23 May, 2011

Patching some holes and removing antifouling

Every year one applies anti-fouling to keep the marine growth from the bottom of the boat.  It cost a fortune and is washed off during the seasons sailing.  Over time the gum that contains the toxic substance builds up, layer upon layer until one has to either sand it off or more effectively scrape the lays off.  The antifouling also hides the minor scrapes, bangs and scratches one get while sailing near to rocks.  At the end of last season I noticed a damp patch on the keel and remembering that one evening we did get a bang as Malua swung with the wind in very shallow water.  With a bit of scrape and a prod a small hole opened out to show a void in the aft section of the keel.  Not a feature, not a design fault but poor workmanship by David the builder who should have filled the space with resin when he placed the lead in the keel cavity.  The fibreglass had cracked at the join of the keel and the hull and, as is always the way the water enters every hole.  I had opened up the void and let the water evaporate over the winter so on my return at the start of summer I was able to address the next item on the To Do list.
Hole filled with glass and resin
Fill the void and patch the crack.
I had purchased some polyurethane resin and brought some glass and mat from my store at home so it was an easy job to mix up the right quantities, fill the void with resin and push the chopped mat into the hole to make a nice strong section of the keel.  I also applied to resin and cloth to the end of the keel which had taken the hit on the rock.  Like most of these types of repairs the end result turns out stronger than the original.  It just makes me mad that a builder could have done such poor quality control and that type of construction occurs.  Oh well I guess that was why Malua was finished in Canberra and not in Cardiff.
Next item on the To Do list.
Scrape off the build up of antifouling on the rudder stock.
Antifouling gone Epoxy on
Not an easy job.  It is time consuming, your muscles get tired, the antifouling get on your skin and generally it is a job best done by others.  Thankfully I only wanted to do the two square meters of the rudder stock.  With protective glasses and a good face mask to keep out the dust I set about removing the build up of antifouling layers.
I can only last about three hours before I have to quite for the day and take a hot shower.  Three days later all the antifouling was off and I was down to the epoxy paint I had applied in Canberra before the antifouling went on.  To make a good job of the opportunity I applied four coats of epoxy over the original, applied some undercoat and the rudder stock was ready to take the antifouling again.  Well that section of the boat wont need scraping for another ten years.
Next To Do item please.

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