Athaena - Foredeck repairs

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Athaena
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Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Tue December 1st, 2009, 12:22 pm

Having the repairs below the waterline sorted much earlier than I expected (See this thread), I'm turning my attention to the one other soft area I have found on Athaena. Unfortunately, my budget for boatbuilders is now spent so I'm getting my first foray into the pleasures and terrors of doing it myself :mrgreen: .

A previous owner had applied a bead of bathroom sealant in the forecabin to stop water coming into the cabin down the sides of the samson post. :eek: Unfortunately that sealant did exactly what you would expect and trapped water in the gap between the post and deck.

I've explored round the samson post and having poked through the surface, there's pretty much a void where the plywood should have been.
Image

Outside the area is covered by the bowsprit and samson post. Here's an overview of the foredeck taken when I was buying the boat...
Image

Poking around today revealed the void comes right through...
Image

Obviously the samson post is rather important, so I plan to replace it. It is stepped on the keel/stem. The thinking at the moment is to take out the post and cut back to good wood all round.

The deck teak seemed fine so I had planned to do this from below and epoxy in new wood. Then fit a new oak samson post. However, it soon became clear I was only going to be sure of cleaning out all the bad wood by attacking it from above, that meant the foredeck had to come up.

I'm taking things quite carefully as I'm new to this and don't want to do anything daft in haste.

It's a bit hard to pick out the detail in the piccy, for those who are interested, so I've linked it to the original (just click on the photo to get the full size version)

Image

I've mostly cut back to sound wood except towards the bow above the anchor locker where I need to go further forward. Most of the rot has been under the bowsprit and along the central seam that ran aft from there. The central seam in the removed teak was directly over the central seam in the ply deck :rolleyes: so a teak king pank will definitely be going over that when it comes to making good.

You can see the rot in the forward deck beam, fortunately this seems quite limited. Other than this beam all the rot has so far fortunately been restricted to the ply.

I'm thinking it would be prudent to remove the bowsprit, to ensure I get everythign cleaned out, but other than the two bolts (the holes for which can be seen on the top surface) I have no idea how it might be attached. I would really appreciate any guidance on how a bowsprit is incorporated into the structure of an MG design. For example will the stem be morticed into the sprit, are there any other things to watch out for?

If anyone has any pictures or plans of how the sprit is fitted/removed I would really appreciate seeing them! :D

As always any observations or comments gratefully received! :D

Chris

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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby chris s » Tue December 1st, 2009, 6:00 pm

At risk of going slightly off topic, do you know where your clear non slip panels came from? or what they are made from?

Athaena
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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Tue December 1st, 2009, 7:02 pm

Hi Chris,

They're Coelan with the antislip beads added in the final coat. It's quite ferocious stuff, like sharp sandpaper when it's done!

Given the cost of the stuff, believe me it hurt peeling it up knowing I'd have to re-apply it later!! :D

Chris

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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby helenrose » Thu December 3rd, 2009, 7:52 am

Hi Chris,

My Eventide 24 had a bit of rot on the fore deck which meant i had to take my bowsprit off,yours looks like mine,
this is how i did it,its easier if theres two of you.

first you need to remove the fore stay,it helps if all your rigging is slack i found esp the back stay(s)
then the bob stay on the stem leading up to the BS must come off,then in my case the three bolts holding the BS to the foredeck,

once all these are removed the BS should just pull away from the samson post,

best of luck,
Chris.

Athaena
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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Thu December 3rd, 2009, 9:13 am

Thanks Chris,

I'm hoping it's that straightforward :D All the rigging is off already, but I wasn't sure if or how the plate for the inner forestay might be attached. There are no apparent fastenings, could it be slotted right thorough the bowsprit.

I'll see how I go this weekend and report back! Many thanks for the advice.

Chris

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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby helenrose » Thu December 3rd, 2009, 3:59 pm

Hi Chris,

the plate for the inner forestay on my bowsprit is just bolted through the bowsprit,so no need to remove it,should be the same on yours hopefully,

its quite a straightfoward job.

best of luck.

Chris.

Athaena
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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Thu December 31st, 2009, 5:26 pm

Well it took a little time and care, but I've removed the bowsprit without damaging anything around it. :)

I'm glad I did, it definitely needed to come off having seen below :rolleyes: Plus the whole repair looks easier for me to manage with the improved access.

What was under the bowsprit...

Image

(Apologies for the poorer quality Blackberry photos) You can make out where I have probed with a scraper to find the bad wood.

The damage to the samson post (now removed for replacement)...

Image


As always, I could do with a little advice. I'm going to need to remove the metal plate that the innner stay (cutter rig) attaches to. This is screwed to the stem. Obviously this attachment point is quite important to the rig.

Image

Image

Before I remove it I want to be sure I can put it back! :o What is the best way to re-attach it later. If I fill the holes with epoxy (plus filler) and then drill new pilot holes for the replacement screws will that be OK and avoid chewing up the wood of the stem?

Many thanks,

Chris

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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Eventide Owners Group » Thu February 18th, 2010, 7:17 pm

Hi Chris,

sad to hear Athaena was so bad.. Having seen all the pics taken of her by her former owners, when she went in for rebuild some years back you would not credit this sort of damage....

Underlines the need for scrupulious leek prevention and loads of ventilation below decks....

Think your idea of filling with epoxy and re drilling very sound!

Regards,
John
Web site Coordinator

Athaena
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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Fri February 19th, 2010, 11:14 pm

Cheers John.

I don't think for a second that the former owner knew about these problems when he sold me the boat.

It very much looks like the "restorers" covered up some problems they found. I suspect this based on the way things have been smothered and gaps filled with the same brown sealant they've used elsewhere laying the teak and toerail.

Most of those big chunky stainless screws holding that stem fitting on passed through the barest edge of the teak trim pieces either side of the fitting and then into a void of sealant and fresh air!! The bolts holding the bowsprit on where ordinary coach bolts padded with lots of washers and they had almost rusted through :shock:

Needless to say it will be going back together in a far more solid state, be well sealed with epoxy, and using appropriate marine fastenings. I'm very glad I chose to investigate!

Will be down working on her tomorrow, so I'll endeavour to post some more progress photos.

Chris

Wooden Boat Fittings

Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Wooden Boat Fittings » Sun February 21st, 2010, 12:58 am

Chris, just to refer to your proposal to fill the screw-holes with epoxy, I would add -- overdrill the holes first, if necessary by quite a large amount, to make sure all the old wood past the original threads has been removed before you refill the holes. Also, don't be tempted to plug the holes with dowels to save on epoxy, as the dowels' end-grain may wick water back into the stemhead and allow more rot to start under the fitting. What you can do though is to thoroughly mix the epoxy first with as much wood-flour as it will hold, as a filler.

Mike

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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Fiddler's Green » Sun February 21st, 2010, 1:46 pm

Good point Mike, Epoxy is OK on it's own as a glue but need filler stands of some sort in this sort of application.... Microfibres were sold to me for this and microsheres too, worked well.

John
Proud owner and builder of 'Fiddler's Green'

Athaena
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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Sun February 21st, 2010, 1:47 pm

Thanks for the advice Mike :D

At the moment, I'm minded to go for a method suggested in the Gougeon Brothers book and over drill the holes to around 10mm, fill with epoxy (thickened), then drill pilot holes and tap these holes to take machine screws. This method is apparently very strong.

Just about reached the stage where I'm waiting for the weather to warm up so I can get going putting things back together now :D

Chris

Athaena
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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Sun February 21st, 2010, 1:52 pm

Fiddler's Green wrote:Good point Mike, Epoxy is OK on it's own as a glue but need filler stands of some sort in this sort of application.... Microfibres were sold to me for this and microsheres too, worked well.


That's spot on, for any sort of "filling" work epoxy needs thickening to retain it's strength.

There's some useful info on the Gougeon site for fillers an additives etc - see here

Chris

Athaena
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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Athaena » Tue March 23rd, 2010, 10:22 pm

Apologies that I've not update this thread recently, mainly due to the very cold weather limiting progress. I'm waiting for some glue and paint friendly spring weather.

So what's the latest news for those interested....

Well the stem fitting came off very easily, mainly because the screws where either broken or into thin air behind the fitting!!

Looking at the photo below you can see how the screw holes either completely missed or only just caught the edge of the wooden block behind. Given the state of the bolts on the bowsprit, their really wasn't a lot holding it all in place :eek:

Image

The plywood underneath looks a bit tired, but having given it a good going over with the bradawl it all seems sound. I have given it a coat of epoxy to stabilise and seal it, more of this in a mo. I'm not happy with the state of that little backing block, so I'm going to replace it with a full width block of solid teak (I'm assuming teak would be best for this?) to screw the stem fitting back onto.

From above the news was mostly good, considering how it looked in the previous photos.

Image

The king plank is in very good condition, the top of the stem and the triangular area in the centre all seemed very solid. The only slight problem was a bit of softness in the very ends of the sheer clamps (Is that the right name for the longitudinal timbers between the ply of the hull and the king plank?)

This softness was *very* slight following a lot of poking and prodding, I came to the conclusion that it was only a very small area that was damaged. That presented a tricky decision. There would be an awful lot of surgery to extract and replace these bits of timber.

So apologies to the craftsmen amongst us, but I've opted for a quick fix (in the full knowledge that it is just that and that at some point in the future I will almost certainly have to do it again properly!). I have good access from the forepeak into the anchor locker to be able to regularly inspect for any degradation of the problem. So I shall be keeping a close eye on things.

I've used a technique that has worked very well for me with sailing dinghies which is as follows. I got the whole area well and truly dry by warming thoroughly with a heat gun and then leaving for a week or two for air to circulate. I drilled a large number of 1mm holes into the affected areas and well beyond. I then heated the wood again and used a 1mm hypodermic needle and syringe to inject Cuprinol 5 Star (has active fungicide) into the timber until it was completely saturated. This was left for a week to penetrate and then heated again to drive off any remaining solvent. Another week airing, and then heated a final time and warmed epoxy was forcibly injected into all of the holes and used to coat exposed end grain etc.

The hope is the combination of being thoroughly dried, soaked in preservative and fungicide, and sealed and reinforced with epoxy will make the wood pretty unappealing for at least a season or two.

As mentioned earlier, next I'm planning on replacing the block behind the stem fitting with full width piece of teak. I'm also minded to put a thick piece of teak over the front triangle. The aim of this is to have something solid to fasten the the fitting to and also to replace what was a mish-mash of little trim and covering pieces with a single solid lump of wood.

I'm pleased to have have everything cleared out, now it's time to start putting things back together! :D

Chris

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Re: Athaena - Foredeck repairs

Postby Eventide Owners Group » Fri March 26th, 2010, 2:33 pm

Hi Chris,

given the amount of work involved in removing all that I guess you have opted for the best option. Bet it lasts for years and years and will be darned strong too.

At this rate you will be afloat in time for Easter!

Regards,
John
Web site Coordinator


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