Archive for March, 2012

Rust, rust everywhere!

Posted in Uncategorized on 31/03/2012 by ketchkaraka

So, two big days of work here on karaka… yesterday i started by cleaning up the boat and doing the dishes, it was about time, one gets messy when one lives by himself… after that i went to town to find a few supplies. Then back on the boat i got a mail from my friend alex inviting me to a barbecue in the evening, so with only a few hours ahead of me i decided to finish the rust banging under the toilet.

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I did good but couldn’t finish in time, so went to the barbecue and  got drunk instead. On the way to the barbecue i went to the hardware store and bought yet another tool, a air hammer, which is nothing else that a hand held jackhammer. Being smaller than the needle scaler yet slightly more agressive, it is actually a great tool to get the big scales of rust out of those tight corners…

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So i finished under the toilet, which was a nasty job, and then worked my way back along the port side bilge, under the seats around the table. The rust was really bad pretty much everywhere, a bit worse than i expected actually. I treated that area about 6 years ago, but any leak from the toilet, being salt water, would sit in this bilge and start rust. Since we use those lockers mostly for food storage, we installed some boards in the lockers so that the food never is at the bottom of the bilge,but that limits the access and this whole area kind of got forgotten… so i banged that with my new tool, and went through at several spots into the water tank, which is one side of this bilge, and once i also went through the actual hull. It is a small “worm hole” about finger nail size, with still a mm or two of metal thickness around it. Ideally i should cut the whole area off and weld a new plate, but i don’t feel like it, so instead i’m planning on welding a small patch over the hole from the inside, as a backing plate, and then fill the hole with weld from the outside. That should be good enough. For the holes into the tank as it is non structural, i’ll just weld a patch over them.

So i got all the bilge on portside clean and back to bare steel, cleaned it thorougly and then applied a coat of zinc chromate, the chemical that kills all rust and make a bonding barrier coat so that the subsequent coats of paint really stick…  and that’s it for the day… it was a lot of work though. Messy work too…

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karaka is waterproof again

Posted in Uncategorized on 29/03/2012 by ketchkaraka

Done with the weld under the kitchen. It was not easy. I’m not that good a welder to start with, and then there was almost no access from the inside so instead of cutting a wider piece out and making a flush repair, i decided to make a quick and dirty repair.  I widened the hole a little bit to fit a big galvanised bolt in it, with the head inside the boat, then I tacked that so it wouldn’t move, and then carried all my gear outside and welded the bolt to the hull. It was very tricky as first i was upside down and second the metal around the hole was fairly thin so before i managed to set my machine right i melted a few more holes around the original one… it took me several hours to get it right, but now it should be fully waterproof. After that was done i cleaned everything and applied a coat of zinc chromate and one of epoxi inside and out.

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Between the two coats i started to have a look at the bilge under the fore toilet, a bit of a scary one, on account of its location, and also because as the toilet is bound to leak slat water now and then, rust is always lurking in there… so I removed the floor, then the few years worth of detritus,vacuumed and finally could start to see the metal… i ripped off the inlet through hull for the toilet, which was weak and leaking and need replacing, and after all that that’s how it looked like:

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It is not as bad as i expected but bad enough, especially given the lack of access. The needle scaler should fit in i think and will make quick work of that rust.
For the through hull, i will not replace it with a plastic one like it was, i will weld a steel pipe directly to the hull instead. It will be much stronger and much better… while the through hull is out i have access to a clean section of the hull, so i took my caliper to it, to double check if the hull is really 6 mm thick as i always boast, and well, i measured nearly 8 mm… so i guess 6 mm is correct, what with the paint on both sides. That looks pretty sturdy to me, that’s a lot of steel. That is also why i can get away with having so much rust in the bilges, even after loosing a few mm of metal i still have enough left to still have a strong boat…

Otherwise i finally shaved,here is the new style:

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And by the way,Kat says hello :
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Back to work

Posted in Uncategorized on 28/03/2012 by ketchkaraka

Spent the morning getting organised, including getting more paint, then started back on the rust in the afternoon. I got into the rust under the kitchen floor, it took me three or four hours to get it clear.

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Under the sink is where most steel boats get bad, and karaka was no exception, i found a finger nail size hole through the hull, where the needle scaler went through the thin steel and rust flakes, and also another hole leading into the forward water tank…

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I killed all the rust with acid, so that it is now inert, and can wait tomorow, when i’ll weld the holes shut and then start painting…
It is never a good surprise to find a hole through your hull, but that was expected,after all that is why I’m doing all this…

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Life on karaka is pretty rough those days, what with all the stuff out on deck, dust and tools everywhere, and sitting on a concrete yard in the middle of the desert, but I have one thing to say for mexico, one eats well here. Tonight i made myself some “alhambres de res”, it is important to eat well to keep moral up…

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Otherwise I have been on skype regularly with Kim back in australia, she is still working on the river boat in brisbane, and her bosses asked her to cover for them while they go on holyday on the first week of april, but she’ll be flying to mexico shortly after, about mid april…

On the clipperton front, i wrote a long detailed account of the trip there on Island Seeker, but i’m affraid it is bit too harsh to make it public… i can’t say i was very impressed with the organisation. I’ll edit it and post it shortly. In the mean while if you want to see what clipperton is like try to download jacques cousteau’s special on clipperton, it shows the island very well, and not much have changed there since 1981…

Back

Posted in Uncategorized on 26/03/2012 by ketchkaraka

Back on Karaka. Details of the clipperton trip to come. And also let me know if you are following this as i have a feeling i’m writting this only to myself…

Back

Posted in Uncategorized on 26/03/2012 by ketchkaraka

Back on Karaka… details of the trip to Clipperton island are coming. Please let me know if you are following this because i’m not sure i’m not writting this only for myself…