Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

That nasty crack

Cause, perhaps, for worry but not for alarm

Here are a couple of photos of the crack in the starboard side of Black Magic. I should have put a ruler next to the crack for scale; both the horizontal and vertical parts are about three inches long. It's actually a crack in a patch on a patch that might be placed over yet another patch. I suspect previous owners of the boat have just been stopping leaks without looking at whatever the underlying cause of the leak is. I don't think it's hugely serious, but I would like to fix it in a more permanent way than previous owners have.

Since it's below the waterline, I haven't been able to see whether there's some external evidence of the crack; one idea we had was to use a halyard to heel the boat over and see whether we can get this side of the boat raised enough to see whether there's a crack or anything. I'd also like input from other Etchells people -- is this sort of crack common in an Etchells (especially one 33 years old), and if so, what is the usual way of dealing with it (besides piling patch upon patch)?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My email did not work on trying to reply to you, boat need to come out of water, access damage , dry out and repair, you have the right idea, racing or other plans come second to fixing the boat.......Zorro

Thu Jul 13, 01:24:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Thanks, Zorro ... You know, with USA 38 and USA 125, we have a start on the world's most geriatric Etchells fleet. But at least we both now have nice masts!

Thu Jul 13, 01:36:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

Unfortunately, most impact type damage in fiberglass causes some delamination, and the damaged area really should be cut out, to do a proper repair. If this is a patch over a patch, and the original damage was due to an impact...that may be why it keeps on leaking. You're probably going to have to haul the boat and cut out the damaged area to patch it properly. :( Sorry for the bad news.

Thu Jul 13, 09:45:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Zen said...

It looks painful!

Fri Jul 14, 05:49:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

We hauled Black Magic on Friday night; Tad and CA examined the crack and started sanding away today. Basic finding is there's no obvious problem on the outside of the hull, but the inside was very badly and amateurishly "repaired" by the previous owners. Under some paint was a tan substance that that looked suspiciously like wood filler; under that was a big very thick glob of fiberglass resin (no cloth or roving), under that was another glob of resin, and finally there was some fiberglass cloth below all that. The crack was between a couple of these layers. So, on Sunday, the skipper and crew hope to get down to where even relative fixit novices like us can do a much more seamanlike repair.

Sat Jul 15, 11:22:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

CA & Tad finally ground through all the layers ... and still didn't find anything obviously wrong with the original hull, but will be putting in a really good patch anyway.

Sun Jul 16, 11:52:00 PM MDT  

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