Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dodging Raindrops (yet again)

Another weekend of showery weather.

Making the best of it, I decided to fair some of the rough exposed sections of the hull alongside the cabin sole as well as the cut outs for the sole hatch boards.

After taping the edges of my new bamboo sole, I mixed up a batch of epoxy with low density fairing filler (WEST 407). I mixed it up thick enough to fill the fiberglass weave and other irregularities and thin enough to self-level before the epoxy kicked off. Another coat after sanding might be required.

And yes, the cut-outs in the under sole and the bamboo plywood don't line up. I think in one instance I measured from the middle of the sole and in the other I measured from the middle of the boat. One might assume these would be the same things but in a Triton that is highly unlikely. Symmetry does not exist with these boats.

No, I didn't spill anything on the new sole that didn't wipe right up. The slight stain on the port side is water stain where some water pooled up. I appear to have a small leak that wasn't readily apparent. The piece of paper towel was stopping the water from migrating back out into my fresh epoxy.

Taking advantage of a lull in the rain I decided to add more screws securing my teak rubrail. The original installation was pulling away from the hull in a few places, notably at the amidships joint.

I am still not happy with the rubrail installation. Even with the longer screws I didn't always get a good connection. In a few cases, while driving in the new screws, they would hit resistance and would pull the wood away from the hull along with the adjacent screws in the process. The problem is the rough contruction at the hull-to-deck joint. There are lots of voids, dry fibers and lumps of resin that the screws have a hard time gripping. In one instance, I hit a pocket with blew my drill out of the hole with an explosive bang, lots of white powder, and that intoxicating smell of uncured polyester resin. Next time - or if the current connection fails - I think I might use a more adhesive sealant like 4200 or 5200. I avoided these thinking I might someday have to repair the rubrail and didn't want to deal with these strong adhesives then. On a positive note, the rubrail is more decorative than anything so as long as it doesn't just fall off in bulk I can probably keep it in place for some time.

A curious feature of my rubrail is that every winter a larg-ish gap shows up between the rubrail and the hull. During cold weather I can clearly see daylight between the hull and rubrail and sometimes have over a quarter inch gap showing. When the weather warms up most of the gaps go away however. I guess that will be an ongoing issue trying to marry two different materials together over a wide span.

The original installation used 8x1.25 bronze wood screws about 12 inches apart. I put 8x1.5 wood screws in between, doubling the number of screws holding the toerail on. On top of this will be a brass half over strip, hopefully being installed this summer if I can get some decent varnish coverage before next winter...

I just found this view while adding the toerail screws and thought it looked nice. I love a nice clean foredeck.

And that's it for this weekend. More boatwork is on the schedule for next weekend.

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