Tag Archives: epoxy

Battery boxes

Now that I’ve got four nice new Costco batteries, I have to get them into the boat. The original setup on the Hunter 340 was to have all the batteries in the starboard lazarette, sitting on top of the holding tanks with a few nylon straps. These batteries are 63 lbs each, four  would be 240 pounds of battery on one side.

I’m told the boot stripe is painted higher on the hull to compensate for all the weight on that side of the boat. My plan is to put two in each lazarette. This works for several reasons:

  • weight balanced between port and starboard
  • batteries can sit closer to the centreline
  • being 6volt in series it makes sense to keep them in pairs.

The starter battery an AGM yellow-top Optima and will go down below behind the aft berth bulkhead. It will sit low low and on the center-line, ignored for the season.

The boxes will have nylon webbing over top to secure the batteries in the boxes and the boxes will have stainless carrage bolts through the lazarette floor to keep them still.
I’ve decided to paint the boxes with epoxy coloured black with 423 Graphite Powder, as I have it left over from the rudder slop repair.

“423 Graphite or powdered tempera can be used up to 10% by weight.” as per West System, I’ll go with 5%.

Helm Seat repair

This fall the original owner surfaced and sold me all the missing bits and pieces – some pieces were more important then others, like sails and cushions, others just nice to have like spare filters and doo-dads.

One piece that was missing was the Helm Seat, at first I thought no problem, I can live without one- then a season of sailing made me realize that yeah – a seat would be good. I was going to make one from teak, a welcome addition to the cockpit which is a sea of white gel-coat – but all that is moot now.

The seat was taken off as it had water in it and the previous owner didn’t want frost damage. I could hear water sloshing around inside but couldn’t see how it got in. I moved it around my storage locker and one day noticed it was dripping, then I tilted it and left it. A couple of hours later there was a decent puddle on the floor coming out of a hairline crack in the gel. I was amazed at how much water is in the seat!

20131229_140134This generation of Hunter has the Helm seat swing back and flip over so the bottom of the seat forms a step on the swim platform. I discovered that one screw on the bottom that holds the rope pierced the cavity and was “sealed” with a dab of silicone…….! I checked the other holes with compressed air and they are all sealed.

I enlarged the hairline crack with a burr and drilled out all the screw holes to a larger diameter. Everything gets a epoxy and the leaky spots were filled with colloidal silica and epoxy.

Hull refinish

945603_196408527181012_2085257297_nI decided to strip the bottom paint and put on an Epoxy barrier coat. I scraped off the loose blue bottom paint and then sanded off the VC17 that was next to the gell coat. It was easy going getting off the blue as it didn’t adhere very well to the VC17.
There were only a few very small blisters (5mm) close to the rear of the keel joint.

One suggestion is to use a good grade of sandpaper – sounds trivial but the expensive sand paper lasted much longer than the cheap stuff.

I used Interlux’s 2-part Interprotect 2000E, alternating between gray and white. I was able to squeak out six coats out of six gallons, including a sand between coats 5+6. I then put on two coats of red VC17. It was a bit of a challenge getting the curved waterline on the bottom of the hull where it’s flat. I taped then drew a line with a pencil and string – it’s a compound curve so a bit tricky, but when I was happy I just free hand trimmed the tape with an xacto knife – it came out pretty well and whatever imperfections there are won’t be seen as it’s under the boat!

I polished the hull above the waterline and it came out looking truly awesome!
tortuga_launch_hunter340Here it is on the lift – launch was a rainy day but all went well.

1st_launch

 

syringe and a spade

Once I had possession of the boat, I gave the rudder and prop a close inspection. The rudder seemed to have a lot of side to side slop/play, at the bottom tip it seemed to be about an inch (if memory serves me correct). As the boat was on the hard and I didn’t do a sea trial I figured that this play would be, at the very least a clonking noise on the hook. Seeing as I was in for a pound with the hull I figured I’d tackle this  job.

DSC00069

I looked into replacing the big white lower busing, but it isn’t available from Hunter, but I did stumble upon a solution used by others as outlined in the West System Epoxy manual. It involves drilling holes in the bushing and injecting epoxy with colloidal silica (for bulk/viscosity) and graphite powder (for lubrication). It seemed a reasonable method so I forged ahead.

Dropping the rudder required digging a hole in the yard, there seemed to be several holes that spring! There is definitely a benefit to being on gravel instead of pavement! Funny thing is the hole filled up with water in heavy rains and I ended bailing the hole out to reinstall the rudder.

DSC00071The technique calls for waxing the steel bushing, drill holes, reinstall the rudder and then inject epoxy with 50/50 mixture of silica and graphite. In my case I drilled three holes on each side and three on the front. As you can see from the photo the epoxy merged into one big pad. I like this technique as it creates a zero tolerance fitting that would be difficult to achieve otherwise and I suspect is better then when it left the factory.

It stood a season and seems fine – there is a posting out there with