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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Adding Tabbing to Starboard, Midship Bulkheads – Part 1

We foolishly though the tabbing repairs were complete. ..

The starboard lockers extending from the forward of the pilot berth in the salon to just aft of the vee berth in the forward cabin are constructed around a series of four bulkheads.   Like bulkheads in the head and galley we discovered that during construction Morgan Yachts intermittently tabbed the bulkheads to the hull.    Our mission for this project… fill in the missing sections of tabbing.

Simply exposing the hull in these lockers proved time consuming.    First all the shelving, hanging rods, and drawer hardware was removed.
Drawer just forward of starboard salon seat / berth.
We are not fond of drawers on the boat.  Often a great deal of space is devoted to the mechanics of the drawer.    As expected removing the slides and backstop of the drawer forward of the starboard salon seat revealed additional space outboard.  Sadly it also revealed an un-tabbed section of the bulkhead on the forward side of the drawer.
Removing the drawer backstop revealed additional space and a section of the bulkhead lacking tabbing, upper left.

This bulkhead serves as an anchor point for the forward lower chain plate.  Awkward as it may be we will be adding tabbing to this site.

In most of the lockers the hull was lined with a white, textured vinyl covering that seemed to serve as agar for growing mold.  With the shelving removed the vinyl covering peeled easily away from the hull leaving behind a gooey residue of aged contact cement.  MEK (methyl-ethyl-ketone) is the go to chemical for removing old contact cement.  MEK is toxic so personal protection equipment (PPE) is required.  When using MEK I don rubber, dishwashing style  gloves.  When using MEK in an enclosed space I wear a full face respirator with an organic vapor filter.   Once suited up it required a couple sweaty  hours of scrubbing the hull sections inside the lockers to remove all the old contact cement.  

To ensure any residual oil, dirt, grime, etc. would not compromise the bonding of future epoxy and paint, the next step was to wash down the interior of the lockers with TSP (tri sodium phosphate).  TSP is a heavy duty soap that we use prior to almost all interior painting projects.
Large hanging locker opposite head with liner removed and fiberglass cleaned.  This section above the waterline is tabbed to the hull along both sides. Note forward lower chain plate at top right of image.
With the fiberglass hull exposed and clean the next step is to lightly grind the areas that require tabbing.  The grinding serves to remove any irregular bumps or burs while also creating a rough surface to which the epoxy can adhere.  This step generates noxious dust.   Since the vee berth is currently providing clean storage for all Pilgrim’s cushions we sealed off the forward cabin and focused our efforts on the lockers / bulkheads opposite the head at the forward end of the salon.
Dust from grinding litters the sole outside the lockers.  Vee berth is masked off to protect cushions.

To be continued…

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