MR 950 Shake down.

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Stephen Hawkins
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MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:26 pm

Okay boys and girls,

I took her fora sail on Saturday.

Seems to go quite nicely, even with her original sails up. Even the kicker drum thingy worked well, as I had the rope threaded along side the port centreboard case, using what I asume is the spinnaker halyard bullseyes and cleats, etc. To that end I will probably run the same thing up the other side of the case for the spinnaker as well.

I have measured my jib halyard and marked where it needs to be cut and re-swaged, etc. I will be chasing Rupert up this week :wink:

However, it was a shake down, and it did uncover a couple more issues.

1. The most serious is a split in the centreboard case. It runs from the centreboad pivot bolt forward 10 inches or so. And lets in a fare amount of water. Not sure how I going to fix this yet. Looks like the previous owner has done the bolt up too tight.

2. There is also another small patch on the starboard side that is letting water in. Looks like the glue has failed alsong the bottom edge. From the outsid the patch looks to be only 2" square, but is bigger on the inside, properly shamfered. I will have to poke it out and clean it up and re-epoxy it.

3. A minor one, the tiller is is too loose in the stock so I am going to build it up a bit this week.

So, a couple more jobs - a bit disappointed with the centreboard case, but otherwise we are slowly moving forward. Bodge tape fixed it in the short term.

She went down well at the club as well. Lots of the older boys hanging around as well and a big thumbs up given.

Cheers

Steve Hawkins
Steve Hawkins

1967 National 12 2383 "Sparkle"

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Ed
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Ed » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:39 pm

Great that you got on the water!

There are always a few more things to do .....that is just the way with old boats.

have it done in a jiffy.

look forwards to seeing here again.

cheers

eib
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by davidh » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:42 pm

Steve,

I'm afraid that Ed is right - old boats are a constant 'work in progress' with old Merlins seemingly demanding more than their fare share .

Mind you, from how you have described 950, she must be in fairly good condition, either that or Roger/Jon have yet to get their hands on her!!! (don't do that is the best advice)

D
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jon711
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by jon711 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:54 pm

Anything you need breaking??? I am always up for crewing jobs!!

Jon

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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Ancient Geek » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:02 pm

Stephen sorry about the split in the plate cae, Ed you see that is just one of the reasons why a properly contructed ply case is better!
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Ed » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:30 pm

Well maybe.....

but on the other hand, if you have a leak in a solid case, it is pretty easy to fix (even as a bodge) and the damage won't of spread too much, but if you have a leak through a ply case....then it will soon, or more likely already has got much worse (bodges will only put off the inevitable) and be tons harder to fix, most probably requiring the whole case to be taken out at some point.

But my thoughts are only based on my limited experience (much less than yours I admit). The three boats I have had with solid cases (built 46, 49 and 54 ) all had no problems at all with their solid cases, but I have had tons of problems with ply cases (mainly on Fairey boats (Firefly, Finn & JB). But I would be the first to admit hardly enough examples to be conclusive.

Mind you, it was Laurie Smart that first pointed out to me the advantages of solid cases. When he had my Jollyboat and we were talking about the problems I had had with the ply case in the jollyboat warping. Reckon he must of seen a few.

eib
Ed Bremner
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IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Ancient Geek » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:39 pm

I hate to banter with my headache and temple throbbing (As my six year old daughter pointed out nearly 30 years ago it's the Dinner Jacket that gives the headache! But my ephasis was on properly contructed!
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Ed » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:02 pm

Oh.....agreed ....agreed.

but I am afraid that I think that after 50 years or so.....construction may well take a second place to condition of the boat.

However good the construction is....if it has been left outside for a couple of years....or raced hard, it will likely be in a worse state than the less well constructed boat that has lived in a boatshed for the last 30 years. :wink:

What is right for a racing boat....for the 5 years of her active racing life, may not be the same as what will allow her to still be sailing well after 50 years.

eib
Ed Bremner
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Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:34 am

All,

So what are my options for the solid centreboard case fix for:

1. The rest of this year. Bodge tape will only do until I bring her back for the deck varnish. In a month or so.

2. A more resilient fix that will last until I pull her apart. Could be years...

3. If and when a full strip is in order, replace the side of the case? Or fix.

I think the side of the case is still under a bit of pressure from the pivot bolt being too tight, especially with regard to the amount of water that was coming in and it came in the moment the boat went into the water when launching, no side pressure from sailing. I did not have a pair of big adjustables to ease the nut off a bit. I was thinking in the short term, to run a bit if cyanacolyte (?) into the crack and then undo the nut by a thread or two to close up the gap. Hoping that it would seal up the wood and possibly glue the crack - gash I know. But I am not sure I would be able to open the crack up enough to force any epoxy or Balcotan into it and the inside of the case must remain flat, obviously.

It has been suggested that I make up some strengthening panels to cover the crack from the outside (a dummy panel for the other side) - glue/scew them onto both sides and make a bit of a feature of them to make it look at least that they were supposed to be there? But I still need to seal the crack from the inside.

Any thoughts?

Steve Hawkins
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by davidh » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:17 am

Steve,

Unless there is other damage elsewhere, my suggestion would be to make a virtue of the need and just 'plate' either side of the case with some ply and epoxy. The alternative may be to hoik the while case out - a huge task and one that could well lead you into doing more and more work!

D
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Rupert » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:45 am

Hmmm - if the water is still getting into the crack from the inside, putting a plywood patch on is simply doing a posh duck tape job, as the water will still be getting into the wood. I'd be tempted to V the crack out wide enough, alomst to the middle, to run epoxy into it from the outside (If you put the boat on edge, it won't all just run to the bottom). You may well then need to put a plywood piece on, which would also strengthen up the bolt hole. You'll need a longer bolt after, unless you have thread spare!
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Ancient Geek » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:06 am

I am sure rupert has the Rols royce solution both practical and semi if not totally permenant two things Chippendale did not varnish the inside of his plate cases, he used a rather pernicious form of Cuprinol or similar which might even at this late age react with epoxy if any got right through, also if eventualy removing the plate case to replace he had a habit of using steel screws where they could not be seen! Nuff said!
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by chris » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:39 pm

I had heard that Chippendale's centreboards were screwed in with steel screws too. So not easy to remove.

If the crack is hairline then I would try some Zap which is a very runny superglue designed for wood and especially for hairline cracks as will get drawn in to the crack 100%. This may be all you need for quite a while but will also keep the water out of the crack when you put a plate over later on. Zap is also happy to meet damp wood which is a no-no for epoxy.

You might find that next week you don't have so much of a problem anyway as the timber will have swollen a bit now it has got wet again.

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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:28 pm

Chris and all,

That sounds interesting. I am not able to sail the weekend coming, so it should give a chance to dry out a bit.

I think I will carefully tighten the pivot bolt (only by a turn) and then put some runny superglue into the crack, and then back the pivot bolt off by two or more turns and hope it closes the crack a bit more. In fact I might remove the centreboard and take it home to be stripped and G4'd.

In the mean time a quick sail during the week should test out Chris's theory about the wood swelling - I have heard about this with wooden sailing boats, in fact my dad had a Falmouth Pilot that had been out of the water for a few years during its restoration. That took a while before we did not have to pump the bilges.

Onwards and Upwards.

Cheers

Steve Hawkins
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Re: MR 950 Shake down.

Post by jon711 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:41 pm

I had a similar thing with my Graduate, and succesfullly used Captain Tolleys Creeping Crack Cure, despite the cheesy name, it seemed to work OK..

Jon

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