Sunday, August 19, 2007

So, What Did You Do To Her?

When DEN 816, soon to be USA 122 arrived I had a plan: Keep the boat out of the water to get a survey done and do any immediate work to make the boat race ready. I had grand ideas of doing a completely new bottom job, but thought better of that after seeing the condition the boat was in with my own eye.

All boats have problems. The decision about what to do about them depends on your perspective and how deep your pockets are... a little logic and strategical planning are good ideas too. Turns out the boat is in really great condition, hardly anything to talk about above water. A scratch or two here and there, but I mean, we are talking about a boat built in 1981.

So there's a crack on the bow where the keel meets the hull... lots of Folkboats have this problem. It doesn't mean much.

A lot of older Folkboats have rust on the keel too. This could be a problem. Depends on many factors and with a little investigation a lot can be understood as to what you should do to solve your problems for the immediate future as well as the future future.

And, after an exploratory bead blasting it was discovered that there was significant rust to the underside of the keel. Not a big deal if you handle it right away. The bigger question is if the keel bolts are rusted and weak. That will have to wait until the spring. They did lift the boat by them in Denmark to get her in the container. Nothing seems wrong and she doesn't leak...

For now the best plan was for me to have the yard blast away all the flaky bits of rust and put on a few layers of metal primer...

... followed by some filler...

... and a little more over here, fair it out nice and smooth...

... And paint it. A little work was also done to the rudder. There were a few cracks I didn't want to get waterlogged over the winter, so they were sanded, epoxy resin sealed, filled, faired and painted as well.

In my opinion, the bottom is now in better condition than when it arrived and is ready to race for the least $ I know how. It'll be just fine for the next month when it is needed for the SF Cup.

A couple factors to consider in the decision was I couldn't find out what the bottom paint was and didn't want to by accident put something on there that was incompatible... that would have been very costly. The other was, why would I want to go big on the bottom right now when I should wait until just before the race season begins? I'm not going to race her this winter anyway and the bottom is not in bad condition at all. In fact, she's real smooth.

So, the paint isn't a perfect match because it was only painted over the parts worked on, but it is smooth and will last long enough to do the job.

I figure before next season I'll have the keelbolts thoroughly inspected and if I need to, I'll replace them then, but for now it's time to go sailing... that is why we have these things isn't it?
They are more fun to sail than to work on, that's for sure.


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