Cockpit Locker Fixes / Painting
by, 04-05-2017 at 02:46 PM (251 Views)
It's been a long time since my last post. The winter of 2016/17 was not a good one for me, and the work on my beloved Ericson 25CB came to a grinding halt. Around Thanksgiving I came down with Bronchitis, and it took me a month to get back up and feeling better. Almost immediately after I felt better, I came down with the crud / cold that took me out through the holidays. By early January I was feeling back to my normal self with some energy, and promptly came down with the flu. Ugh! It was mid February before I began to really feel better, and March before I was strongly up and running again. I cannot remember the last time I was taken down three times in three months. Am I just getting old, frail, and weak? What the heck? I certainly hope I don't have another winter like that!
Now that I am feeling my old self again, I am back to my Ericson Resurrection project. Focusing on smaller projects to get back in the swing of things, I decided to tackle fixing up holes, cutouts, and delaminated fiberglass in the cockpit lockers and beneath / under the cockpit floor. The process for each area was similar:
Identified holes that I no longer wanted.
- In the port locker that was the fuse panel for DC power, and the battery switch. I didn't like where they were located, didn't like the exposed wires in the locker, and intended on moving them to a new location.
- In the starboard locker that was a hole cut out from the previous owner to run the fuel line from a portable gas tank to the outboard, and a hole from a water tank fill on the bottom of the cockpit locker. I wasn't going to use either with the below deck fuel tank being installed and water tank relocation.
Closed Up Holes
- For all of these holes I started by grinding down a taper in the surrounding fiberglass on the tops and bottoms of the areas
- Next I cut out pieces of balsa core and pressed them into the holes with some epoxy to fill in the holes left in the balsa core or plywood.
- Then I layered on fiberglass and epoxy just as any other repair. Making each layer a little smaller than the one before.
- Then sanded smooth. Pretty straightforward, and in the lockers I did not worry about perfection. They are sort of rough to start with from the factory.
Identified places were the fiberglass was coming loose from the wood bulkheads, or fiberglass deck mold.
- If it was just a little loose, I fixed them by sanding under the loose spots, cleaning the area, and then epoxying them back down.
- In other areas were it was more loose, I cut the old fiberglass cloth away, sanded the area, cleaned it, and laid down new tabbing cloth with epoxy.
- Both cockpit lockers had several places, and the mounts for the water tank and bulkheads under the cockpit floor had loose spots. All fixed strong.
Cleaned and Painted
- When finished I scrubbed everything down with Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) heavy duty cleaner, rinsed well with water, and let dry.
- Sanded with 120 grit sandpaper and then cleaned up dust.
- Painted with Total Bilge Epoxy Paint. This stuff has a wicked smell to it, and you have to use a good mask or pass out. I was hoping the smell was an indication of how well it bonds, time will tell. I will say it goes down easy, covers well, levels well, but takes a long time to cure hard. At least in the 60 degree weather. I guess in a few years I will know if the paint has adhered well, I certainly hope it doesn't start peeling down the road.
- Note we didn't try to paint everywhere, mostly just where we had done repairs and wanted to cover the bare epoxy, and where it was aesthetically pleasing. If someone sticks there head way up under their and comments about it...... well......
Port Locker Before / After
Starboard Locker During / After (Couldn't find a before picture)
Under Cockpit Floor / Fuel Tank Area Before / After
Ericson 25CB "Nordic Thunder"