alanhhendry 10:03pm, 30 December 2013
For Mr Lee Philpot, have owned my achilles 24 for almost 25 years, and have recently had to deal with the results of water ingress into the balsa core in the coachroof. This came as a real shock, and as you will realise required major surgery. On advice from a boat builder, and encouragement from my friends I repaired the boat myself. This entailed using an angle grinder with a thin metal cutting disc to cut out the lower layer of glass fibre from the inside the boat, better to do this job from inside as then you have no messy deck repairs to worry about afterwards, Having removed the glassfibre use 1" wood chissel to remove balsa core, in Sula's case glassfibre & core had to be removed from the fore hatch to about a foot or so back from the bulkhead beam, underside of glassfibre deck was then cleaned up as much as possible & wiped down with acetone. I made a template of effected area & this was then transfered to 9mm marine ply & stuck in with thickened epoxy & pushed into shape & pinned in position with a small trolley jack,I fitted 2 new replacement beams & further beefed up the mast step with a stainless steel webbed saddle plate see my photo's hope this helps regards Alan Hendry.
Thanks mate. That's very helpful and is the route I am probably going down when the weather breaks.

Did you remove all the deck fittings and re-seal to stop the problem happening again?

Also, do you have any tips for re-glassing from underneath? I was thinking about wetting out the cloth and rolling it up in grease-proof paper then unrolling onto the ply before rolling/ squeeging out the excess resin and air.
pjbharrison Posted 5 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 5 years ago
Hi Lee

Have a look at this

I don't know if polyester resin will/will not stick to grease-proof paper but I've used plastic sheeting or plastic bags and cling film when molding fibreglass.

Good luck

Post lots of photos of the process, please

PS If you can't get Peel ply locally
rothwell_neil Posted 5 years ago. Edited by rothwell_neil (member) 5 years ago
Release film work well as I lay up cloth on this to get sheets for use in my model aircraft. I could see you laying up on this on a open frame so that you could stipple it on. Having said that if you wet the roof and then stiple the cloth on it will stay. I repaired stanchions like this and no problems. Also as it is a composite doesn't matter how many small pieces you use to laminate up so long as overlap edges. Use cloth or chopped strand and do it in manageable pieces of a foot squared. Wear old clothes and cover everything underneath as it will be messy!
The coachroof is curved so i can't see the peel-ply working, although it looks interesting.

Alan, when you removed the old bulkhead, what was it made out of? Also, does your mast reinforcement extend to the other side of the bulkhead or just what you seen in the photo?

In my case the sponginess extends as far aft as the winches so I would have to do what you have done, but a bit more extensively.

Your photos give me hope though!

alanhhendry Posted 5 years ago. Edited by alanhhendry (member) 5 years ago
Hi Lee, I left the bulkhead in situ, only had to remove the beam which is laminated like ply, it was a bit of a fight getting the ply core repair over the top of the bulkhead but with a friend to help it's easier.The reinforcement plate extends both sides and is webbed on both sides but its shorter at the front due to the fore-hatch from memory it's 3mm stainless . Sula's trouble stemmed from the way the previous owner had attached the block brackets for the halyards, their then led to organizers and aft to the clutches, you know the script, I removed the mast step and brackets and had them welded together so only four holes in the deck for the mast step!. The deck organizers are screwed to special brackets I had made that bolt through the side of the coachroof onto backing pads as you know the coachroof sides are glass no core.If I ever bolt anything through the deck I'll use a holesaw to cut out a section of deck/core infill with thicked epoxy patch it and drill through the epoxy so there is a barrier divorcing the fitting from the deck core.Once the patch was fitted and any small gaps filled with thickened epoxy, the whole area was coated with resin, I cut the woven cloth to size before starting, each piece of cloth slightly larger than the previous one and stuck this on I found a plastic filler applicator very handy for smoothing out the cloth, once its on and smoothed out use a separate brush to stipple the surface, one brush to apply the resin one brush to stipple and cover your interior mouldings because you will have drips. Sorry for not responding sooner working 12 hour shifts.
A little update for you Alan - I have had the boat moved indoors (farm shed) and have removed half the underside laminate and core using a chisel. It is soaking wet. The main culprits seems to be the fixings for the sliding hatch cover. but most of the deck fittings including grab rails have been allowing water ingress. I have also removed the windows as they are all cracked and crazed and poorly bonded. As I am doing this once (hopefully!) I will probably remove the beam too.

Once I have it all removed and cleaned up, I will be taking advice regarding what cloth and resin to use to effect the repair. I am thinking polyester laminating resin and woven roven cloth ATM.

The whole project was defeating me mentally and causing me anxiety, but now I have her under cover and have commited myself to it and made a start, I am enjoying it.


Groups Beta