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The deeper I get into Flirt, the more I am reminded that I really do prefer the “journey” than the destination. Throughout my life I have owned a succession of vehicles that do not always fit the bill of being “reliable” or even “safe”. I am talking Old Volkswagen Beetles with hopped up engines but with no upgrades to brakes or suspension. Fiat Spiders with the usual rust, and the odd Saab turbo with terminal transmission problems. All were fun to drive and work on, but I tended to enjoy the work most of all.

Earlier this week while laying on the remains of Flirt’s V-berth, I happened to look up while seeing in my mind’s eye (day dreaming) what the cabin would look like to notice that one of the underdeck supports was darker than the other. These are half round “bulges” in the glassfibre that are designed to stiffen the deck by virtue of “boxing” it. Reaching up, I easily poked a hole into the bulge with my thumb. This was not looking good. Many boats have been sent to their ends due to rotted coring material. It is just one of those jobs that either costs a small fortune to have somebody else do, or takes forever and makes a mess if you do it yourself. Thankfully for my wallet and for Flirt (and not so much for my sanity) I am a do it myself kind of guy

So with the damage done, I started digging into the bulge to see what was inside.. and pulled out a sopping wet roll of decaying cardboard. While an almost 52 year old Sea Sprite does not have any coring on the deck or hull, it still has some support built out of a material that likes to soak up moisture like the proverbial sponge.

Rotted cardboard

I am not entirely surprised or even worried. I always thought that Flirt’s lack of hull and deck support was what caused all the crazing of her ‘glass in the first place. I have a plan, It should look great when finished, but I was not exactly expecting to worry about it right now.

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A long time sailor who has been away from the water for too long, I am working hard to bring an old and abused boat back to life. When not working on my boat, I can often be found working as a Stage Hand in Atlantic City or just out and about on my Mountain Bike. I really come off as a quiet and boring person when people first meet me.

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