Today’s task was to clean up the damaged area so that I can begin the replacement of the inner veneer. This brought some surprises. First up was the removal of the stringer that supports the thwart. In doing this I noticed that the foam had forced its way between the stringer and the hull just at the point in the hull where the holes are and one of them, as you can just about see from the photo below, was wet. So in at least two places water has been able to get in although not very quickly.
The second thing I discovered is that there is a flaw in the hull. The inner veneer has not stuck to the middle veneer just where the turn of the bilge is tightest and it seems that this has allowed the water to spread right long the length of the hull. Now, this allows for both on my conjectures to be correct. In the area around the two holes, where the damage is greatest, the wood has rotted but very slowly. In the other areas where the wood is powdery the water may have reacted with the glue to form a weak alkali that has dissolved the lignin.
Anyway, I have removed all of the inner veneer around the damaged area and cleaned it all up so I can now start the process of replacing it. I still have to remove the stringer in the bilge but I have not yet decided if I should do that before fitting the veneers or after. There are a couple of screws I can see that hold the starboard bilge keel to the hull and these will have to be remove before the veneers are fitted and some of the screws are under the stringer itself so perhaps it needs to come off before I start playing around with epoxy as I don’t want to accidentally glue one or more of the screws!
The area around the larger of the two holes with the stringer removed. The wood now revealed is damp and you can clearly see how far down the damp goes. Directly down the grain from this point is the larger of the two holes and the same thing has happened at the smaller hole.
Here is an example of the void that I mentioned. You can just about see the gap under then veneer.
I have prised the veneer off with a chisel, notice how it has come off in one piece.
And here is the veneer just removed.
Here is a much clearer photo of the void elsewhere on the hull.
The aft part of the damaged hull cleaned up. The damaged area only extends about halfway up the photo but the veneer has been removed completely to give a clean edge and also because there was a void under it. The darker brown sections are undamaged middle veneer.
Moving forward a bit showing the smaller hole and surrounding area.
Again, the darker brown sections are undamaged middle veneer.
Further forward again showing the larger hole and surrounding area. Here there is less of the darker brown undamaged middle veneer, but still enough to shape the replacement veneer when it gets glued on.
And finally the foremost section. As with the aft most section this has been cleaned up beyond the damaged area to give a nice straight edge to work to.
The last two veneer sections are only partially damaged and there would be lot more of the darker brown found in the other photos had I not scraped the glue down a bit!
And finally a shot showing the whole thing, nice and clean and just about ready for the next stage.