Fixing a rough boat cheaply in order to move it
by David Benyon
There is an old long keel sailing yacht in poor condition in the yard of a UK marina.
The yard is destined to become a high rise luxury hotel so the boat is at grave risk of being cut up and burned. The rudder hangings need replacing as the stainless steel pivots have caused the mild steel hangers to be destroyed. The ends of the timbers that run across the transom have decayed in about the first half inch of end grain but the rest of the boat seems fairly sound. The problem of course is time. The boss of the marina has offered to GIVE the boat to a friend if he pays for the lift into the water (about £150) but at present the boat might sink. If the boat could be sailed, motored or towed three or four miles it could go to a boat club where the fees are quite low. It is going to have to be a quick and cheap job and tubes of black bitumen gutter sealant from Poundland might be the answer. A proper Epoxy West System is not really practical right now owing to the weather but ideally (IMHO) the boat needs to be sandblasted to remove decayed wood. A petrol powered pump is available for the voyage and an outboard motor plus a bracket will be needed unless the boat is towed. Personally I prefer GRP but the wooden boat does have nice lines and a touch of class. Some UK house builders go a bundle on silicone rubber sealant for fixing leaks but I don't think that this material is ideal for boats. Any constructive criticism would be welcome. Best regards from David
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