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Thread: Commander 147

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Brooksville, FL
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    Ebb another question...

    I've finished taking out the foam I can get to. What is left is on the sides and under the lead ballast and there is still water in that little bit of foam also. So my plan is to finish my sanding on the outside so the glass can let out moisture that way and burn a 40 watt light bulb inside to get everything dry.

    After I get it all dry and build up the bottom of the keel some to further bury the heel fitting bolts I want to add a bulkhead with a cutout in the bottom so water can get back and forth under it starting just in front of the heel fitting to strengthen the keel in that area. When you added these bulkheads were they plywood that you covered in cloth and epoxy or some other material?
    Attached Images  

  2. #32
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    Sounds good!
    Those are crispy epoxy/Xmatt tacos. 5 or six layers of Xmatt. Under 1/4"
    They are that dark because I was using some very old dark amber hardner.

    Easy to make on Mylar sheet*.
    Build up the panel with same size Xmatt material wetting out each layer as you stack.
    You can jigsaw the 'bulkheads' to fit out of this custom sheet.
    Then fill the corners with generous curved fillets, then tab with Xmatt strips to keep it all amalgamated - and also to spread the point load out on the contact surface - because we're not supposed to put hard panels in at 90 degrees to the hull.


    Been avoiding the end of the keel issue. If we are getting water in there, and there is no IF, there's water entering there - then the argument might be to let the water out. And let it out easy - on A338 that end of the encapsulated ballast was OPEN.
    SO, leave it open!
    A338 had no added foam, so the bilge was free to collect water. There was no attempt by Everett to close off the end of the ballast in A338. In reality A338's ballast keel should have been free of water since it runs out to the keel bilge. This was not the case. (Another thread.)

    I decided to fill the ballast keel void by injecting epoxy thru holes drilled from outside. I was lucky to remember to close off the open end before I'd gone too far in the epoxy filling. Later the nice straight blkhd was added once the height was established. And that became the end of the cabin sole.


    You can buy fiberglass sheet in various thicknesses from McMasterCarr. It's polyester and seems after sanding to glue like a champ. I'm using 1/8". Could make the argument that something this thin would work for these small blkhds if they are filleted and tabbed and - as they do - are incorporated into a horizontal panel.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________
    *After stacking the 5 or 6 or 7 wet Xmatt pieces, top with mylar film and a very flat panel of some sort. You'll be making a beautiful flat consistent sheet - try to pull the air bubbles out once the second sheet is on top using the green spreader thingy - on TOP of the mylar.
    The sheet peels right off once the epoxy is set.
    If you build up some weight /pressure on that MDO(?) panel, you'll squeeze more of that expensive epoxy out BUT you'll make an even stronger more dense sheet.
    Left overs can be used as backing 'blocks'.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________
    Somebody, maybe the factory, since they seem to have done (and didn't do) so many different things back there in the keel on Commanders and Ariels... somebody filled the very back narrow deep end and the bottom in A338 making a sort of ramp, actually a ramp, so that water collecting in the bilge ends up forward at the back of the ballast keel. In the Ariel it's just about perfect as the sump is under the bridge but accessible. If an inboard was there the bilge water would still be accessible, sort of, and in the lowest part of the vessel. Way to go.
    This shows you can create a collecting point whereever you want. The filler seemed rock hard to me so I assumed the mass was made of mat and roving left-overs and resin. It also had the effect of adding some beef to the bottom of the keel and the rudder shoe area.
    Last edited by ebb; 06-22-2009 at 06:47 AM.

  3. #33
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    Sep 2008
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    Thanks Ebb

    I really want to do right by this commander and I have not done a project like this before. So your help is very much appreciated.

  4. #34
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    I'm in the same position as you are.
    It's just that I've been at it longer, longer, longer.

    In the beginning and through the decades I've bought many books on every boat subject. I like books.
    Very few concerning the actual work with products have been useful.
    Which is natural enough since the reader has to supply his own experience.
    There are standouts. But generally books are general.

    Have my own brand of timidity to deal with - when it comes to new processes. I work alone on A338. It's my Zen.
    Imagine I'm being helpful when I drag on about things Ariel. Trying to be specific.
    Wished many times that somebody had clewed me in to the processes that I hope I'm sharing. Experience is public, we are compelled to trade info.
    Hope everybody SHARES their experiences and observations and revelations - whatever they are,


    Have been told by Admiral Bill that Ebb can be difficult to understand.
    It's shop talk converted into language. It would be much better and simpler to see processes.
    BUT, thinking that youTube videos are the answer, many instructional ones I seen seem to be as useless as printed talk. Whatever the knack is to put forward a TIP, I'll keep trying until the ax falls.
    Never an expert. Just reformulating experiences.
    AND always In My Considered Opinion. B.S. It's just the backboard, you have the ball.

    Discussion is the life blood of a Forum. It's back and forth repartee. We have a great community and great boats to talk about. BEST SHOW AND TELL ON THE NET.
    Actually we are all in the same Boat.
    [criminny he does go on and on....]
    Last edited by ebb; 06-22-2009 at 07:57 AM.

  5. #35
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    Sep 2008
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    Brooksville, FL
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    Made some progress yesterday...

    The Florida heat and humidity were not as oppressive yesterday so I got some things done.

    The first picture is a template I had made previously for the fiberglass bulkhead I wanted to stiffen up the keel with. The bulkhead was 2-1/2" wide at the bottom and 6" wide at the top. It was 18" tall. The bulkhead was made from 6 layers of 1708 biax and after it kicked I used my pattern to mark the size and cut it out on the bandsaw.

    The second picture is the bulkhead installed with just the fillets.

    The third picture is after I tabbed it in. The dark line down the center is a refferance line I drew on the bulkhed with a dry marker to help me line up the biax tabbing when I was putting it in. I left about 1 inch under the bulkhead so water can travel back and forth under it.

    The forth picture is what the aft end of the ballast looked like after I had cut the fiberglass out that enclosed the foam the factory installed. You can see at the point where I stopped cutting out old glass that there is about 1-1/2" of foam between the glass and the lead ballast. I had to transision down from there to the top of the lead so I made a pattern of the area and marked and cut out the biax to the shape I needed. then I wet out a portion of the biax in the area where it needed to make that transision and let it cure on the bench. Then when I installed the glass in the boat this created a ramp down from the higher level to the top of the lead.

    You can see the glass installed in the fifth picture. Following Ebb's advice I left the very end of the lead ballast open so any water getting into the keel forward of that point would have an escape route to the bilge.
    Attached Images          

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Wilmington, NC
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    Bulkheads look great!

    I am wondering what function these bulkheads serve? Does the hull need reinforcement along the bilge?? I am in a good position to install similar on Arthur...just need to know why!

    Thanks for some collective wisdom.

    Andrew

  7. #37
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    Sep 2008
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    Brooksville, FL
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    Andrew

    What I am starting to learn is that no two Ariels or Commanders are exactly alike. For example my commander had the foam aft of the ballast and fiberglassed over. Commander 227 tells me his had neither. His was wide open. And in just the few commanders I have personally seen all had some differances in how they were built. All similar but all differant.

    When I took all the foam out of my keel the fiberglass on the sides was in my personnal opinion very thin. the sides would flex very easily. Which they did as I scraped off the foam that stuck to them. And this is one of the lifting points for the boat so just to be on the safe side I decided to strengthen the area with a bulkhead. My personality pushes me to eliminate any potential for failure so I added the bulkhead. Your boat may not it.

  8. #38
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    Sep 2001
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    San Rafael, CA
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    FLEX??
    If you are thin down there, where you should NOT be thin, perhaps laying in some Xmat, or similar, should be done now.
    I would lay the cloth along the hull interior up onto the bulkheads so that the hull is tied one side to the other - and made thicker.

    Tying the boat together with those small blkhds makes a very STRONG 'I-beam' structure.

    Consider doing this where the ballast ends also.

  9. #39
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
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    Ok that makes sense. I have spent a bit of time in the bilge and have not noticed the flex you mention. Prob as you say no two were made alike. My bilge is wide open and the pins for the grundgen go thru solid FRP. Could be a PO removed all the foam?

    I agree with the better safe than sorry approach so I'm going to ebb-o-fy with bulkheads too. Cant hurt and looks pretty straightforward.

    Andrew

  10. #40
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    Sep 2008
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    Ebb and anyone else with thoughts on the matter...

    I have to say the added bulkhead makes a hugh differance in the rigidness of the aft end of the keel. But another added bulkhead above the aft end of the main ballast and biax tying that one to the other one I already installed would make the area incredibly strong. I will have to take a serious look at that.

    Another issue I have and I don't know if the Boat came out of the mold that way or if the Vermont freeze thaw cycles caused it with the wet foam in the keel. But I have some humps in the port side of the keel in the area where I took all the foam out. I've sanded off the filler the boat yard had put on the keel in that area and it is not a repair or anything like that. It is the original fiberglass that makes the humps. Since this is also the area where the boat yard had sanded through the gelcoat I figured I would finish sanding of the gelcoat in that area so the epoxy would adhear better and fair the hull with some epoxy and microballons then after fairing it out apply the layer of 6oz cloth over the epoxy filler and and finally fair that out before I redid the barrier coat and bottom paint.

    Opinions on my plans are welcome.

  11. #41
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    Sep 2001
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    onward

    Humps.
    Since the Commander was originally laid up in a female mold,
    the assumption with a whole lot of certainty is that there would
    NOT BE ANY FACTORY BUMPS IN THE HULL.
    That is bumps that stick out on the hull.

    Any bumps would come from a repair.
    If you have access to the inside of the boat opposite any bumps on the outside,
    you can probably look down at the roving that Pearson put in and see that it is original, or not.
    Pearson's work is often competent but funky - and anybody else's repairs of any age will stand out like a sore thumb.

    Sitting here in California I can easily say that I would grind ANY humps flat. Carefully. A bump could be some kind of wierd blister. Should find out what the hell the bumps are. And then fair, repair, and lay on the 6oz.
    BUT befor you start grinding a bump:
    If you look down into the bilge and you are seeing the signature Pearson layup and you are sure there is a bump on the ouitside - this is not possible.
    I would use a batten to REALLY MAKE SURE that any bumps are really bumps and not an area that has hollows around an island that is not actually standing out. Hollows are more likely than bumps in a nonrestored hull.



    [The 6oz cloth is not going to add thickness or much strength. Most will agree it is the best way to add a thick supported layer of epoxy barrier. The cloth is light and easy to apply. Another layer or two could be considered if you truly have a thin factory lamination in the area. Put the smaller piece on first, the a larger, then the largest over all. Seems backwards but I think fairing will be easier and there are fewer seams.]


    The best test for hull soundness is thumping it. If there is a dull thud you have no other choice but grinding down to green fiberglass. You have to grind all white fibers away.

    Build back up thin layers so that removal is easy. If you have to.
    A couple bendy wood fairing battens for horizontal and vertical testing are good. You can pick out hollows and bumps real easy with these.

    A piece of thin, sharp, stiff gauge metal is good for dragging over just applied fairing compound. Slather the compound on, then drag the steel over the surface, bending the metal to conform to the general curve of the hull.
    Imco
    Last edited by ebb; 07-20-2009 at 06:11 PM.

  12. #42
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    Sep 2008
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    Brooksville, FL
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    OK maybe it is more appropiate to call them low spots...

    Because as I taped this 5 foot long metal rule to the hull it looks like the high points should be the fair line of the hull and the low spots make the high points look like humps.

    I can tell you with certainty that there is only one spot with a repair to the fiberglass and you can see that spot in the first picture. I am intimate with the inside and outside of the hull in this area after all the time I have spent working on it and the laminate is original and solid. I am the first person to see the inside of the keel since it left the factory full of foam and glassed over.

    The starboard side is fine. It has fair lines and looks like it should.
    Attached Images      

  13. #43
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    Jul 2004
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    Winyah Bay, SC
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    Regression/shrinkage where there was no filler betwixt hull and ballast, perhaps? Any flexxing thereabouts?

    If not, I'd fill it and fair it.
    Kurt - Ariel #422 Katie Marie
    --------------------------------------------------
    sailFar.net
    Small boats, long distances...

  14. #44
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    San Rafael, CA
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    Onefourseven, suh,
    that hull there in the closeups looks choice to me. Looks very healthy. That's the original real stuff.

    Gouges or low spots could be caused by an overactive former owner. Or as you show a repair nearby, it may well have been some sort of damage that was grinded out but not repaired from that point properly.

    If those low spots (5/16" is ENORMOUS) are near your thin hull areas then imco this is still damage not repaired completely. I think it is excellent you grinded the mess off. Now you know what is there. And what is not there. Might help to lay an 8' batten on the good side to get an idea of what might be missing from the damaged side. Try it back and forth to get an image. Except for the gouging there can't be too much difference because it takes a lot of work with a sander/grinder to remove stuff.

    Common lam schedule into a female mold is the sprayed on gel coat, then hand layering of mat, then multi layers of roving. You may be able to read these layers in those gouges. The lamination is supposed to be thickest at the keel gradually getting thinner going to the sheer. Thickness is built up with roving. Areas that needed to be smooth enough for painting by Pearson may have had cloth or mat final interior lams.

    If those low spots are thin I might lay in some small pieces of fabric and two part into the depressions. Little ones first then bigger ones like you are closing up an old thru-hull. Fill to the approximate surface with cabosil gel and chopped strand. Then lam on the area pieces of 6oz, if that's what you are doing. Then do your fairing with easier to sand stuff like West System's407 powder that you mix with the same laminating plastic.
    Never learned how to formulate my own powder for non-sag on vertical surfaces.

    Tape on a piece of mylar film with blue tape to keep the filler flat if it wants to sag. Creates 'surface tension'. Peel it off after set.
    [Just occurred to me that this is a trick used with epoxy, don't know if it works with vinylester.]

    A longer batten will give you a more complete story of the hull's surface ups and downs. Longer pieces of aluminum bar are nice because of their soft edges.
    Remember, these hulls were conceived as the fairest any human eye had ever seen. Each side of the hull is identical.
    All of the hull's curves run without impediment into every other curve, right to the keelpost.
    Last edited by ebb; 07-21-2009 at 09:50 AM.

  15. #45
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    Jan 2004
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    Could the weight of all the layers of the laminations during the layup of the hull have caused that side of the keel to pull away or form a "bubble" of sorts before it set up?
    Mike
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

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