Thursday, October 09, 2014

My old girl has a big crack in her bottom

Yep. Its a nasty one. It all came to light in the last race of the Nottingham SC open meeting. I was just getting into 3rd place when after a gybe I noticed water gushing in through a crack and decided we needed to retire.

I got the old girl home and into the garage, tipped her on her side and with a heat gun I began to remove the paint to find the source of the problem.

The initial problem centred around a repair I had to make in the summer of 2013. I had to use a piece of plywood and I knew at the time that the underlying problem was a previous repair using a plastic filler. It turns out that the rot had got in a bit further than I thought. So I have removed my repair and have removed all the filler and begun the process of cutting and fitting new wood laminates.

And then I began to explore one or two other 'suspect' spots and discovered yet more problems.

Some lunatic decided in their 'wisdom' to use fibreglass to fill in some rotten areas of wood. Its crazy because it doesn't behave as wood, it doesn't flex in the same way and inevitable at the boundaries of  the materials you get water ingress. Plus it holds moisture in the wood so that it rots the inner layers! 

In places there was so much water in the wood that when I put the heat gun on to scrap the paint the water was boiling and forcing itself to the surface! Some of the plastic filler burst like mini volcanoes as the water trapped below the filler boiled and pushed its way out. 

Now I have a good few months of hard work just to sort out the stupid 'repairs' of past owners (Some folk should just not be allowed to own wooden boats). I'm dreading finding more and almost dare not remove any more paint for fear of what I will find. 

But Acushla will be on the water next season.

p.s. Even with only two race finishes we finished 3rd overall at the Open meeting. Results here

1 comment:

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

I'm not smart enough to own a wood boat. There's too much wood in my boat as it is.