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Thread: Storm damage

  1. #1
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    Default Storm damage

    The week before my boat was scheduled to be hauled out, there was a storm... which resulted in sustained 70 knot winds at my marina. According to the marina manager, 2 boats sank in their slips, 3 others were blown out of their slips and ended up on the beach, and a total of 52 boats were damaged....

    ...and one of them was mine.

    The day before the storm, I went down to the marina and made the usual storm preparations. The sails and canvas were already off; I doubled up every line, and the bow and stern were doubled with my 'storm lines'.... 3/4" nylon, way bigger than I ever thought necessary. Extra fenders were put on, although my slip is positions such that the usual easterly storm winds push the boat off the finger, not into it.

    I heard nothing from the marina, the day after the storm, so I had no reason to think that anything bad had happened to my boat. As it turned out, they had an invalid email address on file, which is why I didn't hear from them.

    The following week, I went down there, as I usually do, to check where the boat was put, on the hard, and to go aboard and turn off the battery switches (left on for the sake of the bilge pump). At first glance, the boat looked fine... but then, a more careful examination showed the damage.

    The first thing saw was the cross-brace between my davits, which was twisted up like a pretzel... and then, my stern barbecue, which was completely gone, ripped right off the stern rail. The next thing: deep gouges, through the gelcoat, and into the laminate, at the starboard stern. Finally, I could see that the starboard stern pulpit was bent.

    I learned, from a friend, what happened: my boat literally pulled the cleats right out of the dock... and the stern ended up banging against a piling between my slip and the next. Luckily, for my slip neighbor, his boat had already been hauled, or else he would have had significant damage, as well.

    I took this photo yesterday... you can see that the starboard pulpit is significantly bent... the vertical on the right side of the stern passageway should be straight, not curved.



    As things stand, the yard is going to be backed up with repair orders for a significant period of time; the marina manager advised me to not wait for my turn, but to simply launch in the spring, and when they get to me, they'l haul and do the repairs to the gelcoat quickly.

    The stern rail is a different story. My yard doesn't really have guys who do stainless fabrication/repair. I contacted a Jeanneau dealer, and have inquired about the price of a replacement rail (my guess... it could cost $2K or more)... but he looked at the photo, and suggested that it might be able to be straightened; his yard has guys who can do this kind of work.

    Whether I replace the rail, or have it straightened, the BIG problem is removing the rail. This Jeanneau model, unfortunately, provides pitifully limited access to the underside of the deck, on the starboard stern. I may have to cut access holes to reach the fasteners... or possibly, I could remove the insert mold for the lpg locker (just behind that rail), which might let me reach the fastener for the stern rail which is just beside the passageway. No matter what, it's going to be difficult.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  2. #2
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Have you got something (in writing or email) that indicated that the dock cleats failed? I'd think that would be important.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    That sucks Norm.
    Tom

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    Default Re: Storm damage

    I friend of mine was t-boned during practice race. The pulpit was shifted to port. He had a local metal shop fix it. Maybe show that picture around. The key is to make sure the mounting flanges match up after the fix. I think he had new flanges put on and redrilled the holes so this wasn’t an issue.

    Yes, access will be a pain. Perhaps Mirrors and ratchet extensions and a ferret or two.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    I'd look at using a strong back and jacking mechanism to straighten it in situ, if there is no serious crippling at the mounting flanges and that is the only bend.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Norman, just my 2 cents (as a non-boat-owner) - perhaps you could get an opinion from Forum member 'Pipefitter' for a recommendation on how best to proceed with this repair [standard disclaimer - no involvement]


    Rick

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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Looking at it again, I wonder if they make sleeves so the old pushpit could be cut off and a repaired then mounted back on the flanges of the old.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Have you got something (in writing or email) that indicated that the dock cleats failed? I'd think that would be important.
    I don't see how. My slip contract includes a waiver of liability for storm damage.

    My insurance has a $3600 deductible... but I'm guessing that the total cost of a professional repair to the boat wouldn't be all that much more than that, depending on the cost of a replacement rail section. It's not the money, that's the issue, at this point... it's the delay, since there's a VERY long list of boats needing repair.

    If I was able to remove the rail section (and that's a bit doubtful), it could be easier. I can live with the gelcoat damage until the yard is able to get to my boat, which might be mid-season. From what I can see of the rest of the boat, there's no other functional damage, at all.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  9. #9
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by CK 17 View Post
    Looking at it again, I wonder if they make sleeves so the old pushpit could be cut off and a repaired then mounted back on the flanges of the old.
    I thought of that... but the force bent the rail right down to the three mounting points. If those were straight, your idea would probably work OK, although it wouldn't be pretty.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  10. #10
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Hard to believe the pulpit is that hard to get off. It was put on at one time. Janeau molds a solid section in the deck under the factory fittings, and as a high-volume production boat it would seem likely they have a system for installing and removing relatively easily.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I don't see how. My slip contract includes a waiver of liability for storm damage.

    My insurance has a $3600 deductible... but I'm guessing that the total cost of a professional repair to the boat wouldn't be all that much more than that, depending on the cost of a replacement rail section. It's not the money, that's the issue, at this point... it's the delay, since there's a VERY long list of boats needing repair.

    If I was able to remove the rail section (and that's a bit doubtful), it could be easier. I can live with the gelcoat damage until the yard is able to get to my boat, which might be mid-season. From what I can see of the rest of the boat, there's no other functional damage, at all.
    Sometimes waivers are considered void in the event of negligence on the part of one party. Just sayin'.

    If your yard is being fair, I'd assume they'd give a good cost on the repair.

    Doesn't sound like a huge financial issue, More of a PITA schedule wise and technically in terms of rail removal.

    I'm sure that the rail section below deck is still mostly straight. If you're going to replace it, it may be that the bend angles above the deck are preventing what is still straight below the deck from being removed - one end wedging the other in place as it were. If they're separated from one another it may be easier to remove.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Hard to believe the pulpit is that hard to get off. It was put on at one time. Janeau molds a solid section in the deck under the factory fittings, and as a high-volume production boat it would seem likely they have a system for installing and removing relatively easily.
    I'm not so sure.

    The best possibility would probably be removing the LPG locker mold. It's under a seat just forward of the rail. If that mold were removed, I could probably reach the two rear mounting points. The third one, I think, can be reached from inside a seat locker. I have no idea what sort of fasteners are used... these mounting points are not like the stanchions, which use four bolts.. I'm hoping it's just a nut and washer.

    Removing the LPG mold won't be easy, though... I don't recall if the screws that secure it are accessible from the top. Then, there's the gas line to deal with.

    If we get a warm day, I might go down to the boat and take a better look, and see if I can remove the LPG locker. ?Life would be so much easier, if I can remove the rail... then, I could bring it to a shop in Portsmouth where they can do that kind of work. The challenge, to them, would be to straighten the rail without altering the relationship of the mounting points... I'd have to measure those carefully, make a diagram, to insure that the straightened rail will fit when re-installed.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  13. #13
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I don't see how. My slip contract includes a waiver of liability for storm damage.

    My insurance has a $3600 deductible... but I'm guessing that the total cost of a professional repair to the boat wouldn't be all that much more than that, depending on the cost of a replacement rail section. It's not the money, that's the issue, at this point... it's the delay, since there's a VERY long list of boats needing repair.

    If I was able to remove the rail section (and that's a bit doubtful), it could be easier. I can live with the gelcoat damage until the yard is able to get to my boat, which might be mid-season. From what I can see of the rest of the boat, there's no other functional damage, at all.
    You have a right to expect that their dock and its fittings are fit for purpose and well maintained. Cleats ripping out of the dock are not fit for purpose. You took all appropriate precautions, and if none of your lines broke the cause of the failure and damage is with their dock.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    You have a right to expect that their dock and its fittings are fit for purpose and well maintained. Cleats ripping out of the dock are not fit for purpose. You took all appropriate precautions, and if none of your lines broke the cause of the failure and damage is with their dock.
    That's my thinking.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I'm not so sure.

    The best possibility would probably be removing the LPG locker mold. It's under a seat just forward of the rail. If that mold were removed, I could probably reach the two rear mounting points. The third one, I think, can be reached from inside a seat locker. I have no idea what sort of fasteners are used... these mounting points are not like the stanchions, which use four bolts.. I'm hoping it's just a nut and washer.

    Removing the LPG mold won't be easy, though... I don't recall if the screws that secure it are accessible from the top. Then, there's the gas line to deal with.

    If we get a warm day, I might go down to the boat and take a better look, and see if I can remove the LPG locker. ?Life would be so much easier, if I can remove the rail... then, I could bring it to a shop in Portsmouth where they can do that kind of work. The challenge, to them, would be to straighten the rail without altering the relationship of the mounting points... I'd have to measure those carefully, make a diagram, to insure that the straightened rail will fit when re-installed.
    If you can get it off make a doorskin template of all of the holes in the boat. Then you will know it is right.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    You have a right to expect that their dock and its fittings are fit for purpose and well maintained. Cleats ripping out of the dock are not fit for purpose. You took all appropriate precautions, and if none of your lines broke the cause of the failure and damage is with their dock.
    I don't disagree with you... but the contract is clear (about not being responsible for storm damage), and I did sign that agreement. I've been at this marina for over 25 years, have gone through a number of storms, and never had a problem... so the sustained 70 knot winds were certainly a very unusual occurrence.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  17. #17
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Don't really know anything specific about the mounting, but I once visited the factory and did notice the standardization and attention to all the deck fittings. It is one of the highest-volume sailboat production lines anywhere. It just doesn't seem likely they would have someone wrestling with something that goes on every boat. Might even have a tapped plate rather than nuts holding the base, or something like that.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    If you can get it off make a doorskin template of all of the holes in the boat. Then you will know it is right.
    No way to do it with a doorskin. The better way would be to measure the distances between the three mounting points, including all diagonals.... once the rail is removed.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  19. #19
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Yup - the marina is at fault.

    Woohoo! Norman's getting a new boat! Pikturs!
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    No way to do it with a doorskin. The better way would be to measure the distances between the three mounting points, including all diagonals.... once the rail is removed.
    If you can get a tape measure to it, you can make a template. A hot melt glue gun is your friend. Your fab shop will really appreciate the effort.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Don't really know anything specific about the mounting, but I once visited the factory and did notice the standardization and attention to all the deck fittings. It is one of the highest-volume sailboat production lines anywhere. It just doesn't seem likely they would have someone wrestling with something that goes on every boat. Might even have a tapped plate rather than nuts holding the base, or something like that.
    I would guess that Catalina (whose factory I visited, as well) is a higher volume builder.

    EDITED TO ADD: This particular model wasn't 'high volume'.... only about 400 were made. Mine is hull #386.

    I don't think those rails are installed after the deck mold is mated with the hull... they're probably done BEFORE the deck mold goes on.

    This particular model represents a special challenge. It's hard to explain, but basically, access to the interior of the stern on the port side is relatively easy, because there is a stern locker which is an inserted fiberglass mold, that is secured by peripheral screws, and can be removed, giving complete access to the port side interior. The starboard side is a totally different story... there is NO access to the underside of the deck mold there, except via a small access hatch which is accessible under a cover from inside the boat, in the aft cabin. That opening provides access to the quadrant and autopilot, but is nowhere big enough to climb into, and nowhere close enough to where the rail is attached.

    Worst case, I might have to drill and install an access/inspection port in the stern.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  22. #22
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Perhaps a quick call to the manufacturer is in order? They might be able to offer a better suggestion as they know how it went together, they should know how best to take it apart. I'm sure yours isn't the first issue like this.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Might even have a tapped plate rather than nuts holding the base, or something like that.
    If that isn't how it was done at the factory, it is how it would be when i was done with it. I would fabricate a plate with self locking nutplates to fit the backside.
    Tom

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    I repaired a Hunter once and noticed that the stanchion mounts for the port quarter stanchions were not backed by anything other than nuts on the bolts. No plate, no washer that I recall (not that a washer would have been sufficient anyway). I hope you've got something better than that backing up whatever's holding them in place. I would look at either straightening in place, or cutting access holes from the outside. Patching up fiberglass is not that hard and you're having the gelcoat redone at some point soon... are the scratch repairs near where you'd need to cut access holes into the hull?
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    It's not unusual to have to cut an access hole to get at fasteners aboard production boats--cutting the hole to match the size of standard deck plate or stereo speaker is a common strategy. Or, as you indicate, cut the hole in the LPG locker, and make a hatch out of the cut out piece after the repair is done. I have done both on many occasions.

    You might be able to get a welder to cut off the bent sections and weld in new sections in situ, but you'd need to create a tent to get the boat out of the wind for that ( and the result might not meet your aesthetic goals).

    As for your dock cleats--there were some big tides as a result of that storm. Had the cleats not failed it may be that the boat would have sunk in the slip, pulled under by its own lines.

    nd turn off the battery switches (left on for the sake of the bilge pump
    Just as an aside- and at the risk of coming off didactic--bilge pumps should be hot-wired to your battery and work regardless of battery switch position.

    Kevin
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    That was a tough night around here; did the marina have crew on the docks during the night? I was surprised to see 4 or 5 workers when we got off our boat at 2am. A boat broke free and damage my neighbour's boat luckily we only chafed threw two of our dock lines.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    I repaired a Hunter once and noticed that the stanchion mounts for the port quarter stanchions were not backed by anything other than nuts on the bolts. No plate, no washer that I recall (not that a washer would have been sufficient anyway). I hope you've got something better than that backing up whatever's holding them in place.
    Judging by other parts of this boat, my guess is that the deck mold is reinforced at the rail attachment points... possibly by a steel plate or other fabrication embedded into the deck mold... and from the looks of it, I suspect that the base of the rail features a threaded stud that goes through the backing plate and is secure by a washer and nut.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    I would look at either straightening in place, or cutting access holes from the outside. Patching up fiberglass is not that hard and you're having the gelcoat redone at some point soon... are the scratch repairs near where you'd need to cut access holes into the hull?
    The scratches are more like gouges, deep enough to show the laminate underneath, but are confined to about a 1 sq ft area on the side of the hull at the starboard stern. I certainly wouldn't be cutting any access holes from the outside of the hull.

    I have done small gelcoat repairs many times, myself, with reasonably good results... but for this amount of damage, I want to to be done professionally. My repairs tend not to 'match' the color very well. Yes, it's white, but there are all sorts of shades of white. A pro would be able to feather an area so that any mismatch would be less obvious.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  28. #28
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    As for your dock cleats--there were some big tides as a result of that storm. Had the cleats not failed it may be that the boat would have sunk in the slip, pulled under by its own lines.
    Nope... It's a floating dock.

    However, that doesn't mean the danger isn't there. A few years ago, an entire finger sank, pulling a boat down with it. The marina has floating concrete docks, and when they fail, they can sink. It never happened to me, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Just as an aside- and at the risk of coming off didactic--bilge pumps should be hot-wired to your battery and work regardless of battery switch position.
    I am of mixed opinion, about that. The bilge circuit runs off the master battery switch, which is left 'on' all season long, even though all other switches are usually turned off. 300 amp switches rarely ever fail, so I think it's as good as directly wiring to the batteries... and a bit better, since in an emergency, you'd want a way of disconnecting the batteries without having to drag out a wrench to undo the battery cables.

    Also, in French fashion, there's a battery switch for the ground, as well as the hot side.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  29. #29
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Some excellent news!

    The Jeanneau dealer advises me that the replacement rail section is only $828, plus around $75 for shipping. I seriously doubt that the damaged rail could be straightened for much less than that, and there's no way the result would look good. I've placed the order.

    I have also asked the dealer to contact the factory for advice on how to reach the fasteners... surely, THEY would know, and it would probably save me hours of time, trying to figure out how to reach them.

    I am GREATLY relieved.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  30. #30
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    The trick to making a complex template is that you need to use smaller pieces.
    We use 1 1/2" strips of 1/8" hardboard, snipped or snapped to length,hot melted together and reinforced with the leftovers, for durability during fabrication.
    R,
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    The trick to making a complex template is that you need to use smaller pieces.
    We use 1 1/2" strips of 1/8" hardboard, snipped or snapped to length,hot melted together and reinforced with the leftovers, for durability during fabrication.
    R
    Thankfully, with a new rail direct from the factory, I won't have to make any templates.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  32. #32
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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Keep your fingers crossed that the original fasteners go into tapped holes in an embedded plate.

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    Default Re: Storm damage

    Hope you get everything sorted quickly.
    Enjoy a good rum on the rocks at sunset.

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    Default Re: Storm damage

    I have also asked the dealer to contact the factory for advice on how to reach the fasteners... surely, THEY would know, and it would probably save me hours of time, trying to figure out how to reach them.
    Don't be surprised to find out that they installed the rail's fasteners before the deck was mated to the hull; the deck would have been hanging from a gantry at a convenient height for workers to fasten rails, cleats, deck fills and anything else.

    Once hull and deck are joined, things get trickier.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
    Posts
    50,500

    Default Re: Storm damage

    If you have to get access through a small cut hatch I have used a cheap camera with it's own light source connected to a laptop to see what my hands were doing. Note if there are any inaccessible voids a tool might be lost down before you start.
    Best of luck.

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