tears in polyester next to the centerboard

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tears in polyester next to the centerboard

Postby Martha Pekelharing » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:55 pm

I have a question about our Cape Cutter 19: build in 2001 in SA , no 3, we bought her in 2004 as the second owner.

There seems to be a problem of fissures or cracks in the polyester that is wrapped over the slats attached to the centreboard of the sword (please see the attachments).

Last winter, for the first time in quite a long time, the floor-platforms were removed (which were wet, but are lacquered nicely now). We then observed the cracks in the polyester.

Questions:
1. Does anybody know this problem? we wonder what the reason could be of the tears in the polyester?
2. What can we do about it?

Thanks a lot for thinking along, best regards,
Martha Pekelharing, Utrecht, the Netherlands
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Last edited by Martha Pekelharing on Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Martha Pekelharing
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Re: tears in polyester next to the centerboard

Postby Greybeard » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:32 pm

Hello, Martha, and welcome to the Association.
There is a lot of expertise amongst our members and Im sure someone will be able to advise you. Are you able to post pictures showing the exact nature and extent of your problem? It may help.

Regards. Steve
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Re: tears in polyester next to the centerboard

Postby Dennis » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:18 pm

Hello Martha

The arrangement on my boat is different to yours so I cannot offer a definitive answer.

However looking at your photos, it look as if there could be timber beneath the polyester (GRP). Is that correct? If that is the case then I would suggest that the wood has become wet and expanded and split the GRP.

Are there any leaks around the centreboard case?

Is the centreboard case firm? Does it move at all if you apply a lot of sideways force?
Cheers

Dennis

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Re: tears in polyester next to the centerboard

Postby Martha Pekelharing » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:02 pm

Hello Steve and Dennis
Thanks a lot for your reply. I am very happy to join the Association.
Regarding your suggestions, there is timber beneath the polyester indeed, only the rail where you see the cracks (not the on floor or the centreboard case itself). It seems that the rails were attached to the centreboard case to carry the wooden floor parts that have been removed in these pictures.
We don't suspect a significant leak around the centreboard case, the construction is very firm when we applied pressure. Also nothing abnormal was observed on the outside of the boat when she was outside the water last winter.
We are thinking that maybe small cracks have appeared in the polyester due to 'normal' movements of the hull, and water has leaked to the timber through this or through the screw holes where the floor parts are attached, and made the timber wet? The timber seems dry now so we are considering to apply epoxy where the GRP has split.. is this something you could advise or does anyone have another suggestion?
thanks a lot in advance!
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Re: tears in polyester next to the centerboard

Postby Greybeard » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:41 pm

I think you may well be correct in identifying these as simply supports for thr floors and they are not structurally important to the hull itself. Has the boat been left with standing water inside the hull? As you say, it is possible that this water has entered the wood from above rather than below and caused it to expand. Rainwater can enter the boat from various points, especially through the hatch if the boat is left on a trailer with its nose down.
It may be worthwhile contacting the designer, Dudley Dix, about the structural or non-structural nature of the timbers.

Steve
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Re: tears in polyester next to the centerboard

Postby Dennis » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:24 am

Hello Martha

I also suspect that the GRP covered wooden strips are there simply to support the floor boards.

If that is the situation, I would remove by cutting/grinding and simply replace with a new similar structure. Alternatively I would replace with durable timber (teak, oak, ash etc.), simply glued to the centreboard case with epoxy resin but not sheathed in GRP.

Another idea would be to remove the existing rotten wood and GRP covering entirely and not replace it at all, but attach any necessary support for the floor boards to the floor boards directly.
Cheers

Dennis

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