Wildcat F18 – What we found from our clean and assessment

Tris...Wildcat F187 Comments

Before and After
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The reason why we do such a comprehensive clean up is so we can check that there aren’t any major issues we missed when we first looked at the boat. So we can build up our job list and order any parts. The good thing so far s we haven’t found anything major. The boat is older so it is never going to be perfect, the foils in particular are looking a bit unloved.

Those are going to our composite expert Nick Harvey, of NH Composites, he does world class work in composite and wooden boat building.

How the f*&*?

The hull, mast and rigging are in generally good condition, better than we hoped for. There were some oddities, we found which surprised us, the picture here shows the top of the diamonds. We can only assume the diamonds were attached at the factory when the tangs were attached. Only way to get them off was to drill out the rivets, take the tang off and then reattach. We now have a load of rivets rattling around in the mast! But other than that the mast and rigging looks ok.

When we first bought the boat we found it had leaks in both hulls, we weren’t sure where it was coming from and given we’d only sailed in flat water we were worried it was coming from the centreboard cases. When cleaning the hull we checked for cracks and holes and couldn’t find any. So a further explore was required.

Never seen this before

Believe it or not the white ring was the sealant that was under the hatch covers, it came away from the hull and cover like paper. Needless to say it wasn’t doing much to stop the water getting into the hull. As far as we can figure the water getting into the hull was primarily rain. We also found a crack in the starboard hull at the back of the hatch and that the holes drilled to attached the foot loops where several millimetres wider than the bolts. So we will need to laminate the crack and holes to be able to fit the new foot loops.

Not good

Here is one thing we found that should make anyone buying a second hand boat stop and make the time to do this exercise. When we stripped the rigging we found that this 4mm shackle pin which had been holding the mast up! It is badly bent and it would only have been a matter of time before it failed.

The shackle below was the correct 6mm pin.

Next Steps, We’ve now put the boat into a temporary shed and have put Bar Heaters into the hulls. The problem with polyester resin is that is not actually waterproof. It absorbs water over time and given the leaks in the hull we need to dry the boat out. Bar heaters produce a low consistent heat, so it is safe to have them in the hulls and they will slowly evaporate the water out of the hulls. We are planning to take the hulls off the beams to work on the osmosis blisters and will put her into a plastic tent with an industrial dehumidifier as a final step to reverse any water ingress.

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7 Comments on “Wildcat F18 – What we found from our clean and assessment”

  1. to get the diamond wires of you release them at the bottom end , then take them of spreader ends . then you have loads of slack . then you bend the tang out a bit to take the pin out . never drill the robots out . have done it dozens of times

    1. Aloha Grant,
      Please let me know if I can purchase a Spinnaker bag from you, and, if you can ship it to me on Hawaii.

  2. Aloha. Following. I bought a used wildcat last year. Super fun boat to sail here in Hawaii on Kaneohe Bay. I have had a really hard time finding any detailed instructions/info/parts for this boat. Currently trying to find a spinnaker retrieval bag. Would be great to link up with other wildcat sailors.

      1. Aloha Tris,

        Thanks for the link. I have that manual. It’s pretty limited in detail. Even had our local hobie dealer, who’s been sailing since the 70’s, scratching his head a bit when I got him out to help me rig the boat.
        Yes looking for the cloth bag. Thanks for the reference. Mine is beginning to fray. Also was looking for a good halyard. Just bought some 1/4” / 6 mm line to rig it. Hobie US doesn’t se to have any parts and shipping from Europe tends to be outrageous.
        Yeah sailing in Hawaii is pretty epic. But any sea will do.

  3. One good reason to attach the top of the diamonds as Grant explains with the head against the mast tube, is so that you don’t need the curly rings which have a tendency to snag and put holes in your spinnaker. Keeping the mast as clear as possible from things that can get snagged.or damage sails.

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