November 18, 2021
Arietta Phase 2-13
Continuing with the deck surface prep, I spent the morning on another round of sanding and cleaning the decks once more. Things were close to their final contours.
I also completed some standard hole prep at the handrail bolt locations (4 per side) and the bow cleat, using a 5/8″ bit to remove the core from these locations. The existing core was in good condition–balsa in the coachroof at the handrail locations, and plywood in the center of the foredeck beneath the bow cleat.
I filled the reamed-out bolt holes with a structural epoxy mixture using high-density filler, then, as needed, applied another round of fairing filler to the decks, mainly to a few obviously low areas in the patchwork.
One of the jobs on the extended “if time allows” list for this season was to replace the plywood settee fronts, two short sections of plywood at the forward ends of the settees that were delaminating from water damage. I spent some time examining the situation. Replacing these panels would require removing the teak fiddles from the edges of the berths (held in place with bunged fasteners), and removing various other screws securing the fronts to the berth tops (a hardwood cleat screwed into both pieces), and additional screws securing the bottom edges of the fronts to the molded flange in the fiberglass liner.
There was a clear, straight line visible on both sides of the plywood in these lockers, suggesting that the lockers (or perhaps the whole interior) had once been filled with water to this level for some period of time. This line was also visible on the outside faces of the settees, though I only truly noticed it once I’d spent the time inspecting the insides of the lockers (seen in the series of photos above).
None of this made much difference to the plan ahead–I just thought it was interesting. Other than the tedium and care required to remove all the bungs covering the screws securing the fiddles, I thought the settee replacement would be rather straightforward, and I could proceed once we chose the materials. I had hoped to use an offcut of teak plywood that I had in the shop, but alas, it was too short by about an inch. The owner indicated he would also consider white-painted plywood, which I thought would be the best and right answer, but we’d soon decide that.
I also had a look at the last through hull and seacock in the boat, servicing the galley sink. This had been a question mark on the to-do list, depending on the condition of its backing plate, but the original plywood looked to be sound and in good condition, with no signs of imminent deterioration, and given this, I saw no reason to go through the rigamarole of replacing it just as a matter of course.
Along with preparing the area for the new backing blocks and seacock installation beneath the cockpit, I planned to repair a section of damaged gelcoat in the liner between the through hulls, another request on my project list. I planned to prepare this area, and the through hull holes, next time I had the sanding gear out.
Total time billed on this job today: 6.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 48°, overcast. Forecast for the day: Mostly cloudy, 58°