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Thread: Commander 147

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    Brought her home today...

    The yacht transfer company delivered my commander to me today. We got her put on the trailer which included a few small issues that we needed to solve and she is in my back yard tonight. Next I need to construct the new boat house so I have a place to work on her.
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  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    FINALLY...Destiny is moved into her new boathouse

    I've decided to call commander 147 "Destiny". In 1977 I decided to move to Florida from Wisconsin. One of my goals for the move was to get involved with sailing and learn to sail. Not very long after I got down here I bought a 16' daysailer and I taught myself how to sail. I feel like everything from that time until now has been prepairing me for this time and this boat. So "Destiny" seems to fit.

    Tonight I finally got the new boat house to the point where I could move her in and start in earnest on her repairs and upgrades. Here are a few photos showing the construction of her new home when she is not in the water. In the first picture you can see where the previous boat house was (just to the right of to Destiny) that I dissasembled and salvaged all of the parts for in the construction of the new boat house.
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  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Scarborough, Maine
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    1,439
    Mmmmmm.... boat shed. Fantastic!
    Mike
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
    Posts
    720

    Reason for C147's weeping keel revealed...

    As we discussed in the keel voids thread C147 has had a weeping keel. It now appears that the reason is due to a bad bottom job previously by the boatyard up in Vermont where she was kept for the last 15 years.

    We previously thought it was due to water in the foam inside the keel freezing and thawing and crazing the gelcoat to the point where it was no longer a barrier for water. And while I still believe that is part of the problem I think a bigger part is what looks like an over zealous sandblasting job on the keel. Significant amounts of the gelcoat have been blasted away and then a filler was spread over it to try and correct it. This allowed water inside that has totally saturated the foam inside. Take a look at the picture and you can see as I sand down through the filler what I'm finding underneath it. Note also the water seeping out through the keel in the area where I have not yet removed all the foam inside (the dark spots on the pink filler).

    My plan currently is to finish sanding the outside of the keel and finish removing all the water saturated foam inside. This will allow everything to dry out while I work on other projects. There are probably many differant ways to repair this hull an I'm sure I do not know them all. I am interested in gathering information to make a decision on the best way to proceed.
    Any advice or recommendations are welcome.
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  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Forsyth GA
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    396
    With my limited knowledge of the "Fantastic Plastic", I don't think the gelcoat is the moisture barrier for the fiberglass. What are you finding inside when removing the foam? As related to the hull laminate. I would think the hull laminate has been compromised and will require cloth and reglassing on both sides if possible.
    I am sure a more experienced response is forthcoming.
    A sandblaster is a harsh way to remove paint/gelcoat from fiberglass.
    Good Luck.

  6. #21
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    A rare peek inside the keel of a commander...

    I'm making progress pulling all of the water logged foam out of the keel. You can see it is still plenty wet in there. That foam does not give up the water easy either. The water stays in the foam and does not drain out.

    In the first picture you can see the aft end of the lead ballast starting to peek out of the foam.

    The second picture is aft of the first and I circled where the rudder shoe is. Seems they liked to throw trash inside the keel before they they poured in the foam. I dug out small chunks of wood and you can see a piece of broken fiberglass in both pictures.

    The third picture is looking even further back.
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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    My boat is a bit differant from the design drawing...

    The lead ballast does not go as far back in my commander as the design drawing from the old brochure.
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  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Forsyth GA
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    396

    nice work here

    Looking very good, Some thing you may want to try once you clean this area up is, at night I would place a very bright light Quartz work light inside the keel and go to the outside of the boat and see if you can identify the leaking areas and mark with a pencil where the filling is required, this may also Identify where you may have some freeze expansion damage.
    If you view Ebb's work done in the keel / bilge area , the gussets or bridging he did from one side of the hull to the other in this area really looks like it adds a great deal of strength.
    That can't be pleasant work but you've made great progress

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    Your thoughts are very similar to mine...

    As a matter of fact two days ago I was looking through Ebb's gallery to look again at the keel area work he did. I want to add a brace or bulkhead or what ever the correct term for it would be just in front of the rudder shoe since this is a lifting point and it needs to be strong. I thought I would pack some thickened epoxy with glass fibers down in the bottom of the keel to bury the area where the rudder shoe attaches and make sure it can never leak there. Then add the brace. I also think I will slope the glass that encloses the keel down into this area so everything drains down to this low point. Then I will run the suction hose for the bildge pump down there.

    I like your idea of the light to locate possible leaks. I will have to try that. I can see light through the keel in the areas where they blasted through the gelcoat already.

    You're right it is not pleasant work. I work a couple hours each night and come out soaking wet with sweat. The temperature here in Florida has been running over 80 degrees at 8:00PM and over 90 degrees at 5:00PM. Hard work for a guy that spends his days in an office on the phone but well worth it in the end.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    For those of you that are not a crazy as me...

    If you are not crazy enough to take on digging out the wet foam in the keel you will not see what I found so I though I would show you.

    I thought you would like to see how easy water can come into your hull from the strap on the rudder. The first picture shows the two screwdrivers I stuck through the bolt holes for the strap in the middle of the rudder.

    The second picture is the shafts of those screwdrivers inside the hull. There is no reinforcement inside the hull at that area and the only thing stopping water from leaking into the boat is whatever sealant you have there. It might be a good idea to drill those holes larger, pack them full of thickend epoxy and then redrill them the correct size so you have something other than sealant keeping water out.

    For me I'm going to built up an area in there with fiberglass to strengthen and seal it so it will never leak there again.
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  11. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Forsyth GA
    Posts
    396

    nice screwdrivers

    nice screwdrivers!.
    Must say , that is startling, you're boat must have this leakage problem since day one.
    You are definitely moving forward in making your bilge dry

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    grand rapids mi
    Posts
    91
    Good to know about that rudder strap! How about the shoe area though, is it the same? Or is the bottom thick enough that they're inside the glass? (I read someone's post on the shoe, but can't remember more than basic details.)

    Would seem to answer why the foam is waterlogged in so many of these boats.

    My boat isn't in the water yet, so I think I'll check that out, and take your advice on overbore/filling the holes.

    Ken.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,613
    Hey Kendall, you're scaring me!
    No over-bore down there!
    It's just fiberglass, what there is of it, NO CORE.

    My fix:
    Scrape the cavity with carbide scrapers (Bacho) Remove any loose stuff.
    Make paper patterns (Really!) of the port side and the starboard side (obviously they are flipflops)
    Allow ONLY one 90 degree turn into the ends and on the bottom. NO U TURNS, they get out of control.
    Cut XMATT so that each panel you put in laps only over the other side's panel in the end and the bottom of the keel.


    Xmatt is stiff enough initially so that after you have cut it to the paper pattern size you can FIT it into the cavity AND take it out again. You will want to remove darts of material where it wants to bunch. I would put in at least 2 layers of 24oz. What you are doing is also a dry run. Epoxy has a short open time after mix. In the cup it is way shorter than when spread thin. Epoxy when it's cool.

    Lay out some plastic film, lay the cut-to-fit Xmatt on it and wet it out with 2part epoxy. Drape it into place in the keel which has also been wet out (IMPORTANT, make sure you are putting wet material on a wet surface. Only way you can get a mate, with no holidays.) Unlike woven fiberglass, you CAN reposition Xmatt, just not too many times befor it starts falling apart.

    Use a throw-away brush to poke the Xmatt into the corners. I go so far as to sharpie pen hash marks where the turns are to be on the fabric. It makes positioning easier when it is wet. If you feel you can put the second layer on top of the first wet layer, go for it. Otherwise let it stiffen up some, or come back the next day. Next day will no doubt require some prep. I like to alternate one side's lap over the other for the strength it makes. Use the brush to poke the fabric into the epoxy. If you have created a bridge with the fabric over a depression, slice the wet fabric with a utility knife and pat it down. Patch it later if needed, or paste on a piece of scrap.

    If the surface is too weird and you know you won't be able to get a solid no holiday layer, you can mix up some epoxy and fumed silica gel to smear over the problem 'cavity' just before the fabric Quickly. Just pat it flat with your latex gloved hand.

    After your reinforcing layer(s) are in, then you want to add a bunch of mishmash (2part laminating epoxy - f. silica - 1/4"/1/2" chopped strand fiberglass.) Mix it stiff so you can sculpt it over the area where the gudgeon fastenings go - so the the fastenings are not exposed in the keel cavity. Tab in a piece of Xmatt or fabric over the glob so that it ends up relatively smooth.

    Xmatt leaves a rough surface. After it is set you may want to smooth it with the gel mix. A good smoother is the pliable green applicator that seems to be everywhere.....you can spread the mix on really smooth so that there is little work to do after it is set.


    After this work is done then you can add a 'garboard' drain plug. Make sure it is bronze.
    You now have a nice sump to collect water and to have a bilge pump or two.
    I'm in the full access camp for boat maintenance. Foam makes access impossible and creates more problems than it cures. Fit a lid over the area so socks won't get in.

    All imco, hope some of this is helpful, sorry if it seems patronizing.
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________
    It's impossible to know what has been in and out of the bilge in 45 years. To know what oils and waxes and stuff have been there - ARE STILL THERE.
    NO, can't use solvents - out of the question. Scrape, abrade, grind - these are impossible but not lethal. The Fein tool will allow abrading and scraping near to the bottom of the keel. Any solvent will screw up the epoxy or any coating going in there next.
    Must use 100% solids NO SOLVENT epoxy - unless you want to die. Do not use West System epoxys here. Some of their epoxies blush and some use formaldehyde in the hardener side (205). Set up ventilation under the cockpit when working there.
    Last edited by ebb; 06-21-2009 at 10:40 AM.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
    Posts
    720

    Kendall & Ebb

    First Kendall

    No the shoe does not appear to have the same issue. At least not on my boat. I looks like they added some extra roving saturated with resin in the area of the shoe. Just the same I am going to build it up more in that area just to make sure I have no future problems.

    Ebb

    What would be a good way to fix the water intrusion in that area so you don't have to rely on strictly sealant in an underwater location like that? There must be some way other than digging out all the foam like I am.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,613
    I guess there has to be an each individual boat fix, a good enough fix.

    Then there's ebb's way.

    Water gets in obviously thru the laminate.
    Thru stupid everetts like we've just seen with the gudgeon fastenings entering and going thru the interior OPEN SPACE of the keel.
    AND 'intrusion' like all other water that gets in from above.

    Water is going to go to the lowest point, no matter what.
    Water is the UNIVERSAL SOLVENT. Boaters know that.
    There's no film, caulk, sealant, adhesive or FOAM that will keep the water out.

    I believe what you are doing is the correct solution. If you have integrity in the laminate in the keel area, great! I might just paint in waterproofing with some super garage floor polyurethane rubber type stuff. The kind that advertise themselves as water blockers. Not over foam.

    Adding a layer of 6oz fiberglass to the outside crazed gelcoat is good too. The cloth is added to create thickness for your barrier. Put on in the hollow of the bilge it is easy to make the reinforcement disappear with fillers and fairing.

    My gut feeling that if you want strength too, it's better - but MUCH more awkward - to add it inside.

    I don't see how a fix can be freehanded with fouled foam in place.


    338's heel fitting was attached to crumpled glass and crystallized plastic. Only two pins/bolts were thru something 'solid' - and that solid was pure no glass polyester resin - from the factory! It's a bad place down there to get good lamination - with correct fabric to resin ratio.
    Anybody's Ariel/Commander has to keep this in mind when upgrading. But that's another thread.
    Last edited by ebb; 06-21-2009 at 10:09 AM.

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