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When Things Were RottenÂ… By Bruce Niederer

When Things Were Rotten…

By
Bruce Niederer
Tech Advisor/Chemist
Gougeon Brothers, Inc.

This
article continues the theme of my previous contributions to my fellow
Anarchists, which is that it doesn’t take tons of cash to find an affordable
boat, fix it up yourself, and get out on the race course.
Take
Rob Schneider’s advice "You can do it!"

Bruce’s Law: The amount of time and effort required to complete an unexpected
boat repair is exponentially proportional to how soon you planned on launching.

I
am sure I am not alone in this observation. Such was the case this as
my father and I prepared Triple Threat, our 30′ Pearson Flyer, for another
season of racing. I knew the bow floor boards, made of marine plywood
and falling apart, would need to go. I had started to build replacements
over the winter using foam core, fiberglass and epoxy. But when I climbed
aboard and removed the old ones, Bruce’s law kicked in big time.

With
the bow floor boards removed, the mast support stringer is exposed (the
dark rectangle just above/left of center in the photo below). The mast
is stepped on this support. It also serves as a center support, to which
both floor board sections are fastened. This support stringer runs from
the forward bulkhead about 9 feet back to the middle bulkhead, which is
where the chainplates are secured. Actually it ran 8′ 11 1/4", leaving
a ¾" gap. The gap was bridged with a piece of ¾"
plywood set on edge to make it flush with the bulkhead. Fiberglass tabbing
was run up the forward side of the bulkhead from the hull bottom, covering
all but the edge of the plywood that faced up. The exposed end grain served
quite nicely as a sponge.