New year new jobs!

Not much has happened since arriving in Gosport last winter, until now.

First job of the year was to fix the area around the outer shroud which was pulling up the deck at the midship.

I spent a couple of weeks researching fibreglassing techniques and liased with West Systems on how best to approach my first task of the year.

By the way I found West Systems support to be great.

I found Innovation Mouldings in Gosport who supplied the biaxal cloth, and were super helpful and surrounded by boat builders so at one stage they nipped out and asked a boat builder around the corner to clarify something for me. Here’s a Google map link

Also, I learned a lot from watching this chap on Youtube.

The plan was to remove the midship shroud, remove the u-bolt, and fibreglassed knee, backing pad, and then take out the alloy plate sandwiched between the deck with an oscillating saw. Why you may ask? well from the outside it appeared the rigging was pulling up the deck. I concluded that the metal plate had corroded, and apparently this area is a well known weak point on Halmatics. I had planned on removing the alloy plate from inside the boat, bevel the edges at a ratio 12:1 of the deck thickness as specified by many fibreglassing sites. Then using Biaxel cloth and West Systems epoxy, build up 4 layers, and then fibreglass a new bigger knee and backing pad.

As illustrate below:


Dave kindly came down to help me with the work. We got to work setting up CSI style tent around the portside chainplate.


We took off the outer shroud easily enough. I read up on whether the mast would suddenly fall down, it didn’t. Taking off the shroud revealed a crack in one of the bumps. I prodded at it and started scraping out loose debris to reveal the metal plate sandwiched into the deck, not quite what I had intended.


We ceased work as Gosport had been enveloped by thick with fog, less than ideal conditions to fibreglass. Tankers and ferries blastes their fog horns night and day over the weekend, even moored up this felt pretty eery.

Back to the drawing board!

My revised plan for the the shroud issue is to cut out a square patch of the deck from above, until I’ve removed all the loose crumbling debris. I suspect the core material got wet from the badly sealed u-bolt. When I say core I’m using this term loosely. I now know Balsa core is just wooden balsa wood tiles, which this is not. I know foam cored decks are basically slabs of high density foam sandwiched between the deck, this is not. I believe it’s solid glass, but further inspection will be needed. The area to me almost looks like its been filled in which is crumbling, perhaps someone previously simply filled it with some sort of filler. Either way, I’m going to bevel the edges, and build up 4 layes of biaxal cloth (starting with the largest piece first and alternating between fine and thicker weaves), until I’ve achieved the same thickness. I may even raise it slightly higher and then use fairing compound (or perhaps I’m getting carried away).

I’ll also have to inspect this metal plate from above, and I need to find out from west systems whether the epoxy will adhere to it. Quite an important factor.

Dave helped and schooled me on my electrics as I’m a self confessed novice at the mo. We fixed the battery monitor and traced a lead disconnected from the Sterling pro-charge to the engine battery.

Dave left and Trina came down for the weekend.

  • We fixed the bilge pump (I’ll never use copper electrical wire again)
  • Replaced a gas hose
  • Fitted a couple of catches
  • Fitted a lee cloth
  • Fitted a sea tap
  • Melted the kettle even further whilst using the grill.
  • Watched a man clutch at brooms in a chandlery


That’s it for now!

Author: Tim Butler

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