Aft Bulkhead Repairs Continue

The Starboard section of the aft bulkhead is ‘glassed’ in.  Actually I’ve started using a combination of ribbon and epoxy instead of fibre and resin – Much easier to work with, no odour, and considerably stronger.  Marine epoxy is also multi-use and as well as structural repairs it can be used for gap filling, crack filling, fairing and gluing, amongst other things.  There are additives for all these jobs and it’s up to the user how much additive to mix in, giving different consistencies. Although they are expensive, invest in the correct mixing syringes / pumps as they ensure the correct proportion of resin to hardener and make mixing up many batches a breeze.

Aft Bulkhead Repairs

The starboard and centre sections of the new aft bulkhead are fitted. To the right and aft of the centre section, the engine supports have been replaced, all the old rotten wood has been completely removed and the whole support on both sides is now constructed from West System Marine Epoxy. Incredible stuff, you can do practically anything with it.

Aft Bulkhead Rot

The full extent of the problems with the aft bulkhead become painfully apparent. On removing the galley and chart table, we find that the bulkhead is rotten across half its width, much more than was mentioned in the survey. Also, the cockpit floor is thoroughly rotten against the bulkhead and further aft. Underneath the bulkhead and engine compartment we find a completely enclosed area, full of water and rotten wood pulp. The drain hole has been blocked for years and the water has been washing from side to side and rotting all the woodwork. This includes the engine supports, even though they were encased on three sides by fibreglass as the fourth side, against the bulkhead, allowed water to creep in and rot them.

Rot in aft bulkhead

Rot in aft bulkhead

Half of the bulkhead will need to be replaced, as well as the cockpit floor and forward cockpit floor supports.

Oh dear. Winter depression sets in.

The Heads

The heads going back in, showing the new vented loops and new pipework in the system. The heads are now properly bolted through the floor, rather than being screwed in at odd angles with short screws (!).

(At this point I didn’t replace the pump unit, but later on after the boat was launched we discovered that the flush no longer worked so it was replaced)

Forward Bulkhead

The aft side of the forward bulkhead is painted and the furniture goes back in after being painted (the bilge area is also painted, but you can’t see it because it’s under the furniture). The heads side of the bulkhead is shown here before painting, partially glassed in. Notice that the heads have been removed. This was unanticipated work: When I sat on it to work on the bulkhead, it came away from its mounting! I decided to refit it completely rather than just re-attach it.

Work Underway

We’ve done much of the external brightwork, antifouling, cleaning and polishing, and she looks much tidier from the outside. Inside, all the furniture on the port side is removed and work progresses on replacing the rotten portion of the forward bulkhead where water had leaked in down the port chainplate over the years – This was anticipated work, flagged up by the survey, but what a job!

As you can imagine, getting the new piece to fit exactly took quite a bit of painstaking fitting, including some imaginative language and an awful lot of patience!

Fallen for a Boat!

After many years of crewing for other people, and having just passed the shore-based part of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore course, it seemed the time to be looking to buy a boat for some week-end fun, and also to get some recent sea miles with the aim of getting the practical done.

We came across Tiffane while looking around Dickies boatyard in Bangor, North Wales. We had gone up to look at another boat that turned out to be a waste of time, and thought we would have a look around the area. Tiffane caught our eye because her lines are so pretty, and she looks like a sturdy sea boat.

Due to a number of major problems highlighted in the survey, we negotiated a final price of £ 4500.00.