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High Flow

FD woodie deck overhaul

15 posts in this topic

Hi Folks

 

I'm gonna do a deck job on my '72 Bianchi e Cecchi FD.

The deck was completely redone in 2008 and I haven't touched it since.

In general it still looks quite good, but when locking closer the varnish has cracked on certain spots.

I organized a workshop this winter so I have all the facilities I need.

I have never done a whole varnish removal before so what can you advice me to do?

Sand down to the wood? Etching?

What new varnish to use?

What layup?

Epoxi?

The guys who redid the deck advised me to use this: Nautilus Polyurethan Enamel 2 Component (it's an Italian thing).

It's a beautiful boat and I want her to stay just that way.

I'll do some optimization of the fittings as well but nothing big.

The boat leaks quite a lot so I'll try and fix that as well.

 

Here some pictures of the "problem zones"

 

post-3441-0-40161500-1383510251_thumb.jpg

 

post-3441-0-96013000-1383510284_thumb.jpg

 

post-3441-0-65885700-1383510306_thumb.jpg

 

post-3441-0-52136000-1383510335_thumb.jpg

 

post-3441-0-46205100-1383510364_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What do you recon?

Do I really need to get it all off?

I'm not trying to minimize effort. I want to do the best and sustainable effort!

Thanks for your inputs.

max

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Cabinet scraper. file off the corners so they dont dig into the wood. The problem with sanding is that it never seems to sand the wood evenly, so you end up either with a blotchy finish or you go through the top layer of veneer. A cabinet scraper will take the varnish off in a very controlled way while keeping the surface flat. Here's everything you need to know: http://woodgears.ca/scraper/

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Oh and no you don't need to get it all off, just feather the edges carefully and slowly once you've done the scraping, then build up the low area with a few coats of varnish. Once that's done, give the whole deck a good flatting back with 220 or 240 grit on a nice big pad and finish with a coar or 2 of Epifanes or similar.

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+1 on the scraper idea. Sanding sucks. If you are serious, use a heat gun. When the old varnish starts to wrinkle, scrape away. Do take some pictures, and post them on the fdbulletin.org site, too.

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i will take pictutesfor sure!

some else suggested only to patch the affected areas as the rest still looks ok.

the main motivation to do that besides the time saving is that the wood does get damaged every time the varnish is scraped/sanded off and you can only do it so many times before you have to redo the whole deck.

I have no experience with this, but won't you see the transition between patched and old varnish? would I need at least one coating over the whole deck to get that smooth look?

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Yes. Feather the edges well, fill the 'divots' with coats of varnish, then flatten everything back with sandpaper on a sanding pad, before giving it a full overall coat. Epifanes is a great varnish for it, expensive but very good.

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thanks, thats what i wanted to hear!

I'll try it in one area and have a look how well I manage and how good you can spot the patched areas.

if you can see them easily I'll probably you do it all!

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as I'm redoing the deck ill also be working on some other areas to, especially controls.

I one saw a picture of a nice carbon baseplate someone had build around the maststep. on that plate he had mounted all the all blocks and attachment points for the control lines. looked really neat!

it doesn't need to be carbon but I need a structural mount point as a lot of fittings pulled out of the deck near the mast step which the previous owner had just screwed through the deck without securing it from the other side.

I want to add two lids on both sides of the mast step to be able to access these points from underneath.

 

I have some questions concerning the control lines in that area:

- what purchase do you run on the cunningham? mine is only 2:1 and doesn't really get me anywhere.

- why is one end of the vang/kicker split rather wide to either side of the mast? I've seen this on other boats and I had it on mine but both support ripped out of the deck as I mentioned above. now I don't split that end and run it directly to the maststep, which is the only structural point in that area. it is somewhat crowded down there though!

- how do you cope with the huge range the vang / kicker needs to cover when raking the mast. do you have some sort of coarse adjustment on one end?

I helped myself with a dyneema splice with I can tighten easily (manually) when there is no tension on. I unhook the vang from the boom when on land or in the harbour because it interferes with the centerboard when fully raised. in order to hook and unhook I need a lot of slack in the system. do you also unhook the vang from the boom? it prevents the boom from gybing when the board is up and in a blow I'm afraid of capsizing the boat on land or in the water before we get on. splitting one end of the vang to both sides of the mast won't help as the rest will still be in the middle and in the way!

 

thanks and I'll be bringing more questions and pictures soon!

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Wood boats will always show their scars. They earn many of them honorably, but unlike plastic boats, they need to have their skins ( finishes) stitched up. So a wood boat will seldom look as perfect as a plastic boat. You should seal dings and scratches as soon as possible after they occur, a stitch in time saves nine. Scuff the offended area and dab varnish early and often. It may look slightly less good in the parking lot, but the intervals between major refinishes will be longer and problems associated with letting the wood get wet will be less likely to bite you.

 

If you want to make it look "perfect" you have to pretty much do a 100% job.

This is because the finish materials have weathered and changed color and because the wood where the finish has failed or been chipped has weathered and changed color from the wood that has been under the finish.

the discolorations where the wood has been exposed because the finish has foiled or been dinged will not magically disappear.

Making the wood grain a uniform color can involve bleaching and staining, all of which is tricky.

So getting to showboat is a whole lot of work.

However, stabilizing and maintaining the wood is a more attainable objective.

Identify the areas that need work, sand them and "feather" back the finish surrounding them. Build up the coating to the same level.

If there were 7 coats of varnish on the deck, you need to put 7 coats on the repairs.

Once everything is back up to one level, you can give the deck a light duff with fine sand paper or a scotchbrite and give the whole thing a coat of varnish.

Areas like where the covering strip has broken away from the deck edge can be "reefed out" with a narrow saw blade and carefully filled with thin epoxy to prevent further degradation. Dings that go all the way through the finish need to be exposed and resealed. Sometimes a drop of un-thickened epoxy is a wise option. The areas around the genoa leads and other wear spots can be sanded smooth and tastefully reinforced with very light glass ( like 4oz 120g/m^2 ) they will be invisible and more resistant to chafe. Traditionally wood boats have used metal or in later years Phenolic to reinforce areas of high wear. Phenolic is a lower tech version of G-10 and is more or less mahogany colored, so it has a very low visible impact. It bonds with epoxy, so small strips can be let in where things chafe on wood.

 

So embrace patch work and small, on going maintenance intervals!

SHC

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Second the phenolic idea, is that what we brits call Tufnol? Works well. Also, if you refinish, alot of the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association guys over here use G4 pondsealer to seal bare wood. I used it last year on a Merlin Rocket interior and it is standing up well, much better than the decks which we are going to strip and do the same way this year. It's also on some high abrasion areas of the big boat and it's standing up much better than just varnish It's a clear aliphatic sealer/primer thats very flexible, very adherent (though less so than epoxy) and dries very rapidly. A bit like a single pack version of Coelan, without the astronomical price. A lot cheaper than epoxy too. You get 3 or 4 coats on in a day which builds up a tough surface, leave it to harden fully for a few days, then flat it back and apply at least 2 coats of varnish with uv inhibitors in it. Done in 2 weekends with the weekdays to harden. The varnish is just there for uv protection, so you don't need 13 coats...! It's standing up to abuse very well indeed, and the only place it got damaged was when a chisel was dropped on it. It also takes repairs more easily than epoxy, builds faster and is generally a lot easier to work with. Single pack so its good for daubing on little areas of damaged varnish, esp with its quick drying. Like Steve said, daub something on evey nick and ding as they happen, will save or at least delay major full refinish.

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- what purchase do you run on the cunningham? mine is only 2:1 and doesn't really get me anywhere.

 

1:4 seems to work really well on the FD.


- why is one end of the vang/kicker split rather wide to either side of the mast? I've seen this on other boats and I had it on mine but both support ripped out of the deck as I mentioned above. now I don't split that end and run it directly to the maststep, which is the only structural point in that area. it is somewhat crowded down there though!

 

Mine is split, it has a loop it attaches to the floor of the boat; it has a single block on it that allows the kicker to work when the boom swings. If you put it directly behind the mast that should work, but you are right... there's a lot of stuff in there!


- how do you cope with the huge range the vang / kicker needs to cover when raking the mast. do you have some sort of coarse adjustment on one end?

 

The vang doesn't necessarily change at all during raking. Remember you are raking from the base of the mast step, and the vang deals with a different angle, that between the mast and boom. That doesn't change at all during raking. If we had a backstay on FD's, that'd be a totally different story. You can crank it on to induce some lower mast bend, but that's about it. 32:1 is what the new boats use; that's a lot of control. a 10# pull is now 320#? It's a good way to blow an older boat apart.

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- what purchase do you run on the cunningham? mine is only 2:1 and doesn't really get me anywhere.

 

1:4 seems to work really well on the FD.

 

- why is one end of the vang/kicker split rather wide to either side of the mast? I've seen this on other boats and I had it on mine but both support ripped out of the deck as I mentioned above. now I don't split that end and run it directly to the maststep, which is the only structural point in that area. it is somewhat crowded down there though!

 

Mine is split, it has a loop it attaches to the floor of the boat; it has a single block on it that allows the kicker to work when the boom swings. If you put it directly behind the mast that should work, but you are right... there's a lot of stuff in there!

 

- how do you cope with the huge range the vang / kicker needs to cover when raking the mast. do you have some sort of coarse adjustment on one end?

 

The vang doesn't necessarily change at all during raking. Remember you are raking from the base of the mast step, and the vang deals with a different angle, that between the mast and boom. That doesn't change at all during raking. If we had a backstay on FD's, that'd be a totally different story. You can crank it on to induce some lower mast bend, but that's about it. 32:1 is what the new boats use; that's a lot of control. a 10# pull is now 320#? It's a good way to blow an older boat apart.

totally agree (in theory) about the vang issue when raking. somehow it doesn't work for me. because the vang attachment point isn't exactly at the mast rotation point (rake)?

maybe I have difficulties with the vang range for a different reason: I only need tonns of vang if the breeze is on and the mast is raked far back. then I have problems with the range and blame it one the rake. I guess the real problem is the slack I need to hook the vang to the boom once I leave the slip. not needing that would save me a lot of range on the slack-side.

 

1:4 seams reasonable. I'll see if I can hook that up easily. I definitely won't change the purchase on the shroud and genoa but i could do with more travel on the shrouds. these boxes I have suck though. small travel and tonns of friction!

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Agree with the slack thing. We usually can only b-a-r-e-l-y get it attached, and then go from there. But we do it under way.

 

The Europeans use the vang at the start, on to move forward a little, off to stay in place or go backward. it's a sight to see for sure.

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