Apart from trying to retire, still working and slowly putting the finishing touches to our now launched Mystery, I do when time permits like to race on a Wednesday night especially if the breeze is up. In May of last year young Mark purchased an Albin Express from the Clyde which had never been raced. Out went the Plastimo reefing drum and foils as well as all of the cruising paraphernalia and, this past winter, we stripped off about 8mm of antifouling as well as grinding all the rust from the keel and attempted to fair it over the cold winter months. Skipper Mark is very keen, but as his racing experience is limited he is on a steep learning curve but learning fast. We have, this season, managed to grab a couple of firsts which is great considering the rest of the crew (with the exception of Commodore Tony) are also relatively new to racing. We are changing systems, now we can winch the genoa whilst the weight is to windward, the main traveller works and we finally have a jib and main cunningham that also can be controlled from the rail. Next for treatment was to get both the boom outhaul and the backstay sorted!
The other day, after a fairly hairy ride, (as seen above) I did notice that the rigging had gone slack (when we returned to shore,changed our underpants and put the boat to bed) as the mast had started to sink down into the deck. As the no doubt hotly contested championships were looming, Mark was coaxed in to having her lifted, mast removed and the deck in the area of the mast step opened up. Looks like the culprit, apart from a rather hairy broach, had been a previous owners method of putting electrical cables through the deck; drill the hole and don’t bother to properly seal end grain if its a wood or foam core! Sp Eposeal is excellent as a deep penetrating sealer as is either SP106 or West System 105. Should you find it impossible to dry out completely your damp wood, assuming its not completely rotted, use G/flex epoxy from West System; its also great for repairs and bonding difficult to glue plastics.
When bolting fittings onto glassfibre, first drill the correct size hole and then use a countersink; this then gives us a greater surface area for applying sealant. The result... no leaks and no issues five years down the line! For an adhesive/sealant I like either Sabatack XL (good range of colours inc Mahogany and Teak) or Sikaflex 291i available in black or white. If only a sealant is required, Geocel 201 is a high performance flexible polymer sealant, the modern replacement for polysulphide. Available colours are black, white, grey and teak.