Enterprise Centerboard Casing

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by stanb9, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. stanb9
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: liverpool

    stanb9 Junior Member

    Does anybody have any info, or experience of removing the centreboard casing of an enterprise to repair leaks around the base? How easy/ difficult a job is it?
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Enterprise is a pretty generic name and though I know of a few, which one is yours?

    Typically the case is attached to "logs", which are often through bolted to a keel or keel batten. These logs are located at the bottom edge of the case. Between the bottom of the logs and the top of the keel is a bedding compound of some sort. If the boat has considerable age, it will likely be an oil based sealant. If it's of more moderate age, the bedding may be an adhesive/sealant, such as polysulfide (preferred) or polyurethane.

    Removing the case to clean the joining surfaces and re-bed the assembly can be a difficult task for the novice. Convincing the case to come off cleanly can be a chore, not to mention the bolts and other fasteners. Work slowly without power tools to break loose the fasteners. Power tools are quite adept at twisting off the heads of weakened fasteners and stripping out the slots of screws. Once broken loose then you can hook up a power drill to spin them the rest of the way out and save some elbow wear.

    Pictures will be handy as will the make and year (we know the model) of you boat. Also welcome aboard . . .
     
  3. stanb9
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    stanb9 Junior Member

    Thanks for your reply, i'm hopefully picking the boat up this weekend and should be able to post some photos soon after.
    I'm not sure of the age of the boat, i've not been told but i think its an older boat, wooden construction, is there somewhere on the boat the age may be marked?
    The way you describe the fixings sounds as if this may be the same or similar.
    Apologies if the info is a little vague, i'm quite a novice to sailing and these boat repairs would be my first attempt.
     
  4. nobrows1212
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    Location: denver co

    nobrows1212 Junior Member

    enterprise centerboard casing rehab

    In reply (late) to the Liverpool gent, if you are referring to a 13' 3" Jack Holt designed dinghy (very likely-- there are about 20,000 of them in UK), I just did the same job on the same boat. My boat (a late 50's) appeared to be entirely sound, with the annoying leakage from the base of the centerboard case. It is not terribly difficult to get the logs unscrewed after using an awl to remove bungs (no bolts present on mine), then pry using long flat screwdriver and pry bar, and wiggle the entire casing to get it loose from the keel. However-- the caution is that if there has been historical leakage you may find that a part of the casing, and/or the keel and plywood in the area may have dryrot.

    Since I am not racing with class rules, and my boat will generally be used in a deep mountain lake at 9,000 ft. elevation, I built a new daggerboard casing (only occupies 20 inches along keel) and modified the centerboard to yield the same " board down" dimension. That really opens up the boat!

    Should you find dryrot, do all you can to save viable portions of keel and ply, and you should be able to scarf in new hardwood splice for keel (using epoxy to bond and to fill gaps). The bad ply panel is tricky, but can be addressed with epoxy and heavy fiberglass or multiple layers of thin fiberglass cloth. If it is to that point, you should probably fiberglass/epoxy the outer hul in at least that area, lapping out to at least 6" of good, unrotted panel.

    By the way, I recommend google Jack Holt - enterprise-dinghy-- what a character! To introduce the new Enterprise in '56 he and a buddy sailed two boats across the English Channel on a January night.
     
  5. stanb9
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    stanb9 Junior Member

    Our boat is a Jack Holt type, and sounds like the same problem you had. I need to get the boat garaged and dried out before i start to strip it. Hopefully there won't be any rot! I need it to go back the same way as we are intending to race her through the summer. Thanks for your input, its useful to have any tips as i'm definately an amateur where working on boats is concerned.
     
  6. nobrows1212
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    Location: denver co

    nobrows1212 Junior Member

    enterprise centerboard

    Good luck, then, sir. When you work the centerboard casing off, bear in mind that the two side "logs" are screwed (horizontally) into the vertical elements of the trunk, so you will be trying to lift the whole assembly (trunk walls and the logs together) off of the keel, of course after backing out the vertical screws in the logs. That means be careful if prying, to include logs and ply walls to avoid tearing those elements apart.

    The ancient sealant is tough stuff, and if the ply or keel has any dry rot, chunks may come up with the bottom of the trunk box, leaving a mess of the keel and/or ply. If you find that condition, you should go to the effort of posting good pics here-- maybe PAR "the wizard of Eustis" or other skilled boat guys will have good advice about scarf joining a repair.

    If luck runs good and no rot is found, then before remounting the case (trunk), it would be best to get all surfaces (including the slot through the keel) ground or sanded to clean, bare wood; then attach with thickened epoxy. While the epoxy is still plenty wet, triple-check both the alignment of trunk with slot, and the true plumbness of the box's standing position, which when 99.9% perfect you could cross-brace temporarily during the cure. Ideally, BEFORE ANY REMOUNTING the keel slot and the inner surfaces of the trunk should be fiberglassed and epoxied. Getting full glass on the inner surfaces of the trunk will require separating halves, with each half being a separate glass/epoxy project. Upon reassembly, the mating surfaces should be well coated with thickened epoxy. When clamped back together, be sure to use a thin stick with straight edge to clear all inside dimensions of the box of any epoxy squeeze-out. And in the process of re-mounting the trunk to the keel, try to get a width of glass/epoxy (working from the bottom side of an upside-down boat) to overlap the joint line (inside box and keel slot) where trunk meets keel. That is where leaks most likely start-- although the pivot bolt and such looks suspect at all times as well. I don't know what you can do on that one. Regards, Peter Ehrlich
     
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  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I wouldn't recommend you bond the trunk to the keel, unless this will be the last time you service this element of the boat before it's tossed in the land fill.

    As annoying as case leaks can be, once serviced (re-bedded from time to time) they are dry. Epoxy can cure the leaking, but also makes future repairs require a reciprocating saw to get things apart. The boat was designed to be repairable and it would be wise to insure this, in the eventuality of damage, upgrades or other reasons that might ask things be taken apart in the future.

    On the other hand, if you don't expect to hand this boat down to a son some decades from now, then by all means have a go with the epoxy and fabric route.

    Peter mentioned insuring the case is plumb. The only real way to guarantee this is to level the boat (both fore and aft and side to side). Once the boat is level you can use a bubble level to make the case plumb.

    Since your boat is "stick built" some movement is to be expected and the reason I don't recommend epoxy as an adhesive. Sheathing is a good idea, but I don't think particularly necessary. If the case sides are worn out, they just need to be replaced, possibly using the old ones as templates for new. Ditto the logs, cleats on the keel, etc.

    Epoxy can only stabilize wood if it completely embalms each separate piece. If any fastener hole or other area doesn't get well coated with epoxy, then you've really applied an expensive paint and will trap moisture within the wood, where it will run amuck in the form of rot eventually.

    In other words, repair what you got, in similar fashion or encapsulate with epoxy for long term protection or coat and bond isolated areas (epoxy again) which will work for a while, but eventually cause more issues to rise up.
     
  8. nobrows1212
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    Location: denver co

    nobrows1212 Junior Member

    enterprise centerboard

    Good to have the Wizard of Eustis (PAR) on the case, pardon the pun. He makes very good points cautioning on use of epoxy and glass. I have really committed to a few methods that are "final", i.e. not amenable to later reasonable disassembly. Then again, I am working from a boat acquired for a few hundred bucks, the boat will get only light trailered use, and I have no sons to pass down an heirloom, so the approach may prove beneficial. I would appreciate any PAR or other comments or thoughts on revising the long centerboard trunk to a daggerboard (trunk measure about 20" fwd to aft).-- as to physics, not class rules, etc. Many thanks.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Assuming a 12" wide daggerboard, you'll not save much additional length switching to this arrangement over the 20" centerboard case. To setup a dagger as a centerboard replacement, you'll need an accurate hull profile and sail plan. The CLP can be figured out easily enough with a pin and the CE with some very basic geometry. Determine the amount of "lead" used in the original plan, then place the dagger where it needs to be to keep the same amount of lead.

    Personally I dislike daggerboards. They're prone to impact damage, can jam fairly easily, can stick up and foul a sail in jibes, plus they don't offer the "depth sounder" effect a centerboard does.

    On the other hand, a dagger is about the only way to gain useful space, in a small boat. If the boat is large enough to accept a centerboard, I'd always prefer it.
     
  10. nobrows1212
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    nobrows1212 Junior Member

    enterprise centerboard case

    Thank you, PAR. I don't want to take up too much more when the gentleman of Liverpool is trying to make progress with his boat.

    My approach replaces a trunk of about 48 inches length with a daggerboard case of slightly less than 20 inches length. I use the same factory original board ( same width and profile, but revised to a length of about 4 inches longer, not counting the former "horn" which has been lopped off) to obtain the virtual same fully down position (depth and angle) as was the centerboard, fully down. This is a calculated risk, I admit, vs. the "sounding" and "forgiveness of impact" benefits of a pivoting centerboard, but in these Colorado mountain lakes one is in 10+ feet of water (on the way to as much as 450) within 100 feet of any shore. For me--and again, I' not preserving compliance with class rules-- I'm happy with picking up over two feet of open space midships; a scarce commodity in an Enterprise. Your general advice relating to an Enterprise or other small ply dinghy intended for sailing in a variety of settings seems right on! I'll hope to avoid having to use a sawzall in the future, but you may be right..... Thanks, and thanks too for many thoughtful and expert observations elsewhere on the forum, sir.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  11. kitchens
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    Location: camarillo ca usa

    kitchens New Member

    looking for enterprise

    I'm looking for an Enterprise (jack Holt design), preferably with most or all of the parts, to restore and sail. If you know of one, please let me know.

    California, Los Angeles area, have boat, will travel

    thanks,

    indiedso@roadrunner.com
     
  12. stanb9
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    Location: liverpool

    stanb9 Junior Member

    Stripping varnish and paint.

    Finally got the boat home. She's all wooden construction and I've been advised to leave her to dry out before attempting any repair, so i've stripped all of the fittings and left her to dry out. Whilst i'm waiting i wondered whether stripping the varnish and paint would help to dry her out thoroughly? Does anybody have any hints or tips for stripping paint and varnish? Can a heat gun and shave hook be used? Or is old fashioned elbow grease and sanding the way to go?
     
  13. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    Depending on the builder and the age of the boat,removal of the centreboard case can be quite easy or a real pain.Before you get to the case you will have to remove the thwart and any knees.The combination you would find best is a case that is screwed down on a mastic coating and which has countersunk screws flush with the surface of the logs.If this is the case you only need to remove the screws (and hope that only one or two break) and drive some slender wedges into the gap.If the builder chose to glue the assembly,you will have to build a new case.
    As far as stripping goes,you need to determine the type of finish used as 2-part paint is a lot harder to shift than the traditional type.The traditional paints respond well to a heat gun but 2-part are much harder and are immune to a lot of chemical strippers and so have to be sanded away.You would probably fins the answers to most of your questions if you got in touch with the Enterprise Association who used to be based just down the road from Liverpool in the days when I was a member.
    I think our man in Denver may have some interesting moments with his dagger board when running or gybing in a bit of a breeze and look forward to learning of the outcome of his changes.
     
  14. nobrows1212
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    Location: denver co

    nobrows1212 Junior Member

    enterprise centerboard case

    OK-- so I am no boat design expert-- you all may get a good chuckle from some future report of catastrophic (or lesser) damage re: my daggerboard mod. However, like I said, the lakes I will be sailing a few hours from home are DEEP and the water gets to 10 feet+ within 25 feet of shorelines, for the most part. And man, the interior of the boat is HUGE without the extra almost 30" of centerboard case. Luckily I have a couple of other small boats (Selway-Fisher's 12.5 ft. Waterman motor canoe and a Michalak-designed Larsboat), both of which will have a useful conversion to trimaran. They draft about 4 inches, so if I am going to other shallower venues, I will leave Enterprise "jonibri" at home. Best of luck in Liverpool-- say "hello" to Ringo-- and you should heed, not me but the Wizard of Eustis, PAR, IMHO. Regards, Peter
     

  15. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    The daggerboard may not be an issue with respect to depth of water.I would strongly advise that you obtain the smaller cruising rig for use when the wind exceeds force 4 as even Jack Holt admitted that the Enterprise was over canvassed.The boat is also well known for rolling while running and can capsize quite easily.The standard solution while racing is to jab the centreboard partially down and move well aft.The surface area of a daggerboard will be further forward than that of a mostly raised centreboard,regardless of how much of it is in the water.The additional space in the boat may be nice but do try to stay in the boat to enjoy it and if it is a bit breezy,use the smaller rig.
     
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