Tuesday, January 6, 2009

If You Were Cut Off Where You Are Cracked........

You would be short.......That is the problem. The NIFA (The Nordic International Folkboat Association) Rules have a minimum heigth requirment on the cockpit combing. I can't just cut it off where it happens to be cracked. Replacing the combing would be time consuming and extremely expensive. It is a solid piece of mahogany from the front of the cabin top all the way to the back end of the cockpit. Repairing it the same way that it was done the first time would work, however it is not something that I want to do every few years. All these thoughts running circles in our heads, we called our friend and true woods craftsman; Soren Hansen for his input.

Soren came out to the Hayward boatyard and took a look. I could see that he was contemplating the same thoughts that we were. In the end he came up with a pretty good solution to the problem. We decided to strengthen the cockpit combing and re-laminate a new piece of mahogany on that side of the combing. It really is the same concept as plywood. A single piece of wood is only so strong. You laminate a couple thinner pieces together, and the wood becomes much stronger. We first had to strip entire combing of all fittings and varnish. Then soren came in and drilled 1/4" holes, about 1/2" deep down the entire length of the crack. This gave him good access to inject epoxy into the crack, sealing it completely from the elements. With that done, Soren then routed out a 2" wide strip approximately 1/4" deep; vertically down the inside of the combing. This would allow him to glue in a strip of marine plywood for stregnth.
It turned out so good that we decided to go ahead and have him do the other side as well.

Soren allowed the epoxy to cure overnight and the next morning removed all the clamps and forms. A quick sand and the combing was ready for its' new laminate. Lets' be realistic, we couldn't have had two different wood grains in the cockpit.......A day later and Soren was done. (With the combing) Doesn't look to bad. Now I hope that we don't destroy it with all that stain and varnish stuff.

One problem solved, at least for the time being.

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