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Old 18-10-2020, 08:38   #1
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Leak in center board trunk WWP-19

Hello My west wight potter has a leak in the center board trunk. Story & pictures here


Frimi's Leak


In Summary:


I went sailing in the 2019 Texas 200. We'd ship about 20 gallons of water over a day's cruise. We'd pump out morning and night and sail on.


My friend and crew member Jim fixed cracks near the bow where we thought water was coming in. Winter then Covid hit so I didn't go sailing until October 2020. Then I found water was coming in at the stern end of the centerboard.

My wonderful friend Jim bicycled from Arizona to Minnesota to Texas and volunteered to fix it. He did a beautiful job, but the leak wasn't fixed.


I am seeking suggestions on how I can perform a proper lasting repair.
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Old 18-10-2020, 09:14   #2
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Re: Leak in center board trunk WWP-19

It's hard to tell what's what in those pics, but it appears to me that your hull is cracked...? You need to grind back to bare glass, grind a taper of 12:1 (ie: if the hull is 3/8" thick, then grind around the crack 4.5" or so for area to bond the glass to) at all cracked places and layup glass gradually in the ground out portion.
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Old 18-10-2020, 09:21   #3
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Re: Leak in center board trunk WWP-19

There is no escaping the need to grind out the cracked glass.

Once itís ground out, build it back up with a taper as cheechako mentions.
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Old 23-10-2020, 02:33   #4
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Re: Leak in center board trunk WWP-19

I accept your diagnosis and I think that Jim had fixed it just fine, but when I put it in the water, the crack flexed open and broke the fiberglass he applied. How can I reduced the flexing so the new repair won't break as well.

Are there any books on this subject?
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Old 23-10-2020, 04:19   #5
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Re: Leak in center board trunk WWP-19

The trunk is constantly being pushed around by the centerboard, Bracing the trunk over to the sides berths might be an option but would make getting around the cabin more difficult.

Maybe some of the other 'Potters' online would have better ideas. Have you fielded the question to any Potter groups? Here is the one from Trailer Sailor:https://forum.trailersailor.com/forumcond.php?id=2&n=0

The repairs will need to be down to the laminate, not on top of paint or gel coat. I would spring for industry-grade materials versus box store stuff. The repair may need to be treated like a cavity, where failed material is removed and replaced, versus a topical application with a still-weakened panel or corner underneath. As you mentioned, the flexing issues will need to be addressed to solve the issue once and for all.

The Don Casey 'Complete Sailboat Manual' has about 10 pages with sketches, in my copy it's about page 200. Finding a video or two at 'Boatworks Today' or the like might be more direct.

Your friend's cycling journey to work on your boat is impressive.
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Old 23-10-2020, 05:32   #6
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Re: Leak in center board trunk WWP-19

From the pictures, it appears that the leading edge of the centerboard took a mighty hit, buckling the hull upward at the trailing edge of the centerboard case. That's deep damage. So, yes, some additional structural bracing is needed inside the hull, and then the hull needs a structural repair to the fiberglass. That's either a large and thick patch on the outside, or cut away the damaged fiberglass and rebuild. There's nothing about it that suggests that a superficial repair is going to hold.

How fast were you going when you hit that concrete wall?
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