Friday, September 12, 2014

Dory and Duckworks

I’m a bit ahead of the blog with my projects. Most of my time has been spent crawling around on my hands and knees in excess of 2,400 sq. ft. of flower bed weeding, cleaning, trimming, spraying, and mulching in preparation for fall. It’s raining today---blessed rain---so I’m out of the flower bed, and it’s too humid for painting, so here I am.

The crazing and cracks, plus two concentric circles of damage
where the jaws of the boom have rubbed.  We'll try to correct this.
This is around the mast step tube on the foredeck.
James dropped his Cape Dory 14 off at the house Monday a week ago. I have dived into the project a bit, and called him right away with some good news. We had a couple spots where there was delamination in the cockpit sole. We didn’t know if it was fiberglass delaminating or what, but it turns out that the problem is nothing but cosmetic. A pigmented gel is sprayed inside the cockpit so the fiberglass isn’t translucent. Those of us in Kevlar boats are all too familiar with watching the waves pass by our hulls, but in fiberglass boats they like to project a more robust illusion, so work hard to keep light from shinning through the hull. The gel had cracked and separated from the fiberglass hull material, so it is nothing more than chipping and sanding all the loose material away and putting a new epoxy coat on the inside of the hull. It will then be primed, painted light blue, and have non-skid material applied between two coats of finishing paint.

There are other spots of crazing that will be routed and filled. That also is a common issue with older boats, and again is nothing more than cosmetic. The gel pools in low spots in the mold, making it thicker than appropriate in spots, and over time hardens and cracks, especially in stress areas. Once everything is touched up, the entire cockpit will be hand sanded and repainted to look like new. This is hull #55 of the 652 that were built, so it has been giving great service since about 1965.

The paint and non-skid additive have been ordered from Jamestown Distributors, as well as a new set of cleats, strap eyes, a block, and line for the brailing line from Duckworks. Installing the brailing line will take some time to get the angles just right, but I think he will find it to be a great upgrade to the boat’s handling. At least I hope so. There’s always a risk involved in trying to modify someone else’s boat. Oh, by the way. For all you lovers of small boats, if you are not familiar with Duckworks, it is a fine place to explore, admire, dream, and find those small pieces of gear you can’t get elsewhere. A good place to get lost for a day (or a whole winter) is in the plans section. There are 36 small boat designers there for vessels that row, paddle, sail, and putt-putt, and even a selection of free plans. Here’s the link:
A bit later:
The darned rain quit, so it was back to the flowerbeds, but still too damp to paint.


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