Wednesday 1 May 2024

Portlights & Centreboard | Removal

I started work on the boat again at the end of March, beginning with the removal of the three remaining portlights which I didn't have time to do before we left on our travels in January.

This started well and the first two came away from the cabin sides easily, as here

However when I came to the final (port, rear) portlight it was a different story.

It absolutely refused to budge, and I had to prise it off with an old screwdriver. It left a ridge of hard, dry caulk inside and outside the cabin. Like this.

That is going to take some removing!

I wondered why this had happened and remembered that I used an old tube of caulk when I started on the portlights, and soon ran out so had to buy a new tube. The new stuff was fine - it cured to be soft and flexible and easy to remove, but the old stuff was obviously past its best.

This is the caulk I am using.

Lesson learned - never use old caulk! It can't be trusted.

I wanted to remove the centreboard while it was accessible again, for three reasons.

First, I had no reason to believe the the paint on the centreboard would not blister just as all the other white paint had done. So I really had no choice.

Second, I was not happy with the pendant fitting when I installed the board. The hole through the board was very small and the knot at the end of the pendant had to be forced into place, and I was not sure I had heat-sealed the end properly.

Third, the centreboard pivot pin through the keel sides had a very thin layer of thickened resin around it and I suspected that it might be a weak point, given that it would be subject to considerable forces.

So this was an opportunity to put these things right.

First I drilled out the resin plugs which hold the pin in place. This is the plug on the port side.

You can see that the ring of resin around the pin is very thin.

The pin resisted efforts to knock it out so I used a heat gun to warm it it up, which worked. Then I pulled it through with a pair of pliers. Here they are.

I knocked it through with a screwdriver which then held the board in place, like this.

I secured the end of the detached pendant so that it would not fall into the centreboard trunk.

And here is the centreboard out of the boat and the bench.

This is the hole for the knot in the end of the pendant. You can see that it is quite small at 20mm.

So I am going to make it much larger, so the pendant will be secure.

This is the hole for the pivot pin. It has plenty of resin around the pin, so it does not require further attention.

Next job is stripping more paint ...

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