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Thought for the day - How to seal pin holes and yet another leak and how a boat became and IOM

The last of the leaks

Despite thinking I had fixed all the leaks, the boat was leaking worse than ever last Tuesday. Clearly I was missing something.

There is only the fin box to allow any water ingress as the bow is sealed. There are pin holes but the water was entering at a cupful every twenty minutes. If the boat was left out an hour it would sink.

Under further investigation and dipping the boat in the fish pond with a heavy weight in it, the water appeared to be entering from the front of the fin box but I had fixed the leaks there. After drying the boat out and looking at the underside of the fin box, there appeared to be a possible gap at the back of the box and a possible crack down one side. The water must be entering at the back bottom of the fin box and escaping at the front So it was out with the 5 min epoxy again to patch up the very back which appeared to solve the major leak. A further dip in the fish pond confirmed the leak was where I thought it to be and fixed.

Onto the pin holes and one helpful brother David, who organises the distribution of marine products in Europe amongst other things. He suggested trying a product called "MagicEzy Hairline fix", which comes in a variety of colours. The stuff penetrates, bonds, colours and strengthens fibreglass, plastic and aluminium. It comes in a small tube which you shake and then just follow the instructions. Smear some of the liquid over the crack or hole and then rub in with a straight edge and wipe off any excess. Allow to cure over 24 hours and the job is done unless you need to repeat to build up layers.

You can see from the pictures below I had a lot of pinholes, maybe more pin holes than paint or the beginnings of a nice planetarium. Whilst I did not have an exact colour match the result was not that bad.

I covered most of the hull in product and rubbed it in with the edge of a biro and wiped off excess with tissue. You can tell if the pin holes were filled as when you light the inside of the boat, the light is shaded blue.

Once I had filled all the pins and sanded the boat it was time to test. I pushed the boat down to the gunwales for 4 minutes in the pond and the boat remained bone dry. The forecast is for wind this Tuesday so the boat will be well tested.

Becoming an IOM

The other event this week was a visit to Gosport Model Yacht and Boat Club to get my boat measured. The Frensham measurers are still shielding. Paul Edwards (official measurer) was very accommodating and made the whole process easy. He was not helped when I like an idiot had just got the boat, rig box and stand out of the car and then proceeded to lock my car keys in the boot. Unfortunately there were three new sails to be measured in there. A quick call to International Rescue (i.e. my better half) and the car would be unlocked within the hour. We did try opening it down the phone with a spare key but with no success.

As an aside, Gosport has two very nice sailing lakes with concrete surrounds and a lovely round clubhouse. They have 160 members and a program of racing every day of the week. They sail RC lasers, Multihulls, One Metres, Radio A, Vane 36, Vane A, DF65 and DF 95. I am jealous of their water and layout which is perfect for radio sailing but at over an hour away is too far for me.

We started with boat weight and here I found out that my scales under read by about 20 grams so remember if you weigh your boat before a meeting, make sure that the scales are correctly calibrated. Its OK if you are too heavy but if your scales over read you will be in trouble.

Sail and spar measurement was quick and easy as Paul uses templates for each rig and the sails are just laid over this.

Finally the fully rigged boat goes in a tank where the rudder is checked to be inside a vertical below the the transom, the boat length is measured, the bottom of the keel when the boat is floating has to pass over a wire in the tank and the hull has to do the same. Mine cleared by 5mm so I know I can drop the keel by 3-4 mm. You would not believe how much water collected in the bottom of the boat over the short time it was in the tank.

The boat passed all tests with flying colours so for the first time I can say I have an IOM. All ready for the Veterans meeting and the 20 knots forecast for Tuesday.

Here you can see the pin holes on the foredeck. Only a few allow ingress of water but the holes are over most of the hull.

Strictly speaking you should not apply MagicEzy like this but I wanted to make sure the product got right through any holes that would allow water ingress. The excess was easily sanded off with wet and dry.

Here you can see the filled pin holes showing as blue dots. I do not mind the tiny dents but I do mind the water ingress. The hull will be rubbed down and polished tomorrow.

Here you can see how I have sealed any potential leak points in the bottom of the fin box with MagicEzy. There is a tiny recess between the hole in the hull and the fin box.

MagicEzy available from Amazon. One tube has covered the who boat and I have loads spare. The tube is 4 inches long and a half inch diameter.

Weighing the boat.

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