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Old 21-06-2014, 17:05   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Western Victoria
Boat: Northwind 7 trailer sailer
Posts: 22
Never too old we hope!

Hello from Western Victoria!
Kaye and I (Pete) have recently bought a very old Northwind 23 trailer sailer Isabella Jane which we hope will be our home away as we travel around Australia, one of our favourite things to do, replacing the caravan with something a bit more floatable. Kaye and I both have sailing in our distantprehistory but this is our first yacht together. We are in our 60s and hope to do as much boating as we can for as long as possible. Isabella Jane is pretty sound for a very cheap old boat but today I start on a largish job - to cut out the rotten balsa in a section of the foredeck. Planning on Cutting out the interior panel from below, cleaning it all up and replacing the balsa with epoxy and marine ply. I've been advised not to reuse the old glassfibre panel. Any comments and advise please? Reading some posts CF is a possibly a bit of a grand place for IJ but as an armchair sailer at present it is a mine of knowledge and experience, neither of which we have much of!
Hats off to all you folk who have found a way to live aboard. Thanks for sharing. Pete

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Old 21-06-2014, 18:15   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Salem, MA
Boat: Pearson 31
Posts: 535
Re: Never too old we hope!

Welcome aboard, IJ. There are all kinds of cruisers here at CF. Don't be intimidated. The sea tends to level the playing field a bit, where it becomes more about the sailor and less about the sailboat.

Not sure why you wouldn't reuse the fiberglass panel, especially since you would be fiber glassing upside down. The old panel will make for a cleaner and easier job. I would reuse the panel, unless it is cracked or too thin, . I replaced core sections of core in our deck and the fiberglass was 1/8 to 3/16 inches thick. That was certainly sufficient for our Pearson 31-2.

As a coastal cruiser, you can pick and choose the conditions you sail in, so you are never too old. Fair winds.

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Old 30-08-2014, 19:25   #3
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Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
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Re: Never too old we hope!

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
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Old 31-08-2014, 05:21   #4
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Re: Never too old we hope!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pete & Kaye.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 31-08-2014, 15:39   #5
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Location: Western Victoria
Boat: Northwind 7 trailer sailer
Posts: 22
Re: Never too old we hope!

Hi All,
Thanks for the welcome.
Since I last wrote things have moved along.'The deck is repaired. It turned out to be a ply sandwich so I replaced that, all embedded in epoxy (Bote Cote) and reused the old panels, layered over with tape and mat and more Bote Cote. Quite pleased with the result. The ceiling of the V berth can now be recovered with new headlining. I reset all the deckfittings having drilled oversize and filled with epoxy. I'm confident that I've eliminated water entry. Down below there was another yielding area, basically from where one steps inside through to the end of the CB case. In our boat there is access down the port side of the CB case and the galley table/double berth is starboard of the CB case, with a well under the table for feet when sitting. Anyway I started cutting away thinking it was the same construction and have found that under the floor there is another layer of fibreglass domes about 50mm in diam with foam around them. My power tool has died so the project has stalled while I await a warranty replacement. (It is a vibrating Multitool that eats the fibreglass without making any airbourne dust and leaves only a 1mm tidy cut. I've abandoned angle grinders for such work!)
Anyway........the area that is not yet released is alongside the CB case where a previous repair seems to have poured in some sort of bog which set solid and is making the job difficult. It seems that it is the foam core layer that has collapsed, along with the fibreglass panel it sits on. It all looks pretty ugly but I guess nothing is irreplacable and I can't see what I'm really facing until I get the panel off. Sigh.......

Another job I'm quite please with is replacing the old and wobbly outboard bracket with a new one. The motor is a Honda 8hp weighing about 45 kg and I have "re-engineered" the deperately badly made Chinese replacement with extra springs which actually take a good load of the engine when leaning over the back to raise or lower. So looking forward to a Spring sail! Been a long, cold winter here.

Thanks for listening!
Country Victoria, Australia
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