Friday, May 11, 2012

Hasp, Staple and Lock.

There has been rather too much going on for me to find time for working on ‘Sandpiper’.  I had hoped to have her in the water by now. Additionally, the weather has been far too wet and cold for doing external jobs on the boat. However, today I managed to fit a hasp and staple for locking the cabin. A thief would not have difficulty in breaking in, but the lock will be a deterrent to an opportunist thief. A really effective locking system would challenge a determined thief, and it would result in major damage being done to the boat; therefore I am not in favour of Fort Knox locking systems - Besides, I shall seldom have valuable items aboard when I am cruising. The most valuable object will be the outboard motor, but I shall lock it to the transom.

Resin Cheeks, moulded and being moulded.

Perhaps the most important thing that I have to do is improve the support system for the centreplate. I discovered that the plate was feebly held by a bolt passing through it and the centreplate box, but over time the holes for the bolt have become worn and misshapen, which inevitably must let water enter the cabin. Therefore I must strengthen the sides of the box and make perfect seals for keeping the water out. The idea I have come up with is to mould and attach resin cheeks, one each side of the box.  I shall have to drill holes through them for the bolt. The only way I can do this is to drill the holes before attaching the cheeks to the centreplate box. There isn’t room for a drill between the sides of the bunks and the sides of the box. The difficult part of the operation will be lining up the holes so that the bolt will perfectly pass through them.

The plan is to thoroughly grease the bolt and nut and a couple of washers to prevent resin sticking to them.  Then I shall apply resin to the inner sides of the cheeks and to the outer sides of the centreboard case where the cheeks will be retained by the bolt and nut. When the resin has hardened, I should be able to remove the bolt. I shall then fillet the circumferences of the cheeks with resin putty before overlaying them with woven roving saturated in epoxy resin. Finally, to obtain a perfect fit when the bolt and nut are tightened, I shall apply flexible filler to the external washers, bolt head and nut before tightening them.

That is my plan, but whether it will work in practice, I’ll have to wait and see.

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