Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just like the good ol' days...

The weather was nicer this weekend so I took the opportunity to re-live my life from a few years ago. One of my old tools was not up to the task however.

My faithful 3M 6800 series full face respirator has been literally rotting away and is no longer fit for service- the rubber straps that hold the faceplate to the face were rotting/crumbling/breaking into itsy bitsy pieces. I once rebuilt the respirator, ordering all the parts it needed but the hassle of finding and ordering the bits and pieces wasn't worth the effort so I simply bought a new one.

Some may remember that on my last haul-out day, I got pinned against a rock and the only way to clear water was a dance through a whole rock garden. That left a few scars.

Yesterday was really the first time I took a really good look at the scars. Luckily, most of the scarring was only into the fairing filler from the last repair. There were 3-4 spots where the fibers had been scratched and one spot that was really 'damaged' in the true sense of the word.

When I bought the boat I discovered water dripping out of the hull from a boat that supposedly hadn't seen water in 2 years. After some investigating, it turned out the boat had run up on something and repairs had been made (poorly) using a polyester filler material. Water had wicked up through the polyester filler into the cracks that had not been completely removed, once I started removing old bottom paint the water started seeping back out.

I repaired that bit and added a few extra layers of 15 oz. biaxial cloth figuring the boat is likely to hit something again and a little extra wouldn't hurt. I was exactly right about that. The recent damage penetrated into the extra layers I had previously added but didn't get into the original hull structure.

blah blah blah....

Anyway, I used my grinder with the flap wheel attachment (overlapping sandpaper arranged like a fan on the grinder wheel- great tool) to dish out the damage.

Then I started adding new material. The weather felt warm but in reality it was a lot colder than the weather I usually do composite work in and I was grossly optimistic as to how long the epoxy was going to take to kick off. I spent an hour watching my first patches slowly try to pull off under the weight of gravity. Eventually the epoxy did kick but I was too scared to put on a second layer that day for fears the extra weight would pull the whole thing off. I really really want a vacuum bagging setup. Maybe for the next boat.

So the slow epoxy took up a lot of time. I also pulled the panel from behind the toilet and altered one of the holes for the hoses that come out for a better fit. Then, because I hated the painted plywood shelf I had made for the storage area behind the toilet, I cut out a new shelf with some pine I had left over from the settee storage locker shelving. I am much happier with the looks now.

I am sure I did something else on Saturday but I can't remember what it was now.

So Sunday, I applied a second layer of material to my patches but this time I applied clear epoxy to the damaged area and patches and then waited 20 minutes before applying the patches to the hull. That worked much better and the patches gripped within a few minutes. Much easier.

After that, I decided I needed to try and recover as much of the hardware that fell into the bilge a few weeks ago as I could. There was a lot of dust in the interior at one point and the bilge still manages to collect it along with some water which leaves a nice slimy mud in the very bottom of my deep bilge. I thoroughly enjoyed vacuuming up all my hardware out of the bilge and attempting to clean it all up. And I only spilled a little mud in my cockpit...

There were a few bits and pieces projects that got done but hardly worth the mention. Oh, and the poorly made patch from the old fuel fill fitting (I take full responsibility) got a workover this weekend. I decided not to hang upside down with a grinder in the cockpit locker and instead drill a few holes and injected thickened epoxy into the gaps in the bad 'glassing job. Then, where the deck had started to crack, I opened up a small hole and injected some more thickened epoxy. Its ugly but solid now. I was only worried about it because its about six inches forward of the jib cleat and I didn't want the cleat to depart taking a section of the side deck with it. Knowing me, I probably won't be happy with what I have done and I will hang upside down in the cockpit locker with a grinder and do the job I should have done in the first place...

and that about sums up my boat work for this weekend. The slow epoxy meant that I couldn't complete the patch job on the hull. I will clean up the patching next week and add a layer of 1.5 oz. cloth and epoxy with sandable fairing filler added. I want to add the 'normal' glass because it seems the filler from the old repair wanted to separate right where it attached to the biax and I think a layer of regular cloth will make for a better bonding surface. Who knows. More fibers is always better right?

Em tasol wantoks.


Anonymous said...

Aren't you glad you don't have black bottom paint anymore?


Britton said...

Every day...