Sunday, 4 March 2012

AR600 epoxy stops smells in the boat

The boat in question is now twelve years old, designed by Dudley Dix its named a Dix 43 and was built using his steel boat plans as a Radius Chine construction but in wood/epoxy, the first such build, I believe one other now exists.

The boat is very dry, the bilge is largely clean and dry, so much so that with the center saloon cabin sole left open when the boat is not used, there is good ventilation above and below the cabin sole, there is no foul bilge smell either.

Some months back a smell was found in the engine room, its a small room under the cockpit and large enough to get inside to work on the Perkins 4108 engine. The smell continued to be a mystery, why only in the enclosed engine space?

Some years back the sea water cooled Henry Meadows gear box developed a small sea water leak, the box was run without the cooling as the makers suggest can be done but the box got so hot it melted a hole in a 5ltr plastic oil container on one trip into the bay. so the box had to be water cooled again, first the leak had to be fixed.

Using Shell Chemicals 816 epoxy and a suitable 205 cure agent, the alloy case was prepared and epoxy sealed, that fix lasted about 36 months, not bad for such a little amount of labour and epoxy? The leak eventually returned, not so bad it would fill an egg cup in a week but a leak all the same.

This box is now 30 years old, it works fine having been rebuilt around six years ago but age has got the better of its alloy castings. Removal is a two man job, the box can not be lifted by one man easily.

The return to the mini grinder and hand tools soon had the old hole opened again, it was no larger than before as the epoxy had stopped further rot by keeping the hole airtight. The new repair saw the alloy case cleaned up, washed with warm water and Teepol (not Fairy Liquid) then when the water was dry the next day a return to the epoxy fix.

This time it was the AR 600 we now have packed specially for CKD Boats cc, an addition was the biaxial glass cloth and plenty of epoxy to fill its woven spaces, biaxial cloth lays down supper easy, please do not try this with chopped strand mat.

The addition of the glass cloth will bond the two sides together, plus thicken the depth of the AR600 epoxy.

The fix being made, a day and night was given for a full cure of the epoxy and the next job was hand sanding with 60 grit floor paper, followed by Hammerite blue paint, the job was soon looking finished.

Note, Hammerite  paints need about three days to fully cure and International Paint 713 thinner works well with Hammerite, that advice alone should be worth the price of a beer!

The finished job, it takes a little time but does work, another 36 months? longer this time I hope!
AR600 and related glass tapes and cloth, plus micro balloons and fumed silica are always in stock.

The smell?  well its gone, that tiny amount of sea water was rotting and enough to cause the smell!

Note that the Henry Meadows gear box on the Perkins 4108 engine has two sections to it, the main section is closer to the engine, the back section which drops down and has the output drive is the reduction box. They both have their own oil fillers, the main box has a dip stick and a large removable plug for oil filling,  to work out the correct level on the reduction box there is a removable side plug, the filler is near the top and in normal use is closed, when the oil comes out the opened lower level is correct, do not forget to put that plug back!

Oil,both boxes use 20 grade, your probably not going to find that, use a 20w/50 grade, that will be correct according to the makers TMP in Weybridge, Surrey, England.

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