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uh Oh!

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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uh Oh!

Post by aliwildatwork » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:30 am

Sadly, yesterday after going to lunch on Lake Lanier, when we were returning to our marina, just as we turned into the no wake zone I noticed our rug in the cabin floating 10 inches above where it should be :cry: Back in the slip we were able to get the marina to bring down a couple of sump pumps and keep her up long enough to hook up a generator to the pumps and wait for a trailer to pull us out. Only having the boat a month, it was truly scary. She's out and safe for now, but I would like any and all advice about how to go about fixing her. the leak is just under the sink in the galley. About nine inches from nw to se, it soft.. Obviously from someone before me running over something. There are several places within driving distance that sell marine plywood. Should I attempt? Do I let the Marina repair shop fix it? What do ya' think?
Image

PS... Professionals at the marina are doing some research, will get back to me asap. What size plywood? Mahoghany? Marine? replace panels or just patch? Resealing bottom? Any advice on Epoxy coating the bottom? Time to repaint sides too?

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Post by ed laning » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:17 pm

Sorry to hear of your trouble. We really need to know more in order to offer advice. I tend to think the wood in your pic looks like planks not plywood. What size, year and model is your boat? Epoxy coating is a certain no-no. Ed
1978 22' CC Dory outboard

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:21 pm

Ed, it's a '68, 26' Cavalier Futura. Plywood.

Is this the first one or the parts boat? One thing about the plywood boats, they're easier to repair than planked ones. You don't want to begin and end a patch at a frame but do it half-way between two frames. Screw the new and old plywood to an interior batten. The batten needs to be the full width plus some and large enough to have 3 rows of fasteners. Ending a patch at a frame doesn't allow the plywood to curve around it as it needs to do. Also screw interior batten strips along the joints between old and new plywood. Use a good marine adhesive caulk.

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Post by aliwildatwork » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:41 pm

Rags is a 1968 Cavalier Futura 26' , It is plywood for certain... There are already several repairs, and obviously it is way less to do a repair patch than an entire bottom. The guy we bought it from is a 31 year veteran of the boat but also the marina/dock/slip/people around and has offered to assist in any/ all repairs. The marina has changed names more times than Rags has changed motors, (5 motors) and she has outlived them all.
The marina mechanics/repair/ doitall guys are cautious, respectfully. They want to make sure they do a good job in all directions. Tomorrow there is another opinion coming, an old wooden boat guy from the area, so....

Having just spent a good deal on the boat...the slip, the insurance, the fluff... a new bottom is scary...way scary to me and the marina shop. I will post as it goes... suffice it to say love doesn't make a boat float. Neither does trust.

Also, the parts boat is available still but for $3500 and this issue it may have to wait, auction was a dud, only one person showed to buy other than us, a flipper from Fla, everyone else was just curious. So...who knows

Has anyone done these patches? Is two soft spots too many? when is a new bottom essential? the battons, 5200, and all I feel confident about, what are the things I am not looking at? What's the whole enchilada?

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Post by Captain Nemo » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:21 pm

Don't be afraid of such a repair. It is a lot less complicated than a plank boat. Al described it pretty well. I'd take any advice from the old wood boat guy you have coming and dive into it! Remember to have fun with it. It's very rewarding to make a big hole in your boat and close it back up. :D
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

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Post by aliwildatwork » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:03 pm

Five days is a lifetime when waiting to find out what someone recommends for your boat repairs. today, a very experienced wooden boat guy told me if he did the job it would take six months. I have only owned her for just over one month. Wooden boats here are not the "thing". recommendation was to replace the plywood on the front 1/4 of the boat and do two patches. also a full survey though not licensed as a surveyor to find any and all soft areas. tune of 2250.00. if not more. depending on ribs...keel... I am going to start a journal somewhere about the process somewhere so as i learn I can help others. I have read many times where people have made new ribs, new bottoms, new planking, new everything, I know she can be fixed. however i was a little faint when it was suggested to ditch her and get another boat.

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Post by Captain Nemo » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:44 pm

Sounds like this could be an extensive job :( . But six months to do a partial repair sounds like a long time if he were to be working full time on her. that 2250.00 figure, was that for the repair or the survey? If it is for the survey you can get that cheaper.
I would take my jacknife and poke around her framing and if you can find four or five bad spots right away I would consider seeing if the parts boat you mentioned is any better. Replacing plywood is a lot simpler than getting into the framing.
I know these things can be agonizing. Without looking at her I can't tell you weather or not she is worth saving. Keep your head up it's all part of the sickness of wood boat ownership.
Good Luck,
Mark
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

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Post by rpccc43 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:13 am

Aliwild,

Mark (Capatain Nemo) is right. This is not a difficult repair and it is rewarding and fun to open up your boat and make the needed repairs yourself. Owning a wooden boat is not for the faint of heart and the best way to learn is educate yourself on forums like this one and then jump in and do it. I just replaced 30 feet of garboard (plank next to the keel)planking that looked just like your photo. It's always a little scary taking things apart especially not knowing what you will find underneath (and you will). After a while you will gain confidence and get used to the Pandora's box moments. Spend the money on tools not the marina staff and have at it. Good luck!

Randman

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Post by jfrprops » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:32 am

All the DON'T FREAK OUT advice is right on.

This is simple repair....get it up high enough to work under there and the rest is boat repair 101.

Pull her, block her, cut it out put it back just like Al says and go crusin.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Post by aliwildatwork » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:13 am

It really helps to read of of the support you all have posted. Thanks to EVERYONE! It is Monday and another boatwright is coming to look at the boat and offer another opinion. At this time I feel confident that Rags is more than repairable but I am disappointed that it is going to take time away from fall on the Lake. I don't have space to bring her home and work on her, I would if I could. I have been told by the guys that they have no problems sharing their space and letting me do some of it myself. Thy Plywood is 1/2 inch. Does anyone have a recommendation for the best kind to replace it with? Also in putting her on stands, where is the best place to put stands, for keeping her straight? As there aren't many wooden boats on our lake, this will be a learning experience for everyone involved, actually it already has been. Bronze screws? It doesn't look like there are ribs in the bow, just stringers, is this me? I am a planner, I visualize everything before I do it. Then I jump in and kamikaze my way through, I want to be diligent and do this right! I was really looking forward to doing the brightwork and topside first. I guess it is meant to be the otherway around.

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Post by Al Benton » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:23 pm

Ali,

Here's a good example of a cruiser on the hard for repair work;

Image

She's a bit bigger than yours, this is a 57' Connie but shows solid blocking under the keel in several places and jack stands around the perimeter. Block her up higher than this so you have more work space. The jack stands need to be under main frames.

The stands can be moved around somewhat to access work areas by having a couple of extra ones. Screw one tight beside the one you need to move, then unscrew the one that's in the way.

Use meranti marine grade (7 or 9 ply) plywood. A couple of reliable names brands are HydroTek and Aquatek. Google these to find sources and prices near you. Yes, use silicon bronze screws, Jamestown should have them.

I'll pass on recommending an adhesive caulk. John in VA? What say you on this?

Al

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Post by jfrprops » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:24 pm

as usual I am right with Al on all he says.

This is a permanent repair so go ahead and use 3M 5200, fast cure if you don't expect to be out a week.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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where to post?

Post by aliwildatwork » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:08 pm

I'd like to share as much of this process as possible, is this the best thread? I've got some new pictures and a lot of questions, is there a better place? On the Hard? It's a process for sure..Hopefully not too timely or expensive...silly thought right? Anywhoo...is here okay or move to another area? Thanks...

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Post by Al Benton » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:07 pm

Actually, this would be a good place for continuing the progress. From discovery to conclusion in one neat package.

Keep us advised as you go along. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Al

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Making a plan, whether it sticks or not?

Post by aliwildatwork » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:37 am

Herre is a picture or two of "Rags" as she sits on the trailer.
Image,
This is the big hole/crack that started the hole thing
Image
It is under the sink and refrigerator in the galley area, the whole area is soft in about 14' by 30 ' more or less. I think that will be replaced by a quarter sheet of plywood. As we started inspecting the bottom we found another spot just forward of the old head pour out

Image, Its hard to see on film but it's only an inch or so above the rub rail, small patch right?



ImageUpon more scrutiny, we found soft areas on the chine above the water line and below the v-berth bed area
ImageThis would more than likely be from water seeping in from the top, around the aluminum where it meets the deck and is not caulked well. Recomended, two new clips on front, although from the inside it is not soft, really..

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making a plan...

Post by aliwildatwork » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:52 am

Image, opposite the big problem on the other side is another area of softness, also in my opinion due to seepage from the top to the bottom, this is the bottom picture but the wood at the top also has an area thar should be replaced below and up to the aluminum. My fear is that when I take that aluminum off she'll open up like a stuffed doll without a stitch.

Image Damage from the water coming in from the top, from the inside.

Bill (previous owner of 31 years) said recently Rags is showing he ass because he sold her to us, the boat has been in the lake all of it's 42 years and has had regular maintenance, ie bottom paint, motor work, etc. Although, the last few years he has been dealing with cancer and she got to be a little much for him, hence us.
Today, she's going up in the sling for further scrutiny and hopefully an estimate for repairs. It's perfect weather this week, after a really hard rain this weekend that revealed several areas where water comes in from the top. More later with any luck!

Image
Image

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:25 am

Thanks for the photos, Ali. She's a beauty. It appears that you re-sized these before posting them this time. That's not necessary. Postimage can handle full size JPG files and they're easier to look at more detail.

Wow, lots of soft spots, hopefully the frames are solid. I'm thinking the plywood is de-laminating here and there, not necessarily caused by rot. Rot will migrate into frames but de-laminating just affects the plywood. Check the frame members for any soft wood though.

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Post by jfrprops » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:50 pm

Those pics are pretty normal wear and tear looking to me. This is just a cut it out and glue it back with 5200, cpes, and other modern material and goop. We have great goop these days....make use of it. Don't get too wroght up about this job...cut and glue and GO.
John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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in the sling..

Post by aliwildatwork » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:20 am

I'm not sure whether I would have preferred to be there or not when they took her off the trailer and stuck her up, Bill was there and said she was fine, the guys made a few comments that she flexed more than they liked so the moved the straps a few times.
Image
but here she is, all slung up, she's beautiful!

Image
Impatient as I am, I found my own expert from the area and had him come over and give a looksee. First thing I liked about him was that he used a pencil, not a hammer to tap her. He's a shipwright with tons of experience, and the other thing I liked is that he said the plywood is just a "skin" and nothing to worry about....however the guys had smacked a big hole in her and revealed what everyone has bee afraid of from the very beginning.....
Image
Stringer rotted through, part of bulkhead, who knows what else...and whom ever said it was fun to have a a giant hole and put it back together... so far this is not fun, I do think it is interesting that the sky was so dark and moody as they were telling my how much it would cost....

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Post by aliwildatwork » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:08 am

So after a long time with the shipwright poking little holes in the hull, scratching his head and looking at her, he said in a wonderful british accent that the work was doable, and that it would be around 4000. I'd have to have her moved to his place, and that it did not include the re-painting of anything. That was just the framework and the skin. He also said that the gravity of the work really needed to be supervised by someone who kew what they were doing because it's the frame that hold the shape and structure of the boat. His time line for work was about three weeks. Long about this time Bill came rolling around. Pleasant introductions were passed and my shipwright left and said to let him know... Bill was more encouraging than the shipwright. He really does feel badly about this whole mess. Regardless, here we are.
Image I think this is the worst of it. Any other framework rot would definitely scare me, but since this was the worst and largest area of soft, I am hoping it's the only frame rot.
Image under the head, behind the big hole
Image front right clip
Image above the front right clip at the gunwale
Image chine, front, to cut or not to cut?
Image matching on the left, at least she's balanced that way.
Next the shop guys came over and started talking turkey... Their quote is 4500 on the high end, including paint and not having to move her anywhere save for maybe into the shop bay and out of the weather, also if there isn't anymore frame damage the quote would go down, time line, 2 1/2 weeks and I can fiddle as much as I like in the process.
Needless to say we haven't made any formal decisions, Bill invited us to his new boat and we had a cold one, talked boat, talked family, talked work and sat on the lake for a hour or so.
The way I see it is, there are some advantages to both... I would love to say money is no worry, but since the quotes are so close it is moot. The marina guys are kind, friendly and know how long this boat has been in the lake, the marina, they know Bill well, and Bill can and will "supervise", to make sure Rags is well taken care of. Their reputation is their lively-hood. The Shipwright is experienced and this is his specialty. I know I could do it, but not in three weeks, and honestly I don't have the space anywhere, or the confidence to trailer her anywhere...not with that gaping hole in her side. So the adventure continues, new day, going up there today to pull out the head and find the leak or seepage that could've caused the rot on that side. Also to try to see where else water is coming in and wreaking havoc, although I agree, this mostly looks like normal age and wear on a 42 yr old wooden boat.

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Post by aliwildatwork » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:17 am

I hopefully figured out how not to re-size the pictures, it seemed to be the default action when uploading pictures. If there are any pictures anyone is really interested I would be happy to re-post them. I need all the help I can get. Your inputs have been immeasurable assistance to me and my soul. I can't wait to get back out on the lake.
Image

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Post by jfrprops » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:21 am

Ok, my take:
Sure, you are a bit freaked out right now....sort of hostage to the yard and the boat....chill out.
I am more afraid of that haulout lift and the skinny straps, and few straps, than I am of ANYTHING related to the repairs. The "shape" as you say of that boat is well recorded in her ancient "memory", this is plywood and batten backing.....does not get more simple than that. Block it up, cut out, replace, back batten stuff...roll on. Don't worry about replacing components in the exact configuration as the original..for in fact you can't do that...PATCH it up, workmanlike patches. 5200, sil bronz screws, backing boards....just do it. Wood type/quality?
Who cares? This boat has lasted all these years and will not be able to last that number again no matter what. Using modern plywood products and miracle goops available today this is pretty doable stuff, and fun...no matter how bad it looks right now.If this is not fun...why do it?

If it was me, I would get her away from the yard where any of us is held captive ($) and haul her somewhere I could work at my pace...it is winter coming on..you have time..take it.
John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Post by Captain Nemo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:55 pm

I agree w/ John, doing it yourself is the way. It's not rocket science :lol: . It will save you alot of money. Frankly, if the repair bill gets over 4000.00 that is more than the boat is worth. Patch 'er up good and go boating! I would also look closely at that transom cut-out to see if that was done in a structurally sound manner.
-Mark
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

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Post by jfrprops » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:52 pm

Mark is certainly right on that transom gate deal...check that out....nice to have, but have to wonder if it compromises structural strength....or let's rain water in and around mid transom area??
John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Post by aliwildatwork » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:51 am

I spent some time on rags yesterday, in the belly of the beast so to speak, looking at the areas of attention and trying to figure out Where the water is coming from. It's not new and I've only had her 7 weeks, during which she's been in a covered slip. She's actually always been in a covered slip. It is my opinion that it's from seepage top to bottom. Seams not caulked well, topside work not finished, old boat stuff. The big hole is just forward from the old head discharge. but the water rot looks more like gravity feed from the top and downward, it just found a level spot and stuck. Rags always leans left in the water, holding tank, batteries, fridge full of beverages, all on the left, I can see where water might have held there. I pulled the 40 year old, still working, "Raritan Crown Head" out for a new coat of paint, and a bathroom redo. all the fittings are tight and the leak is no from there.It's noisy but it works. I know these didn't come with a sink but I was wondering if anyone has a source for a lavatory that might fit. I'm going to build a short closet for the broom and some extra storage in there.

The transom was re-done with furniture grade Mahoghany, The structural aspects are sound, and it is a blessing to walk through, especially with dogs, coolers, and all the fluff we bring when we go to the lake. Rain water came in yesterday while under the sling's covering but for the most part she's always in a slip, backed in, well away from rain water.

Has anyone re-done their Galley? There is a product here that is super lightweight, made from recycled glass that looks like granite or terrazzo depending on the style you choose, we're going to do a dinette table top and galley counter from it but if anyone has pictures of their re-do I can use the inspiration.

Sanding the bottom starts today, checking the wood all around before repairs. I don't feel hostage the the yard, or the boat and my freaking out moment has passed. Now I am just eager. The money, well we bought the boat, should've done a better job of checking her out but now we've got her and we're going to fix her. You can put a price to what we get out of her when we are on the lake.

Image

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Post by cenger » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:32 am

That’s the spirit. I’ve come to the realization that I will never be rich because I like boats and that’s just fine with me.

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Post by BrokenRule2 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:02 am

I do not known what the inside of this type of Chris Craft looks like. Are the rot areas hidden from the surveyor when you got the boat? Is this in some type of void? Makes me wonder what lies under my feet...

Thanks for posting the story and photos as they don't write books with this information, feeling and detail concerning repairs. It is very helpful.

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Post by Al Benton » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:58 pm

Ali,

I enjoyed your last post. A boat that lives outside, covered slip or not, is going to get wet. There are some things that can be dome to minimize this but water will still find its way in. On top, try to set hardware and trim into bedding compound. This may prevent water from following screw holes in. On my 1960, 27' Connie, the cabin sliding windows are the biggest culprit. They just leak, period. Clear the weep-holes, clean the tracks, they just are not designed to shed all the water they seem to attract. On the aft deck, use bedding compound under the toe boards so water will drain to the scuppers. Rain still gets in through the hatches though. not much can be done about that.

The leaky windows on the Connie cause water to run down to the top shelf of her chines behind the galley, dinette and head, areas that are out of sight, out of mind. They are hard to get to. Dirt collects on the chine, add water from leaks, result is rot. I have replaced both chines and adjoining planks over the last couple of years.

When you own an old wood cruiser these things simply come with the territory. You try to maintain them, repair them when you have to and enjoy them until the next surprise pops it's ugly head up. Then you deal with it too. It's part of the experience.

Al

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Post by aliwildatwork » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:06 am

I have trouble not going to see her everyday, yesterday I abstained.I did have a new key fabricated for the cabin door and I began repainting the head. This morning the plan is to go up and see the sanding that has started. I think Al has hit it on the head. The whole enchilada! I have spent a lot of time looking at her inside and out and all of these areas are hidden beneath floor boards, behind refrigerators, under fixed interior pieces. When we had her on the trailer we took everything out of her. Chairs, cushions, cleaning supplies, fluff and all. Now as she sits there is no floor in the head as I took that out on Thursday to get at the big hole from inside. My original orientation of the holes was incorrect, the big one is under the head, not the galley. I believe it's from the windows and topside run off. One of my projects is going to be to shop vac the interior ridges that are caked with dust, debris and funk. It is likely that these areas clogged the drain off and rotted the wood. When she was filling with water things were floating around that I had never seen, I pulled a 3 in length of electrical tape out of the front bilge pump, bits of wire ends, plastic shopping bag bits, cigarette wrappers all surfaced after the flooding. I had cleaned and swept her, vaccumed her, scrubbed and mopped several times before so all of it was a surprise and that doesn't begin to describe the dirt and oil embedded in the bilge. The stringers have collected dirt in some places along the chine. I will take pictures as I go so others can see what to look for. Spring cleaning a little early for me...

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Post by Al Benton » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:49 pm

Ali, where all that stuff (dirt, wrappers, etc.) comes from is a mystery. About a month ago I removed the cabin floors (they just lift out on mine) and brought the hose inside. I sprayed up under the galley and dinette until no "stuff" came out of these invisible areas but clear water. To get rid of the water I used a 120 volt sump pump with a large hose out one of the cabin windows. A couple of good size spiders washed out along with some old mud dobber nests, a pencil and a spoon (along with dirt, wrappers, etc.). This was collected in a short period, we cleaned it good when the chines were installed a couple or 3 years ago. Before I started I blocked the openings at the bulkhead so the "stuff" wouldn't flow aft under the engine.

With the hose going wide open, water built up fast, too fast for even 2) 500 GPH bilge pumps to handle. I didn't want them sucking up all the "stuff" so they were pulled out and the sump pump was used. It worked fairly good but still needed to wait for the water to flow through the frame openings to fill the area the pump was placed between the 2 lowest frames. I think I may start doing this once a year now. The tops of those new chines are probably cleaner than the original ones ever were.

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