Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fixing my 'Darling's' bottom

The name of my boat is Acushla which is a Gaelic word meaning 'Darling' or 'Beat of my heart' or 'Heartbeat'.

Anyway over the last few months I have been very slowly working on my boat, first exploring the problems with the hull and then preparing for the new wood to be fitted. I'm working on the major fault first, tidying up the hole and cutting away laminate layers to allow new pieces to overlap and bond in.

Next I cut to size strips of laminate to fit the holes for both the inner layer

And then for the middle layer

And then I glued the whole lot in using SP106 slow cure (so I had time to move it about and get it right)

and this is the repair so far

It looks crap but its rock solid

The only problem is a slight dip in the surface which could mean I have to fill the void with epoxy resin when I put the outer laminate in place. But I'm thinking I might just try and put a very, very thin laminate layer into the dip and see if I can avoid using a big glob of epoxy to fill the void as I'm not convinced it will give a resilient fix and may cause cracking when the boat flexes. 
Another alternative is not to try and fill the void but for the top laminate to follow the dip and then to fill on the outside with suitable filler.

My next task is to cut back the outer laminate on the hull to give a good border for the new wood and then I have to shape of the top laminate to fit. This is going to be tricky because its very big and I have to be able to apply pressure over a large curved area while its gluing.

The other problem I have is temperature. The garage is quite warm (if you think 10 degC is warm) but it needs to be 15 degC for the glue. So I have to pick the right day ( a nice sunny day) and time to start the gluing in the late morning. Not always easy when you're working too!

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