The Lucky One

Repair of Used, New To Me, Inexpensive Force 5

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Backstory: I've built several skin on frame, fuselage framed, kayaks. While I enjoy it, Dave Gentry's Annabelle skiff design caught my eye as well, and I planned on building one in the next few years. I've never sailed a day in my life, just a bit of paddling. The concept of being propelled by the wind sounds awful good some days, especially after fighting a headwind on the paddle home. Then a friend passed along an email from an acquaintance, noting they were looking for someone to take a Force 5 sailboat & trailer off their hands, for the price of a dinner & ice cream. I drove the three hours and change out to Boston, gave it a look over, fixed up the trailer for the trip home, and made the trip back. Then I really learned what I've gotten myself into :lol:.

The good: I paid $100 for the boat & trailer (ought to be a good dinner & ice cream). Whatever I learn fixing it up is worth that price, even if I botch the job and end up using it as a planter in the front yard. Mast and lines are in good shape, as they were stored indoors. I haven't unbagged the sail yet and given it a good look over, but it's on my to-do list.

The bad: The daggerboard and rudder aren't in horrible condition overall, but the edges of both have some good nicks and dents. The varnish is worn off the edges, as well. Should easy enough to sand the varnish off, sand/plane the edges back to shape, filling in where I have to, then either fiberglass the edges and varnish them. There's a fair amount of gelcoat cracks throughout the boat, which are going to need touching up. Some are light, some are heavy enough that there might be fiberglass damage underneath. Won't know until I get in there with a Dremel. There's some screws that look to have been tightened too far, cracking the neighboring gelcoat. Those will need help. The thwart & splash coaming are rough, too. The thwart is cracked in spots, been repaired in another (not well, either), and in sore need of varnish. I haven't decided yet whether it's worth trying to salvage, or whether I should just pick up some more mahogany and replace it entirely. The splash coaming is in better shape, but it's still rough. The bottom of the daggerboard slot is going to need some attention, since it looks like the gelcoat has cracked around, and there's one blister.

The ugly: There was a *lot* of water in the hull, which has likely lead to the ugly damage. The trailer, according to the manufacturer (http://force5.us/forms/trailertemplate.pdf) is not set up properly... the bunks on the trailer are longitudinal, while the manufacturer recommends a specially shaped transverse bunk. The roller up by the bow looks too far forward, as well. I've been able to get the majority of the standing water out by siphoning then soaking & wringing a towel out, then lifting and supporting the trailer's tongue, to bring more back to the stern... wash, rinse, repeat. I finally got it to to the point where I couldn't get more out by the soaking & wringing. Once warmer weather hits in the spring, I'll cut an inspection hole in the deck of the bow, then set up a fan and dry it out as much as I can.

Once it's dry, I'll need to use that inspection hole in the bow to wrap the  mast tube. Might need a second inspection hole on the deck, between the well and the mast, but I'd like to avoid more than one hole if I can. There was definitely water in the tube when I first saw the boat, water up to the deck. Judging from the crack, I'm surprised there wasn't more water in the hull.  I figure water got into the tube then froze over winter, cracking the tube. From what I understand of the repair, I should be able to wrap the tube from the inspection ports for reinforcement, then clean up the interior of the tube. Something about laying a strip of wetted fiberglass over the damage,  then using one of those sausage shaped balloons to force the repair to a smooth round shape. It'll be interesting.

That spot up by the bow, on the underside of the hull, just looks nasty. I have a feeling the roller placed too far forward caused the damage, once the hull got filled with too much water, not to mention whatever wet heavy snow may have been piled up on the deck over winter. There's definitely fiberglass damage there. I'll need to cut out the damage, get the surrounding area beveled, and get a fiberglass repair in there. Being able to get a support medium on the interior of the hull, via that new inspection hole in the bow, should help.

Google Photos Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/29FJHGpIgWkdHVlz2

I've attached some highlights (heh). Any thoughts and comments?

P.S.: Please forgive the wiring taped to the trailer frame. It got the boat home on a cold & windy New England night. Rather than hunt down connection issues with the existing wiring, i just strung new with the new lighting kit. I'll be replacing the existing lights, track down the issue with the existing wiring, or just pull it and string new wiring while I'm at it.

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BowHullDamage.jpg

Edited by The Lucky One
Added a bit to the good section & and the P.S.

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The F5 has a lot of sail area for a beginner, get the small sail from Intensity for $100 while you learn to sail. http://www.intensitysails.com/insafo5jusa.html 

If someone capsized with the cunningham loose, the rig may have not been fully down in the tube when they righted the boat, that could also make that crack. I bet it was frozen, but just be sure the Cunningham is always tensioned at least a little.

You  want the front trailer support directly under the mast tube, there is no strength anywhere else up front. Use a broom handle to tap inside the mast tube while you feel underneath the hull to locate the spot. Then position your new cross bunk there. Put a sharpie mark there so you get the right spot each time you load the boat.

How good are your FG skilz?  I would wrap a lot of glass around that mast tube so you essentially have a new tube surrounding the old cracked tube. As you said, extra glass between tube and deck and tube and hull too. Quick and dirty and heavy. Take the eyes near the mast off the deck before so you dont glass over the hardware (and also add some strength there too)

Not the right way to fix the tube crack but the right way would take some skill.

 

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I'll take that advice on the sail. Anything that makes my education easier, I'll take. Saratoga Lake Sailing Club runs classes in the spring/summer as well, using Flying Scots... I figure taking a class and getting some formal education can't hurt, as well.

I'll make the adjustment on the trailer roller, and remember to mark that spot on the hull.

My FG skillz? Ha! I've read the books, and got the theory down pretty well... I think. I've certainly smeared enough PL premium & Rustoleum over polyester fabric to understand the concept of filling the weave. I'll do a bit of practicing on scrap first, though. Thanks for the tip on removing the hardware, too... certainly can't hurt, especially if I'm laying extra glass in the area. I plan on masking off the deck, wearing gloves (wonder where I can get pair of those latex gloves the vets use when they're doing the pregnancy checks on cows...), and wearing some cheap shirt. I'm sure I'm gonna get the sticky stuff everywhere.

I'm guessing that the proper repair method would be to replace the tube? I figure I can get away with the quick and dirty and heavy method. I'm not racing this gal... and she's only a year younger than myself, according to the hull number ('81). If I can have a few scars, so can she.

Thanks!

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On 11/13/2017 at 10:22 PM, The Lucky One said:

I'll take that advice on the sail. Anything that makes my education easier, I'll take. Saratoga Lake Sailing Club runs classes in the spring/summer as well, using Flying Scots... I figure taking a class and getting some formal education can't hurt, as well.

I'll make the adjustment on the trailer roller, and remember to mark that spot on the hull.

My FG skillz? Ha! I've read the books, and got the theory down pretty well... I think. I've certainly smeared enough PL premium & Rustoleum over polyester fabric to understand the concept of filling the weave. I'll do a bit of practicing on scrap first, though. Thanks for the tip on removing the hardware, too... certainly can't hurt, especially if I'm laying extra glass in the area. I plan on masking off the deck, wearing gloves (wonder where I can get pair of those latex gloves the vets use when they're doing the pregnancy checks on cows...), and wearing some cheap shirt. I'm sure I'm gonna get the sticky stuff everywhere.

I'm guessing that the proper repair method would be to replace the tube? I figure I can get away with the quick and dirty and heavy method. I'm not racing this gal... and she's only a year younger than myself, according to the hull number ('81). If I can have a few scars, so can she.

Thanks!

If you can put a small access port in the deck to reach the outside of the mast step tube, and under the deck, that would be good. It is possible to cut out a large access hole and then fiberglass the piece back in, but you'll want to open it up again later anyway. If the mast step tube is intact but needs reinforcing, this is not too big a job. Building ore replacing the whole things sounds like a great idea but it requires a higher level of structural work -AND- needs to be aligned carefully with the hull (most such repairs are not, and consequently the boat sails like shit forever after).

The busted-up hull under the bow can be repaired from outside just fine. It's a single skin. Grind off the gel coat over a wide area, lay one some new cloth, fair it smooth.

The difficult part is making it look pretty when you're done.

The animal vet gloves are a great idea!

FB- Doug

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+1 on the smaller sail. Force 5 is NOT a beginner boat as originally configured and in any decent wind is a handful. 

Having said that everyone should experience the joy of a $100 boat, it's about the same as a $500 car. 

We did the $100 purchase on a Merit 25 and 5 days to get it out of the slip before then next month's rent was due. 

$5k later it was a nice little boat with new bottom, topsides, and sails, covers, travelers, running rigging and we sold it for $3k. 

Enjoy your boat, learning how to do FG and brightwork and basic sailing and be willing to move on/up having paid small money for the lessons. 

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5 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

... Enjoy your boat, learning how to do FG and brightwork and basic sailing and be willing to move on/up having paid small money for the lessons. 

That's the idea I'm going with. I'm learning a bit more about sailboats (and boats in general) as I go along. The money I'm spending is change compared to aviation, bigger sailboats, powered boats, whiskey, and women... a lot of hobbies that I could be chasing otherwise ;).

7 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

Thanks! Good info there. Your splash guard looked as nasty as mine before rehabbing... my thwart might be worse, though. I'll likely pull mine off this weekend, see how bad the underside is, and make a determination of whether to coat 'em with epoxy like you did, or pick up some mahogany and just replace them. Replacing would give me a project over the winter to keep me busy, and keep my mind off the hull sitting in the backyard. We'll see.

7 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

If you can put a small access port... 

FB- Doug

I'll definitely be putting an access port in the bow, if for no other reason than to help the drying process (more on that later). I'll know better about the shape of the tube when I get into the interior. I can imagine the work it would take to replace the tube outright... would take a lot of work setting up a jig to get the tube positioned and aligned properly, then anchored so it wouldn't get repositioned while working. Not something I'd look forward to... so wrapping the tube and reinforcing the top & bottom sounds like a plan to me. Nice to hear about the damage to the hull, too. I'm not horribly concerned about how she looks, but I'll do my best... she's old enough to have earned her scars, but they should be beautiful scars :lol:.

Vet gloves are ordered. $12.50 for 50.

Boat's still sitting on the trailer with the tongue up in the air... still getting enough water to siphon out at the end of every day. I have a feeling that the foam has been soaking for the two years that the previous owner let it sit, and all that water is now working its way out and draining into the stern. I'll keep the tarp over it and keep draining any water that makes its way out, until the temp's drop below freezing during the day time. I'll have built some low structure by then, to keep the snow off it during the winter months. Lumber is cheap, and she deserves to be spoiled a bit after the last couple years.

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38 minutes ago, The Lucky One said:

Boat's still sitting on the trailer with the tongue up in the air... still getting enough water to siphon out at the end of every day. I have a feeling that the foam has been soaking for the two years that the previous owner let it sit, and all that water is now working its way out and draining into the stern. I'll keep the tarp over it and keep draining any water that makes its way out, until the temp's drop below freezing during the day time. I'll have built some low structure by then, to keep the snow off it during the winter months. Lumber is cheap, and she deserves to be spoiled a bit after the last couple years.

Building a “hot box” like a small greenhouse, +/or a modest vacuum on the drain plug hole will speed the evolution of any absorbed moisture. You would do well to position hull under frame/tarps to direct condensation toward the drain. Use some type of a wick to transport faster than breathing out of a 1/2” hole. Cut that access port sooner, and put a low wattage light bulb inside for a few weeks. 

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I haven't seen anything but a very slow drip come out of the actual drain plug on the transom. The water I've been siphoning & dipping/wringing a towel out has been coming from within the hull, accessible from the rear inspection port. The volume seems to be slowing down somewhat, though... I wasn't able to get a good siphon going today. Opted to sop it up with a towel and wring it instead.

I did run an extension cord out there, with a small 5v desk fan and a 60 watt incandescent shop light... one of those with the yellow plastic shroud. Figured out where I was going to locate the inspection plate on the bow, and drilled three 1/2" holes just about where the center should fall. I haven't received it yet, so I wasn't keen on placing them on the edges.

Stuck the light in the hull, facing upwards; fan in the rear inspection hole, blowing downwards... and I've got a steady stream of air flowing from the holes in the bow. Forecast humidity over the next week or so is gonna have its ups and downs, as well as the temp's, but it should remain above freezing during the day. I figure I'll run it until the temperature is regularly dropping below freezing in the hull.

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My gut says keep the fan running even if it is below freezing. Sublimation or something. Maybe there is a sciency type around to shoot that idea down. 

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There is that. Sublimation is definitely a thing, and it should work under the usual atmospheric pressure and temperatures I'm expecting.

Should probably pull the shoplight out at that point, though. I'm not keen on warming on the air above freezing at the stern, the air picking up moisture, then cooling below freezing by the time it hits the bow and dumping that moisture just to let it refreeze again.

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Took the boat off the trailer and slid it underneath the back porch (on a remnant of carpet), where the snow & rain should keep off of it during the winter. Light and fan are still in the interior of the hull. Foam in the stern feels drier every day. Bet the foam up in the bow is still pretty soaked, though... it was certainly heavy by the bow when the neighbors and I put it under the porch.

I fear I may have scratched up the gelcoat on the hull a bit when we moved it, but I'll know better come spring and she comes out of storage. Weekend's supposed to be relatively warm, so I may trace out and cut the hole for the bow inspection port and stick the fan and light up there.

Foam in the stern has come loose from the hull, too. I don't plane on racing it, but I'd like to get a column of closed cell foam in there to reinforce the deck. There's a lot of empty space back there, though, which makes me think there might be some missing foam. I don't see myself intending to race it, so I'll either fab up some float bags (like the sort I'd use for the kayak, custom sized), or go the cheap empty soda bottle route.

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Cut the bow inspection plate hole out, in front of the mast (making for easy access to the back of the damage to the hull). It's close enough to the mast tube for me to grasp it with my hand, so that and a webcam should make it easy to wrap the tube. The open cell flotation foam had detached from the deck and was bouncing loose inside. It was also soaked. I removed it... and some of the chunks of it were leaking like a squeezed sponge as I broke it apart. Shoplight is back inside the hull, and the fan's still blowing air through it.

I'm a bit concerned about how damp the core felt when I cut the chunk out for the port. I discovered a void in the core in the bow... I'll get pictures of it tomorrow. There was also a bit of delamination between the interior fiberglass and the core in the chunk I removed; not sure how widespread it is, but I don't like it. 

I figure I'll give it the winter to dry out with the fan going. Once spring proper hits, I'll pull the hull back out into the sun and cover it with black plastic. Keep the air flowing through it, get that hull dried out as much as possible. The flotation foam didn't appear to be structural, as it didn't appear to go quite from top to bottom of the interior, but fell a couple inches short instead. I'd still feel better about getting a column or two of closed cell foam in both the bow and the stern. I'll figure out by then whether I'm going to go with more closed cell foam (that's expensive!) or just the "soda bottles lashed together" poor man's flotation.

I also cut the bow hole in what looks like a stringer, running down the center of the deck. There was obviously core material there, not just fiberglass, and it appears to drop off to just fiberglass an inch or two farther towards the gunwales. I may have weakened the area there... and I'm not keen on the inspection plate's "receiver" being screwed into the core & fiberglass without any reinforcement. Sure, it's just a $100 boat... but I'd like to do this proper and use it as an educational experience. I'll cut a couple semicircles of MDO plywood (stuff I use on my kayaks) and get them epoxied in around the hole. Should give me something stronger to anchor the receiver to, and may strengthen the deck a bit as well. I'll overdrill the mounting holes, fill them with epoxy, and then drill it again... more practice on proper repairs.

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Vacuumed out the bow today, and took a few pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/29FJHGpIgWkdHVlz2

Cut up and pulled out the flotation foam from the stern, too. Like the foam in the bow... it had its dry spots, and wet spots, and soaking-wet-I-can-squeeze-the-water-out-like-a-sponge spots. There's one section of foam still left in the bow, but it looks like it's still secured to the deck. It's probably sopping wet as well, but removing it will likely involve some fancy arrangement to get it knocked down and cut up, or installing a second inspection port inbetween the cockpit and the mast. Not sure if I want to weaken the deck that much...

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Wife came up to me tonight and asked what she should order for the boat, since she has no idea what I'll need to outfit it come warm weather. One junior sail from Intensity ordered. 

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Fast forward a few months... purchased more power tools, supplies, and replacement hardware for the Force 5. I pulled the hull out from under the porch and set it on sawhorses in the backyard. Weather's supposed to be cold and miserable for the next week at least, so I ran a 2x6 down the center and tarped her. I've got enough work to do on the wood bits anyway.

Sanded down both the daggerboard and rudder. Daggerboard needs a bit more work, though. Cut out two hefty dings (with accompanying rot), then whittled and sanded two mahogany sections to replace the missing wood bits. Glued them in... figure I'll run some epoxy over the joint before I varnish the 'board. There's a few other rough spots on the leading/trailing edges of both the 'board and the rudder, but I think I can get away with spot treating them with some epoxy & filler.

 

DaggerboardRepair.jpg

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