Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sea Cocks and Skin Fittings


The intended plan for today was to complete stripping of the hull and make a start on removing all of the skin fittings and sea cocks.
I stopped off on the way to the yard to pick up the last few flap disks needed to complete the stripping and also some fine metal cutting disks to remove the skin fittings if needed.




Another dry sunny day allowed me to crack on and finish the stripping by lunch time, which happened to coincide with a visit from my youngest daughter and her partner.

Before


After



After lunch I began work on the skin fittings and sea cocks, the plan was to replace all through hull fittings for peace of mind as depending on the material they are made of could result in failure.
Normally skin fittings should be made of good quality bronze or corrosion resistant  DZR Brass,
as I am unsure of the quality of the fittings and the fact they most probably have been in place since 1971 I took the decision to change them all, around 7 in total.




I expected a bit of a battle removing them so the plan was to use a grinder on the outside with a fine metal cutting disk to remove the flange which should have allowed me to simply knock the fittings into the boat......or so I thought!



What I didn't count on was how well the fittings had been fibre-glassed into the hull, after several attempts with a hammer and chisel I resorted to using an electric scraper which made the removing of fibreglass much easier.



After around an hour of attacking the skin fitting it eventually gave up the ghost and submitted to being replaced.






Now there is a lesson to be learned here........I came to the conclusion that if after banging and hammering the fitting for over an hour it was still structurally sound then there is a good chance they are bronze and may not need replacing! 
I am no longer intent on changing all the fittings, instead I will check them individually and only replace if required.

Obviously after cutting the flange from the outside with the grinder there was some damage to the hull which needed filling with epoxy filler, and I used what was left to fill some of the areas that were blistered which I had taken back to good fibreglass.






















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