08 July 2022
It's been awhile, but after chatting with some boat-builders (professionals), it appears that I probably should remove the gelcoat in the areas I plan to add glass and epoxy... given that strength is far more the issue that esthetics (for me, at least), I ordered a couple of 60grit abrasive wheels to hopefully speed the process of gelcoat removal, and then I can get back to the task at hand...
13 September 2021
The progress is barely discernable, but there it one looks closely. I'm not much of a whizz at this, so I read a lot, ask questions and then go slowly, very slowly -- plus it has been blazing hot, and I've found that 70-somethings don't have the stamina of 20-somethings. Oh well this is a several day effort -- still using G-Flex 655, with a base layer of 10oz glass followed by a layer of 1708 with the same G-Flex... now to do this all along the hull/keel joint and then add several layers... more to come (I hope).
Work sort of progresses...
20 July 2021
Finally ground down the joint at the rear of the keel, as well as the front. Discovered that ODay probably had started this mess as there were clear air-bubbles in the laminate right where it needed to be the strongest. Spent some time thinking through this and decided to go with G-Flex 655 (the jell) as this will be in an area where adhesions and flexibility may play a big role in keeping the areas buttoned up (flexibility and adhesion are two areas that G-Flex is supposedly good at -- compared to their normal 105 Epoxy). Anyway, ground out the air-bubbles as well as surrounding cracks and filled with a mixture of G-Flexx 655 and and silica. We'll see...
More things to Fret Over
23 May 2021
Well, in the process of inserting my geriatric bulk into the stern quarters of Sanctuary, I came face to face with yet another project that needs to be tackled before she goes back in the water.
I was scouting about, how to best reinforce the transom for the HydroVane attachment, when I realized I was staring right at the delaminated rudderpost tube support knees. This will take some doing, but clearly I'll need to get all the hoses out of the way, hopefully without totally disturbing the steering cable geometry.
I haven't totally figured out the attack yet; however, I did get enough marine plywood to accomplish the repair once I figure out the process. But the worrisome thing is, where did the water come from that must have settled around the knee in the first place -- did Sanctuary have another area that was leaking, it is beginning to appear so. Clearly this is a job for a professional; just as clearly the dollar value of the boat doesn't justify it... so, yet another learn-as-we-go DIY project... lots of 1708, epoxy and whatnot. Oh well, just another excuse for new tools and shop gizmos -- always a bit of a silver lining if you look for it (where's Sam Holmes when I need him... sigh).
On the lighter side, after a bit of discussion and a trip to measure the cabin-top dimensions and crown, I ordered a pair of mast-pulpits from a fabrication firm in Michigan -- more on this later.
Thoughts, Thoughts and more thoughts...
16 May 2021
Well, the autobody finisher/conditioner went quite well (Eastwood SCT) with only 120grit flapper wheels... I've elected to not worry about getting all the gelcoat off... in chatting with folks in the yard, they said to simply scuff the surface after removing al the bottom paint from the area and them use G-Flex (which I was planning to do anyway) to lay up 1708.
But another issue has popped up... since the SCT made short work of smoothing out the hull/keel joint area I crawled back in the rear of the boat to scout out mounting areas for the HydroVane... and discovered that the plywood support knees for the rudder-shaft housing have essentially delaminated... oh well, the boat is approaching 40-something years old, so i guess it is what it is -- but that will need to be redone and the whole housing strengthened I suppose -- still thinking on this, but the main issue is that the area is quite small for a 270#, 70-something so this will take a moment or two to figure out...
In the meantime, I've made some inquiries about having some mast-pulpits (granny bars) fabricated -- this is yet in the nice to have category, but is like the steering vane is something I've long envissioned...
One Day at a Time
11 May 2021
I used a 4.5" grinder with a 80 grit flapper wheel and for the most part it worked well. I've since ordered one of those roller metal burnishing "grinders" used by autobody folks, to attack the actual gelcoat at the keel/hull joint. The burnishing grinder with a 80 or 120 grit wheel should be able to strip the gelcoat away and help to maintain a level surface (or so goes my high-hopes...).
I don't plan to strip the whole keel, just the keel/hull joint area -- but after repairing the actual leak and getting rid of the air-bubble area at the trailing edge, I plan to lay up several layers of glass to reinforce the area -- Don Casey is the guide here for the external portion and I may also lay up a grid of floors, ala Uma, but the jury is still out on the latter. In any case, once the gelcoat is removed I will begin to attack this area -- about 6" either side of the actual keel/hull joint and expect to lay 3-4 layers of 1708 with G-Flex for the epoxy in this critical area. So far it is slow-going; although the grinder can cut very quickly, it takes a finer touch to take away the surface without gouging the substrata of the actual glass.