Well that was a mammoth job but well worth it. We ended up cutting the old top surface in two just to make it manageable.
There will be some finalising to do. I have to tape over all the joints we created and there are a few places where the old layers of fibreglass have delaminated and will need to be rebounded or replaced.
Now though we have a roof that is as strong if not stronger than when she was built.
And to add to the day a huge flock of geese have just flown over. and here are some more.
Today is a lovely day. Rye is sunny and warm (14th October 2017) and Neal and I have been hard at work creating a jigsaw of plywood and PET foam core.
Everything is prepared and the first third is epoxied in place. Tomorrow the rest will be fixed and if we are lucky the top layer of roof will go on.
My shadow is there to prove how sunny it has been.
Anne Marie has three winches in the cockpit and another five or so on the two masts. The largest is the Lewmar 44ST (self-tailing) which sits along the centreline at the stern. I am not quite sure what it is there for but anyway it is the first one I set about servicing.
As there was no guidance available on You-Tube or anywhere else I made a video while I did it for a bit of fun. I had to set up the SavingAnneMarie You-Tube channel to do this but this is the link. PS I hope you have 12 minutes of life to spare.
Servicing Anne Marie’s main winch.
Neal has come all the way from Cape Town to help save Anne Marie. Today he and I removed the rest of the foam core with chisels and effort. He was not impressed by the Sussex weather (cloudy, cool, occasional drizzle and windy).
End result, after some sanding with the trusty belt sander was a surface ready for being put back together.
I had to put in a temporary support to keep the shape of the deck as it was beginning to look a little flat.
Well at least by taking the top surface of the roof off to expose the balsawood core we understand why it rotted.
Balsa wood is not very strong and so when you build boats in this way you’re supposed to put strengthening pieces where ever you have fittings going through the balsa wood sandwich. That way you can bolt or screw fittings tightly and they don’t move.
In Anne Marie‘s case there are no such strengthening pieces and so the balsa wood core moves slightly with the stresses and strains of a boat.
As soon as this happens the water starts to sleep in around the bolts or screws into the interior. Water and time take their opportunity and the fibres breakdown and rot.
For Anne Marie’s saloon roof this means the main entrance, the central hatch, two circular vents, two sets of handrails and one mainsheet traveller are all vulnerable All of these provide opportunities for movement and water ingress.
Strangely the only one that appears in good condition is the hatch surround in the centre of the roof.
Needless to say I shall be fitting plywood strengtheners where ever there might be an opportunity for fixings to go through the roof to provide the strength necessary in those areas.
Well after about three hours of pulling, pushing, levering, cutting and lots of other ‘ings I managed to separate the top layer of saloon roof from the bottom layer. True to my concerns I found the balsawood core had disintegrated over more than two-thirds of the roof.
I have ordered new foam core from Trident Foams which will arrive hopefully today (Tuesday). So now I am going to put in some temporary roof supports and clean off the old loose stuff ready for resin and new core tomorrow or Thursday/Friday.
Video available soon!