Actually, I am done with the daily grind. The whole of Flirt’s hull, from the waterline down, save for where the trailer pads are, is now ground down to raw glass. The cracked and crazed gelcoat is so much white dust floating on the wind (it made a terrible mess too)
However, before I can start recoating her hull in epoxy and carbonfibre, I think I have a serious repair to make.
Flirt always had a small “bump” just forward of her lead ballast. From the looks of things, it is pure fairing material and was used to smooth the transition from ‘glass hull to lead ballast. Now that I have everything ground down, I can see that the ballast is lower forwards and tight against the ‘glass aft. Considering that every piece of wood that was aboard my Sprite was rotted beyond repair, I have the horrible suspicion that the wood that the keel bolts go through is equally rotted and needs to be replaced. This is the only reason I can think of that the ballast would be slowly separating from hull itself.
Aft part of the ballast.. nice and close to the glassfibre.
And forwards.. see the almost half inch of fairing material between the lead and the ‘glass?
From the looks of things, I am going to have to cut away the glassfibre over the keel bolts and pry it up and away. From there, I can hopefully unbolt the stainless nuts and using my 3 tonne jack and the trailer pads, raise the hull up off of the lead. I only need an inch or two so I can clear out the fairing material. Then comes chiseling out the rotted wood and replacing it with a nice plank of white oak from my favourite sawmill. Once that is done, I can epoxy and carbonfibre everything in, redrill the holes for the bolts, and lower the hull back onto the ballast.
Sounds easy, non?
A better view of the work I did..
On the Starboard side, you can just make out where the toilet’s intake and exhaust thruhulls were. Nicely filled they are!