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40 years old and overweight (the boat that is!)

reedhedges

New Member
I'm talking about my boat of course -- but also myself too if I'm being honest. I think this boat was maybe built the same year and month as my birth (June 1980) but not sure.

Hull seems to be in good shape, but it is quite a bit overweight. I don't think I got a very accurate weight measurement but it's certainly too heavy.

Is it enough to try to move air through it using only the hull drain port, or should I cut an inspection port (would like to avoid if possible)? I was thinking of removing and re-installing much of the deck hardware anyway so there could be a few extra holes for air to move, but would it be enough? I guess I would use a small air pump or my air compressor on a low setting and leave it running for as long as it takes?

There are no very obvious big cracks for leaking either due to rain or while on the water (mast step seems fine for example) but I would assume water is getting in in several small places. What are the most likely places? I am thinking around the cockpit drain hole and the deck/hull seam? Where else? I will try a soapy water test with (lightly) compressed air soon.

Thanks for any information or your experience doing this.

I don't race this boat except some little informal races on the lake but would like to make it faster and easier to handle, and avoid the problem getting worse, and keep this boat as long as possible.

I'm working on my own weight a little bit but part of that plan is to get some exercise by sailing more!
 
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Rob Hair

Active Member
DON'T USE AN AIR COMPRESSOR! You can blow the boat apart that way. If you apply just 1psi of air pressure and (just as a very rough estimate) you assume the deck has an area of 150 X 30 = 4500 square inches you will be applying 4500 lbs of force. I would use the air and soapy water method but apply the air with just a few strokes from a low pressure high volume hand pump. To check the mast tube fill it with water and see if it drains out.

Depending on where it leaks you may need to cut an inspection port hole to repair it and then you will have a better way to ventilate it.
 

reedhedges

New Member
Thanks. I've seen the warnings about air compressors, thanks for the warning about even low pressure!

I'm still wondering if there will be enough air flow with a small blower (no sealed pressure) through the drain hole only, plus screw holes from removed deck fittings , to dry out any accumulated saturation in there?

Or is it not worth trying, and I should just go strait to cutting in a larger inspection hole.
 

Rob Hair

Active Member
I'm a bit doubtful that you can get the hull dry in a reasonable time just by injecting air into the drain. To give some perspective, I have two inspection ports. One is near the mast, the other near the stern. At the end of the season I may see some moisture inside and like to get it dry before freezing temps arrive. I cut up an inspection port lid and put a small fan on it. With that on one port and the other port open, I can get it completely dry in a couple of days. This is after using a towel to remove as much water as I can.

Maybe if you put a relatively small tube supplying air into the drain and pushed it as far toward the bow as possible you can get air circulating from the bow to the stern and out the drain (around the tube).
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a saturated deck to gain "a lot" of weight. If that is the case and If you can get it dry then you'll be facing delamination issues....

Or it could be as simple as saturated Styrofoam blocks inside the hull. If that's the case cut in a couple of inspection ports and slowly chip those things apart and get them out.
 

Riv

Active Member
Sunfish forum has lots of info about drying them out using low power computer fans, takes a few weeks but works well and is safe.
 

reedhedges

New Member
Thanks for all the advice. I guess I'll just try it for a few weeks and see how it goes, the only way to know if it's working is to keep weiging it? And the only way to know if it's the deck glass or foam that's holding water would be to open it up, I guess?
 

reedhedges

New Member
Hello everyone. Finally had time to work on this. I tried just blowing air through the drain plug. (Though warm dry days have been few and far between where I live, tons of rain.) (I got a little 12V blower for inflating air beds and beach toys and stuff, connected to a battery with a big 100watt resistor to slow it down and get more runtime, took all the deck hardware off, and ran it on and off for several days, with and without tubes stuck in here and there, both blowing and sucking, with no luck.)

Also got an accurate weight (hung it from a digital crane scale). Still a bit over 150 lbs (68kg). Is this unreasonably heavy?

So next step is to actually get into the hull and see if and where moisture is? Or just move more air through? Will I be able to reach and feel enough of the foam and some of the underside of the deck with just one inspection port, say, on one side of the centerboard, to at least get an idea of how bad it is? If I can get away with one port there and possibly one at the back of the cockpit that would be ideal? Thanks again.
 
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