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Biscuit, a 1974 Cape Dory Typhoon

Project Detail:


Mid-October through TBD

Project Scope: Hull and deck paint, structural repairs, brightwork assembly and refinishing, other tbd


Project Hours:  

Filling Starboard Rail Fastener Holes (6-10-24)

Jun 10, 2024

With the decision to fabricate new rails, my next task in restoring Biscuit was to fill the original fastener holes along the starboard sheer line. The fasteners, both for the toe rail and the rub rail, numbered ~43 for each rail and were set at about 8" on center from each other. They were a number of old penetrations on the aft deck that I decided to fill as well. Even as they had been filled previously, I took the opportunity to open them up to then fill with thickened epoxy.

My first order of business was to over drill, or countersink, the fastener holes. This allows greater surface area for the epoxy to bite into, creating a more durable repair. I began at Biscuits taffrail and moved forward to the stem, countersinking the holes through which fasteners secured the toe rail. At the stem, I retraced my steps back to the stern, countersinking the holes for the rub rail fasteners. As I said above, I did countersink a number of holes for what appeared to be a bow rail and standup blocks, or other deck accoutrements.

With the holes countersunk, I then vacuumed and solvent washed them to prep for epoxy. Given the heat of the day, I decided to work in small batches of the West System epoxy. I separated the length of the work area (the length of Biscuit's sheer) into four sections. I first mixed epoxy neat, or without any thickening agents, and coated the interior of the holes. I also coated larger cracks and gouges at the deck-to-hull joint and low spots to the surface (factory imperfections). Next, I mixed more epoxy and thickened it with a combination of West System 406 colloidal silica and 407 low-density fairing filler. With a plastic squeegee, I pressed the thickened epoxy into the countersunk fastener holes, voids and low spots. I was able to work across the boat in three batches of both neat and thickened epoxy, completing the filling of the starboard fastener holes. I put off filling the original jib track penetrations thinking there may be a chance to reuse the same holes - unlikely, but will put this off until new tracks are purchased.

Total Hrs: 3

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