Dogbolter's Cockpit

It was a right mess.
The forward bulkhead was very badly rotted and previous owners had done a bodge job to repair areas where fittings had pulled away from the plywood.

The portside of the hog with lots of rainwater.  Blue line is the spinnaker halyard attached to the two-to-one hoist block.  Yellow line is the kicker control.  Black disc is a hatch cover.

When I began stripping off fittings, I quickly discovered all the nuts and bolts are Imperial.  I had to visit the local motor factor and ask them to order 7/16th and 3/8 ring spanners -- they don't keep them in stock.  And in a few places, stainless bolt to alloy fitting had corroded solid.  For example, the mast step (aluminium alloy) and big (stainless) wood screws fixing it to the hog were solidly fused.  I had to rent a reciprocating hacksaw to free the mast step by destroying it.

Wherever possible, I have used metric bolts and nuts in refitting things.  And every bolt has a pozi-drive head.

I used a hot air gun and scrapers to peel away the previous "repairs" and found these two holes in the bulkhead.  The hog and location of chopped out mast step is at bottom. 

The portside was easy because I had access to both sides of the bulkhead (see the deck repair page).  This hole had rotted it way through a double thickness of plywood.  That disc of grp, from my stock of "here's one I made earlier," will be glued in place and a layer of glass simultaneously epoxied over it for added strength.

Here it is on the cockpit side.  On the other side is a layer of epoxied glass, a sheet of acetate as a release agent, a piece of plywood and a clamp to hold it all tight whilst curing.

This backing piece is also from my stock supply of cured chopped strand mat.

The piece has been epoxied in place and the strings serve to pull it tight to the inside of the bulkhead.  The clamp adds a bit of pressure.  The excess in the hatch hole will be trimmed away.  When cured, more epoxy will be applied ti fill and fair the bulkhead. 

The cockpit combing had suffered over the years with the kicker line rubbing against it, quite rounded.  I need to build it back up. That's a blue batten wrapped in cello tape clamped in place as a former.  You can see the completed repair to the two hole on the fore bulkhead dimly in the background.

Epoxy resin thickened to peanut butter consistency and tinted with fine powdered pigment to try to match the timber.  A strip of acetate is smoothed over the epoxy.  Because there is no colloidal silica in the mix, it's very easy to sand when cured.

Here is the starboard side of the forward bulkhead finished, painted with the same Primocon as on the cockpit floor.  New spinnaker bag has been pulled up and away for the picture.

The portside panel had separated from the hull so somebody tried to glue it back together with epoxy resin.  Nice kevlar lay-up visible through the hatch.

Same again on the starboard side.

Once again, the heat gun is great for softening the previous repair and pulling it away (starboard side).  But some care is needed to avoid heating the hull.  Somebody used strips of glass tape and what appears to be epoxy resin thickened with brown fairing filler.

The strings serve to pull the side tank wall back into its proper position.

The tricky part.  I need to glue the side tank to the inside of the hull, both inside the tank and outside.  The blue batten is on top of a strip of polythene which is on top of a strip of combi-mat which has been saturated with epoxy resin and allowed to set for two hours on the laminated sheets of last year's DBSC course cards.  I need to peel the glass and batten off the cards, turn it upside down and slide it in through the hatch at left and into position at the inside joint where the tank wall meets the hull.  Inside.  Using my gloved left hand.  And I can't see what I'm doing.  I did several dry runs for practice and "feel."  Then I got the greasy cloth in place, released the batten and massaged the polythene strip to smoothly stick the glass in place.  It worked.  The following day the polythene peeled away leaving a nice smooth and strong invisible repair. Same again for the portside after flipping the boat.

Starboard forward side tank being stripped of varnish.  At the top of the hatch cover cut out, to the left of the scraper blade, you can see a crack in the ply.  Each of the four side tank hatches had such a crack, caused by crew satanding on the ply.  The white and green yoke at left was somebody's attempt to repair the crack.  Yuck.  I preferred to use a piece of woven roving with epoxy clamped into place on the inside.

The helm's workstation, before (left) and after.

I mentioned above that I replaced Imperial with Metric screws, nuts and bolts.  Here is one exception.  The fittings for the spinnaker halyard pump system are held in place with these Imperial machine screws which go into captive threads in the spine, kind of like helicoils, presumably fitted to the timber from underneath before assembly.  Tres cool...

A peek inside the aft interior.  Aluminium plates support the two rudder pintles.  They would be a problem.

Portside interior.  I don't know what the staples do, but at least they are stainless!  And why on earth would somebody use such a long bolt to attach the cam cleat used to tidy the spin sheets?

Also portside, those three bolts secure the chain plate.  Builder was a tad untidy in leaving loose fibreglass.

Same view, starboard side.
more to come

During a break from sanding, I removed these two lead correctors from the mid thwart, 250 grams each.  Dogbolter was measured on 13 December 1989 by Peter Mullinger in Australia.  Hull weight was given as 79.4 kg (class minimum with zero correctors), Corrector weights = 0kg.  I wonder why and when these were added.  I also wonder why somebody decided to use incredibly long bolts.  Bolt on the left is M6, on the right M5, so not done in Oz where everything was Imprial.

Using hot water and a fingernail, I scraped old varnish off of the plastic builder's plaque.  I'll re-fit it at the end of the job.
Back to the INTRO page  Repairs to the HULL, to the DECK, to the FOILS