SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Repairs To Hull Damage and Blisters

Our pre-purchase survey noted no hull damage or blisters, but of course that would be too good to be true.  We have discovered two areas of damage and 25 blisters.

Via casual inspections of the hull since Pilgrim’s arrival in Beaufort, I’ve notice a few areas that appeared as short cracks in the bottom paint.  Dis-coloration on the bottom paint around the cracks was indicative of moisture. 
Small cracks with discoloration due to moisture marked trouble on Pilgrim's hull.
Using an awl and a utility knife I picked open a couple of the cracks…
Opening the cracks with a knife revealed dry, brittle chopped strand mat (CSM)
None of them burst or squirted a stream of fluid as I have encountered with blisters on other vessels.  Rather the mat revealed appeared dry and brittle.  I suspect these are areas did not receive enough epoxy to wet out the mat in the original construction or they are poorly executed attempts at blister repairs by a previous owner.

To date I have discovered and ground out 25 such “blisters”.  In nearly every one, the compromised material was limited to the outer layers of chopped strand mat (CSM). I found no water intrusion into the woven roven cloth layers of the hull.  In the most severe cases water moved laterally between the CSM and Woven layers creating areas of delamination.
Starboard side aft of keel - larger area of delamination on left and grapefruit sized area on right.
In the image above the area to the left represents an area of delamination.  The smaller, grapefruit sized, area on the right is representative of the typical blister without delamination.

The greatest concentration of blisters is located on the starboard side under and forward of the head.
Portside forward of keel 
Up and right in the image above is a large area ground out due to hull damage.  This site is located under the head pan just forward of the counter top . The head sink drain thru-hull can be seen just below the damaged area.  I believe this damage is caused by the weight of the head pan resting on a narrow section of the interior of the hull.
Damaged hull directly below wall supporting head counter top.
In the image above, white, discolored fiberglass indicative of stress damage is present directly under and in line with the interior wall below the head counter top.   I believe additional tabbing added by the Morgan repair team and later by myself have remedied the cause of the stress.
Portside directly below the cockpit we found a poorly executed hull repair. 
The largest area of delamination was under a poorly completed hull repair on the portside below the cockpit.  I believe the crack is from improperly loading a jack stand.
The dark brown areas are sites where water is weeping out from under the CSM layer of the hull layup.  Pilgrim has been on the hard for six months 
The previous repair consisted of some polyester resin troweled into a “U” shaped notch.  This inadequate repair allowed water to seep into the surrounding fiberglass.  As with other areas on the hull once the water found its way through the chopped strand mat (CSM) it migrated latterly between the CSM and the woven roven cloth.
Port aft hull with large area of delamination and raw water thru hull (below jackstand) ground out.
Ultimately, to remove all the delaminated material required grinding out an “L” shaped area 32” X 32”.

After nearly ten days of exposure to dry weather and no signs of additional moisture from the hull, we have begun filling the damaged areas.
Small area on starboard side filled with two layers of 1708 cloth
 Using a marker, I numbered the sites on the hull that would require 1708 cloth patches.   Once the patches were cut we placed them in numbered ziplock bags to keep things organized.  The sites were numbered 1 – 32.  If a site required multiple layers then the patches were labled A,B,C, etc . The blistered areas required one to three layers of cloth.  The two damaged areas required four layers of cloth.  Filling the old thru-hulls required eight or more layers of cloth
We worked as a team to apply the new fiberglass cloth.   Anne mixed epoxy and wet out cloth.  I applied the cloth to the hull.   We filled some of the small areas and old thru-hull holes last week (See Previous Post: Replacing Thru-Hull Fittings & Seacocks – Part 1).
Large area on port side filled with up to 5 layers of 1708 cloth

Confident from last week’s success we tackled the large 32” X 32” area on Monday afternoon.  The damage required up to four layers and around 20 square feet of 1708 cloth.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Replacing Thru-Hull Fittings and Seacocks - Part 1

Since Pilgrim's arrival we have extricated five thru-hull fittings and three thru-hull transducers.   I believe the five recessed thru-hull fittings were original to the vessel.  Two of the transducers just forward and starboard of the keel appear to be original.  The third transducer, a newer model, was located mid-ship just starboard of the keel.  

We plan to install a single thru-hull transducer in the forward most existing hole located just  forward and starboard of the keel.  This site is accessed through the panel just forward of the vee berth door.    We have yet to purchase a transducer, and will leave this hole unfilled until we confirm the  diameter of the new unit.

The arrival of our new thru-hull fittings and seacocks has inspired us to focus our energy on filling the old holes and installing the new hardware.
New Forespar Marelon thru-hull fittings (white) and seacocks (black)
The Forespar Marelon fittings and seacocks on C’est la Vie, installed in 1997, served us well and without issue.  The marelon negates the need to worry about grounding to prevent electrolysis.  Thus we are installing identical hardware on Pilgrim. 

In the head…
Exterior view of the original three recessed thru-hulls in the head.
We plan to use one of the existing ¾” holes in the head for the sink drain.  The head sink drain will be the only thru-hull fitting to remain in it’s original position.  Using an original placement requires a recessed thru hull fitting for this site.  All the new thru hull installations will be of the mushroom head variety.  We will install a new 1 ½” thru hull for the offshore black water pump out in the vicinity of the old 1 1/4" hole.   

In the galley…
Below the galley sinks.  We plan to cut away a bit more of the floor to install the new thru-hull directly below the sinks.
We plan to install a new 1 ½” thru-hull and sea cock for the sink drains.  The new thru-hull  will be more in line with the drains and closer to the keel.

In the wet locker opposite the galley sinks…
We plan to install a new ¾” thru-hull, seacock, and filter.  This fitting will serve as a raw water intake for the salt water food pump at the galley sinks and the salt water intake for the head.

Below the quarterberth deck…
The engine raw water thru-hull, seacock, and strainer will occupy the aft (top) section of the newly divided area below the quarterberth deck.
We plan to install a new 1 ½” thru-hull, seacock, and strainer, to serve as the engine raw water intake.  I decided to move the raw water intake to this location to provide easier access to seacock and strainer.  The original raw water intake was under the floor of the portside cockpit locker.

The interior areas around the existing thru-hull holes were ground down during previous projects.
the three existing holes remaining from the original head thru-hull fittings
The exterior required a visit from the 4” angle grinder with a 36 grit pad to prep it for filling the holes.
The aft two head thru-hull fittings ground down and ready to be filled with fiberglass cloth
Of course suiting up and venturing under the boat with the grinder in hand lead to the excavation of some blisters and poorly executed previous repairs , but I’ll save that for a future post.

Once all the holes were ready inside and out we added one layer of 1708 cloth to the interior.
One layer of 1708 cloth over the interior of the old galley thru-hull
We then moved outside, added a bit of thicken epoxy to the hole to avoid air bubbles, and filled the holes with between five and seven layers of 1708 cloth.  The number of layers varied depending on the thickness of the surrounding hull.
The exterior view of the old galley thru-hull
I discovered some debate as to the best method for laying up cloth to fill the old hole.  Ultimately I decided to start with the largest piece of fabric against the hull and work out to smaller pieces until reaching a relatively uniform thickness.  I believe stacking the wet cloth in this order makes it easier to avoid air bubbles trapped in the layup.
The exterior view of the old head thru-hulls
Next step will be to grind down the surplus material and fair the area back to the hull.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fabricating Locker Dividers that Match the Hull Shape

As part of our refit we are relocating the raw water intake & strainer.  Originally the through hull and strainer were located in on the port side under the cockpit locker.  We are moving them to the starboard side under the quarterberth deck. We believe the through hull valve and strainer will be more accessible on the starboard side.  We are also creating a new mount for the starter battery under the forward end of the quarterberth.

The original layout of the quaterberth deck and access panel.
To ensure no salt water from the strainer or through hull ever finds its way to the starter battery we are fabricating a divider in the locker that will be fiber glassed to the hull. 

Providing adequate egress to the work area and future relocation of the access panels necessitated removing the forward third of the quarterberth deck.

Forward third of the quarterberth deck cut away.
Transferring the location of the divider onto the arc of the hull took some creative measuring techniques.  The line drawn on the hull in the image above marks the position we wish to install the divider.

To create a template that matched the curve of the hull I used scrap lumber and hot glue.  The process began by clamping a 1X4 horizontally across the deck and in line with the future divider.  Then, using  1/8” plywood I glued three vertical strips down to the hull.

Creating a template using scrap wood, tin snips, hot glue, and clamps.
Using tin snips to trim the plywood, I created a piece that connected the three vertical strips near the surface on the hull.  I then attached on small pieces that contacted the hull at approximately 2 inch increments.   

The small pieces along the bottom make contact with the hull at a single point.
Once completed I removed  the template from Pilgrim and headed over to the shop.

In the shop I transferred the outline of the hot glued template to a piece of 1/8” plywood.

I connected the dots free hand with a marker.

With the outline transferred to the plywood, I used a bandsaw to cut out the template.

The 1/8” template made a couple trips back and forth between the bandsaw and the quaterberth to achieve a good fit.

Once pleased with the fit,  I transferred the outline of the 1/8” template to the ½” plywood that will serve as the divider.

The final piece fit precisely on the first attempt.
Test fitting the 1/2" plywood Divider
The aft (upper in the image above) space will house the raw water intake.  The forward space will house the starter battery and  serve as storage for a tool box.

Using 1/8" plywood to experiment with the location of locker dividers.
Time to create templates for dividing the space up again… tool box on left. battery on right.

Interior Tabbing Repairs and Modifications Complete

Previous posts in this series are…

We would dare not proclaim all Pilgrim’s tabbing repairs and modifications are complete.  We have quaterberth and engine compartment projects underway that will require new tabbing.  We have yet to thoroughly investigate the area aft of the engine compartment or forward of the vee berth. 


We have completed the repairs to shortcomings and failed structures discovered in the cabin area of Pilgrim. 

In the quarterberth we addressed two areas…

We added fiberglass tabbing along the top, aft end, and base of the wall shared with the engine compartment.  We also added tabbing between aft bulkhead and the cockpit well.

Area prepped and ready for fiberglass mat to be applied.
Future work in the area will include replacing the port, painting the quarterberth deck, and replacing the deck drain hose.
We also strengthen the upper wooden crossbeam at the entrance to berth.
Initial layer of light weight cloth applied.
Heavy 1708 cloth and a couple layers of paint added.
Ongoing work in the quaterberth can be followed via our the Quaterberth Refit – 2014 photo album.

In the galley we discovered the two port side partial bulkheads fore and aft of the sinks were intermittently tabbed to the hull during the construction process.
under the forward galley counter the partial bulkheads are tabbed intermittently to the hull.
We added tabbing to the missing sections and painted the area.
Ahh, fresh paint and a clean canvas upon which to install plumbing.
Additional modifications ongoing in the galley can be followed via our Galley Refit – 2014 Photo Album.

In the pilot berth, we removed the non-structural dividers below the deck…
We were very surprised to discover the dividers below the quaterberth deck were non-structural.
And replaced them with partial bulkheads tabbed between the hull and the seat back / aft lower chainplate anchor.
We are much more confident in the strength of the aft lower stay now that these partial bulkheads are tabbed between the hull the chainplate anchor.
This modification vastly increases the strength of the aft lower chain plate and adds additional storage space below the pilot berth deck.   Our progress in the area continues and can be followed via the Pilot Berth Refit – 2014 Photo Album

Under the countertop in the head we discovered intermittent tabbing along the bulkhead and failed tabbing intended to support the head pan.  The failed head pan tabbing was likely the work of the Morgan Repair Team.  Due to issues with sinking head pans Morgan issued a recall, circa 1980.  To the company’s credit they sent out Repair Team(s) address the issues.  On Pilgrim the repair team did a poor job.  They did not properly prep the surfaces prior applying new fiberglass mat.  Sections of the tabbing installed by the team have failed over the past 34 years.

Looking down into the area below the head countertop.  The wall to the right is the primary bulkhead on the port side of the mast step.  Much to our dismay this bulkhead was intermittently tabbed to the hull.

Additional tabbing along the bulkhead.
additional tabbing and support structures link the bulkhead, mast bucket, sole brace, and head pan.
We have yet to paint the area under the head counter due to ongoing projects in the area.  Check out Head Refit – 2014 Photo Album to follow the progress.

The pre-purchase survey noted failed tabbing under the head door.
Tabbing intended to support the head pan failed due to poor design & installation.
Another failed effort by the Morgan Repair Team to add additional support for the head pan.  Rather than attempt to support the pan by adhering fiberglass mat to the vertical face of the support beam, I built up a brace from the hull and supported the beam from below.  Once braced from below, I added a layer of heavy mat between the hull and the face of the support beam.
I am confident this is a permanent solution.
Additional images from these repairs can be found in our Tabbing Repairs – 2014 Photo Album.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Exercise Is Good for the Idle Engine

Musical Engines… On the 16th we hoisted Pilgrim’s old Yanmar into the C&C 40.  This cleared the pallet just off Pilgrim’s stern.  Next we lifted the Beta Marine engine free of C’est la Vie and set it on the empty pallet. Not bad for a morning’s work.

Our Beta Marine engine has sat idle since we winterized it in December 2013.  A lack of exercise is as detrimental to a diesel engine as it is to the human body.  So I decided a bit of run time on the Beta would be worth the effort.

I plumbed up the coolant system, connected and bled the fuel system, wired up the glow plugs and starter motor, installed the alternator to serve as a pulley for the water pump, etc.

As usual she was a bit reluctant to start after a long rest, but once running she purred along nicely. 

Since the engine was so reluctant to start, I pulled the four glow plugs and tested each one individually.  I’ve never done this before.  It required a 10mm deep socket to extract each plug from the engine block.  Once in hand,  I wired the positive lead on the plug directly to the starter battery via a wire with a terminal eye.  I held the plug with a pair of vice grips – if functional they get very hot, very fast.  The plugs pick up their ground from the engine block.  To activate the plugs I simply held a ground wire against the threads on the plugs body.  Within 5 seconds the plugs grew hot.  By 10 seconds the ends visibly glowed red – hence the name. All of the plugs functioned properly. Prior to re-installing, I cleaned up each plug’s threads with a wire brush and added some graphite anti-seize. 

While the Beta is out of the boat I plan to replace the hose that connects the oil pan to the manual oil extraction pump.  The hose is not leaking, but does have obvious damage.  It likely got pinched when we last had the engine out of C’est la Vie in 2012.  The hand pump’s original mounting position is on the port side of the engine.  Based on Pilgrim’s engine compartment layout, I will likely mount the pump on the starboard side of the engine.

Pilgrim’s drive shaft is significantly larger than C’est la Vie’s.  We will need to replace the engine coupling.  This will also be completed while the engine is out of the vessel.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Empty Engine Compartment Equals Expanding Project List

Removing the Yanmar from Pilgrim provides rarely available “easy” access to mechanical and storage spaces in the vessel.  Gaining additional access equals expanding the project list. 

The process begins by removing all unnecessary hoses, wires, etc.    Next  the shop vac extracts all the loose debris.  Finally all painted surfaces and exposed hull receive a scrub down with Tri-sodium Phosphate (TSP).  

Pilgrim’s engine beds required some de-greaser in addition to the usual TSP.

The cleaning phase provides me opportunity become intimately familiar with the space and systems.  Thus during the cleaning I typically add to the basic project list.  The project list requires the prioritization for projects.  While we have unfettered access to the engine compartment now is the time to…

Service or replace the packing gland…

Rebuild Pilgrim’s decrepit  “torpedo tube” drain manifold…
This sad looking system of hoses & PVC pipe feeds the deck drains, shower pan drain, and bilge pump to the "torpedo tube" thru-hull drains.
Add a pedestal guard in the cockpit…
Run wires for electronics through the new pedestal guard…
Replace the failing throttle cable…
Service the steering pulleys…
Add a small, secondary fuel tank provide a gravity fuel feed to the engine…

Fabricate a proper wall for the port side of the engine compartment (Morgan 382 owners will know what I am talking about.  For the rest of you I’m certain there will be future posts, and likely a photo album, devoted to the project…
Paint the engine compartment…
Add sound proofing…

All the above projects are supplemental to the primary task at hand… install the Beta Marine engine.  Switching engines offers its own project list and priorities:
Modify the engine beds…
Modify the engine coupling…
Rebuild the exhaust system…
Rebuild the raw water intake…
Rebuild the fuel delivery and filters – this goes hand in hand with adding a fuel tank…
Install a new engine instrument panel …

We will not be lacking for content to share on the blog.  Now if I could only find the time to keep the blog updated…