Boat Journal

Chronicling a love affair with sailing

Month: April 2008


Steve R and I met at the boat yard today. I came with resin and hardener. He came with everything else: a drill with a paint remover disk, cups for mixing resin, throw-away paint brushes, and I don’t remember what all else.

He arrived before I did, and had started squirting water on the bottom and drawing circles. He showed me that the water helped us to see the raised spots on the boat bottom more easily. The raised spots were places where water had gotten in and formed blisters. Not too bad blisters are those that occur within the boat’s gelcoat. The ‘bad’ blisters are those that have gotten into the fiberglass.

After he’d gone over the entire bottom, Steve took the drill with the paint remover disk, held it sideways, and ‘sanded off’ the spots. Most were just raised spots that he sanded off. A few actually had liquid in them and they popped like water blisters. Books I’ve read since said that some of those things have quite a bit of pressure under them and that one should be careful when they pop. Luckily, mine just oozed.

We then mixed the resin and hardener and he showed me how to paint the mixture onto the spots. For the deeper ones, we took fiberglass matting and placed it in the hole.

There were a few bumps on the keel. Those we filled with some type of filler – I’ll need to find out what we used, which was mixed with the resin.

Tomorrow, I’ll need to come back, sand these down, and put another coat of resin on them.

Repairs and Other Lessons

Okay, so, after the last disastrous time out on the water, the weather was looking crappy for the next week. So I asked the boat yard to pull her out of the water and do the repairs I needed: get the bottom painted, rebed the chainplates, repair the soft spot in the deck, and remove the outboard engine. All those were large jobs, and I really felt it better to have someone else tackle them.

The soft spot on the deck, the inspector figured, was probably due to leaks from the chainplates being repaired poorly. I could see that, since there was some awful goo around them. Looking at it myself, though, I wondered if the leak into the hull was from the pump-out, since it was right beside the soft spot. I learned later that that was an after-market add-on. In the days when this boat was manufactured everything went over the side, including the offal from the loo.

So, Mike, the mechanic, went to start on the repair. He began by trying to release the pressure in the pumpout so he could remove the pipes. Well, luckily, he didn’t get a face full of goo, but he did get a squirt from the pipe that he didn’t expect.

Well, those who’ve read the other posts in this blog know that my times on the boat have been less than ideal. I really did did intend to empty the tank from the loo. It just hadn’t worked out that way.

So, the repair waited.

In the meantime, my budget was starting to show strain. So I asked Mike, the mechanic, if he felt the chainplates really needed to be rebedded (about a $2000 proposition). He didn’t think so, since he saw now evidence of leaks from them within the cabin. But, he said he’d take a closer look when he got the deck peeled back.

Also, in the meantime, Steve (of our last, fateful, voyage), offered to help me fix the blisters on the bottom. He also suggested that painting it wasn’t as arduous a task as I thought. So I told the yard I’d take care of that.

Sense is starting to win out over money. Well, starting. 😀