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Old 20-07-2022, 07:40   #1
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Valiant 40 bilge refit

I am refitting a 1975 Valiant 40. The bilge floor worries me and I would like to have opinions about what to do. The floor has some kind of rubber on it, and on top of that has been poured resin. I think it is for leveling.
The rubber does not seal anymore and there is water underneath. That is why I want to replace it. What can I use for that? How should I treat the steel, as there are signs of corrosion?
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Old 20-07-2022, 18:46   #2
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

Ok, IIRC that "black rubber" stuff may have been "Thiokol", a 2 part polysulfide that was used for decades as a seam compound for teak decks.
Back when your boat was built it was marketed as a "Detco", or "Detco Grove" product, and was used extensively as a caulking/sealant in many applications.
The ballast keel on the V40s is bolted on, and after some ~45 years their is some water leakage.
If some type of resin has been poured over those areas that would have been done by a former owner, it didn't come from the factory that way.
Any corrosion issues are the result of all those years of saltwater against stainless.
They are excellent boats, be glad you don't have an iron ballast.
With the boat on the hard the resin might be chipped away, the nuts and washer plates removed, and the areas cleaned and re-caulked.
Other schemes that involve more efforts may or may not be mulled over after the nuts/plates are removed and further inspection is done.
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Old 20-07-2022, 21:01   #3
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

Thank you Bowdrie. I have found two other V40 owners which have the same usage of resin in their bilge - maybe it really is from the factory? Theirs is also chipped.
My valiant has the lead ballast in the first third of the keel, and the aft section (the pictures show the aft section) is a steel frame filled with foam. That changed later, the bilge got deeper and the lead was extending the full length of the keel. That is what I researched.

I would chip away the resin as suggested, then replace the caulking with 3M 4200. About the nuts - i have never done that. Can I simply take them off and put them on again, two by two?
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Old 20-07-2022, 21:51   #4
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

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Can I simply take them off and put them on again, two by two?
That's a loaded question.
My concern is that in re-torquing the nuts you might be fighting against the weight of the ballast.
But if there is no lead in that area your task may be simple.
Perhaps that's not an issue, but the water had to come from the interface surface between the top of the ballast and the bottom of the fiberglass, ie. the water found a pathway to the bolts.
The resin? it's been decades, but I don't remember seeing a resin pour over the bolts, but I've only been on a couple of them so my observations are limited.
Is there a Valiant owners association?
Might some other V40 owners have the same issue?
If so, I wonder how they delt with it?
My understanding is that the V40s went thru 3>4 iterations over the years of production.
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Old 20-07-2022, 23:45   #5
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

Yes, there is an owners association - and this topic was recently discussed. Two owners of early Valiants also report the bolts encapsulated in resin. None of tjem has done anything about it, it is on their todo list - so I cannot learn from them.

My understanding is that the resin is used to create a slope for directing the water to the aft where the bilge pump is located. If I chip it away I need to recreate something similar.

Your understanding is right, the keel design changed over the years. See the attached photos, the first shows mine, the second shows the later design. The blue part is lead, the mast is stepped on the lead. The other area is steel framing and foam.

Later they built it in the shape showing in the second picture (and changed that also later in height). The later ones have no resin in the compartments.
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Old 21-07-2022, 18:38   #6
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

Since the vsl is on the hard bight the bullet and drop the keel ,maybe even invest in the newer design keel ,dropping the keel is the ONLY way to do this job properly ,otherwise is just a patchup ,due to the age or these vsls it’s time and safety to do it properly.⚓️��
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Old 21-07-2022, 18:41   #7
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

P S it’s not wise to play with old keel bolts with the vsl afloat.⚓️��
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Old 21-07-2022, 18:52   #8
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

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P S its not wise to play with old keel bolts with the vsl afloat.⚓️��
You've said the silent part out loud.
When I made my previous posts their was no mention of the boat already being on the hard.
So yes, on the hard changes things.
I don't know, would those bolts have been cast into the lead, either using an "L" shape or just long lengths of "All thread"?
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Old 21-07-2022, 23:48   #9
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

The bolts are J shaped as to my knowledge. Dropping the keel is not a thing I considered yet tbh. The pictures are from the bolts in the steel framing. My keel has been encapsulated with fiberglass some 23 years ago. What can I do to further investigate without dropping the keel?
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Old 22-07-2022, 14:56   #10
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

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The bolts are J shaped as to my knowledge. Dropping the keel is not a thing I considered yet tbh. The pictures are from the bolts in the steel framing. My keel has been encapsulated with fiberglass some 23 years ago. What can I do to further investigate without dropping the keel?
Well, you could contact Bob Perry directly and ask for his advice. I understand that he is open to such queries.

I would not base my decision on internet wisdom when real wisdom is available!

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Old 22-07-2022, 17:53   #11
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Re: Valiant 40 bilge refit

Bob Perry is always good for advise,the glass covering maybe an attempt to fix leaky keel bolts unless the glass is strong enough to secure the lead keel ,I have never seen a encapsulated as built keel with keel bolts as well ,but just maybe .⛵️⚓️��
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