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Repairing Hunter 40 damage from Hurricane Matthew

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,193
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
I think there should be something covering the halyard runs because since they are running along the deck they pose a trip hazard. Pretty important for safety underway. This is the simplest solution but doesn't resolve the other issues, the biggy being a truly functional dodger.
I have sailed a LOT of boats with exposed line runs on cabin tops. This has been the norm for a long time and I have never had a problem with them being a tripping hazard. There are so many things on sailboat decks, ventilators, jib sheets, hand rails, hatches, cleats ... you just get used to working around stuff. I've always thought the line covers could be useful in some areas but on a cabin top it is really more for aesthetics than function. This is just one example, a First 40 I have sailed
20180715_204146.jpg
 
May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
One of multiple concurrent projects:

As you guys probably know by now, I usually have several projects running at various stages of completion. I do this sometimes because it's necessary since much of our boat systems are intertwined but I also do it to keep my enthusiasm level up there :thumbup:. One such project has been working on the hull-to-keel joints - fixing the spots that need attention. Here's one:



Note that this is NOT the way it looked coming out of the water! I investigated (with a screwdriver :yikes:) the joint a little before taking the pic to see whats what. Next up a little work with the grinder:



It actually looked better than I expected when all the filler was ground away. Most of the "rust" was actually discolored filler. The joint itself looks good and solid once the outer layers were removed. However -

Seems to be a recurring theme with this boat (!). The overlaying filler was not factory - it was obviously a previous repair that was done - well - badly :(. What I have found re: the bottom paint on the boat is, from top down -four or five layers of old ablative bottom paint, next a barrier coat, then another layer of bottom paint (we have suspected/determined that this is hard paint), then another barrier coat, then original gelcoat. The hull/keel joint repair was done over the hard bottom paint layer - the repair guy(s) didn't even grind down to the gel coat for the repair, which is why the repair failed. It also looked like the filler used wasn't the best for this kind of repair. I have found that over lots of areas - I suspect that whatever yard or yards that did the various previous repairs just used whatever filler happened to be closest - or cheapest - regardless of whether it was right for the job.

So, time to fix the joint, right? Well, not quite yet! I decided that I needed to go a little farther in bottom paint removal to facilitate the repairs. So:





Two days of (not) surprisingly hard work with the sand blaster and - all bottom paint gone! Down to the original barrier coat. My observations of the hull:

The bottom sans paint is overall in really good shape! I found a grand total of three previous blister repairs and no additional blisters to address (I already knew that). Some of the Matthew-induced scratches did not penetrate through to the gelcoat, though a few did (knew that as well;)). A few areas did not have barrier coat (surprise there). The hull/keel joint does have a few spots to fix but most of it did not need addressing - knew that too but nice to get confirmation! I do have quite a few gelcoat divots to fix - a result of cracks or pinholes in the original gelcoat that the force of the sand opened up. Note that these are not blisters.

Note to the boaters: I only recommend sandblasting to remove bottom paint if the underlying paint/barrier coat is failing! I firmly believe that the bottom paint and barrier coat on mine was perfectly capable of doing its job! I did the blasting because I had enough areas to repair that I wanted a uniform base to (re)start with, not a series of patches. As with the previous hull/keel repair, it failed in part because of it being a patch over the existing paint.

Now to take a day or two off the let my sore muscles recover! And clean up a big pile of sand!

Cheers,

Mark
 
Last edited:
May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
Small update and a rant!:

The big pile of sand is gone and it is no longer turquoise-esque under and around the boat!

I spent today working on and prepping the various spots that need repair - not many but I did find a few more that needed a session with the grinder. Tomorrow they will get a layer or two of glass before applying filler.

Now for the rant :huh:: it seems like every single yard ape who got to practice their "skills" on the hull of my boat missed day one in fiberglass school! So time for remedial lessons! First day of class: polyester resin can be porous and let salt water penetrate if not applied properly. Second day of class: Gelcoat is just another form of polyester resin. Third day: Some boats have steel/cast iron keels, and they will eventually develop rust spots. So . . . fourth day: don't use gelcoat as a filler over a repaired rust spot! I think I need to add some emphasis to this, so: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:banghead::yikes:

There, rant over. Whew! There were five or six spots on the keel that I thought were maybe low spots from the initial casting. Nope, they were all rust spots that had been repaired/filled with a thick coat of gelcoat. And guess what? They all rusted underneath the gelcoat. Imagine that - sigh :(. I'll hit those spots with some OSPHO after grinding them some more and fix them properly.

I haven't forgotten about the deck enclosure/dodger - materials are supposedly on the way, though no guarantees on when things will ship and I'll be able to get everything I need together to start on it.

Cheers and keep the faith!

Mark
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,278
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
You know, by going after this boat in such detail, you are bringing up a point that many may not want to face. How many other boats out there sailing the open seas have just as many hidden issues of rust and deterioration, much like we are seeing here being addressed.
 
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May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
You know, by going after this boat in such detail, you are bringing up a point that many may not want to face. How many other boats out there sailing the open seas have just as many hidden issues of rust and deterioration, much like we are seeing here being addressed.
Dave, you've hit the nail on the head for those of us who buy used and/or older boats. The only way to really know what's under the pretty paint is if we absolutely know the entire history of the boat. Usually by being the original owner or personally knowing the previous owner.

I've owned my boat for going on 16 years. I learned within the first six months that I'd better learn everything there is to know about boat maintenance and repair after the very first (and only!) time I had someone else work on it. Having said that I have no problem owning up to finding goofed-up repairs that I'm responsible for but what I'm finding is stuff I never did and never dug deep enough to touch. But someone over the life of the boat did. And did it either badly or wrong.

My only knowledge of the boat's history comes from short conversations with the previous owner. Unfortunately he was more interested in impressing me with his life and sailing skills than telling me the history of the boat. If I only had known! I don't doubt that he attempted to keep the maintenance up but I doubt he did much if any himself. That opens up the other can of worms - who did he use for maintenance and repairs? And how well did he oversee and scrutinize their work? Or was it the previous owner(s) before him? Basically all I really know about the boat's history is that I'm at least the third owner and it was based in South Florida for a good portion of it's life.

The good news is nowadays we have the boat equivalent of CarFax - we can get some kind of history of a used boat from that. Unfortunately that service wasn't available when I bought the boat. The check done on my boat as part of the sale was basically a title search and that was it. A caution on the Car/BoatFax though - it won't find everything and won't give you any indication of the quality of any repairs that might have been done.

Cheers,

Mark
 
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Likes: limbodog
Oct 19, 2017
6,876
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
A caution on the Car/BoatFax though - it won't find everything and won't give you any indication of the quality of any repairs that might have been done.
Those services require a reporting infrastructure. Just participating on SBO for a short time and you realize how many sailboat owners do their own work. Then there are the individual subs that have little more than a car full of tools that go around to marinas. There are likely a lot of holes in a boating equivalent "fax" report.

The only way to really know what's under the pretty paint is if we absolutely know the entire history of the boat.
Even then, there are areas that see little attention and are hidden from casual observation. How many keel bolts look good on top, but once you pull them, you see how close you came to losing the keel?
Regular inspection of certain items needs to be enforced and constant inspection of others. After that, metal fatigue, dry rot, wet cores, etc. are sometimes never discovered until something breaks.

You do the best you can to minimize that.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
Distracted!:

Defender has all Blue Sea products 20% off! Though not quite ready for them yet, good sale prices on goodies I will be needing. All work to cease while I dig up my notes (it's been a while since I worked up the plan for the electrics) and fill up the shopping cart :thumbup:

We will soon return to regularly scheduled programming :biggrin:

Cheers,

Mark
 
May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
Distraction Update:

Ok, spent some money, got some goodies! I got most of what I needed (or wanted) but I do have a question for those who are not electrically impaired:

My intention is to create a distributed panel system, with the main AC and DC panels sending current to zones - i.e., galley, aft cabin, forward cabin, cockpit, etc., then another breaker panel there to distribute the zone loads. So far so good, but herein lies the problem. For the big draw items like water heaters on the AC side or refrigerator or fresh water pump on the DC side, putting these items on a circuit breaker is a no brainer. However, what about low draw items (mostly DC) like lights?

I'm changing just about all the lights to LED so they are really low draw, some in the mA range. It seems to me that protecting these items with a 5, 10 or 15 amp breaker doesn't really give any protection except for a dead short and even then the appliance and wiring will overload before the breaker sees enough amps to trip. So I thought about low amp inline fuses with separate switches on a busbar for various lights, etc., with the busbar tied to an appropriately sized breaker. Am I overthinking this?

The AC side is where my real question is: I was looking at the Blue Seas Contura rocker switches for the various lights, but the switches only show ratings for DC current. Can these switches be used for an AC circuit? I know that circuit breakers can be used for AC or DC, but what about using these switches for AC (for most low draw AC appliances the neutral is not employed so it's 2 wire hookup, not 3)? I'm trying for continuity, not a hodgepodge of different switches, breakers, etc., to make everything work.

Thanks and cheers,

Mark
 
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CYQK

.
Sep 11, 2009
494
beneteau first 42 kenora
Did you notice your last post was 727, what an airplane!!!
Bought a paneltronics panel for my boat.... NIce
Also have two small panels from blue sea one has fin style fuses and the other has circuit breakers in it
That is where i connect my low draw stuff
Also you coud install seperate watertight fuse holders for low draw
 
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Apr 5, 2009
1,562
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
One thing to remember is that fuses and breakers are to protect the wire, not the devices. The protection rating needs to be low enough to keep the wire from overheating in the event that the device fails and gets a short.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,193
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Distributed panels in a 40 foot boat seems excessive unless you can't fit the breakers you need in the space you have for the main panel. As mentioned, the breaker is protecting the wiring. Having 10x 0.5 amp LEDs on a 10 amp breaker is ok.
Some breakers have both AC and DC ratings, just make sure the breaker has the appropriate rating for your application. Switches typically have current and voltage ratings and as long as you stay within them they can be used for AC or DC.
You may want to work with a marine electrician for the AC wiring. Two wire AC appliances us the hot and neutral. It's the ground that is not always used.
 
May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
Did you notice your last post was 727, what an airplane!!!
Bought a paneltronics panel for my boat.... NIce
Also have two small panels from blue sea one has fin style fuses and the other has circuit breakers in it
That is where i connect my low draw stuff
Also you coud install seperate watertight fuse holders for low draw
Never got to fly the 727 but spent lots of time riding in the cockpit while commuting to work. We're coming close to 737, 757 and 767 though!
 
May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
One thing to remember is that fuses and breakers are to protect the wire, not the devices. The protection rating needs to be low enough to keep the wire from overheating in the event that the device fails and gets a short.
This is what I'm fretting over - most pre-made panels (including the ones I just bought) come with 15 amp or higher circuit breakers and I think that won't balance well with the light load draws from most newer DC stuff like electronics and LEDs. This is where the distributed panels will work in my favor - higher amp breakers at the main panels and lower amp at the zone panels.
 
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May 8, 2013
517
Hunter 40 Dataw Island, SC
Distributed panels in a 40 foot boat seems excessive unless you can't fit the breakers you need in the space you have for the main panel. As mentioned, the breaker is protecting the wiring. Having 10x 0.5 amp LEDs on a 10 amp breaker is ok.
Some breakers have both AC and DC ratings, just make sure the breaker has the appropriate rating for your application. Switches typically have current and voltage ratings and as long as you stay within them they can be used for AC or DC.
You may want to work with a marine electrician for the AC wiring. Two wire AC appliances us the hot and neutral. It's the ground that is not always used.
My reasoning for going with distributed panels is to reduce the total amount of wiring necessary. With one big panel all wiring must start and end at the panel leading to thick wiring bundles. I plan on one (large gauge) feed wire to each zone from the main panels then branching out from there with shorter wire runs to each item. As it is the only branch panels will be AC and DC for the galley and DC circuit breaker/switch panels, one for the lights and one for the cockpit. The rest will be busbars and switches for aft, main and forward cabins.

I used to keep spare breakers that were rated for both AC and DC, my question/confusion was focused more on the switches. Blue Sea doesn't spell that out very well. I will probably order a few of the switches to decide which ones I want and hopefully the literature for the switches will clarify for me.

Thanks,

Mark
 
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Johann

.
Jun 3, 2004
250
Leopard 39 Pensacola
The very panels I ordered!
Very nice, your boat deserves the best! I ordered one of the custom panels and I feel BlueSeas really does a good job with communication and making sure you get what you need.

(I never flew the Guppy, but since you took 727, I'll take 73... :))