The adventures of the vessel "The Hard Six" and the man owned by her!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The leak, pulpit, and tropical storm - Part 2

The next morning, in the "cold" light of day It was much easier to see that the problem was a bigger one than I had originally thought. It seems that when the pulpit was installed, the "professional" that did it, in an effort to make sure it was level, ground too much fiberglass back and cut right through the top cap of the boat, leaving an area of about 3"x8" exposed to the decking core. You can see the wood on the right side of the picture.

The good news was I knew where the water was getting in at and it was a pretty straight forward repair. Epoxy the holes, seal the water out and replace the pulpit. 

How hard could that be, right?

After one coat
Three coats, ready to go
The pulpit was off, and there was some rot underneath. So I decided to epoxy it with West 206 Clear Epoxy. 3 coats later, I was pretty pleased with it  

And so we began building the "ramp" that fit underneath. I never wanted to have to revisit this, so instead of wood, I chose StarBoard to replace the ramp with. This turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected since no one in Jax has 1" StarBoard in stock. So we used to 1/2" pieces sistered together. Here's a tip for working with StarBoard. There is no way to bond StarBoard, except my mechanical means. No glue, epoxy, good intentions, or tape will hold it together for very long. 

The backing plate under the deck was also replaced. They "professionals" that installed the old one used about 1" of fairing compound (i.e. marine concrete) between the backing plate and deck, which we of course had to remove. I don't even want to think about how many hours we spent chipping away at that stuff with hammers and chisels. At one point, utterly frustrated, Fred suggested using one of these to remove it:

 After about 40 hours of labor by both of us, the pulpit was done, the new backing plate made (1/2" marine plywood, epoxied - 1/8" aluminum behind the nuts) and installed, the pulpit when back on. As you can see in this photo, Fred was wasted, and so was I.

However - the leak was sealed, and now the rest of the cabin refit could begin....

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