J/30 Class Association

Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too

Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/02/08 12:50 PM

Now that the 2008 New England Sailing season is drawing to a close, it looks like I'll be cutting into Rhapsody for re-coring in a couple of weeks. The transom is the 1st area since it sounds hollow and is the source of other problems via the engine exhaust.

It looks like I can cut into the transom from inside, but I've seen pictures of others who did it from the outside. In either case I'll use a hole saw to cut around the exhaust and cockpit drains since I need to isolate these areas anyway. For those who re-cored the transom, why did you cut in from the outside? It looks like there is more finish work to be done that way.

The Stbd side below the waterline is wet based on moisture meter readings I took last spring. Plan is to drill holes, heat and vacuum bag to dry the core. Depending on where the core shows up as "bad" from the holes drilled, I'll make the determination on where to recore, and do it from the inside where possible.

Finally, I know there are some wet spots on the cabin top. Again, plan is to cut from underneath and keep the outside deck as "clean" as possible. I think it is easier to fair in the surface on the inside surface, then repaint interior rather than redo the smooth & non-skid areas on the top.

I'm open to comments from those who have already been down this route. I need moral support before making the first cut :-)
Posted By: Rambunctious

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/02/08 02:09 PM

The first cut is the hardest...

The only reason to do it from the outside is to the preserve the finish. If you are going to paint, then you might as well work from the outside where access is better; this makes the job much easier.

As far as the work on the bottom goes, I would suggest drilling pilot holes to assess the range and degree of core saturation. If the core is soaked, then just cut it all out and replace it. Core and fiberglass are cheap and you're not going to be doing yourself any favors filling and fairing all of those holes.

I have tried repairing wet core a number of ways on a number of boats and the one constant I've found is that it's quickest and easiest to just cut and grind the old stuff out.

As far as the cabin top goes: it will be easier to paint but the rest of the job will be more difficult. Not impossible, but harder.

There are two ways to go about it, assuming you go from the inside. You can either cut away and discard the old inside skin or you can try to preserve the old skin for re-use.

If you do try and re-use the old skin, brace it very well. The downside here is that it is hard to get a very good bond. Use a lot of thickened epoxy (thicken with colloidal silica) and press the skin back in place and brace it very well. Make your braces ahead of time and have them ready to go. You will probably have to hold the skin in place with your hands until the epoxy kicks; it's very hard to keep it in exactly the right spot and install the braces properly before the epoxy kicks. Place wax paper between the brace and the work surface.

After the old skin cures in place, grind the seams and lay in 2 layers of 10 oz. fiberglass tape. Sand, fair, and paint.

Depending on how good you are with fiberglass, it may be easier just to layup a new inner skin. One or two layers of 1708 biax cloth and an outer layer of 8 or 10 oz cloth is more than enough. This is a PIA to do on an overhead surface. Wet out the surface well before applying the cloth and use a lot of resin on your first cloth layer.

Use small pieces of cloth and hold the piece in the center until it will support its own weight. Abut the seams; if you overlap them, you'll have a lot more grinding and fairing to do. Then, on the second layer, make sure the seams don't line up with those from the first layer.

Let the 2 biax layers cure overnight. Sand well and then apply the outer layer of light-weight cloth, the purpose of which is to make finishing easier.

Also, when you're working overhead, strands of cloth will hang down all along your cut edges. You'll be tempted to deal with them while you're working with the wet cloth - just leave them and cut the cured stringy bits off later with a cut off wheel on a dremel or a similar tool.

As an FYI, white vinegar is effective at getting epoxy off your skin and is healthier than acetone. Have some of this on hand. When I recored my foredeck, a large drop of epoxy fell between my tyvek hood and my goggles and landed on my eye. I was in my anchor locker at the time - that really sucked.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/02/08 03:25 PM

Jason - thanks for the comprehensive post and techniques. My thought on re-coring the transom on the inside was that the finished surface wouldn't need the extensive work that would be required on the outside, thus it would reduce labor (and materials). Lumpy edges are ok. I do understand that the access isn't as easy, but I figure by opening the cockpit lockers and removing the Yanmar engine panel, and wooden sides on engine compartment I'd be able to get good enough access to do the work.

Hull painting above the waterline and topsides may not come this year, so it will allow time to defer that expense if the work is done from the inside. I figure any work done below the waterline on the rest of the boat will be done inside where I can, and outside where I can't.

Topside, I don't have a lot of bad areas. I know the area by the anchor locker needs work, the stbd side where the foot rest / original traveler cleat was installed, near the chain plates, and by a few stanchion bases. Since the areas seem to be isolated, and easily sized, I'll see about the inside approach. I may need to reassess this after dealing with the cuts, core layup and refill.

On reusing old skin - would it be worthwhile to use some small screws with holes drilled in the skin to hold it in place? The heads could later be ground off and area faired smooth. Someone also suggested taping plastic around the patch and drawing a vacuum with a pump while the epoxy kicked in on the patch.

On the engine exhaust and cockpit drain through hulls - Did people reuse these, or get new ones to glass in?

Thanks for the vinegar suggestion - the acetone is a ***** to continuously use!
Posted By: Rambunctious

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/02/08 04:03 PM

The vacuum technique works with new layup to draw off excess resin and improve the bond, but I can't see it being effective with an existing skin.

You can use screws rather than braces - in fact, I think that's an excellent idea. However, don't leave them in. Coat them liberally with car wax before screwing them in and remove the screws and fill the holes the following day.

I've also recored from the inside for the reasons you've suggested. It's a fine way to go, just a bit more difficult.
Posted By: Phantom364

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/02/08 04:33 PM

I reused the exhaust tube, in fact it's glassed in and you don't have to remove it, just around it. The thru-hulls I repalced as they were plastic and brittle therefore they broke. Since the transom was isolated area to paint. I chose to do it from the outside, because it was easier to get to. I found that the water on my starboard side went down to the center line. You can't get to it all from the inside. The rot will not be uniform, some places will be completely rotted others just saturated. This creates problems if you are trying to save the old skin. In some places it is wet but still adhered to the skin, which cracks when you remove it. I found it easier to cut out 3x3 sections with a cirlcular saw, the expand the hole until I hit dry core. Some of the core may look dry but if you start chiseling you find that water seeps out.Working from inside the cabin will be difficult. When you are working over head, It's hard to keep the core in place without a lot of bracing and it's harder to get it to adhere evenly. Plus there no way around it it's a messy job, No matter how careful you are resin ends up every where. I plan on working my deck from the topside, but I need to repaint anyway.


Quote
Originally posted by Jason King:
The vacuum technique works with new layup to draw off excess resin and improve the bond, but I can't see it being effective with an existing skin.

You can use screws rather than braces - in fact, I think that's an excellent idea. However, don't leave them in. Coat them liberally with car wax before screwing them in and remove the screws and fill the holes the following day.

I've also recored from the inside for the reasons you've suggested. It's a fine way to go, just a bit more difficult.
Posted By: mango madness

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/02/08 11:22 PM

After the amount of time and mess of re-coring from the top, there is no way in hell I would even consider making these types of repairs from inside or underneath, unless there was no way around it. The level of epoxy that gets everywhere is astounding. I'm very careful and deliberate and I still have epoxy all over the place. Since there is no good way to remove epoxy once its set, I have to sand and repaint all areas that now have yellow epoxy stains. Not to mention the epoxy is relatively clear when its wet. It takes a couple days of curing to find where you dripped it.
Bill, I do not envy your future endeavor.
Posted By: Blue J 503

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/05/08 01:48 AM

I have the same problem with Blue J, #503. When I had her surveyed in the spring, not only did the surveyor find the starboard side of the hull wet, but told me that the starboard backstay chain plate gusset was probably "garden mulch" and absolutely had to be replaced before sailing. Turned out to be wet but not rotten, and was a real PIA to cut out of there, since access from the quarter berth is very limited.
Now the boat's on her cradle and I want to get as much drying done as I can before it gets too cold here on the North Coast. I had in mind a scheme similar to Bill's, but I'm not sure how vacuum bagging would work either from the inside (preferred) or the outside. Can anyone provide a diagram or place to go to learn more?
I've drilled a couple test holes in the outer hull, at the transition point where knocking on the hull goes from a solid to a dull or hollow sound. Longitudinally, the holes are 1-2 feet behind the keel. The balsa that came out with the drill was wet but not rotten at all. I was expecting a stream or trickle of water, but only got a slight weep from one of the holes. I've also drilled some interior holes in the transom and under the aft half of the quarter berth. There may be a little rot in spots in the transom, but the rest appears just wet. There are some small blisters on the hull, even though it was barrier-coated with VC Tar by the previous owner. I suspect some of the moisture is due to osmosis, in addition to the exhaust pipe thing.
I'd like to do most of the work from the inside and was considering drilling multiple holes, using heat and possibly a dehumidifier to dry as much as possible, then filling enlarged holes with thickened West epoxy when it gets warm again in the Spring.
I'd use the bent nail technique to remove any rotted core. I'm also planning to address the exhaust pipe issue, from the inside if possible.
My wife and I are in our 60's, and we use the boat primarily for day sails and cruises on Lake Erie. I also race Wed. nights, primarily JAM, with a crew in their 60's. In other words, we don't push things too hard. Before I bought her in 2005, she had been exclusively and actively raced and well-maintained. I was not present for the purchase survey, and I'm somewhat disappointed that the hull problem was not detected at the time. Too late to worry about that.
I'd appreciate any thoughts and advice and will attempt to document my work as it moves forward. For now, I'm using a 100W trouble light to heat the transom/aft hull area, but I need a way to do some serious drying.
Posted By: Phantom364

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/05/08 02:31 AM

I don't think you can adequately dry the hul with vacum bagging. Even if you could it wouldn't help the core that is rotten and no longer stiff. My boat sails dramatically different now that the core has been repalced.

Quote
Originally posted by Peter E:
I have the same problem with Blue J, #503. When I had her surveyed in the spring, not only did the surveyor find the starboard side of the hull wet, but told me that the starboard backstay chain plate gusset was probably "garden mulch" and absolutely had to be replaced before sailing. Turned out to be wet but not rotten, and was a real PIA to cut out of there, since access from the quarter berth is very limited.
Now the boat's on her cradle and I want to get as much drying done as I can before it gets too cold here on the North Coast. I had in mind a scheme similar to Bill's, but I'm not sure how vacuum bagging would work either from the inside (preferred) or the outside. Can anyone provide a diagram or place to go to learn more?
I've drilled a couple test holes in the outer hull, at the transition point where knocking on the hull goes from a solid to a dull or hollow sound. Longitudinally, the holes are 1-2 feet behind the keel. The balsa that came out with the drill was wet but not rotten at all. I was expecting a stream or trickle of water, but only got a slight weep from one of the holes. I've also drilled some interior holes in the transom and under the aft half of the quarter berth. There may be a little rot in spots in the transom, but the rest appears just wet. There are some small blisters on the hull, even though it was barrier-coated with VC Tar by the previous owner. I suspect some of the moisture is due to osmosis, in addition to the exhaust pipe thing.
I'd like to do most of the work from the inside and was considering drilling multiple holes, using heat and possibly a dehumidifier to dry as much as possible, then filling enlarged holes with thickened West epoxy when it gets warm again in the Spring.
I'd use the bent nail technique to remove any rotted core. I'm also planning to address the exhaust pipe issue, from the inside if possible.
My wife and I are in our 60's, and we use the boat primarily for day sails and cruises on Lake Erie. I also race Wed. nights, primarily JAM, with a crew in their 60's. In other words, we don't push things too hard. Before I bought her in 2005, she had been exclusively and actively raced and well-maintained. I was not present for the purchase survey, and I'm somewhat disappointed that the hull problem was not detected at the time. Too late to worry about that.
I'd appreciate any thoughts and advice and will attempt to document my work as it moves forward. For now, I'm using a 100W trouble light to heat the transom/aft hull area, but I need a way to do some serious drying.
Posted By: HHSA

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/08/08 01:45 PM

Wow what a project. I had some wet core that I was able to dry out. There was no rotting wood or delamination. I cut a small piece of the inner liner out, dried the Balsa and replaced the inner liner. It was of course in the area on the bottom by the exhaust. The repair seems to be holding very well! I don't know if anyone else has had any luck with this kind of thing, but I found that with the help of my yard guy, who is awesome, we were able to avoid recoring in this small area. I know that if the wood is rotted or the hull is delaminated that you have no choice, but perhaps drying might be an alternative for some of your trouble spots. It is amazing what some west systems can do. The hard part was fining the "end" of the wetness and cutting the liner out to allow for the drying process to begin.

HHSA
Velocity Girl #278
Posted By: mango madness

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/08/08 05:27 PM

From my experience with just trying to drill and fill with west system, the attempt yielded poor results. I can see how a vertical transom could be filled with Gitrot or something similar, but relying on thickened epoxy to penetrate a core in an area that is sporadically wet(deck, cabin) is futile. Even when I followed Casey's instructions to the "T", when I decided to rip it all out and re-core the right way I found the injection sites just had a small plug in the area of the dilled and reamed hole. A band-aid fix to a HIV problem at best. Commit, take the time and do it right. If you live close to your boat it isn't all that difficult of an endeavor, just a pain in the arse, sticky, step by step critical process.

[This message has been edited by MangoMadnesss (edited 10-08-2008).]
Posted By: Taras

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/08/08 09:20 PM

I am presently addressing the core problems on my '86 and have cut open the foredeck (from outside) and around the chainplates and replaced the balsa with corecell
I have photos if you want to see

Taras
Hull #532
BreakAway
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/09/08 03:11 PM

These are photos that Taras provided for the topside recore work on hull 532
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Posted By: Blue J 503

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/12/08 01:16 AM

Those are great pics, but how about some captions? What core material did you use? How did you get a good bond at the edges?

Moving right along, I made the first painful cut in Blue J's inner hull, about 6" square, beneath the foward half of the quarterberth. The skin had to be pried off (no delamination), and the balsa was wet but not rotted. Intending to make more such cuts and run a small heater to try to dry things out.

Does anyone have pics of how you cut around the exhaust pipe from the inside? I don't want to remove too much material.
Posted By: Blue J 503

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/14/08 01:21 PM

Made more cuts over the weekend. Transom pretty rotten, as is hull adjacent. Are we sure the exhaust pipe is the main culprit? It's hard to see how water works its way upward through the transom. Also, there is a LOT of water in the starboard hull, considering that the exhaust hole is only under water when on port tack and not moving very fast. I can't find another obvious source other than the chainplate bolt holes, but why would starboard be different from port if that were the case? It's puzzling.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/14/08 01:37 PM

Peter - I think it is past history from all those who have gone before us that confirmed this is the source. The entire stbd side below the waterline is wet. If it were chainplates, you'd see it on port side too.

Rhapsody is being hauled this week. I'll be taking a moisture meter and drawing a moisture map on the hull to compare "before" and "after" drying. Core samples will determine where I cut into the hull for core replacement. Transom for sure. I'll post pics on the progress. Please do the same with your work too. I'm interested in comparing notes. Others like Rattle & Hum, Zephyr V2.0, Mango Madness, BreakAway, etc. have posted some great pictures and blog journals we can refer to.

Taras - on your pics you show the recore with a series of numbers on the core and side like a jigsaw puzzle. Is that where individual pieces were cut to fit, then reassembled with the epoxy?

Bill

[This message has been edited by Rhapsody #348 (edited 10-14-2008).]
Posted By: Taras

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/14/08 10:01 PM

Yes, the numbers are to remember which piece fits where
The balsa was removed for an additional 1" to 1 1/2" under the cut of the fibreglass, so the core replacement (which is "corecell") actually gets inserted and slides under the top layer. So it really is a sequenced jigsaw puzzle to place them in
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/16/08 11:03 AM

Ok - Rhapsody was hauled yesterday. I plan on removing all the deck hardware this weekend and start a moisture meter survey to draw a detailed map on the hull.

I noticed for the 1st time blisters in the stbd aft section - these were NOT there last spring and I'm sure caused due to water from the inside, not the outside since I redid the bottom and put a good barrier coat on two seasons back. Looks like this area will be opened up from the inside and recored.

Dumb question - what do you use to cut the new balsa core to the right shape. Just a plain jigsaw?
Posted By: Rambunctious

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/16/08 01:06 PM

A jigsaw will shred the balsa. It comes on a scrim so you're dealing with individual blocks. A utility knife easily cuts the scrim and it will cut the balsa by just applying some downard pressure. There's no need to saw - the balsa is very workable.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/18/08 12:12 AM

I've followed in the footsteps of Jason, John, Rob and others by starting a Blog to document the recore work. The Blog is available at this link:
http://j30rhapsody348.blogspot.com/

[This message has been edited by Rhapsody #348 (edited 10-18-2008).]
Posted By: mango madness

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/20/08 08:14 PM

Alright another blog!
Posted By: Russ Atkinson

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/21/08 12:41 PM

Bill,
I was looking at the pictures on your blog; the ones of the blisters in your hull. I have had blisters on the port side of wildcat for several years. I drilled out the blisteres to drain them. And then, using a dremmel with a bone drill, drilled thru the fiber glass into the core. There was no water in the core. My point is that before you start cutting into the core from inside, you may want to see if there is water in the core at few of the blisters.
Posted By: rattleandhum

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/21/08 12:53 PM

Hey Bill,

Just took a look at your blog. That is a lot of marker on your boat. Do you plan on completing all the work before spring next year?

Jason
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/21/08 12:55 PM

Russ - I did drill a couple of pilot holes into the core where the blisters were. I was expecting to get brown mush, instead I found firm yellow, but wet core. The moisture meter is pegged high in this area (as it is on almost the entire stbd side below the waterline).

This weekend I'll be going over the boat with a friend who makes heaters for drying out core and before I make any cuts, will wait to see what he suggests for areas like that. In any case, the transom is delaminated with a hollow sound, so it will get cut open for repairs no matter what.

Jason - I want to splash next spring and if I delay a month (go in late May instead of the normal late April), I'll do that.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Rhapsody #348 (edited 10-21-2008).]
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 11/01/08 09:27 PM

I've update my Blog with the latest progress. Grinding out the transom from the inside is taking longer than expected.

Question - The transom chainplates and rudder are strengthened with 1/2" plywood glassed over the balsa. When others did a transom rebuild, what did you use to replace the plywood? I was thinking it may be better to glass in a piece of similar sized G10 both for strength and guaranteed no moisture absorption.

Blog link: http://j30rhapsody348.blogspot.com/
Posted By: Blue J 503

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 11/04/08 05:40 PM

I replaced the starboard chainplate doubler with 3/4" cabinet-grade ply, glassed over it. Although I'm finding a good bit of my transom to be rotted, the area around the chainplate was OK when I did the repair last Spring.
It's been about 3 weeks since I cut several openings in the inner hull in the transom and forward to the front end of the quarterberth. Using a small heater, the core seems to be drying out quite well. The balsa was absolutely saturated when I first opened up.
This past weekend, I drilled into some blisters located under the cooler - the balsa is yellow but wet, as you described.
Still trying to find a warehouse to move into for more thorough drying.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 11/04/08 11:19 PM

Peter - thanks for the info. I showed the buildup on the chainplate and behind the rudder gudgeons to a friend of mine who used to build boats. He was amazed that the boat was built with plywood over balsa core for areas that have through bolts. The reason is the balsa core does not offer strength against compression when the bolts are tightened. He recommended that for the areas where strength are needed, glass in some flat fiberglass sheet and build it up with biaxial cloth & resin so it is the same thickness as the balsa around it. Here is the material he recommends for the fiberglass plate: http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMAKA=63414585

This is the recommendation he made:
Make up the difference with wet laminate - 3 layers beneath the Fiberglass block plus 3 on top for strength. These layers will be just extra reinforcement on top of the 2 layers across the transom prior to balsa and the blocks plus the 2 layers over the top of the balsa and blocks. Hope this makes sense but this approach will be the simplest and will be stronger by far than what was there.

Note that he recommended that I add a couple of layers of 17 oz biaxial mat/cloth over the inside of the exterior skin since it is so thin.

I'm still in the grind out the old stuff phase :-(
Posted By: Blue J 503

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 11/26/08 04:05 PM

Brief progress report. Together with Breezin' (#454), Blue J has been moved to a warehouse where we can work on them. We were supposed to have heat, but that is another issue.
I've cut more inner hull and exposed more wet balsa. A larger cut inside the transom exposed some more rot and just wet balsa. I'm surprised that the balsa at the top of the transom was very wet -- I still think there must be other sources of water which must be sealed or this effort will be all for nought. I also removed the propane locker drain from the transom -- rotted all around, so there's another source, anyway. Note -- the outer skin appears to be thicker than the inner.
We were attempting to map the hulls with a moisture meter, and just for "calibration", put the meter next to the drain hole -- it showed green (OK). It also showed green in areas where I got very wet core samples, and red on Breezin' in a couple areas near the centerline which are solid glass. We concluded that core samples are the only reliable indicator.
Continuing to try to dry things out with a small cabin heater and trouble light, stategically placed. Using a probe-type moisture meter, the areas I exposed last month are completely dry, and those opened last weekend still show some moisture.
Looks like drying will take a long time.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 11/26/08 11:33 PM

Peter - I found the moisture meter readings to be very reliable on locating the "boundaries" of moisture. The one I'm using is a JRC with traditional analog meter that I borrowed from a friend who is a Marine Surveyor. Like you I found the only good way to see if the balsa is rotted is core samples.

I also found rotted core at the top of the transom on stbd side. My plan is to inject the upper inch or so with thickened epoxy to isolate the new balsa I'm bonding in. The seem between the transom and rest of the boat will also be setup so the balsa is isolated on both sides.

It's interesting that your outer skin was thicker. Mine was like paper, so before bonding new core I've bonded two layers of 17oz biaxial fabric to strengthen the outer skin. Take pictures - you can see some on my blog at this link: http://j30rhapsody348.blogspot.com/ although I haven't done any work in a couple of weeks. I wish I had the inside work area you had! Mine is being done outside and I will tape fiberglass insulation to a section on the outside, then heat from the inside before doing any bonding work.

On a different note, I just got my rebuilt prop back from Martec. They rewelded the stops, overdrilled the pivot pin hole, machined new edges and polished it like a mirror.
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Posted By: David Erwin

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 12/10/08 02:19 PM

Bill, thanks for sharing this information. What a project! Good luck and keep us posted.
Posted By: mango madness

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 12/16/08 01:19 AM

That prop looks friggin sweet. On a side note, I still have water seeping from the cracks in the doghouse seam that I have mentioned before. When I probed it looked like glass/no balsa however, I have dark water seeping from it. Does anyone know if the vertical doghouse striped portion of the cabintop is cored?
Posted By: the redhead

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 12/16/08 07:48 AM

I have seepage too comes through at the "eyebrow" inside. J30s have just enough wood to piss you off. I think the cabintop is too thin to be cored...seems to be just glass
Posted By: Rambunctious

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 12/16/08 12:31 PM

I thought it was too thin for core also, but I installed some cam cleats on the cabin sides (the area that's striped on some boats) this October and, yup, it's cored.
Posted By: Blue J 503

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 02/03/09 04:29 PM

Brief update on my progress with Blue J. I've removed all the transom thru-hulls and the rudder and gudgeons. Not only is there exposed core at every hole, but none of the fittings or bolts were even bedded.
Yesterday, I cut the propane locker out - that will give me much better access to the starboard transom to replace basically all the core. I'm using a small cabin heater and a trouble light to heat and dry exposed core inside. I expect to start re-coring, etc. in March, when the weather should start to warm up.

Peter
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 03/08/09 11:19 PM

Well finally the weather supports some outside work. It was 60 degrees today so I did some core bonding on the transom. Read all about it and see the pictures on today's Blog Entry.

Bummer - it's supposed to snow tomorrow frown

I just wanted add, similar to what Peter found on Blue J, Rhapsody had wet core near the top of the transom, and stbd side top adjacent to the transom. I'm filling the upper void with Core Bond which is a vinyl ester resin. This will isolate any balsa core from the top area if a moisture source is from the top section(e.g. the hull/deck seam or toe rail).
Posted By: Cap'n Vic

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 03/09/09 05:00 PM

You can't believe how much it would have cost to have a yard do this stuff ... but then you probably know. It is hard to believe that J30s now are nearly MORE trouble than owning an all wood boat.

I've got about $10K of work done on Vee Jay over the last 15 years ... nevermind one summer a couple of years ago that screwed up June and July and part of Aug.

keep at it ... at some point there will be nothing left to do.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - March 14/15 - 03/16/09 03:07 PM

Another nice weekend to get some work done on Rhapsody. I feel that progress is being made, despite the fact I'm still cutting out other areas to core along the stbd side. Look here for the latest Blog Entry for 14/15 March.

I made a command decision this weekend. Other than isolating some deck through holes, no core work on the deck this off-season. I want to get the boat back together to enjoy some sailing. As it stands now, I'm iffy to make the target launch date by the end of April. The core work is limited for now to the transom and stbd side I can do from inside the boat. The keel sump will happen at a later time too. I have my Rhapsody work list, and will just add it with the other stuff I need to do.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - March 14/15 - 03/25/09 05:51 PM

Ok - The transom inside glassing is almost done based on work 21/22 March. Check out the latest blog post

[Linked Image]

Posted By: Phantom364

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - March 14/15 - 03/26/09 01:12 AM

Bill
What was your rationale for adding 2 layers of cloth to the outer hull before adding core and and inner skin.
john
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - March 14/15 - 03/26/09 01:20 AM

John,

The outer skin was paper thin. It's just an insurance policy for additional strength. I know it adds a little weight, but in the scheme of things is negligible. I figure the moisture I removed equals the weight I added with the extra glass layers.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - April Work - 05/04/09 01:08 AM

I lost my camera for a while and just found it. The April work is now documented on the blog: Rhapsody recore blog - April post
Good news - Rhapsody was launched on Friday 1 May and I sailed from Fall River to Newport today 3 May (in the rain). Still lots of topside cleanup work to be done. I'll post more pictures on the blog once the weather clears up.

Here's a picture of the transom exterior before gelcoat was sprayed.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: mango madness

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 08/19/09 01:53 AM

I think I figured it out. After reading a blog comment posted by Bill, I realized I epoxied the chainplate to the deck when I redid my deck. I also have the rig as tight as possible(45/46). I'm wondering why my cabinside doghouse has fine cracks along the fiberglass near the chain plate area on both sides. The stress from the rig is pulling the deck up. Looks like I have an excuse to buy the Fein Multimaster now. That would be the perfect attachment and tool for cutting close to the chainplate and bedding it like a normal boat owner. I'm then going to actually layup a 6" wide layer or two of glass tape at the seam where the cabin sides meet the deck. I'll run it the entire length to try and reinforce the area. Then paint it gray again. Thanks Bill. Even though you were unaware that you helped.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 08/19/09 02:21 AM

Rob - glad I could help without even trying. The chain plates definitely need to float from the deck. Isolate the area and leave a small void you can fill with caulk around the perimeter of the chain plates. I still need to do this and it is on my list for the next off season, or maybe the year after.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work.... - 01/04/10 01:09 AM

It has been a while since I posted on my blog and done some work. Today I started work on my rudder and transmission. You can read about it in the Latest Blog Entry. Here are a couple of teaser photos.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: R II

Re: Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work.... - 01/04/10 04:57 AM

Where can one find the stainless sleeves for isolating the rudder core? 3/8" ID. I am in the process of drying, barrier coating and sleeving the mounting holes on Rauzer II.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work.... - 01/04/10 12:09 PM

The sleeves I used were supplied with the rudder from IdaSailor, on the class web site. You could probably get a piece of SS pipe and use a tubing cutter.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Clutch - 01/09/10 03:59 AM

I disassembled the shaft holding the conical clutch assembly and posted some information on my blog. Here's a picture of the seating surface that the conical clutch mates with.
[Linked Image]
The right one has not been worked on yet, so you can see the glazed surface that causes the clutch to slip. I already used emery cloth on the left one.

The cone clutch surface is shown below, along with all the other pieces that make up the assembly.
[Linked Image]
Read more on the Blog Post
Posted By: R II

Re: Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Clutch - 01/10/10 06:54 AM

Originally Posted by Rhapsody #348
The right one has not been worked on yet, so you can see the glazed surface that causes the clutch to slip.


I will be interested to hear if just resurfacing those surfaces solves the slipping clutch problem. On Rauzer II the cone had to be replaced as the surface on the 'forward' side was worn. It was barely noticeable to the naked eye, but once replaced, it engaged as it should. A friend had the same problem and simply flipped the cone so the less used side, previously used for 'reverse' was then used for 'forward'. He may still have had some slippage in reverse, but I don't know. If I was going to all of the trouble of taking the thing apart because the clutch was slipping, I would replace the cone. In a car you don't just resurface the flywheel. You put in a new clutch plate as well. jmho fwiw
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Clutch - 01/10/10 02:20 PM

Al - Thanks for the comments. I thought about replacing the drive cone and have read on various other forums with people who had success by just removing the glazed surface. My take is that the clearances would only change if the cone was worn, and if that happened, there would be metal bits in the the oil. Since the oil was the original honey color and I didn't see any particulates, the drive cone should be good. I'm also lightly lapping the cone surface to remove any glaze on it. Regarding automobile clutches - these are a different animal as the clutch plate has pads that actually do wear and you see dust collected inside the bell housing.

As it stands, I'm only out my labor and a tube of gasket sealer for the transmission case to bell housing joint. The problem I had was the engine would not easily engage in forward gear when warmed up. I had to run the engine through various RPMs before the clutch would engage. It would engage just fine when the engine was cold. This will either fix it, or I'll be in the same state I was before the rebuild. Besides, it gives me boat work to do in the basement when it's 20 degrees outside.

If this doesn't fix it, I'll take it apart next winter and put in a new drive cone. With the parts in hand, the entire rebuild in my basement would take less than 3 hours now that I know how it is assembled and adjusted.
Posted By: R II

Re: Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Clutch - 01/11/10 12:11 AM

Bill - I would still flip the cone so the more worn side engages the reverse gear. imho
Posted By: Cap'n Vic

Re: Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Clutch - 01/11/10 01:04 AM

I donna know. The way Bill likes to buzz into that slip with a decent prevailing wind coming up the E. passage at his back ... better it should slip in forward than reverse.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Clutch Complete! - 01/15/10 04:03 PM

I finished reassembling the transmission this week. Latest posting is on the Rhapsody Blog

Here are some teaser pictures - go to the blog for full size picture links and the story.

Torquing the lock nut
[Linked Image]

Transmission Reassembled & Painted
[Linked Image]

I'll report how this works when the boat is launched this spring.
Posted By: R II

Re: Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work.... - 02/03/10 06:22 PM

Originally Posted by alcal1750
Where can one find the stainless sleeves for isolating the rudder core? 3/8" ID. I am in the process of drying, barrier coating and sleeving the mounting holes on Rauzer II.


For future reference I found some fiberglass tubing at Tap Plastics.
.524"OD x .417"ID Drilled out 2 of the lower and 1 upper to 3/4", put a little thickened epoxy on one end and bolted the brackets into place. This held the tubes in the proper position while the epoxy set up. Then removed the brackets, turned the rudder over and filled the rest of the void between the 3/4" hole and the tube with unmodified epoxy. Once that was set up I drilled out the rest of the holes and repeated the above process. Then faired out all of the holes with thickened epoxy.
This turned out to be a good solution for me as I was very concerned about just filling the holes with epoxy and redrilling and keeping the brackets in their proper position.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

More Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Other projects - 04/08/10 01:48 AM

I posted more information on my blog about other projects including new hatch boards, repainting the boom, and drying out the "hidden bilge". Here is a link to the post.

and of course a teaser photo of the boom sanded.
[Linked Image]


Attached File
a-boom-sanded1.jpg  (2244 downloads)
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Disaster waiting to happen - 04/12/10 01:20 AM

I wanted to give a heads up so people can check their boom and boom bail. Over the years, the force on the bail for the main sheet has elongated the hole in the boom, effectively causing the bolt to be lower in the boom. This has the undesired effect of interfering with the wire on the outhaul. On Rhapsody, I found the boom bail bolt was sawed about 1/4 way through from the interference.

Check out the picture below. I've ordered the Boom Bail Bearing Plate for 3/8" Bolt: K-2172RP from Rig-Rite to prevent the hole from elongating further. I'll also get a new boom bail bolt and put a stainless sleeve over it to act like a pulley if the outhaul rubs against it.

[Linked Image]

Attached File
Boom-Bail-Hole-Bolt.jpg  (3117 downloads)
Posted By: dbows

Re: Disaster waiting to happen - 04/12/10 02:29 AM

Good time to change the outhaul to spectra (-:
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Disaster waiting to happen - 04/12/10 10:04 PM

I received the Boom Bail Bearing Plates and installed them, also using a SS sleeve to prevent the wire sawing through the bolt. Below is the "sandwich" made, and the finished product.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Just a picture from the Rig-Rite page below to show how to properly reassemble the reef line and the cams - I had it reversed at first and couldn't figure out why. The cam is on the aft bolt, not the forward one - duh!

[Linked Image]


Description: Sleeve used to prevent sawing through boom bail bolt
Attached File
IMG_1172.jpg  (2381 downloads)

Description: Finished boom bail with plates
Attached File
IMG_1173.jpg  (2304 downloads)
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody 2009-2010 Winter Work....Clutch Works Great - 05/02/10 11:53 AM

Just a follow-up on my previous posting about the Rhapsody clutch rebuild. Rhapsody was launched Friday and went on sea trials on Sat 1 May. The transmission works great. There is a solid "clunk" when shifting into forward or reverse signifying the clutch is engaged. No chatter at all.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Deck Recore - 11/19/11 11:56 PM

It's been a while since I added anything to my maintenance blog. I just fixed that since today I cut into the deck and started recore work.

Below is a teaser photo - read the blog entry at this link.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Deck Recore - 11/21/11 12:43 AM

Day 2 of the cockpit recore. Finished the rough work and ready for fairing / gelcoat in the spring.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

More info on the latest blog post.
Posted By: David Erwin

Re: Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Deck Recore - 11/21/11 05:39 PM

Bill, what was the source of the water? It looks like it came in from the main sheet track fasteners?
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Deck Recore - 11/21/11 05:52 PM

Dave - the dark area shown on top of the deck in the photo above is where the teak toe rail was through bolted to the deck, inside forward edge of the cockpit. The aft bolt was the water source - very obvious to see when you look at the hole in the deck, and the position of wet core under it.

If you go to the blog, you can expand the photos by clicking on them to really see what is happening.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Windward Sheeting - 12/01/11 02:27 AM

I decided to upgrade to a windward sheeting car this winter. Check out the latest on the Rhapsody Blog.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Taras

Re: Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Windward Sheeting - 12/01/11 11:11 PM

Hi Bill,
Maybe you can help me source something. I have been looking and looking for the longs threaded bolts that are running through the wood handrails. I had one shear off and have yet to find a replacement / looked all summer

Thanks

Taras
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Windward Sheeting - 12/01/11 11:23 PM

I also need to pick some up for a replacement since one is broken. I plan on using threaded stainless rod. I think it is size #10 with 24 threads per inch but need to verify. Try Jamestown Distributors at this link.
Posted By: Cap'n Vic

Wooden Hand Rail Replacement bolts pins - 12/02/11 01:09 AM

I don't think replacing them with same size threaded rod is the best plan ... I think dumping the wooden rails is the best plan.
Or as a compromise see if you can go up a size without compromising an old piece of wood.

I have done two boats with SS rails and feel way safer than relying on these rinky dink long bolts from 30 years ago ... if one broke ... i am pretty sure the rest are showing signs of pitting as the photo indicates.

for some reason I kept the four best ones removed from 505 four years ago ... they all are pitted. I didn't have a problem with the wood rails until I ended up with a 225+ plus crewman when he was trying to put a reef in off shore. and then subsequently the pins started to break on 526.

[Linked Image]


Description: hand rail bolt pitting prior to failure
Attached File
J30 handrail pins.jpg  (1584 downloads)
Posted By: Conundrum

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 12/02/11 02:09 AM

Taras, I have (8) eight of them, they are 5.5 in x .160 in Flathead slotted SS. I saved them when I rehabbed my deck on Conundrum. I changed to Stainless steel handrails with welded 1/4 x 20 studs. 24 in long, from West Marine. Not shown in catalog but available as a special order, Rail-O-24-M Oval rail, male, $29. This one has solid flared bases. supplier is (www.Div-n-Dog.com ). I feel they are far superior.
The 8 bolts are yours if you want them. You probably want 10. They are not all perfectly straight, but free to a good home. See pic. The goo is just 4200 sealant, they'll clean up.

[Linked Image]



let me know at ddking3070@sbcglobal.net

Attached File
CIMG5170.JPG  (1494 downloads)
Posted By: Cap'n Vic

Re: Wooden Hand Rail Replacement bolts pins - 12/02/11 12:19 PM

Duh ... the ones I have are 4.75 end to end?

perhaps they have used different height rails during production runs?

[also replaced rails with WM 2fts]

Posted By: Russ Atkinson

Re: Wooden Hand Rail Replacement bolts pins - 12/02/11 05:40 PM

It appears that there is plenty of thread. Seems that a Sawsall and a vice would make easy work of having 5.5" screws = 4.75" Or... Hacksaw and some elbow grease
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

New Teak - Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Deck Recore - 03/06/12 12:16 AM

Thanks to Charlie Stoddard, Rhapsody has a new set of teak handrails and cockpit toerails. A little swap we made for carpentry vs system integration services. I've sanded the custom made teak pieces that have already been trial fit to the boat. The picture shows the rails with 11 coats of Epifanes Wood Finish Gloss. Much easier to do this in my basement than on the boat.

[Linked Image]

Attached File
New-Teak-Handrails.jpg  (1913 downloads)
Posted By: Groovin

Re: New Teak - Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Deck Recore - 03/06/12 01:36 AM

Always nice to have fresh wood Bill. One of these days!
Posted By: whitedolphin

Re: New Teak - Rhapsody 2011-2012 Winter Work - Deck Recore - 03/06/12 01:50 AM

I know that trick well Bill - my company makes industrial touchscreens which our fabricator can of course use, except in my case its custom stainless work...
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 03/07/12 02:43 PM

Bill
we had similar issues on St Elmo's Fire. Port chainplate, forward vent area and cabintop
for the chainplate we removed the head, cut the interior plastic, removed the old wet core, throughly dried the area, then put epoxy encapsolated wood covered with mat for the interior and thickened epoxy to fill space and bond to the hull and bulkhead. replaced the interior plastic. result seems to be if anything stronger than original. used West System as familiar with their product. key seems to be drying area and bonding repair to existing structure. cabin top and vent area was done the same with good results
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Traveler, Handrails and Core Isolation - 03/29/12 03:21 AM

Added some more to my blog on work in progress for the traveler, handrails and epoxy isolating some areas.

Here is a teaser photo..

[Linked Image]

Catch up with the blog post at this link

I'll need to follow up next off season similar to Charlie's post about the wet bulkhead.
Posted By: Cap'n Vic

Re: Traveler, Handrails and Core Isolation - 04/04/12 12:55 AM

Bill -- if you are going to need any advice, Taylor, shown here cutting a new teak beam for a J24 traveller, will be in Newport AC week.

Just turned 14, and working in his gramp's shop. Scheduled to install latter this week.
I continue to be amazed at what kids can do today. [photo by his grandma]

[Linked Image]


Description: cutting teak beam
Attached File
e4.2.2012_3.jpg  (1594 downloads)
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Spring 2012 Launch Preps - 04/16/12 08:48 PM

I've updated my blog in this post describing the 2012 spring launch preps. Finally pictures of the completed stbd deck recore, new traveler installation, installing Spartite at the mast partners, teak finish, and general elbow grease results. I'm waiting for a call from the yard telling me Rhapsody is in the sling so I can paint the keel bottom tonight, and wet sand tomorrow before splashing!

Of course - some teaser photos with more on the blog that can be seen in full resolution...

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Groovin

Re: Spring 2012 Launch Preps - 04/16/12 10:07 PM

Thanks Bill I love reading your blogs as it gives me lots to think about but try to find the time. Cut into the starboard hull on the weekend and covered with plastic. Will core when I get back from Costa Rica.
Posted By: Cap'n Vic

Re: Spring 2012 Launch Preps - 04/16/12 10:12 PM

Bill ... your use of masking tape to seal the mast is a great idea.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Fall 2012: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 10/30/12 01:12 AM

Well it's that time of the year again to start more off season maintenance projects. I decided to fix the wet core below the port primary winch - and start it two days before hurricane Sandy.

Here is a teaser photo:
[Linked Image]

Here is the latest Blog post link
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Fall 2012: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 11/16/12 02:14 PM

Another Rhapsody Blog update. More on the port primary winch area recore, started on port bulkhead repair, and some electrical work.

Here are teaser photos.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Go to the Blog for details.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Chainplates are fixed! - 12/15/12 09:59 PM

This weekend I completed installing the new chainplates to compensate for the port bulkhead that was wet near the top, but now filled with thickened epoxy.

Below is a teaser photo. Please see my blog post to read the details.

[Linked Image]
Original (shorter) - New Starboard (longer)- New Port (longer & Wider)
Posted By: Kinesis497

Re: Fall 2012: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 02/01/13 02:09 PM

Bill, I'm going to be cutting away part of the foredeck on Kinesis, back a couple of feet from the bow around the cleat. Regarding your primary winch deck recore, why did you make a second cut in the skin and have that strip along the edge? How close should I go to the toe rail before I get into the hull and deck seam? I read your blog, but couldn't quite visualize how the boat is constructed close to the toe rail. Your blog and photos are a great help. Thank you. Sam
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Fall 2012: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 02/01/13 02:51 PM

Sam,

The reason I made the 2nd cut is the 1st cut was too close to the edge. There is actually an angled lip molded around the seam of the boat. You can see it from underneath. I stupidly cut into that lip when I should have just measured and cut about an inch further inward. The core edge by this lip is actually angled about 45 degrees, rather than the outer core edge by the lip being vertical.

So - look underneath to see the edge by the seam and measure the width of the lip, then mark topside and cut there. You can easily dig out the core if you have a little overhang of the skin over the lip.
Posted By: Kinesis497

Re: Fall 2012: Rhapsody Transom Re-core and Other Areas Too - 02/01/13 10:37 PM

Great. Thanks.
Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Rhapsody Re-core Near Keel - 04/14/14 12:57 AM

I haven't updated my blog, but did do some work to reglass and recore near the aft end of the keel. Last summer after the NAs, one of the co-owners hit the ledge off Barrington YC dock. Below is a sequence of pictures showing the damage, temporary repair last summer, and final fix including repairing a much older problem due to a grounding that must have happened earlier in the boat's life.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]
Posted By: JBiermann

Re: Rhapsody Re-core Near Keel - 05/04/14 10:13 PM

hey bill,

how far back from the keel does the coring start. I've cut a 3 x 8 rectangle from my hull about 4 inches back from the keel, pure fiberglass. How far back to hit the core?

thanks!

Posted By: Rhapsody #348

Re: Rhapsody Re-core Near Keel - 05/04/14 11:24 PM

Josh,

The center of the boat is all glass. That is where the two hull halves were molded and joined together. It is about 6" wide. You need to go outboard to hit balsa core.
Posted By: JBiermann

Re: Rhapsody Re-core Near Keel - 05/04/14 11:46 PM

that makes sense, your pictures make a lot more sense in light of that
Posted By: Cap'n Vic

Re: Rhapsody Re-core Near Keel - 05/05/14 12:41 AM

Wait ... that makes two J/30s zonked at that surprise rock off the Barrington YC Fuel Dock? within 10 days?

[Bill, I wondered what you were doing now that you thought you would be retired.]

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