I try to get a little bit done everyday.. except for those days when I am working a double shift or it is raining.. I give those days a much deserved pass. I did not get much done today, about half an hour worth of work and frustration before the mosquitos drove me indoors.
I decided to cut out the semi-circular cavity at the trailing edge of Flirt’s Stern. This seems to me to be the best way to properly repair the damage. I am going to carefully slice it out using my angle grinder, form a new semi-circular tube out of Carbonfibre, and resin it into place before applying more C/F to the outside of the hull to blend it in and secure it and on the inside of the hull to reinforce it properly. It could wind up being the strongest part of my Sprite when I am done.
When grinding back glass they recommend a 12:1 ratio. for ever inch you grind inwards, you need to grind 12 outwards, fairing it to gelcoat level as you go. I am more or less following this as you can see…
The problem I found came with the grinding. As I got up to the bronze tube that feeds the rudder shaft down out of the hull, what I thought was cracked glassfibre was actually more filler material. As an angle grinder equipped with a flapper wheel makes short work of ‘glass, I went to town so to say..covering myself, Flirt, my Land Rover, and everything else in white filler dust (yes I was wearing a mask and goggles) as I ground down to ‘glass. Working over my head, I was following the filler when I realized it was going further and further away from the rudder mount. Looking up towards the very edge of the stern, I could see more where I had already sanded the paint away.. this was one long and jagged crack.
While Mosquitos kept me from finding the full extent of the damage, it appears to run up from the lower pintle of the rudder, straight up the keel’s semi-circular cutout, across where the rudder exits the hull, and all the way to the stern proper. I think I now know why old George had such a big bilgepump on Flirt, I bet she needed pumping everyday as Filler material is not exactly the best stuff for keeping water out.
No matter.. just means more ‘glassing