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Old 22-01-2011, 21:14   #1
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What Might this Repair Be for ?

In the v-berth of my boat, under the mast is this professional-looking hole in the ceiling. What might this repair be for? I took off the fancy cover for the picture, it is an old bit of white-painted ply that is falling to pieces. Do you have any ideas?




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Old 22-01-2011, 21:31   #2
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Well if that hole is directly under the mast step then it must be for some sort of access. Any evidence of glass work or any sort of repairs under the hole? What about access to wiring, deck pass through of the VHF antenna cable?
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Old 22-01-2011, 21:40   #3
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A core repair? What's the through bolts holding on to?
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Old 22-01-2011, 22:09   #4
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The panel which has so neatly had a section surgically removed is the original internal lining. There is an air gap between it and the yellowish fibreglass underneath. No sign of wiring.

The bolts on the right hand side are short, the ones on the left are long. I don't think that should be like that.
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Old 22-01-2011, 22:09   #5
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I would suspect it is left as an access to be able to disconnect the wires from the mast when it is unsteped.
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Old 22-01-2011, 22:19   #6
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Now I feel really stupid.

My boat is a day's drive away and time on it is rushed (that's my excuse). I had a look at the top deck to see what the bolts were connected to and didn't see anything so just puzzled about it. Now that I have posted up the pic and am thinking more about it, I zoomed in on some of my deck pics and realised what the bolts are connected to.

On the topside, the bolts are the 'u's for connecting sheet blocks at the base of the mast. One of the 'us' was probably replaced sometime and the bolts were not trimmed back properly. Or both were replaced and only one was trimmed and it was knock-off time so the other was not trimmed . . . .

I am happy to now know what it is all about.



Looks like the mast base had some repair sometime too.

Any ideas on how to cover the hole in the ceiling? The original internal lining is warped so can't just whack on a bit of ply, though that is what had been done to it.
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Old 22-01-2011, 23:21   #7
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There is a possibility that the mast had fallen and a little glass repair was needed at the base, both inside and outside.
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Old 23-01-2011, 14:55   #8
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You could try some Kydex plastic.

It is a type of plastic that is easily formed when heated. They use it for makeing things like gun holsters and just about anything that has to be formed in place.

You heat it in an oven thenmold it around what you want and hold it there until it has cooled.

This would allow you to account for the uneven surface and also mold around that door jam as well

Just make the piece over large and thrim it down once it has cooled.

Alternatively you could do the same ting with fiberglass, just would be messy-er.
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Old 23-01-2011, 15:20   #9
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How to cover it kind of depends upon your personal skills or what you are willing to pay for. Personally, I would make a wooden cover and varnish it. A local boat carpenter could probably do the same for a reasonable cost. What the hey, an estimate is usually free. As to kydex, I have several holsters that incorporate that and do a fine job but in this case I don't think it would look all that great.

Almost any really thin wood could be formed to fit since they will usually bend a bit but it will take a little fooling around with some cardboard to make a template. The mast compression post makes it something of an odd shape.

The idea of glassing it in would work and could be made to look real nice but then if you ever needed access, you would have to cut it out again.

Another idea is to cut out a piece of cardboard to make a good looking cover and then use that as a template to make a fiberglass cover plate. Lay up say 4-6 layers of glass, making sure to match the curve of the overhead, smooth around or cut the patch with a Dremel tool. A little sanding, and perhaps fairing compound, with a touch of paint to finish. Matching the overhead curve would be the only time consuming part but there are probably multiple ways to do that using cardboard, wood, modeling clay, etc.

Many options, just need to choose one to match your skill set and wallet.

Good luck,
Rich
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Old 23-01-2011, 16:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Almost any really thin wood could be formed to fit since they will usually bend a bit but it will take a little fooling around with some cardboard to make a template. The mast compression post makes it something of an odd shape. Many options, just need to choose one to match your skill set and wallet.

Good luck, Rich
Thin ply would be my choice, if you ever get a leak in there I would prefer to see the water run out and be instantly noticeable and accessible.

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Old 23-01-2011, 18:18   #11
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Those U thingies are known as pad eyes if you ever need to refer to them again.

kind regards,
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Old 23-01-2011, 18:29   #12
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I am pretty sure that a u-bolt and a padeye are not the same thing.
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Old 23-01-2011, 21:14   #13
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Yes, you could be right. Just by what they are used for I'd refer to them as a pad eye. That doesn't mean I'm correct.
kind regards,
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Old 24-01-2011, 00:44   #14
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Glue some small stuff around the perimeter, such as 20 - 25 mm square stock. Over this bed a piece of thin plywood (3 mm - 6 mm) and screw into place. Route the edges for a nice look and paint. The 25mm perimeter stock serves as a "stand off" so the irregularities of the headliner can be easily bridged. The bedding compound will permit you to get up in there if the need arises at some point.
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