If yer gonna be dumb…

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

…Then you gotta be tough. So I told my wife after splashing epoxy hardener in my eye. 15 minutes and several gallons of water later all was well and I vowed to always wear eye protection. There are some things I just need to learn the hard way.

Ryan was not amused. By the necessity of wearing my beloved Mountain Dew hat.

While I was finishing grinding off the last of the topside paint, Ryan went to work filling the screw holes from the old toe-rail with thickened epoxy. The toe-rail is usually a wood or aluminum strip that covers the hull-to-deck joint. I ripped ours off some time ago, this is what it looked like:

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

The hull-to-deck joint is generally a source of leaks on older boats, and it appears our boat was no different. After grinding down to the glass around the perimeter of the hull-to-deck joint, a fillet of caulk was visible in places where the joint was open. One school of thought is that the flexibility of caulk is good in a joint where there is some movement. I don’t go to that school, so after grinding to expose undamaged glass, and cutting out the old caulk with a razor knife, I filled the gaps with thickened epoxy. Next up will be several layers of fiberglass tape across the joint.

Pearson Ariel Hull to Deck Joint

My thought is that all that epoxy and glass should stiffen the joint up considerably, and if a leak does develop, it won’t be buried under a crappy piece of aluminum with 100 screw holes to direct water into the boat.

In other news, I finally got around to dropping off the rudder-stock at the machinist, looking forward to getting into the rudder build. Anyways, here’s what she looks like in white:

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