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Getting things done. (photo intensive)

October 25, 2013

Been a while since I put up a post, but its been an interesting month and a half.

I am currently off work, medical issues, and have been going down at least 3x a week weather permitting. I’ve gotten the immediate engine bay chipped out and painted. My first needle scaler turned out to be a complete POS, and a new one cost me $115, but oh is it sweet. It has replaced the Sawzall as my new bestest buddy. Makes a hell of a racket, between it and the compressor tied down on deck, the neighbours just love me. But it does the job quite well and removes the scale rust, and beats the left overs into a fine metal sheen. Very dusty work, so after vacuuming up the mess, I wash it down with a detergent, blow dry it with an industrial heat gun and then wipe it all down with lacquer thinner.  The epoxy is an easy one to one mix and isn’t finicky about it either and goes on well. Sorta like painting with yogurt, its about that consistency. So here’s the before and after.



The engine bearers are still an ongoing issue, but I have finally got the right measurements after redoing them 3x and checking the offset with a large straight edge. Why I used a 3/8 shim instead of 7/8 beats me but I am 1/2 an inch too high and need to drop the bearers by that much. Simplest way is to cut stub bearers, and bolt them to the underside of the existing bearers with a 1/4 inch shim again, tighten them up and then drill bolt holes through the web. That way the new height will be correct, Once the stubs are welded in place a couple of hours with a cut off disk, some more welding to fill gaps and the bearers will be just so. It will look odd but what the hell. I never said I was perfect. Embarrassed, yes. Perfect? Nah. Not a chance in hell.


I’ve also been working on the other areas where the corrosion is worst. This involves removing a 5 foot long section about 5 inches wide form the middle chine. I did that last night after finally working up the courage to cut a honking big hole in my boat.


OMG what was I thinking!!!

Actually, once I got going it went well. Took 4 x 4.5 inch cutting disks and a couple of whacks with my 5 lb baffy and out it came. I got the lower edge pretty much cleaned up before I called it a day, and have still to fair the upper edge, the two ends (after I check the piece I have is long enough) and grind off the weld from inside. The lower chine is rock steady, but the middle chine sprung out a bit between the two frames. I’ll weld an eye to the skin on the inside, run a few turns of rope to a shackle attached to the cabin roof frame on the  opposite side and start winding up the rope as a Spanish windlass. That will pull it in again. I have all sorts of tabs and dogs to weld on both inside and out, so I’d best get the Mig machine running and start practicing. Once the new piece is dogged in place and tacked I have one of the club members who is a crackerjack welder coming down to finish it and the bearers.

The more I look at this boat, the more I curse everyone involved in its origins. The builders were amateurs at best, especially noticeable when there is nothing hiding their workmanship. Here are a couple of photos of frame welds, the frames where I’ve cut out the plate. Scary isn’t it?

frame 1

frame 2

Those  sections of metal scabbed on to the side of the frame are all over the place. The skin is pretty fair on the outside but inside half the frames are anywhere from a 1/4 to half an inch off the skin, so they welded these bits on.

There are two sections where the inner 1/8 sheet is pretty rough. I’m removing the worst of it and will just edge weld where the cuts are made to mate inner to outer skin. The second section is pitted but still intact, but for the one corner just above that hole you see in the above photo. (hidden behind the frame)


I’ve started to rip out the sagging 2×4 floors and replace them with 1.5×1.5 angle or 1×1 angle. Once they are in place the open areas will be spanned fore and aft with 1.5×1.5 inch tee bar. A lot of cutting and fitting but once in place I can finish painting the bays as I chip and clean them out.




While I’m doing this I’m giving some thought on how to close up the insulation after its in. Having that extra material scabbed onto the frames makes it much more of a mess, and my current thought is to spray foam the hull, sand it fair and then cover the foam with a layer of glass cloth and epoxy. All the furniture will already have been located and base clips welded to the frames or skin, which will project out of the foam.  I’m thinking this will make the inside neater, prevent moisture from reaching the skin and openings can be cut where ever needed. Of course this means that any leaks from outside have to be found and dealt with or the water gets in anyway. I’m thinking that cutting 2.5 inch lengths of various diameter tube and gluing it around things like the underside of stanchion bases etc will allow access to them, and prevent water from getting into the foam. I can insulate them by stuffing with regular foam or fiberglass bats.

Two Days later:Was down there on Tuesday and strained my back somehow. So I’m currently sitting at home and had a chance to upload more pics. I’ve finished cutting out the worst of the rotted out inner layer, That strip in the middle is where they welded the outer layer to the inner layer.


I’ll put a lap weld around all the cut edges and that will be it.  Scale and paint.

I’ve also put in another floor and removed the mass of half rotted 2x4s that made up the original floors. A bit of fancy trimming with the disk grinder and the new floors fit in perfectly, and get through bolted temporarily until I can finish scaling and cleaning. Then they will be welded in and the whole area E-coated. I expect my back will be OK In another couple of days, and it’ll be time to get back at it. In the mean time, Its a tot of rum for the pain. 🙂

From → Meat n Taters

  1. With the boat all torn out like that why are you still using a needle scaler? Why not just have the internals sandblasted? Glad to see some progress being made. I think all these old boats suffer from “what the hell was the past thinking?”

    • I had considered that, sandblasting. Problem is that no one round here wants to do it without charging a huge amount of money. There are all sorts of regulations about who and how it can be done. We have some pretty stringent rules up here about that sort of stuff. Now that I have a compressor I intend to use a small hand blaster to do small areas but the scaler works well. Blasting small areas one at a time should present no problems over the balance of the winter. The epoxy cures down to -6c. So one bay at a time. I did the engine bay in a hurry to get the engine down from where it is perched in the cockpit. Been there for two years now. Time to get it inside.

      Besides, lets face it. I’m old, the boat is old and what happens to her after I kick the bucket is not something I worry about. 🙂 Scaled and E-coated will work OK as long as I can open up areas to check. I think that was the biggest reason for the mess she is in, 30 some odd years of no access to the interior parts. Externally she is in great shape.

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