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Project Log:  Saturday, February 6, 2010
Home Page > The Project > Project Logs > 2/6/10

During the initial demolition-fest, I'd elected to leave the cabin sole in place to allow for easier access through the cabin.  Having the sole in place certainly made much of the interior preparation and grinding work easier.

Additionally, there remained vestiges of the old structure, namely the bottom section of the longitudinal bulkhead that had been located beneath the mast step, and the adjacent sections of bulkhead that defined the old head.  Additionally, there was a water tank built into the keel aft of the internal ballast pigs.  These remaining structures had to go.


I started by cutting out the cabin sole in a few sections, beginning with the largest aft section.  With a circular saw set to a depth of cut slightly more than the sole was thick, I cut down the centerline, then down each side as close to the curvature of the hull as I could, and transversally across the sole at the forwardmost hatch opening.  These pieces came out with ease, and afterwards I found that minimal prying caused the remaining plywood and polyester tabbing to come cleanly away from the hull without much effort.

         

After clearing away the debris, I continued forward and cut out the forward sections of the sole.  I'd been hoping for a repeat of the ease with which the after sections came out, but the Allied Inverse Structure Theory had been practiced in the forward sections:  the narrow sole here was much more secure than the aft portion.    I'd hoped that by cutting d own the centerline, I'd have enough leverage to rip the sole and tabbing away from the hull at the edges, but that was not to be.  The tabbing appeared to be heavier and much more secure than the after part.


Removal was further complicated (read:  time-extended) by the way the sole veneer was secured to the curvature of the hull.  I found that the veneer, which had peeled up cleanly at the aft end of the boat, was tenaciously secured to the hull with significant amounts of whatever aquamarine-colored, rock-candy consistency resinous adhesive Allied used throughout the boat's construction (as previously seen during the overhead liner removal).


Eventually, I used a wide chisel to remove the veneer and much of the brittle adhesive from the hull, exposing the tabbing and allowing me to cut through it at the edges.  But there remained behind much adhesive and rough tabbing edges for later grinding.

With all of the cabin sole out of the way, I turned to the water tank.  But before I cut out the tank, I decided to remove the awkward centerboard cable arrangement that was in place.  This consisted of a bronze pipe leading from the lift sheave box at the top of the centerboard trunk, above the water tank through a recessed groove, and into a heavy, angled block made up of dense resin and fiberglass.  Long-removed from this boat was the top portion of this arrangement, which featured a flange that bolted to the flat top of this box, with another tube leading up towards the cockpit-mounted winch.

In any event, I'd reconfigure this all later:  I saw no reason to stick with this original setup given the sweeping changes to the boat, and anyway it looked like the heavy glassed-in block was likely to end up right in the way of future engine foundations.  With a reciprocating saw, I removed the bronze pipe, and then cut around the heavy block as much as I could; a sledgehammer too care of the rest, leaving behind a substantial chunk of gunk that I'd attack with cutoff discs and grinder later.

Boot included for scale.  The fourth picture shows the block after I cut it away; the boot points to its original location just inboard of the end of that bulkhead.

         


Now for the water tank.  The top of the tank was a remarkably flimsy section of molded and gelcoated fiberglass, not worthy of weight-supporting.  I used the reciprocating saw to begin cutting out the tank around the edges where it was tabbed to the hull.

Of course, at some point--maybe several points--during the weeks leading up to this moment I contemplated whether there might be any water in the tank, but it didn't occur to me again until, as I cut down the forward edge of the tank, water began to pour out around the saw blade.  I had to drill a couple holes at the very bottom of the tank in the bilge and allow the water to drain out; it was about 3/4 full, and took a long time to drain through a 1/2" hole.
 

Once the tank was drained, I cut out the remainder in several steps, including both the forward and after bulkheads  I'd have to rebuild the forward bulkhead later, as I felt that it was of structural import, given its location spanning the hull directly aft of the centerboard lifting sheave, but that was for later. 

For some reason, I was surprised to find that the centerboard trunk extended all the way to the aft bulkhead that defined the tank; I'd never really had reason to consider the overall length of the trunk.  The water tank was disgusting inside.  I hope no one drank out of this thing.  The hull formed the outside of the tank, and had been coated with something or other that had sloughed off into the tank in brown sheets.  I cleaned out the detritus and moved on.

    

Next, I cut out the remaining bits of the bulkheads in the head/mast step area.  This went much more easily than I'd expected, particularly since the 2" thick plywood longitudinal bulkhead didn't extend all the way to the bottom of the hull as I'd expected, which meant that cutting the tabbing was easy, what with the air space beneath.  The space beneath contained some water and indefinable debris; the base of the plywood was black-stained from water, but otherwise firm and sound.  In any event, it was good to see it go.

    

While I was at it, I also cut off three U-bolts and one eye bolt that were cast into the top of the internal ballast, all of which were badly rusted and served no purpose whatsoever.

I cleaned up the remaining debris, and called it a day.  Next there'd be more grinding to clean up the tabbing edges and so forth left over from the day's efforts.

         

    

Total Time Today:  4.5 hours

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