Wildcat F18 – In the Dog House

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The Dog House
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What's down there?

We are a bit strange here at Bearly Awake, we do things like keep cars in the garage. Which of course means there is no room for boats. Solution? We need more space to work on the boats during the winter. So welcome to the ‘Dog House’, our new temporary boat shed. Of course our Border Collie, Roy, had to inspect the construction and especially the holes for the ground anchors. With the tent built and the plywood floor laid the boat has spent the last few weeks under cover drying out.

We are in the ‘hurry up and wait’ phase of the refit. Because the hulls need to be dried out, especially the starboard one, most of the work is around just letting the heaters do their work. While we can feel that the inside of the hull is drier, we are still seeing water collecting at the back of the starboard hull. The moisture meter we have is showing that we are making progress, but it is slow.

Cleaning the hull

In the mean time we are doing bits of work that we can do with the hull still drying. first of which has been to start working on the hulls with Farecla G3 rubbing compound. The outside of the hull is really messy, looks like someone attacked it with coarse sand paper.

The only way to get the hull truly well finished would be a lot of work with finer sandpaper and it isn’t worth the time it would take. The G3 will enable us to make sure the hulls are totally smooth. It also brings the last of the dirt out of the Gel.

Other work we are doing is primarily cosmetic cleaning the deck gear we are not going to replace, and removing the deck gear we are going replace. The deck beams and dolphin striker have obviously had a bad time with the metal oxidised in a lot of places. Again its not worth spending a lot of time to fix this, so decided to covering them with enamel paint.

Close match

We found some matt black enamel paint at our local Halfords, weren’t expecting it to work to well, but actually its turned out pretty well. We were never going to get perfection, but this match was closer than we hoped. Hides the worst of the damage and will help fight the anodisation.

Next Steps

With a new floor laid under the tent, we can now drop the boat off its trolley, remove the beams and turn the hulls over, which will enable us to grind out the osmosis bubbles on the hull. Once we have done that we are going to move the hulls into the garage, moving the car into the tent, and then set up the big dehumidifier we have access to.

This will dry out the areas of osmosis and hopefully finally dry the starboard hull out properly. Then we will put a thin layer of epoxy over the exposed composite and then finish with gel coat. In the mean time we will G3 the entirety of both hulls, then use G10 finishing compound.

While we have the deck beams off, we will fit the new take-up system blocks, finish painting over the areas of damage, replace the main traveller ball bearings etc. and many more things.

In the dog house
In the dog house

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