Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rescuing a SeaPearl 21

Earlier this year, we got a chance to pick up a SeaPearl 21 that is in need of some serious rehabilitation.  She had been covered but left to accumulate dirt and suffer from various moisture problems.  Luckily, Hull is generally sound and the sails were the vertical batten type which were in pretty good shape.
I thought it might be interesting to document our journey through the cleanup and repair of this 1986 model SeaPearl 21

The first thing I noticed other then the accumulated filth is the massive addition of electrical components apparently for using a trolling motor and pumps for filling and emptying the tanks.  Clearly, a lot of junk needed to be taken out.  I can't even begin to understand the logic employed in the planing of this night-marishly complicated stratagy.  So, one half day later, I had it all removed.

It didn't take much inspection to see the 3/8 inch deep groove in the mast tube worn by the bearing nylon bushings.  Mast steps clearly need to be replaced.  While they are out, a close inspection of the deck joint will likely show water incursion into the core.

Indeed the core was damp and the seal clearly broken.  I burred out the core back to one inch and used a heater to dry out the core as best I could.

Next I used Tyvek tape to seal the bottom and using thickened epoxy (after dowsing the core with unthickened epoxy) was carefully pressed into the core void mounding it up so as to maintain the epoxy to stay up against the edges.
I used an infrared lamp to help it cure since night time temps fall into the 40's.

After the filler is hardened I took a jigsaw and cut out the hole.  The area was cleaned up with a burr head on the drill, a rasp and sandpaper.  Everything looked completely sealed.
Next I turned my attention to cutting out the mast step.  Per Jim Leet's instruction I used a 1 and 1/2 inch hole saw started just bellow the rim drilled at a 90 degree angle.  After smoothing the joint out with a rasp and sandpaper it looked just like the a new one should.  The scalloped opening allows the mast base to help with the mast raising.
The cup base looks like this after being cleaned out.  The foot of the mast tube socket gets glassed in and the drain hole is drilled out again.

After careful measuring and dry fitting the mast tube socket is roughed up with 80 grit sandpaper around the bonding areas and lowered into the hole.  Just before sinking it into the hole a generous layer of 3M-5200 is spread all around the pipe just above the joint and just above the bast.  Then the tube is carefully seated in the hole.  It's a good idea to turn the tube back and forth to assure good coverage of the 5200 in the joint space.  Be sure and carefully align the scallop forward on the mizzen mast and back on the main.  Now allow this to set overnight.

The finished job should look like this after cleaning up the area with mineral spirits.
I later applied a nice finish margin of 3M-5200 around the joint using my gloved finger to smooth.  It all worked out very nicely.

I did the glassing with 2 in fiberglass tape cut half way through at 1 and 1/2 inch intervals the circumference of the mast tube.  After abrading and cleaning the tube and deck with acetone I proceeded to glass the tube in with finish resin (wax added per recommendation).  I let the tabs meet the deck and the floor while the intact cloth was used to wrap around the tube.  I pre-cut all my strips before starting as time is very limited.  When the resin was cured (with heaters)  I sanded everything and wiped with acetone.  I proceeded to add a second layer with tabs staggered for uniform coverage.  I plan to use a layer of mat as glassed over the deck joint. These will be 2x4 inch tabs glassed in all around for added strength.
All in all the job turned out quit nicely.  Following Jim Leet of Marine Concepts wise advice, I believe I was able to perform a professional repair.
I'll continue my report