starting at the bottom....

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by 58ketch, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    Yep, I would have thought iron as well but, "have been told" bronze or lead were what was generally used...note parenthesis..

    Sounds like a magnet would eliminate one option...that and a lack of apparent rust. Lead ain't pink.

    The topside of this boat has been glassed and not too shabby a job in most cases..portholes and hatch slides excepted..they were not removed for glassing....duh!

    That said, the last owner DID replace the portholes with some very handsome Perko bronze ones indigenous of the era...very nice looking and makes correcting the glass job around the portholes much easier.

    So, since you loath 5200 below waterline and we seem to be coming to a consensus as to the wedge splines..what adhesive/caulk WOULD you use?..West and Cabosil (or the likes) or the newer (and much more expensive) G-Flex..or..???

    Btw,..I do much appreciate your input and time with me on this. There are not a lot of folks familiar with woodworking/boat repair at this level and opinions are like ...well, you know....

    Bummer about the rotorcuff....major tendinitis here....aging ain't all its cracked up to be but, the alternative is much less attractive...

    Any idea where I might be a set of plans for this boat?
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    An adhesive choice for the wedges would depend on the condition of the planking. If you can get the planking down to 15% moisture content then thickened epoxy would the choice and G-Flex is a good option (yep, it's expensive). I would call the West System folks and ask about moisture content on G-Flex, though I suspect it needs to be fairly dry too.

    If you don't have the time to get the planking down to 15% (or less) moisture content, the Gorilla glue (or similar PU) is an option as it likes moisture for it's bond.

    Plans, you're kidding right. You may have some luck with a Dickerson owner's group (dickersonowners.org). I'm not sure if it's a Tucker design or not, but the owner's site may help. In this regard the designer (or estate) may be of some help.
     
  3. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    Moisture, in this environment is ALWAYS a problem.

    I have been thinking...uh oh...suppose I use square edged splines on freshly squared edges of the planks and use either Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue or Resocinol to install them , fit them "snugly" and plane/sand off the balance...it would not be as "squirrly" as wedges, would ensure a pretty good fit (I could put a very slight taper on them) and these glues have a bit more flexibility that West and cure hard in damp environments..especially the Plastic Resin Glue.

    Not that West won't work but both of these are far less expensive and very reliable. I use then for bent on parts and laminating as well as structural frames. I have never used them below waterline but, I don't see why not..or am I overlooking something?

    Yeah, I AM kinda "old school" like that....

    Here's a peek at the bottom seams post blasting and some spiling:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I thought this detail at the bow was interesting...plywood ..

    [​IMG]

    And here is the keel..definitely non-magnetic but,...??

    [​IMG]
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Plastic resin or resorcinol would be the "traditional" choices. When I say wedge, don't think pie wedge shape, they are slightly tapered and slightly deeper then the groove. The idea is they can be hammered in as you go, which applies the pressure necessary to make these types of glues work well. Epoxy would prefer a square sided wedge, which really is just a seam repair or scab.

    I don't think that plywood is original, do you? A plywood bottom (all of it) could solve many of your issues and make a stronger boat too, though this is a pretty big conversion.

    Other then some odd repairs on a few of these, I've never had a real good look at these old file plankers from Dickerson. I don't remember doing any surveys on one either.
     
  5. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    I think we may have misunderstood one another. We may be talking about the same things.The splines I was referring to in the previous post would be in the neighborhood of 1/4" at their narrowest to around 5/16 at their widest and roughly 1 1/8" tall..the longest (midship) being around 5'. There are 39 planks on one side and 44 on the other with around 6 that need replacing completely.

    I would NEVER replace my bottom with plywood...I'd glass the whole enchilada first and I don't see that happening. The way I see it, there is a reason she has lasted 50 years and no reason I cannot capitalize on her merits while correcting her deficiencies...I'll start with a solid seam repair and some refastening and replacing a few planks..if that doesn't do it, I'll barrier coat the entire bottom in a few more years and if THAT doesn't do it, I'll glass her down to the keel but, I think the more traditional procedure is most likely the most appropriate and, for this old carpenter/sailor, the most befitting my temperament....notoriously crotchety, temperamental and considerably more patient with "things" than people...

    I am of the opinion that the plywood at the stem is original because of the offset in the chine to accommodate the difference. Had it been changed after the fact I would expect to see either an additional repair and fairing to make up the balance or several laminations. There is, instead, a very clean knotch in the chine and some of the original oakum. That makes me think it was original.

    These old model bugeyes were Dickerson's first stab at a "production boat"..it was not long (the early 60's) that they moved to carvel planking and then, very quickly to fiberglass. They are so much like a Chesapeake deadrise or skipjack that . looking at the bottom alone, it fools many avid deadrise and skipjack aficionados....even the keel can be deceiving.

    Perhaps, now you can understand why 5200 has been the choice of many for these boats? It offers two things...it is fully waterproof and, with fresh material to attach to, sticks like crazy. It does allow some movement and , since it is a PU water facilitates its curing. Not that I am attached to 5200 but, I Do see why it has been used previously and has held up so far.
    I would consider any alternative including "wedging" but, realize that wedging will create a unified bottom and discourage any movement at all while that which keeps the boards as separate entities allows for natural shrinking and swelling as well as some movement.

    Seems a quandary...unify or isolate..and with which goo?

    I hate to say that I think we have come full circle but, I think we have...right back to the beginning BUT, with a better understanding of the parameters and available technologies. So, what say ye now...?;)

    Oh, one more thought....I had mentioned before using cypress to replace some of the mahogany (because it is readil available and an excellent product below waterline). My thinking was that one day every board will want to be replaced..at some point..and I may as well get the process started with a less "exotic" and wallet friendly species..See? ,my intention is to keep her and sail her as a relic and reminder of her and my own heritage...just a funny sorta sentimental guy like that I 'spose...
     
  6. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    update..

    Yesterday we started pulling off the bad planks. What a surprise!...a crab had taken up residence in the bilge......I'm think this old girl was down more than someone is letting on.....

    Anyway, with the planks removed we could see that some stringers needed attention..badly. ..and some repairs had been made already..badly.

    Now the scope of the work is becoming more realistic..its not THAT bad. In fact the entire starboard side is in pretty good shape and with some tightening up..excellent. All of the bad wood is on the port side which is the weather side from where she was moored.

    I think a decision has been made as to methodology...I am re-cutting any seam greater than 1/8" to around 3/8" and adding back a square edged spline to one side only which will allow an 1/8" of movement per plank. I will use some Slickseam or toilet bowl gasket wax on the remaining 1/8 to help out until the planks swell.
    Previous work had been done..planks replaced... with 5200, They are in excellent shape but, are bug tight and just MAY have had something to do with some cupping in adjacent planks..along with their having been crowned backwards.

    When I get some new photos I'll post the updates..
     
  7. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    A few pics after some progress..

    Here's a hole where the old plank used to be...

    [​IMG]

    after some seam ripping to 1/2"..

    [​IMG]

    looking much better..

    Here's "Junior" on the job with our very simple but, quite practical jig..

    [​IMG]

    real progress..

    [​IMG]
     
  8. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    change of plan...

    After much thought and a good bit of drying time I think we have come full circle. The seams have been opened up to make a good clean shoulder..1/2" is now a consistent spacing.
    We are considering using 4200 as a seam seal with our plank replacements.However, the previous repairs had been made with 5200 and considering the excellent condition of those repairs (generally) we are loath to ignore that which "works".
    On the other hand, the splines (wedges) will be installed with either System 3 Gel Magic or West G-Flex as the edges are new, fresh and quite dry.
    Any other thoughts before we get real into this?:?:
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There is very little difference between 5200 and 4200 chemically. Both will offer some "expansion" room. Expect a few weeks for a full cure.
     
  10. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    I know how you feel about 5200 and I would rather guess that the same could be said for your feelings about 4200 ..just about 1/2 as loathing...

    How you feel about Sika Flex 291 or its ilk?..any love for the Sika line?
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    4200 is a fair bit easier to remove then 5200. The Sika products suffer from the same issues as the 3M offerings do.
     
  12. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    Our project has now been on the hard for around 8 weeks. I have dried her out pretty well and most planks seem to be exactly where I'd like them...dry enough to take adhesives but, not brittle. We know this to be a time-sensitive issue and the move from "just right" to "bone dry and brittle" may be only a couple weeks difference so, we're moving quickly now.
    We've taken a slightly different approach to this repair than typical. After opening her up I found some work worn members at the chine and some frames that had previously been sistered..an not well at all.
    That said, I have turned my focus to making the bottom as unified as possible knowing that the next evolution should this not be as successful as I am hoping, will be to watertight the entire bottom.
    I have 5200'd the new planks to one another and to the chine, keel and garboard but, will use G-Flex for my splines which are 1/2" and will carry a onesided taper of around 3 degrees.
    There will be some small voids I imagine that will have to be filled. I am thinking a good polysulfide like Life Caulk for this...or should it be even more organic like oakum?
    I will be using some oakum in the transom and along the chine. Any suggestions there?
    New pics coming soon...
     
  13. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    Nice boat , I would not use modern sticky stuff on it . Why not just caulk her up the way it is ? You said that it would hold water .
    has it been out of the water for a while? Might just need to swell up.
     
  14. 58ketch
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    58ketch Junior Member

    Too late for "just caulk her up the way she was"...too much damage and far too many repairs ...not to mention some extremely work worn planks. Besides, this IS the 21st century and I can assure you that had the builders at Dickerson had modern "sticky stuff" in 1958 they would have used it PROFUSELY.
    The object of this "restoration" is to restore the integrity of the design, not the very simple construction and relatively primitive means...we want a better boat than what was originally built but, with the lines of the original..so far, so good.
    New pics forthcoming....
    BTW,...after this project I may be tempted to build a sistership but, with modern means from the start..still wooden, though.
     

  15. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    I see you are moving right along . Its nice to see pictures along the way .
    If you wouldn't mind could you post a picture or two of the whole boat .
     
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