Posted by: wrmcnutt | May 7, 2015

Repairing My Nose Ring

Briefly, when I last launched the ‘Potter, I failed to remove the safety chain, and jerked the safety loop halfway out of the hull in the bow. The consensus has been that the lack of backing plate is was a BAD thing, and that I should not only repair the hull, but that I should add a backing plate. I’m a little worried that the lack of backing plate was by design, because jerking that loop out did a LITTLE damage to a SMALL part of my hull. I have a nagging fear that a proper backing plate might mean a LOT of damage to a LARGE part of my hull.

So I revisited my ‘glass’ repair on my West Wight Potter-19 yesterday. After consulting with a number of total strangers on Facebook, I decided to upgrade my repair.

I went back yesterday and added an additional four layers of what I believe to be six ounce glass cloth for a total of eight layers of glass behind hole, plus the glass I stuffed into the hole. I’ve very pleased with the look of the repair inside the chain locker.

On the outside there was a three-inch chip of gelcoat plus the outer layer of glass split away. I dremeled this off, cleaned the back side as well as the raw glass on the hull. I slathered both with rosin and them clamped the broken chip back into place. Once that had cured I then had to deal with the kerf from the dremel as well as the cracks from the original damage.

I priced a gel-coat repair kit from West Marine, but it was over fifty dollars, and I’m currently feeling quite poor. I only needed about a tablespoon of repair compound, and I balked at spending $50.00 to get it. But THIS part of the repair is cosmetic, not structural. The eight layers of glass and incipient backing plate (which I’m still not sure of) will be taking the load. This is just crack filler. So it doesn’t need to be as strong as a glass repair.

I have the remnants of a gelcoat repair kit purchased a couple of years ago with a little blue pigment that might match my hull close enough. during the above glass repair I save the last two tablespoons of mixed epoxy and added pigment to it. The idea was that I would let this thicken up, spread it into my cracks, and buff it down. All the ingredients were paid for, so the gelcoat repair would be “free.”

Well, it may have worked. The first complication was that even at the end of the “fast cure” hardener’s working time, it was still too thin to spread in the cracks. The hull is, of course, upright, so I needed something thick enough to stay in the crack on the vertical surface. I ended up adding another dash of hardener and continuing to stir for about a half-hour until it started to finally thicken enough to do the job I was asking of it.

But it seemed to have worked right there at the end. It left a goopy mess on the surface of the hull, of course, so I don’t know if it worked for sure. I will have to go after it with 1000-grid sandpaper to remove the excess colored rosin to confirm. And I have to go home and pack for an non-boat-related road trip this weekend, so I can’t get back to the boatyard until Sunday afternoon at the earliest.

And so the glamor and romance of being a yachtsman continues.


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