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Almost... There...

posted Oct 15, 2010, 10:39 AM by Christopher Hubbell   [ updated Oct 15, 2010, 10:53 AM ]
I took Wednesday of this week off work to try to grease the skids for a solid toe rail installation this weekend.  As usual, my ambitions were far in excess of my accomplishments.  However, I did make enough progress to keep all this within the realm of the possible.

I spent pretty much the entire day cleaning out the starboard deck to hull joint.  It's a really grueling, time consuming, and non-rewarding activity much like grinding bottom paint, but fortunately without the toxic dust.  Using a heavy cat's paw (small crowbar) and the biggest screwdriver I could find I pried up the deck to about a 1/4" gap.  In some places I could do better, but within 4-6' of the bulkheads it's very hard to lift.

With the deck lifted I slipped in a fairly stiff 1.5" wide putty knife and scraped out as much of the old butyl sealant as I could.  The only way to really seal things up would be to scrub it off with mineral spirits, but there's just no way to do that without breaking the tabbing at the bulkheads. 

So, I have to be happy that I could remove the large amount of dried / failed sealant, and hope that I get a somewhat decent gasket out of the 3m 4200 I will be pumping in.  Perhaps not an adhesive, but a gasket.  I expect the seal between the toe rail and the hull / deck to handle the bulk of the waterproofing.  I feel confident that while not perfect, I am indeed making things better than they were.

While I was cleaning out the butyl, my Dad was prepping the toe rails by scraping off the old residue and thoroughly cleaning them with mineral spirits.  The remaining prep work is as follows:
  • Acetone cleaning of the toe rails
  • 1 coat primer, 2-3 coats Rust-o-leum flat black paint. (a few hours to dry...)
  • Re-drill deck holes from the inside to open up deck holes which were made invisible during the core repair.
  • Clean inside of deck-hull joint with mineral spirits.
I'm going to try to get this accomplished Saturday afternoon in a last minute sprint to the finish.  Sunday I have my family lined up to come out and help raise the rails and get them secured back on the boat.  So, if all goes well Ravat will have made some amazing strides toward structural integrity this weekend.  All I need is a few hours of dry weather on Saturday, and a full day of dry weather on Sunday.