrics are laid from the inside of the hull, against the mold, often with a thin coated cardboard spacer against the mold, to provide exterior fabric tabbing and fairing space, once it's removed.

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   There was a little flex but I have only taken the mold off the hull to apply a light coat of epoxy with sanding filler so I can smooth the surface a bit.  Once I've done that and added mold release I'll reinstall the mold using the original screw holes and glass from the inside as you suggest.  I thought about stiffening the mold more but decided it shouldn't be necessary.  Hopefully I'm right...

   With the mold installed I could already see a little difference from the original shape of the hull but as long as it's a reasonably fair surface I'll be happy.

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