Some maintenance of a 505-ish ( Ponant )

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So first of all, I wanted to say Ahoy to all Anarchists. I have been reading different threads here since a long time, and learned a lot, that I couldn't find on my native language sailing forums. This thread was created, to share my part to the community. 

I will share pictures, thoughts and some ideas that I gathered, while making repairs on a 1975 Ponant. The boat was purchased second hand in Germany years ago. My passion of sailing actually started on this very vessel, when my father took me on some trips at the nearby lake when I was a kid. Since then, the boat was a little left behind due to work and school, and spent some winters outside the garage. As much as my reasearch about the class goes, it is a French project by Pierre Deschamps that is rigged simmilar to a 505. Only the hull is 20 cm longer, and chine instead of a smooth curve. (Please let me know, if I get some terms wrong. I try the best I can to use the English language properly, however I'm not a native speaker.) The distinguishing features are a red jib, and the horse logo.
Here is some data I foundhttps://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/ponant

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Step one, was finding the gravest issues and creating a "to do list".

Here are some "before" pictures:


Things to fix:
-leaking inspection hatches

-rotten transom

-rotten rudder and centerboard

-rotten mast step

-hole in the bow

-scratched foredeck

-uneven centreboard box 


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The inspection hatches were first to be replaced. The old ones had some cracks and leaked, probably UV radiation and time had its share on the state of the plastic. Originally they were installed using alu rivets, so i grabbed my drill, a bit and started taking them out one by one. I also decided to add two more hatches in the side tanks, to gain access and properly install all the deck hardware. I had already two blocks fail, because they only were screwed into the tanks. Some delamination must have taken place and the repetitive stress has torn the screws out of the tanks. To cut the new holes i used a tool, that i find very useful in such boat repair, namely a rotary tool with a circle cutter attachment. The cardboard template I made ahead of time helped a lot while cutting the holes. After the holes where ready I realized for the first time, that the manufacturer had put bagged styrofoam inside the side tanks as floatation material. As I don't see anything wrong with this, I will leave them this way. 

The newly acquired hatches where carefully picked for their whole thread, o-ring seal and transparency. I decided to use stainless steel bolts, nuts, washers, and marine grade sealant for the installation. 

Here are some pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9ZUL1yt6wugLYTvV9

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The next task, to seal the bow flotation tank was replacing the pipes that run thru it and contain the furler line. The old ones where cracked, what allowed the water to enter the flotation tank. Again using the rotary tool I managed to cut the old ones out of the hull. The new pipes are just high quality plumbing pipes for hot water made out of PVC, as supposedly this material bonds well to epoxy resin. 

Before the installation the parts of the pipe to be joined to the hull were sanded with 40 grid paper, to get a nice mechanical keying effect with epoxy. I know flame activation (quick passing of plastic just at the tip of a flame, without burning it) should also be used just before gluing, to get the maximum joint strength, however since the pipes are not subjected to brutal forces, and I didn't have a butane torch at hand I decided skipping this step.  I have to say, that even just the mechanical keying of epoxy + colloidal silica (used to increase viscosity - ease of use - doesn't flow off where you don't want it) and sanded PVC makes for a very stron joint. Finally the excess amount of pipe had to be trimmed, and sanded flush with the deck.
And here a thought I had while completing this job: To reduce the creation of health threatening dust, first use hand tools ( or tools that produce bigger chunks of material than airborne dust) such as files or chisels to get a rough cut, and then finish with a power tool. 

Pictures again: https://photos.app.goo.gl/pvKHSTj3YAeFLoKb7

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Nice project Olgierd. Your English is excellent; where are you from/now?

Oh, and welcome to SA!

Don't know much about dinghies, so am a little surprised to see a furler on such a small boat!

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Thanks seabell :rolleyes: . I live on the continent (probably moving abroad to study this year), and the boat is currently located in Poland. 

The furler has its pros and cons. As well as I know they constrain the sailmaker from inventing the perfect aerodynamic shape (since it has to be able to furl tightly around the forestay - my case), but it is nice not having to fold the sail every time you make a break, or being worried about the wind shift if you leave it on. Since the boat is anyway a 1977 construction, and wont be able compete against the new state of the art - carbon fiber racing machines I'm happy with the furling system. Anyway, as well as I know the class is only wider known in France and Belgium, so she doesn't have the opportunity to start in a monotype regatta. 

I will post some pictures of the furling system when the repair jobs are done, and the mast finds its proper location.

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Now it was time, to fix the hole in the bow. Since the damage was done a long time ago, delamination also started in this area, and the poly-glass laminate had to be ground away even more than normally, to expose healthy material. For such tasks I found an angle grinder + sand paper flap discs perfect. Even more useful is an angle grinder with variable speed. This way you have a lot more control over your work. 
The repair was made in a step by step process. After sanding and cleaning with acetone, I coated the area with epoxy (no filler for good penetration and adhesion) then (before the first coat of resin hardened) I prepared a mixture of epoxy with colloidal silica (apparently stronger than microballoons - for reduction of viscosity), and chopped fiberglass strands. This filler mixture was thick enough (peanutbutter) to create a rough shape, and close the hole. While the repair started to set, and going in the gel-phase I cut a lot of 200g (about 7 oz) fiberglass patches. To get the best adhesion I didn't wait for the epoxy to harden fully, and applied the fiberglass fabric wet on wet, getting closer and closer to the desired shape. Needless to say small patches should be applied first, and then the bigger ones. After that I called it a day, and started the next morning with sanding the fully cured repair (needed to get the mechanical keying effect, since hardened epoxy is chemically inert, and wont form a proper bond.

Epoxy + microballoons where applied, and sanded, and applied, and sanded, and applied, and sanded, and some more was applied, and more was sanded. 
That was the time I realized, on a boat repair there is never enough sanding and reapplying, so you better start to like it :)

And my another technical observation:

If you need either:

1. an easy sanding epoxy filler

2. "self leveling"-"smooth edge" mixture 

3. whitish  filler

Use microballoons

If you need a:

1. transparent filler

2. easy apply filler 

Use colloidal silica 


By the way, partially hardened epoxy dust can cause some nasty health issues, this is why I use a quality half mask respirator with an organic filter (those cheapo paper masks are worthless). Also realize, that facial hair can prevent the mask from fitting properly.



And more Photos of the process: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XmFkKRYz8EYgPE8Y7

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Looks great! Don't have too much experience with fibreglass work (am more of a mech/elec guy) but what you are doing looks great.

The only thing I would mention is based on a weird old English saying: "Don't try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear". In other words, fix it good enough to look perfect from three metres away. Any more and you're wasting time/money. (But maybe I'm teaching Grandma to suck eggs? LOL, another weird old idiom.) 

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Good for you, interesting that the Ponant predates the 505. The roller furling jib thing has been something I have grown up with. First 505 and 14s I sailed had it, was nice for launch and recovery but soon learned that for racing didn't  matter, just leave the jib sheet soft and go with the kite.

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I can't recall my Grandma sucking eggs. This idiom might have gained another meaning, but still holds true, doesn't it :lol: 

Continuing with the repairs, it was time to fight the rot. The first thing I realized after taking the centerboard out of the boat, was that it had become a whale-shaped trailing edge (no idea how this happend, since the centerboard box stops the fin in "fully up position" somewhere else). I had a hard time deciding whether to leave it that way (no I really didn't) as apparently every "cool" boat has, or fixing it. 

Here my thoughts on sanding with a random orbital sander: If the work takes 5 times longer than with a new sanding disc, it's time to change it ! I mean it has to be done really often, and you would probably be better off using a belt sander for rough work. 


All the wood, that could be dented with a fingernail, and the fittings where removed. I had big trouble with some hardened steel screws that where seized in the wood. Using the proper size and type (I think this deserves to be emphasized, since in my region most people didn't yet realize that a Philips head is not the same as a Pozidriv, and I hear again and again that sb has stripped a screw...) screwdriver I managed to brake off the half of it. I decided to use a good quality drill bit, to get the rest of the screw out, however that was just a waste of time. Without a drill press trying to drill a very small hardened steel object is almost impossible. Since the wood in this area was also not in the best shape, I just drilled around the broken screw, and then took it out. 

Another of my thoughts came to mind after battling this disobedient piece of inanimate nature for 4 hours: One shall think about the future user, when fixing anything on a boat !
Not boat related, but I feel reflecting this problem well, was my experience I had once when disassembling a floating dock. The bolts and nuts used to hold this structure together were just plain steel, and the dock wasn't moved for 5 winters (all year round in water). How surprised I was when the nuts just needed a little push with a wrench, and then came off by hand ! A brilliant human being had a grandiose idea, to put some grease over the joints, what prevented them from rusting. It probably didn't take much effort or wasn't too costly either, but made it soooo much better for the future user.


The bushing that fell out of the centerboard will be replaced with a bigger one made out of POM (apparently a good material for bushings, that doesn't absorb water and will stay in place when glued with epoxy. Since the rudder's shape was originally close to a NACA profile, I decided to get it even closer to that. The thickness didn't allow for NACA 0012, so I went for 0009. Printing a template from this site: http://airfoiltools.com/airfoil/naca4digit was easy and didn't take long. Then using it with the sander and a tool I made nailing a strip of sandpaper to a slat, gave a very satisfactory result. To reinforce the fins 200g (about 7oz.) glass fiber was used, that I tried to extend over the trailing edge. This extended fabric allowed me to fill it with a filler mixture and get an even, straight edge. After the cure any trapped air bubbles were drilled, and then filled. Now the time came for finishing the work with a few coats of epoxy. It is easier to fill the texture of fiberglass first with epoxy + colloidal silica (transparent) using a plastic putty spatula, before coating it. 

Here a thew things I realized: 
1. Using the cheap white high density foam rollers might be good enough for laminating, however it seems that they are getting dissolved by the epoxy and leave small particles on the surface
2. If you have problems with orange peel try this:
- use a quality short pile roller 

- before use wash the roller thoroughly in soapy water and leave it to dry - this gets all the loose strands out 

- take the amount of epoxy that you thought was just enough to get the whole part covered and divide it by three. Now take just one part. It is probably more than enough! Take your time to distribute the epoxy with the roller pressing it hard. 

- of course all other prep steps, like sanding and cleaning apply

After some trial and error I found this method perfect, and the result is a surface that is no worse than spray painting (that's what you shouldn't do with epoxy)

Pictures of the process: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9Rysa6AyACHnDzV47

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How good is your French? These guys might enjoy seeing/hearing about your renovation: http://forumvoile.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=115

Or go here http://forumvoile.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=100 and search the threads for Ponant.  Here's a recent one: http://forumvoile.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=100&t=6950

Lots of very motivated sailors on the Forum Voile site. 

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Hi PaulK, all I can remember from the 1 year lessons in school is :

je ne sais pas

je ne comprends pas

je ne parle pas français : )


Sorry for the long absence of new posts, but I had some trouble with the Postal services that didn't deliver my mails ( applying for studies right now ), what in turn made me drive 2000 km (sic!) twice ! to the university I'm applying. 


In this post, I'll try to share my experience in making some simple deck fittings. It all started, with my dream of hoisting the spinnaker on this boat. Since the only think I knew about this sail (not very popular in my location) to this time was, that it exists. I had to "invent" the whole hoisting and controlling system. After several hours spent in front of the screen, I found this article very helpful: 


After quickly realizing 2 fittings were needed here, which I have never even seen before, I made the effort to try and translate the name "pump action cleat". It didn't take long to realize, that no such name in my country exists (probably good so, since I always say English is the language of sailors). Since the two online chandleries that offer such a fitting in my country charge ~80$ for one I decided to have some fun and make my own. First things thirst I needed some kind of blueprint to start working. Here some basic skills in using a 3D computer-aided design program came in handy. Eyeballing the dimensions and using some imagination I was able to create a part, that did work on the screen of my computer. Then came the time for acquiring the right materials. I needed:
a bar of aluminium alloy

2mm stainless steel sheet metal 

stainless steel screws

Everything could be bought in a local metal store. 
I started cutting the sheet metal with my angle grinder and a 0,8mm cut-off wheel, but the effects weren't satisfactory. Only after a friend told me to use a scrap of straight metal to guide the wheel against I achieved a perfect edge. For the bending a vice and a hammer turned out to be enough, and no press brake was required. The bar of Aluminium was first rough ground, and then finished to the desired size with a file. Since I didn't like the idea of using rivets to join the parts together, the holes were tapped. I'm going to use thread locker on the screws the next time I'm around the boat, this should stop them from unscrewing constantly.

Things I learned from this job are:

-The time spent on making the 3D project was very well invested - it only takes a few mouse clicks to change the dimensions of a part, where in real life it would require to start the job from the beginning...

-Only good drill bits will cope with INOX 

-A job you do the first time requires wayyy more time, than you imagined

-A thinner cutting wheel = less material removed = faster = better effect 

-Chandleries and sailboat hardware manufacturers charge as much, as they can for their products (the materials used are only a fraction of the cost)



All in all, it was a lot of fun to create something from scratch on my laptop screen, and then transform it into an existing object, that works as intended.

Here are some photos of the process: https://photos.app.goo.gl/1745cZVMfk7TgjeR7

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