Ciao Bella is a Hurley 20 bilge keel sailing yacht, she is my second 'proper' boat. having had some great times in a Fantasie 19 called Jelly Bean I decided it was time to increase my sailing range with a boat that could successfully bridge the gap between the huge fun of being able to explore every nook and cranny of a harbour or estuary and proper sea going ability. I hope this will be the case :~)
Argh! This sailing lark is like a slippery game of snakes and ladders. Just when I was starting to feel like I was making progress I 've made a shocking discovery.
Fitting held with 6 bolts and 2 screws
I had a look at the stem head fitting which I knew needed bedding down. I had assumed that the nuts on the forward two bolts were loose in the GRP and would not start on the thread or were maybe just spinning in the GRP. Before ripping into the GRP with a Dremel I decided to take the bolts out, just incase they were very short and needed swapping with another pair. That was clearly wishful thinking. The bolts turned out to be screws which made me think that maybe the encapsulated pad had rotted.
Plywood pad just a soggy mess
Had it ever... I'd expected to see a soggy hard wood block, Oh no; A super soggy plywood backing pad which is a bugger to get out. I say 'is' because I still have a load of clearing out to do.
Difficult to access
One of the problems is where this piece is. It is in the most awkward part of the boat to get to. It means that while working my arms are out stretched, I can't see and swinging a hammer is nigh on impossible. As I wielded the crowbar I had Rory Gallagher's 'Brute Force & Ignorance' going through my head.
In terms of learnings I guess a little tip I could pass on is how I broke this out. It's too confind to get into with an angle grinder and the Dremel is not man enough. I was able to cut across the front edge (or is that rear?) with a thin cutting disc in the angle grinder but after trying allsorts of ways to cut along the edges I found a sharp 10mm drillused like a mill, running back and forth along the fillet eventually weakened it enough to knock it out with the crowbar.
I need to clear all the debris out before committing to a plan to put it back together, I have a few thoughts how to go about it... One of my earlier darker thoughts involved some thinners and a zippo :)