Rotten to the Core

Describes large sections of the boat’s deck, as opposed to my moral fiber.

But first Ryan wants me to make it known that she is more skillful than I at laying up fiberglass. It’s true- we put the first layer of glass around the hull-to-deck joint and the strips I “wetted out” look like they were done by a slip-shod fly-by-night sheisty hack, whereas hers look professional.

The Master at Work

The rest of the fiberglass tape is on back order, and I’m not paying West Marine prices if I can help it, so I moved on to fairing the topsides…

…and then decided I didn’t want another date with the torture board just yet so I moved on to cutting out a rotten section of the side deck. The process went much more quickly than last time. I began by mapping out the rotten section, then removing the obstructing deck hardware, in this case a stanchion post and the starboard genoa lead track.

Both items were through-bolted through the deck, so immobilizing the nut under the deck while unscrewing the bolt topside required some creativity…

MacGyver, meet Rube Goldberg

Then the top layer of fiberglass is cut out and the rotten core removed with a chisel.

A layer of new core material, with thickened epoxy in the joints…

The first of many layers of glass…

And that’s it. Here’s a picture of the schooner “Virginia” docked in Yorktown. TTYL

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Acetone>Solo Cup

After filling the gaps in the hull-to-deck joint with thickened epoxy, sanding, fairing, then sanding again, I started laying the first layer of glass along the seam. In general the sequence for prepping a surface for fiberglass/ epoxy resin is to grind with 36 grit sandpaper and then rinse with acetone. The grinding provides some “tooth” for the epoxy to adhere to and the acetone binds and then evaporates any contaminants off the surface.  I’ve had a few other misadventures melting things with chemicals, and today I found that acetone will eat through a solo cup in about 45 seconds.

Duly noted

Progress is being made, but I have to keep telling myself that this is a marathon not a sprint. Case in point, here are the major tasks remaining:

  • Fair topsides
  • Paint topsides
  • Build rudder (!)
  • Paint the mast
  • Replace standing rigging ($)
  • Cut out rotten sections of deck (:-( )

Slow and steady, until next time…