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Dust to Dust

I almost turned Flirt into a pile of ashes today. After spending hours grinding down epoxy drips from her forepeak, I started to cut out the last of her chain plates. On a SeaSprite 23, they are stainless steel tangs bolted to mahogany and then glassed over. Well, in cutting the stainless, I dropped a red hot piece of nut down into the bilge (thankfully not the deep bilge of the keel) where it came to rest in all that light and airy epoxy powder.. it immediately started to smoke and was about to burst into flame when I was able to scramble down and scoop it up and out of the boat. No harm done but some awful stench that took a while to clear.

To get that much powder, I spent a couple of hours wearing out sanding discs. Epoxy is some pretty hard stuff and as the Starboard side was the first time I ever played with it, the drips were river like where they had flowed down from beneath the oak I had epoxied to hull to deck seam. The Port side was much easier to clean up as I had a better idea what I was doing. Needless to say, I clogged up my shopvac in getting everything nice and neat again.


dirty forepeake

And all nice and clean:

clean forepeake

Now I need to finish up the stringers and start working on coating the inside of the hull in Carbonfibre before closing off the forepeak from the rest of the cabin.

With the chainplates, I put my last remaining cutting disc into my cutter and sliced it open. It’s been a few days since it last rained, and the amount of water that ran out was surprising. It was dirty and rank and it was quite evident that water had been getting into the plates for some time. Inside the chunk of Mahogany that sailstar had embedded into the hull had seen better days as it was black, wet, and soft to the touch. I think if caught out in a good gale, the rig would pull it and the others right out of the deck. It is a good thing I am replacing these with deck mounted bronze chainplates instead of embedded stainless tangs.

rotted chainplate

Sadly, I broke my last cutting disc, so I have to go out and get some more so I can get myself completely covered in white glassfibre dust again tomorrow.

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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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