Sunday, August 13, 2017

_______________________ BACK ON AN EVEN KEEL _____________________

Today I sat and worked on my excellent little work stool and put the penultimate touch to the keel. 

The work on the keel has been a mammoth undertaking. The first stage (above) was to expose the damp timber and dry it out in a tunnel made of plastic sheets and a couple of fan heaters. I then tightened up the keel bolts.

Stage two was sanding the keel and fairing it with west system resin and micro balloons powder. This fairing compound is a purple concoction which I carefully mixed to a consistency of peanut butter making it easy to spread.

Stage three was fiber glassing the keel and bilge area with 4 ounce double bias fiberglass cloth. Three layers of double bias cloth were laid on top of each other longitudinally along the garboards in 100, 200 and 300mm widths (narrowest width first). The rest of the keel required only only one layer of glass. I had help with this from the very capable Steve, a professional boat builder. We worked together all day without a break. He introduced me to the use of fiber glass peel ply which produced an excellent result.

Stage four was completed today when I painted the glassed area with three coats of two pot primer undercoat. Stage five will be a light sanding of the primer and the application of anti fouling paint.

The plan is to run the motor tomorrow and make sure everything is working as it should. Then a coat of anti fouling paint to the under water hull areas and it's back into the water. Then I will be able to motor my way down stream underneath the lifting bridge and go for a sail! Bliss.

6 comments:

Don said...

Always a challenge glassing a vertical surface. Looks as if you have done the job extremely well. As for drying out the wood and doing this work, in this wet weather the past month, you have done a great job.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Don. The wet weather has certainly been challenging, but the plastic tent that I have taped around the boat has been a great help, enabling me to work under the boat in pretty much all weathers.

I was anxious about glassing the vertical surfaces but we found that so long as we didn't overload the double bias cloth with too much resin and rolled it well with steel 'air rollers' (the standard little rollers used for glassing) it stuck well without moving at all.

A crucial part of executing all of this was having someone else to give me a hand. I don't think I would want to undertake a keel job such as this by myself.


Ben said...

4 ounce double bias fiberglass cloth, longitudinally with peel ply sounds like some of your own incomprehensible technical words 😉. But Google is always a good help.
You must be happy now the difficult, heavy work has been done.
Is the rigging all OK?
Good luck with the motor test!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

That is looking fine! As in FINE.. pour yourself a well deserved drop....

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Steve - I have been pouring myself the odd drop throughout the whole process, well when the sun has gone down below the yard arm every day to be precise LOL! A tot of rum in the old naval tradition is good for maritime reflection and boat restoration planning.

Alden Smith said...

LOL Ben!! No, these words describe items that actually exist!! Double bias cloth is very strong (it has the fiberglass strands running in a particular way). The peel ply is a cloth that you lay on top of a fiber glassing job straight after you have finished. The peel ply draws the resin up through the cloth giving a more even spread or consistency to the application and it gives a smooth rather than rough surface. You take the peel ply off when the fiber glass has hardened - you just "peel" it off, hence the name.
We have run the motor (we put a hose up the water inlet piple) and all is well. I am just waiting on the arrival of a sender unit for the oil pressure gauge and then the motor (hopefully) is complete.
Good question regarding the rigging which is 38 years old - I will be renewing this later when I get approval from my bank manager!