Friday, 2 April 2010

Constructive work

All my effort till now had been mainly destructive, i.e. cutting off wood, taking apart parts of the boat, drilling holes etc. While this was progres, there was nothing to show for all the work I've done, just dust, missing parts and rotten plywood lying around the cabin.. But this time it was different I really felt that I made some progress as I installed the missing part of the bulkhead! I have to say that it was quite a difficult job and while it took me about six weeks to figure out how to do it, order the required materials, tools and prepare the area, I now feel that I can do the same job in just two days. The result can be seen in the photo. However, it's not yet complete as I have to install the lower shroud chainplate knee which was essentially the main reason I started all this work. And then I discovered more rot on the deck above the knee that will have to be dealt with at some point. The plan is to bulletproof the chainplate attachment so that it will never fail again. I know, never say never, but at least I'll try to build it as strong as I feel I have to. I've ordered some 316 stainless steel bars that I will use as backing plates that were not in the original design. Of course, the trick here is to build a very strong hull-to-knee bond as the design seems inherently weak..

Coming back to the bulkhead, I have to say that I'm not 100% pleased with the job I did. The main issue is that instead of soaking the fiberglass strips in epoxy, I applied the epoxy after I laid the strips. This made it quite difficult to get rid of the air between the layers. However I think I've overbuild the tabbing and having used epoxy instead of polyester I believ the bond should be stronger that the original. I still have to lay a bit more tabbing after I install the knee.
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