Thursday, August 26, 2010

Deconstruction leads to more fun

Slowly....slowly the deconstruction continues. This past week I've begun to disassemble everything that can be unscrewed in the head and have continued to remove hardware from the deck. In the process of preparing the hardware thru-deck holes to be potted with epoxy, I've discovered a bit of wet core in the cabin top where the handrails were. To investigate, I cut out a piece of the inner skin to see what the core was like around one of the more wet holes and it looks like this:

Zoomed out for size reference:

The core material is some sort of dense foam, not balsa. The dry core I've found elsewhere on the deck is a much lighter color, the core in the picture is wet and darker. The core itself is solid and not rotted away, its just damp. There is no delamination on the top or bottom that I have found.

I am trying to figure out what steps I should take now. Since the foam is solid but damp, do I leave it alone and just pot/epoxy the holes? I fear that the wet core might be bad for the epoxy to cure in the holes or even worse for structural integrity. Should I cut out the inner skin wherever the core is wet so it can dry out, then I guess patch it up with a few layers of new glass?

Any advice would be helpful. If the core was rotting away I would not hesitate to just replace it, but since the core is solid but just damp I'm not sure how to proceed.

That is the main issue holding me up right now. For all the pictures of the deconstruction feel free to check out this gallery:

Disassembling Windsong

You can also see that I've been tooling around with the blog template. Sometime in the near future I plan on completely re-doing this blog and turning it into a dedicated website with its own domain name. I want to arrange the site to tell my story a bit better and so people can access the earlier parts of this story and read in chronological order with ease. Some people may not care about all of this rebuild business and are just interested in the old stories, so I want to cater to them while the long rebuild is going on.

In addition, I plan on posting quite a bit more and include other things occupying my time such as surfing, fishing and other fun things here in beautiful Saint Augustine. In other words, a lot more content! Hopefully I can make it entertaining enough to bring in some new readers and keep the current ones happy. So be on the lookout for changes and more frequent posting.


bob said...

Hi Erick -

First, the moisture won't affect the curing epoxy. Epoxy pretty much, umm.. ignores water. It will even cure under water.

Second, you have discovered the huge benefit of foam over balsa for coring - it doesn't rot when wet. However, in sub-freezing climates, that moisture will freeze. If the foam is truly saturated, the freezing could cause delamination. If it is just damp, then freezing won't be a problem (although it will affect the foam's insulating quality).

Third - how to dry it out? Not sure. How about attaching a vacuum pump to each moist hole for a while? Stripping off the interior of the deck seems extreme to me.


Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Was reading some of your past posts, and see that surfing is your passion. Haven't done that yet, but definitely plan to when we cruise. Looking forward to your posts about that, as well as the sailboat and sailing! Looks like you've been working hard. Keep up the good work!

Windtraveler said...

Ahhh...the beauty of fixing one problem, only to find another...we are in the throws of this...but hey, better to uncover the problems than not! Good luck!