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Author Topic: Should I Let My Hull breathe?  (Read 461 times)

Nick Webster

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Should I Let My Hull breathe?
« on: September 09, 2019, 08:06:23 PM »

I have an fibreglass hull yacht with a plywood deck. I bought it second hand and was told it was made in a mould taken from an older wooden design. The previous owner assumed it was an A class and rigged it as such - though it is not much like others I have seen. Never mind, I don't compete with it. I think I am at least the third owner so the true origins are lost in mist of time. Suffice to say that I am not sure that it was built to much of a formal plan. Having sailed it this season and occasionally taken on water I suddenly became aware that even after a fortnight something was still sloshing about somewhere. I know some water gets in through the hatch for the centreboard style keel and normally I am able to dry this out quite well. Today I detected a crack where the deck fastens to the hull and decided that since I was planning a repaint and improved sealing anyway, I would take the deck off and see what is going on. Fortunately all 76 inches of it was prised off intact and undamaged, which probably does not say much for the glue. The bulkheads are ply and the first 35 inches are 3 supposedly completely sealed compartments. In my case containing water that once in could not get out. Fortunately everything wooden has endured the wet. I do not want to put loads of holes in the deck so the question is do I put connecting holes in the bulkheads so the hull can breathe and dry out in between sailing or trust that when I put the deck back on properly the compartments will keep water out? Grateful for other's experience on this.
Nick   
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garethjones35

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Re: Should I Let My Hull breathe?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 03:27:33 PM »

I think its too risky to try and seal all the compartments completely as if any water does get in, its really difficult to get it out and it could be there for a long time and do some damage.  I prefer to have a number of large holes in the frames to allow all the compartments to interconnect and get ventilated.  These holes also reduce the overall weight of the yacht.  Ideally, best practice is to also incorporate a series of water ways interconnecting the compartments at the bottom of each frame.  This allows all the water to drain into the centre compartment where it is accessible through the hatch or be tipped out of the aft end of the boat through a dedicated drain which is normally sealed with a plug or bung.  Its more difficult to add the waterways to a completed hull though.

I am just in the process of building a vane steered 36R yacht and the picture below shows the holes in the frames and you can just about make out the water way at the bottom of each frame, either side of the centreline in the photo below.  Since this yacht won't have any radio gear installed a bit of water ingress is no big deal.

Gareth 
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nemesis

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Re: Should I Let My Hull breathe?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 06:17:11 PM »

How does the water get in in the first place, accepting the drops  get in via the sheeting tubes, you may then have a problem. If it is a glass hull it may be porous (0smosis) a fault of poor construction. I hope you find the cause/s, can be frustrating, nemesis
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Should I Let My Hull breathe?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 06:42:13 PM »

Very unlikely that 'osmosis' would affect a model yacht. It only affects full size boats which spend all their time in the water.
Colin
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warspite

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Re: Should I Let My Hull breathe?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 06:58:26 PM »

with the deck off, the inside could be recoated with fibre glass and resin, and with care to offset the additional weight, add new inter bulkhead holes, then when the outside is repaired cover that as well and update the paintwork.
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