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Pebble Project

Pebble Project – # 4

After further rain, I have finally made it back into the boat. But I did do some more to the centre console, adding some more equipment, making the cutouts and planning out how to install all the electrical components inside.

So today I have started to remove the rusty old nuts that fasten down the two rear keels and the front keel, with surprisingly almost a 98% success!

The rear set was mostly okay to undo, but it was the old hardened resin that had been pasted over them that was the main issue. It had made its way into the threads when it was applied by the previous owner, so you can imagine how hard they where to get moving.

It was another story with the front set, as they had suffered from some pretty serious corrosion. The furthest forward to the bow had another issue as well, the stringer was rotten where the bolts came through. But with a bit of slow persuasion and patience, I managed to get all the nuts except one loosened off completely – yeh! Below is a little video of me trying to undo the bolts, is it interesting – I guess, is it repetitive – yes, should I bother – probably not!

The bolts seem to come through the keels underneath and up through the stringers below the deck, feel free to let me know if that is not the case. As of the posting of this article, I have not removed the stringers as I was too done in after working through all these nuts.

I know that sounds a bit wimpy, but with my MS and Angina, I can get pretty tired very quickly. Anyway, my next bit of work will be to remove the wooden stringers and put them in my workshop to dry out fully. Then I’ll use them as patterns for the new hardwood.

The thing I am really thinking hard about, is if these bolts do come up through the lower keels, should I replace the lower keels now and use new bolts? My plan would be to remove the inner stringers, then the bolts and replace the bolts in the opposite direction. That way they will be going down and thus enable me to replace the lower keels at my leisure in the future. What would you suggest?

Heres a few stills of the inside and the bolts, as you can see from one of the images above, I did manage to remove the little console that was in the boat on the starboard side. I didn’t try to preserve it because I am going to be using my own centre console and T-Top! You’ll see more of these as the project progresses, mixing in a little new with the old!

I’ll also start to remove the old bits of fibreglass from the sides of the hull and sand the areas back. Just in case you are wondering, the grey pellets are a good old paper cat-litter pellet, absolutely brilliant at soaking up moisture and puddles. I just pour them in and leave ’em to do their thing for a few days, cheap, brilliant and easy to brush up. Did I mention that they are also bio-degradable, a win-win if you ask me!

Regards for now, Mike.

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