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TOPIC: 1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon

Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 9 months ago #121482

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Waterwings wrote:

Don't want to be a kill joy here but a small soft spot becomes a big soft spot later if not taken care of. Once rot starts it doesn't stop without intervention.

Bob


A reasonable point. I'll wait until I pull the transom and take a look from the aft end to make a final decision.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121500

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The more I think about it the more I think it would be nice to tear out the deck, replace the stringers with composite and build a fish box or a custom fuel tank into the floor...

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121593

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Looks like it's going to rain all weekend, and my peel ply won't be here until Monday which means there is no rebuilding to be done. I guess I might as well tear out the deck and stringers and replace everything with Nidacore.

You win Bob! :cheer:

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121653

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Good advice, tearing out the deck. The deck itself was in pretty good shape, except one corner near the transom. The stringers were waterlogged (as expected) and softer than I thought they would be. Replacing everything is definitely the right thing to do.

It's kind of hard to see, but I only cut out the floor in the cockpit itself. The plywood under the cabin is in good shape and I should be able to reach deep enough to replace the stringers from the cockpit and the access hole I cut.



More views of the stringers:





My current plan is to replace the wooden 2x stringers with nidacore to prevent the possibility of rot; any thoughts? I'd also like to add some floor frames to support the bottom along the width of the boat, and I might build a storage floor space into the center bottom just aft of the cabin as well; I'm still cogitating on the specifics.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121667

Yeah I was afraid that was going to be the case. Good thing you removed the floor. As far as what to use, I haven't used nidacore so can't speak to it. Other folks have replaced plenty of stringers so I'll let them chime in.

Bob

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121673

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Waterwings wrote:

Yeah I was afraid that was going to be the case. Good thing you removed the floor. As far as what to use, I haven't used nidacore so can't speak to it. Other folks have replaced plenty of stringers so I'll let them chime in.

Bob


I was surprised to find that the stringers are made of mahogany, and further surprised to find that the bottom edges are still in good shape and well-adhered to the hull and fiberglass tape. They're kind of a pain to get out.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121679

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Was able to get outside between rain showers this morning and strip out the remaining wood. The old stringer channels still need some extra cleanup, but that will have to wait until the weather dries up for a couple days. The stringer patterns I made fit well:



I've been trying to figure out how to get the stringers out from under the cuddy cabin without tearing the whole floor out:



After much cogitation I've decided to cut the tape out on both sides of the stringers with an oscillating saw. The best part is that I don't own an oscillating saw, which means I get to buy a new tool! Now then, Rockwell or DeWalt....

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121682

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Kind of hard to see because there isn't much contrast between the nidacore and the parchment paper, but here are the bulkheads and 3 of the 4 stringers being epoxied:



I'll flip the bulkheads over this evening and glass the other side. The stringers are built out of two pieces, I'm starting by glassing the two halves together. Ran out of room for the last stringer, I'll get that one done over the next few days.

I'm considering attaching some 1x2 fir strips along the tops of the stringers to level them off and give me something to screw the deck into. The wood will be up out of the bilge, which should decrease the likelihood of rotting. The deck will most likely be MDO plywood, same as the cabin interior and aft bulkhead.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121743

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Looks like you're moving along nicely with the project, good work. I've used the cheap Harbor Freight Oscillating saw, so either the Rockwell or the DeWalt would be a serious UPGRADE! :laugh:

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Mark

Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121749

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MarkS wrote:

Looks like you're moving along nicely with the project, good work. I've used the cheap Harbor Freight Oscillating saw, so either the Rockwell or the DeWalt would be a serious UPGRADE! :laugh:


Thanks Mark. I ordered the Rockwell 4 amp tool, it should be here today. I'll get back to working on the boat Friday.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121751

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I saw the RV commercial for the Rockwell just the other day, looked like a really well designed tool.

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Mark

Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121753

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MarkS wrote:

I saw the RV commercial for the Rockwell just the other day, looked like a really well designed tool.


It arrived this morning before work, I had just enough time to take a quick look at it and plug it in to make sure it works before I left. Should be a good little tool!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121756

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Incidentally, while driving around at work yesterday I happened upon a repository of classic plastic. By chance, they had a 1959 Dorsett Catalina, red just like mine. Twin 40's, that thing must really scoot! The windshield has been replaced, I'd like to track down the owner and find out how he did it. Looks to be in pretty good shape!







There was also a slightly larger Dorsett with a full cover, looks like a Del Rey:



There were a number of other classic fiberglass cuddy cabin boats that I don't recognize. Not sure if they're all owned by the same guy or not, it's a public storage lot.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121801

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The rain keeps falling, but it's scheduled to stop tomorrow. And it's supposed to be in the 80's Sunday and Monday, which should be perfect weather for putting in new stringers! The bulkheads are ready to go, and one of the stringers is finished; I'll work on the other three today and tomorrow. I'll also cut out the under-cabin stringers tomorrow and get to work on new ones.

My plan is to put in a hatch for the center bilge. Right now the space will be 48" long, 10" wide and between 5-8" deep depending on where you measure it. I'm considering widening it by moving the stringers out about 3" each side, which would give me a width of about 10". Whether I widen it or not I'm going to put in a longish hatch so I can use it as a fishbox. I'm trying to decide between a commercial plastic hatch or a homemade plywood hatch. The commercial plastic hatch would certainly be easier, but I'm not certain it would be better. The homemade plywood hatch would be more work, but would be perfectly custom and would be exactly what I want.

Any thoughts?

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121824

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Most of the work right now involves laminating fiberglass cloth onto Nidacore.... But I did get out to the boat today to do a few things. I got the larger two forward stringers pulled out and new ones made up (and half-glassed), I don't think I'll be pulling the two smaller stringers though; there's no room to get in there with any sort of saw. Not sure what to do about that, my thought right now is to sister some Nidacore stringers on the outside.

The new oscillating tool is fantastic! I used it to remove the last bits of old mahogany stringer and pull the forward stringers, it works great! I got the boat mostly cleaned up inside, it's supposed to be hot the next couple days which should dry everything out and make for easy vacuuming. Today's picture is of the new forward bulkhead being test-fitted; the photo is pre-cleanup.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121833

Cool, sorry a little behind on this one. The firs strips on top of the nidacore should be ok. I would bed them in 5200 to the tops of the stringers then you should be good to go. Just my 2 cents.

Bob

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121845

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More progress today! I have all the Nidacore bits glassed up:



Here are the smaller stringers to go under the cabin:



I also got all the stringer bays sanded and cleaned out, ready for installation tomorrow. The bulkheads have had their final fitting and the mating surfaces on the inside of the hull have been sanded. Here's the dry fit:



The stringers on the outer edge of the deck are still in good shape, solid and without soft spots. The fiberglass mating on all the other stingers have been rot-free, and I feel confident that I can leave those original 1959 mahogany stringers in without replacing them. Just to be safe I'll paint them with antifreeze as a rot-killing agent before I seal everything up.

Assuming everything goes well tomorrow I'll start installing the stringers!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121868

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An auspicious day! The day when I start putting the boat back together.

First off was dry-fitting the stringers under the cabin. A bit of cutting and sanding and they fit perfectly. I installed them with thickened epoxy and tape (although I forgot to take any photos).

After that I took the cured stringers out to the boat and dry-fitting them. For the most part they fit well, a little sanding and cutting here and there but nothing too bad. Of course, I forgot to take a photo of that too.

After I was sure everything would fit dry I put in the bulkheads. The forward bulkhead has a small piece of 1/2" plywood on top to back up the deck seam. The plywood is epoxied to the cabin deck, the cabin stringers and the bulkhead. The bulkhead is likewise epoxied to the stringers and, the plywood and the hull. I finished it off with some 2" tape and epoxy along the bottom.



The aft bulkhead is presently held in place with thickened epoxy. I'm letting it sit until the epoxy cures before I glass it in with tape tomorrow. They're calling for the possibility of rain, hopefully it holds off long enough to get the stringers epoxied in place.



Progress!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121874

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One more thing; the new oscillating multitool is the best thing ever. I've been using it the last few days and it's saved me hours of time working with hand and/or inadequate power tools. Anybody who works on boats should have one. Indispensable!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121888

Excellent progress, great fits too! Yep can't live without my multitool.

Bob

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121889

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Thanks Bob!

More progress today. I started by dry-fitting 3/4 of the stringers. They're all notched into the aft bulkhead to lock everything together:



I started by epoxying in the center stringers. I only did the back half, the forward half will be moved out a few inches to increase the size of the center fishbox. I haven't decided the exact placement of those stringers, I'll wait until everything else is glued in before I decide final placement. Here are the aft center stringers in place:



I used the old fiberglass as a locating and clamping surface. I'll likely leave it in place in the spots where it bonded to the stringer and fillet/tape the other side. I'll wait until all the stringers are in place before I glass everything in.

The plan is to go back out this evening and install the outer stringers before the work week starts. We just got a new dog and I had to take Friday off of work to stay home with her after a recent vet visit, the plan is to spend that day working on the boat and putting the last set of stringers in. Maybe even tape things too!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121896

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Went back out an hour ago to pull the clamps, the epoxy had kicked off and everything was solid enough to move on. After much epoxy and much cabosil (and many clamps) the outer stringers are in place. I'll go back out in a few hours to pull the clamps before the epoxy sets completely, then it's off to work for a couple days. I'll probably put in the forward inner stringers on Friday.

Progress!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121987

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More progress today. The last two stringers are in, they will give me a 16" wide fishbox in the center of the boat. All the stringers and bulkheads are in, next step for them is fillets and tape.



The transom is complete too. I put down two layers of 6 ounce cloth with West System epoxy:



Then I covered the whole thing with peel ply (nylon fabric treated with release agent) to get a nice smooth surface.



I'll peel it off tomorrow and see how it went!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121995

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I really like that peel ply! It came folded, which caused some seams to develop in the finished surface, and it has texture of nylon (which is to be expected), but it's overall great!



Work today, Mother's Day tomorrow. Monday will be splitting the hull/deck and prepping the transom. I'll also fillet and tape the stringers, the plan is to install the new transom on Tuesday.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #121999

She's coming along nicely!!!!

Bob

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122000

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Waterwings wrote:

She's coming along nicely!!!!

Bob


Thanks!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122049

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Lots of progress today!

I started off by filleting and glassing the stringers. I took a photo of the before, but I forgot the after:



I like to use the handles off chip brushes for filleting. 1/2" radius for today's stringer.



Next was the prepwork for splitting the hull and deck. It was held together with the old, brittle adhesive and staples. The plan for reassembly is to do a "stitch-and-glue" style joint, so I started by drilling holes every 6":



Then I cut the staples with a grinder and the whole thing came apart with a hammer and a pair of flat chisels. It came apart a little easier than I was comfortable with, but's done:



The transom was quite rotten. Many layers of plywood and mahogany, held together with wooden pegs and rusted lag bolts.



Again, the oscillating tool came in real handy here. The scraper attachment was great for cleaning the inside surface of the transom!

Next was to fit the original transom pattern to the inside. I had to cut it in half to get it to fit, then glue it back together with hot glue:



After that I cut the transom blank down to size and fit it to the hull. It fits great!





I filled in all the holes in the transom, tomorrow I'll sand all the surfaces, figure out my clamping plan and epoxy the whole thing together. It's coming along nicely!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122076

Wow great work, she's coming right along!!!

Bob

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122088

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The transom is in! Hope it bonded properly...

I started by sanding everything, then dry-fitting the transom and clamping mechanism. The clamp is made up of 3/4" MDF reinforced with a couple straight, dry 2x4's:



You'll see that it's held with a bunch of clamps along the top and six through-bolts. The bottom three and the middle in the top row are all through existing drain holes and won't pose a problem for sealing. The other two are new holes that will have to be filled in after I pull the clamps.

It's all held together by an epoxy/cabosil mixture. No fillet yet, assuming everything is good to go tomorrow I'll get to work mixing and filling in around the edges. Here's another view from the inside:

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122120

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The transom rebuild was a success! I snuck back out around 10:30 last night and pulled the clamps and bolts, everything came off with a minimum of sticking. The transom seems solid, and there was good squeeze-out in all the small holes I left open.

Woke up this morning for an early dentist appointment, then went out and filled the gaps around the transom with thickened epoxy. I also filled the gaps between the stringers and the transom (I had to cut the gaps to tilt the transom in). It's in the sun so it's setting up quickly, once it's in the afternoon shade I'll go back out and put in a bigger fillet and some tape to tie everything together. Good stuff!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122136

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Turns out I don't have enough cabosil and microballoons to do a bigger fillet... So I did some 4" tape today and I'll lay down a larger fillet with a layer of 6" tape on top of that on Sunday after I've picked up more filler.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122230

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Slow progress with the work week starting. I was able to do a final fillet and final layer of 6" cloth around the transom yesterday before work. No picture, it doesn't look much different than the previous transon photo...

In taking the boat apart I've discovered that the original transom was overall 1" thick, while the splashwell section (where the motor was clamped) had an additional 1/2" of wood with a piece of angled-steel for reinforcement. The new transom is a full 1 1/2" thick throughout, which has left me with a small lip on the splashwell that needs to be cut off.





My plan is to do the final trimming and then bond the outer surface of the splashwell to the transom with an epoxy fillet/cloth. I'm considering having a piece of aluminum plate cut and bent to fit the forward side and over the top of the splashwell transom.

My last day of work is today, but it's supposed to rain the next few days. Looks like Tuesday or Wednesday before I'll have the weather to bond the deck to the hull.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122245

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Nice work, Your'e moving along pretty darn fast with this one!!!

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Golden Rule number one; While working in the bilge, absolutely under no circumstances, NO FARTING!!!! Captn Shake aka Joe.

Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122246

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Shake wrote:

Nice work, Your'e moving along pretty darn fast with this one!!!


Thanks! Having a 4—on/4-off schedule and no kids is helpful.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122379

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Quite a lot of progress today!

I started off by finishing the filleting and fiberglassing along the aft 18" of the stringers. I also took a piece of 1x2 CVG fir and inlaid it into the stringers to sit flush with the tops, then epoxied it into place. I filled the little wedge between the wood and transom, that should give a nice landing for the deck plywood to sit on.



Next were the drain tubes. This boat has a total of 4 drains (2 for the deck, 1 for the under-deck/hull and 1 for the motor well). I decided that now would be a good time to install the 2 deck drains, one on each side. The hull design is nice in the it has a "gutter" on each side that runs along the bottom of the hull to catch and collect water. I'll put some bilge pumps in each gutter later on for rain and splash water while underway, but I decided I needed to replace the regular 1" drain tubes while I had the deck off.

I picked up this really cool little tool made by Sea Dog for installing drain tubes. It essentially swages the ends together and clamps them in place on the hull.



Here it is in place, inside and outside the hull:





Two wrenches tighten the two halves together and roll the inside (cut) edge over and make the whole thing tight in place. I also filled the inside of the cavity with thickened epoxy for adhesion and sealing. Here's the finished plug:



Next post is the hull going back together!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122380

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Now then, the hull. If you recall, before I split the hull and deck I went and drilled holes around the flange every 6" in preparation for reassembly. Very important to drill the holes before splitting the seam, as the holes will allow for precise alignment and clamping during reassembly. A refresher photo:



The reassembly started with the wire. I bought 14 ga solid copper wire with sheathing, just regular household wire. I would have preferred unsheathed wire, but it was unavailable locally. 6" pieces of wire in every hole, with a few blocks around the boat to hold the halves slightly apart:



Next step is to twist everything up tight as-is with the blocks in place. That will make it easy to twist everything up tight when the blocks are removed. Here's a closer photo:



Epoxy comes next. I've been using quart freezer bags to apply beads of epoxy, first I insert the bag into an empty tub:



Then I mix up the epoxy and fillers in a separate tub, and finish by dumping the concoction into the bag:



The bag is pulled from the smaller tub, a corner is cut off and it's ready to squeeze out and apply:



I went around the seam, starting at the aft starboard corner and working my way around the bow and back to the aft port corner. I pulled the blocks as I went and put epoxy in their spots, then tightened up every wire loop:



A closer view:



You can see that I had just a bit of squeeze-out; perfect! Next I went inside and ran a fillet of thickened epoxy:



I then covered that fillet with 2" tape and epoxy slightly thickened with cabosil (a little cabosil keep the epoxy from running):



You can see that I sanded the seam before I put it all back together; very important! I put in two overlapping layers of 2" tape up near the stem for added strength.

Lastly, I ran a fillet and some 4" tape around the edge of the splashwell. I realized after I had laid the fillet that I hadn't sanded the splashwell enough; I'll grind that off and fix it tomorrow before I lay down the final layer of 6" tape.



Tomorrow morning I'll pull the wires and put another layer of tape on the splashwell/transom joint. This thing will never come apart!

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 8 months ago #122388

Outstanding!!!!!!!!!

Bob

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 7 months ago #122433

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Thanks Bob!

I woke up early yesterday morning and went out to pull the wires. First I went around the boat, snipping each wire just above the hole:



Then I went around and pulled every wire. Most of them came out without issue, although there are a few holes with a bit of pipe insulation still in place. Here we have a bucket with 72 pulled wire twists:



I also got all the wooden tops cut for the fore-and-aft stringers. I was unable to get all of them glued on, as I ran out of epoxy. And clamps:





The wood is a bit structural, but is mostly there to give a wider bearing surface for the glue and (more importantly) give a surface to which I can fasten the deck with conventional fastenings while the glue dries.

And with that, I'm out of time for the spring. Headed for Alaska tomorrow morning and I won't be back until late September. I'll be taking the boat to storage today, covering it with a tarp and leaving it for the summer. I'll pick the boat (and the thread) back up in 4 months.

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Re:1959 Dorsett Catalina - Oregon 1 year 7 months ago #122447

Great!1 Ok be safe and catch you in a few months!

Bob

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