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AS29 Bilgeboard Case Problem

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  • freshairfiend
    Howdy all, I am having difficulty figuring out how to do some repair work on the insides of the bilgeboard cases on my AS 29, and am hoping the brain trust
    Message 1 of 13 , May 10, 2011
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      Howdy all,

      I am having difficulty figuring out how to do some repair work on the insides of the bilgeboard cases on my AS 29, and am hoping the brain trust here can suggest a way to do it without tearing out the sides of the hull.

      Briefly, inside the cases are six exposed vertical frames on the side nearest the hull plank, and a plywood face with six thin rubbing strakes on the side of the case nearest the boat's centerline. The slot between these frames and rubbing strakes is where the bilgeboards fit. The builder of the boat made this slot narrower than the plans show, and the port bilgeboard has always stuck a bit when being raised or lowered. The starboard board until recently ran cleanly, but the clearance is literally the thickness of a coat of bottom paint (the boards need to be sanded clean and refinished on each haulout).

      Over the eighteen years since the boat was built, I think the cases have narrowed a bit, and the wood frames in particular are no longer smooth, now having a bit of a 'washboard' appearance. Now the port board will not run at all without help from a four-part tackle, and the starboard board sticks. This is true even with new, clean paint on the boards.

      To top it off, when the yard hauled the boat, they attempted to force the boards back up into the cases, which made deep scratches in the epoxy and paint on some of the vertical frames and strakes. I am certain these are deep enough to expose the frames to worm damage. There is already some worm damage in the port case, probably due to the board rubbing off the paint and epoxy, due to insufficient clearance.

      So, the proposed repair: Since the boat is out of the water for major work anyway, I would like to bring the width of the slot back out to the plan specs, or as close as possible, and smooth out the wood frames so the boards will run free, and so I can apply a good epoxy coat to them for 'worm-proofing.' This essentially means cutting, sanding, scraping, or ?-ing the frames and strakes with access only from the narrow slots on the deck and bottom openings of the cases.

      The cases have a vertical height of about 5 feet, making much of them very difficult to reach. So:

      1: Has anyone else done this repair before? How did you do it?

      2: Is their any tool that is intended for this sort of work?

      3: What suggestions do you have for how to do it?

      Thanks to all.

      John Dalziel
    • BruceHallman
      ... I recall, I think, one other instance of needing to re-access the swinging board cases on an AS-29. To me, using a saw to temporarily remove the sides of
      Message 2 of 13 , May 10, 2011
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        On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM, freshairfiend <freshairfiend@...> wrote:

        >the brain trust here can suggest a way to do it without tearing out the sides of the hull.

        I recall, I think, one other instance of needing to re-access the
        swinging board cases on an AS-29.

        To me, using a saw to temporarily remove the sides of the hull seems
        to be an elegant way to gain that access for maintenance.

        Trying to fix it any other way seems much more difficult. When you
        are done with the maintenance, screw the plywood back in place, patch
        with epoxy and glass tape, fairing compound and paint. I'd guess it
        could be done in one weekend. The water-tight envelope for the hull
        is the inside face of those board wells, so temporarily cutting away
        the outside faces doesn't seem such a big deal.
      • freshairfiend
        Hi Bruce, Thanks for the suggestion. I ve been considering that, though I think overall it would take considerably more than a weekend. I doubt you could
        Message 3 of 13 , May 10, 2011
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          Hi Bruce,

          Thanks for the suggestion. I've been considering that, though I think overall it would take considerably more than a weekend. I doubt you could re-use the old ply side (though that's not a big issue), since it's glued to the frames and you'd have to butcher quite a bit of it to get at the glue lines. Also, the foam flotation would probably need to be re-fitted before closing the hole, so I think you'd have to fit butt-blocks inside since there's be no way of getting behind the seam to tape the joint (which would be a trick even without the foam).

          All do-able of course. I've just been hoping for something a bit less involved... :-/


          John



          --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, BruceHallman <hallman@...> wrote:

          >
          > I recall, I think, one other instance of needing to re-access the
          > swinging board cases on an AS-29.
          >
          > To me, using a saw to temporarily remove the sides of the hull seems
          > to be an elegant way to gain that access for maintenance.
          >
          > Trying to fix it any other way seems much more difficult. When you
          > are done with the maintenance, screw the plywood back in place, patch
          > with epoxy and glass tape, fairing compound and paint. I'd guess it
          > could be done in one weekend. The water-tight envelope for the hull
          > is the inside face of those board wells, so temporarily cutting away
          > the outside faces doesn't seem such a big deal.
          >
        • Rick Bedard
          Just thinking.. So you need to increase the spacing between the facing surfaces of the rubbing strakes enough so that after epoxy and paint you get your
          Message 4 of 13 , May 10, 2011
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            Just thinking..

            So you need to increase the spacing between the facing surfaces of the rubbing strakes enough so that after epoxy and paint you get your clearance but only working from above and below?  How about sanding them with along stick.... -What's the spacing of the frames? Get a ply piece 6' tall and wide enough to span several frames (to keep things fair). Glue coarse sandpaper to one face and move it up and down... Ok hard work but wait.. Get a second sanding board, flip it the opposite way so you can sadn both sets of frames at the same time ... Now to keep pressure on the surfaces to be sanded insert a bicycle tube between the sanding boards and inflate to expand the sanding boards against the frames.... Probably too much work for a human, but I bet someone could rig an electric motor to pump it up and down from below..

            Keep us posted.

            Rick



            From: freshairfiend <freshairfiend@...>
            To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tue, May 10, 2011 10:10:26 AM
            Subject: [bolger] AS29 Bilgeboard Case Problem

            Howdy all,

            I am having difficulty figuring out how to do some repair work on the insides of the bilgeboard cases on my AS 29, and am hoping the brain trust here can suggest a way to do it without tearing out the sides of the hull.

            Briefly, inside the cases are six exposed vertical frames on the side nearest the hull plank, and a plywood face with six thin rubbing strakes on the side of the case nearest the boat's centerline. The slot between these frames and rubbing strakes is where the bilgeboards fit. The builder of the boat made this slot narrower than the plans show, and the port bilgeboard has always stuck a bit when being raised or lowered. The starboard board until recently ran cleanly, but the clearance is literally the thickness of a coat of bottom paint (the boards need to be sanded clean and refinished on each haulout).

            Over the eighteen years since the boat was built, I think the cases have narrowed a bit, and the wood frames in particular are no longer smooth, now having a bit of a 'washboard' appearance. Now the port board will not run at all without help from a four-part tackle, and the starboard board sticks. This is true even with new, clean paint on the boards.

            To top it off, when the yard hauled the boat, they attempted to force the boards back up into the cases, which made deep scratches in the epoxy and paint on some of the vertical frames and strakes. I am certain these are deep enough to expose the frames to worm damage. There is already some worm damage in the port case, probably due to the board rubbing off the paint and epoxy, due to insufficient clearance.

            So, the proposed repair: Since the boat is out of the water for major work anyway, I would like to bring the width of the slot back out to the plan specs, or as close as possible, and smooth out the wood frames so the boards will run free, and so I can apply a good epoxy coat to them for 'worm-proofing.' This essentially means cutting, sanding, scraping, or ?-ing the frames and strakes with access only from the narrow slots on the deck and bottom openings of the cases.

            The cases have a vertical height of about 5 feet, making much of them very difficult to reach. So:

            1: Has anyone else done this repair before? How did you do it?

            2: Is their any tool that is intended for this sort of work?

            3: What suggestions do you have for how to do it?

            Thanks to all.

            John Dalziel 



            ------------------------------------

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          • Mark Hamill
            How about replacing the ply board with a metal one or a metal cored ply board??
            Message 5 of 13 , May 11, 2011
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              How about replacing the ply board with a metal one or a metal cored ply board??
               
            • freshairfiend
              Rick, that sanding machine would be one unique piece of equipment... :-) However, your suggestion of using a bike tube as a pressure plate gave me an idea.
              Message 6 of 13 , May 11, 2011
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                Rick, that sanding machine would be one unique piece of equipment... :-) However, your suggestion of using a bike tube as a 'pressure plate' gave me an idea. So, thanks!

                This morning I made up the world's longest sanding block handle out of a 1 x 3 x 8. I glued a 4" long, 1/4" thick beveled sanding 'block' to one side at the end, and relieved the other side 3/16" deep for 8" using router & chisel. Then I screwed a 1/2 x 2 x 12" plywood 'finger' to that side, so it would act as a spring (the recess gives it room to compress), and screwed a couple 1/4" ply flanges to the sandpaper side to keep it on track over the frames. The finger wasn't quite stiff enough, so I added a shim between the finger and the 1x3 to stiffen it up. I can add shims, or a plastic plate to the outside of the finger, to increase the distance as the job nears completion.

                I didn't have time today to give it a thorough test, but it does stay on track and made quick work of the old bottom paint on one of the frames. Rough on the arms, though, standing on deck and pushing it down, pulling it back up. After the first few strokes, I added a handle made from an old broomstick, which made things easier. I may just have at it a couple hours per day until it gets done- or until someone comes up with a better idea. :-)


                John



                --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Rick Bedard <sctree@...> wrote:
                >
                > Just thinking..
                >
                > So you need to increase the spacing between the facing surfaces of the rubbing
                > strakes enough so that after epoxy and paint you get your clearance but only
                > working from above and below? How about sanding them with along stick....
                > -What's the spacing of the frames? Get a ply piece 6' tall and wide enough to
                > span several frames (to keep things fair). Glue coarse sandpaper to one face and
                > move it up and down... Ok hard work but wait.. Get a second sanding board, flip
                > it the opposite way so you can sadn both sets of frames at the same time ... Now
                > to keep pressure on the surfaces to be sanded insert a bicycle tube between the
                > sanding boards and inflate to expand the sanding boards against the frames....
                > Probably too much work for a human, but I bet someone could rig an electric
                > motor to pump it up and down from below..
                >
                > Keep us posted.
                >
                > Rick
              • freshairfiend
                Mark, the bilgeboards on the AS29 have a center web/core of 3/8 (~9mm) aluminum, and on each side an outer face of 1/2 ply which is fully encased in
                Message 7 of 13 , May 11, 2011
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                  Mark, the bilgeboards on the AS29 have a center web/core of 3/8" (~9mm) aluminum, and on each side an outer face of 1/2" ply which is fully encased in fiberglass. These faces are through-bolted through the center frame. The good side is that any warp-age is confined to the edges of the ply along the curved trailing edge. The bad side is the difficulty/impossibility of sealing off the aluminum from galvanic corrosion. I have a couple spots on one board where the aluminum was sitting next to the location of bronze bolts in the chine log, where stitches in the fiberglass sheathing of the chines had let water into the wood. On the aluminum there are corresponding, concentric rings of corrosion that go about halfway through the 3/8" plate...

                  I've considered replacing the 1/2" ply faces with new ones made from 10 mm ply, to make the boards thinner, but I'm reluctant to do that without knowing how much the current boards flex when in use. My instinct is that the 10 mm would make the bilgeboards too flexible.


                  John

                  --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Hamill" <mhamill1@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > How about replacing the ply board with a metal one or a metal cored ply board??
                  >
                • Rick Bedard
                  Could you jury rig that sanding block to the business end of a compressed air power file? ________________________________ From: freshairfiend
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 11, 2011
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                    Could you jury rig that sanding block to the business end of a compressed air power file?



                    From: freshairfiend <freshairfiend@...>
                    To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Wed, May 11, 2011 6:20:23 PM
                    Subject: [bolger] Re: AS29 Bilgeboard Case Problem



                    Rick, that sanding machine would be one unique piece of equipment... :-) However, your suggestion of using a bike tube as a 'pressure plate' gave me an idea. So, thanks!

                    This morning I made up the world's longest sanding block handle out of a 1 x 3 x 8. I glued a 4" long, 1/4" thick beveled sanding 'block' to one side at the end, and relieved the other side 3/16" deep for 8" using router & chisel.  Then I screwed a 1/2 x 2 x 12" plywood 'finger' to that side, so it would act as a spring (the recess gives it room to compress), and screwed a couple 1/4" ply flanges to the sandpaper side to keep it on track over the frames. The finger wasn't quite stiff enough, so I added a shim between the finger and the 1x3 to stiffen it up. I can add shims, or a plastic plate to the outside of the finger, to increase the distance as the job nears completion.

                    I didn't have time today to give it a thorough test, but it does stay on track and made quick work of the old bottom paint on one of the frames. Rough on the arms, though, standing on deck and pushing it down, pulling it back up. After the first few strokes, I added a handle made from an old broomstick, which made things easier. I may just have at it a couple hours per day until it gets done- or until someone comes up with a better idea. :-)


                    John



                    --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Rick Bedard <sctree@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Just thinking..
                    >
                    > So you need to increase the spacing between the facing surfaces of the rubbing
                    > strakes enough so that after epoxy and paint you get your clearance but only
                    > working from above and below?  How about sanding them with along stick....
                    > -What's the spacing of the frames? Get a ply piece 6' tall and wide enough to
                    > span several frames (to keep things fair). Glue coarse sandpaper to one face and
                    > move it up and down... Ok hard work but wait.. Get a second sanding board, flip
                    > it the opposite way so you can sadn both sets of frames at the same time ... Now
                    > to keep pressure on the surfaces to be sanded insert a bicycle tube between the
                    > sanding boards and inflate to expand the sanding boards against the frames....
                    > Probably too much work for a human, but I bet someone could rig an electric
                    > motor to pump it up and down from below..
                    >
                    > Keep us posted.
                    >
                    > Rick



                    ------------------------------------

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                    - NO "GO AWAY SPAMMER!" posts!!!  Please!
                    - no cursing, flaming, trolling, spamming, respamming, or flogging dead horses
                    - stay on topic, stay on thread, punctuate, no 'Ed, thanks, Fred' posts
                    - Pls add your comments at the TOP, SIGN your posts, and snip away
                    - Plans: Mr. Philip C. Bolger, P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA, 01930, Fax: (978) 282-1349
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                  • Chris
                    Here s one trick for making a fantastic sanding block I learned for scribing cabinets tops. Take a belt from a belt sander, cut a piece of scrap wood (approx
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 11, 2011
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                      Here's one trick for making a fantastic sanding block I learned for scribing cabinets tops. Take a belt from a belt sander, cut a piece of scrap wood (approx 3/4 works well), or 3/4" plywood. Rip it to the belt width, then cut it to the interior length of the belt (or maybe start 1/4" long or so). Then bevel or round off the corners and shove it in the belt, it sould be nice and snug. The beauty of this tool is that the "paper" is rugged as hell and the block is really stiff, but narrow. Then Rick you could try to attach something like John's mega handle.

                      Maybe that helps
                      Chris Brunette



                      --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "freshairfiend" <freshairfiend@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Rick, that sanding machine would be one unique piece of equipment... :-) However, your suggestion of using a bike tube as a 'pressure plate' gave me an idea. So, thanks!
                      >
                      > This morning I made up the world's longest sanding block handle out of a 1 x 3 x 8. I glued a 4" long, 1/4" thick beveled sanding 'block' to one side at the end, and relieved the other side 3/16" deep for 8" using router & chisel. Then I screwed a 1/2 x 2 x 12" plywood 'finger' to that side, so it would act as a spring (the recess gives it room to compress), and screwed a couple 1/4" ply flanges to the sandpaper side to keep it on track over the frames. The finger wasn't quite stiff enough, so I added a shim between the finger and the 1x3 to stiffen it up. I can add shims, or a plastic plate to the outside of the finger, to increase the distance as the job nears completion.
                      >
                      > I didn't have time today to give it a thorough test, but it does stay on track and made quick work of the old bottom paint on one of the frames. Rough on the arms, though, standing on deck and pushing it down, pulling it back up. After the first few strokes, I added a handle made from an old broomstick, which made things easier. I may just have at it a couple hours per day until it gets done- or until someone comes up with a better idea. :-)
                      >
                      >
                      > John
                      >
                    • Eric
                      Amen, to what Bruce says. Use the saw. After that, if it was me: Epoxy, filler, fiberglass, and roughly feathered plywood edges and meeting surfaces to have
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 11, 2011
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                        Amen, to what Bruce says. Use the saw. After that, if it was me: Epoxy, filler, fiberglass, and roughly feathered plywood edges and meeting surfaces to have an 8:1 or 12:1 scarf is easy and quick to put the boat back together. Fair and paint. Bruce's weekend estimate is certainly doable by him and probably by some of us mere mortals. I'd finish opening the trunks by carefully cutting up to the edge of the trunk and then fairing the hull to a feather edge at the inside of the trunk. repair board with its edges faired to fit the hull placed over this to rebuild the hull side.

                        If I did a more extensive repair than this I would rebuild the whole affair so that a few machine bolts could be removed to remove the outside of the trunk to easily maintain or repair the inside of the trunk.

                        --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, BruceHallman <hallman@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM, freshairfiend <freshairfiend@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > >the brain trust here can suggest a way to do it without tearing out the sides of the hull.
                        >
                        > I recall, I think, one other instance of needing to re-access the
                        > swinging board cases on an AS-29.
                        >
                        > To me, using a saw to temporarily remove the sides of the hull seems
                        > to be an elegant way to gain that access for maintenance.
                        >
                        > Trying to fix it any other way seems much more difficult. When you
                        > are done with the maintenance, screw the plywood back in place, patch
                        > with epoxy and glass tape, fairing compound and paint. I'd guess it
                        > could be done in one weekend. The water-tight envelope for the hull
                        > is the inside face of those board wells, so temporarily cutting away
                        > the outside faces doesn't seem such a big deal.
                        >
                      • Ron Badley
                        Rip it all out and reuse the bilge boards as a leeboards. RonB.
                        Message 11 of 13 , May 11, 2011
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                          Rip it all out and reuse the bilge boards as a leeboards.

                          RonB.
                        • Michael Wagner
                          If you do cut away the face of the trunk, I think it would be best to leave the chine log in place. The chine log is an integral part of the hull structure and
                          Message 12 of 13 , May 12, 2011
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                            If you do cut away the face of the trunk, I think it would be best to leave the chine log in place. The chine log is an integral part of the hull structure and cutting through it will weaken the whole boat.

                            We had very slight leaks on Walkure last year. We were able to cut away small portions of the hull on each side, leaving the chine log in place. We were lucky as there was no water damage to the log itself.

                            http://walkurevoyages.blogspot.com/2010/09/repairs-under-way.html

                            --- On Wed, 5/11/11, Eric <eric14850@...> wrote:

                            From: Eric <eric14850@...>
                            Subject: [bolger] Re: AS29 Bilgeboard Case Problem
                            To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 10:40 PM

                             

                            Amen, to what Bruce says. Use the saw. After that, if it was me: Epoxy, filler, fiberglass, and roughly feathered plywood edges and meeting surfaces to have an 8:1 or 12:1 scarf is easy and quick to put the boat back together. Fair and paint. Bruce's weekend estimate is certainly doable by him and probably by some of us mere mortals. I'd finish opening the trunks by carefully cutting up to the edge of the trunk and then fairing the hull to a feather edge at the inside of the trunk. repair board with its edges faired to fit the hull placed over this to rebuild the hull side.

                            If I did a more extensive repair than this I would rebuild the whole affair so that a few machine bolts could be removed to remove the outside of the trunk to easily maintain or repair the inside of the trunk.

                            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, BruceHallman <hallman@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM, freshairfiend <freshairfiend@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > >the brain trust here can suggest a way to do it without tearing out the sides of the hull.
                            >
                            > I recall, I think, one other instance of needing to re-access the
                            > swinging board cases on an AS-29.
                            >
                            > To me, using a saw to temporarily remove the sides of the hull seems
                            > to be an elegant way to gain that access for maintenance.
                            >
                            > Trying to fix it any other way seems much more difficult. When you
                            > are done with the maintenance, screw the plywood back in place, patch
                            > with epoxy and glass tape, fairing compound and paint. I'd guess it
                            > could be done in one weekend. The water-tight envelope for the hull
                            > is the inside face of those board wells, so temporarily cutting away
                            > the outside faces doesn't seem such a big deal.
                            >

                          • freshairfiend
                            Chris, that is a great idea for a sanding block, which I ll need to remember. Thanks! Well, the job is done, and the long-tailed sanding block worked pretty
                            Message 13 of 13 , May 18, 2011
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                              Chris, that is a great idea for a sanding block, which I'll need to remember. Thanks!

                              Well, the job is done, and the "long-tailed sanding block" worked pretty well. Some photos of the block:

                              http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/7426/zzzlongtailedsandingblo.jpg
                              http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/7426/zzzlongtailedsandingblo.jpg
                              http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/7426/zzzlongtailedsandingblo.jpg

                              I ended up making up three shims of different thicknesses, then just sanded out to each thickness w/40 grit paper before putting in the next thicker shim. But there's a lot of physical effort involved in that sort of sanding. I didn't work on it any longer than a few hours at a session, so it took several mornings to get done. In retrospect I wonder if it would have been a lot faster and less strenuous to rig up some sort of shoe for a Surform rasp blade instead of sandpaper.

                              I ended up not going through the side because it didn't look like any of the frames needed replacement.

                              ---
                              Michael Wagner:
                              "If you do cut away the face of the trunk, I think it would be best to leave the chine log in place. The chine log is an integral part of the hull structure and cutting through it will weaken the whole boat.

                              We had very slight leaks on Walkure last year. We were able to cut away small portions of the hull on each side, leaving the chine log in place. We were lucky as there was no water damage to the log itself."
                              ---

                              Agree about the chine logs. In fact, with the bottom planking off around the cases, you can reach fairly deeply up into the cases, so there's really no reason to make a cut below the "belt line" where the top and bottom sections of the hull sides are glued together, unless as in your case that is where the damage is. I may have some side replacement below the belt line on the starboard side aft end of the b-board case (no leak but the plywood doesn't look too good), but I am going to close up the port side before getting into it.

                              I think everyone with an AS-29, or almost everyone, has had problems with leaks in the corners of the bilgeboard cases, and the layout of the case interior exposes quite a lot of wood and several important glue joints to direct contact with the water. It's a problematical construction. I've often wished PCB had specified leeboards for the AS-29, as he did for several similar boats. I don't know why he went with the bilgeboards; possibly Dan Farmer(?) insisted "no leeboards" when he commissioned the prototype. But in the longer term I think problems with the boards have made people wary of the design, and with reason. I think if I were interested in building a new AS-29, I would go with a strip-planked Alert/Manatee instead, for better structural reliability and more flexible sea-keeping ability.

                              Many thanks to all for your help and suggestions!


                              John



                              --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <gaff_rigged72@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Here's one trick for making a fantastic sanding block I learned for scribing cabinets tops. Take a belt from a belt sander, cut a piece of scrap wood (approx 3/4 works well), or 3/4" plywood. Rip it to the belt width, then cut it to the interior length of the belt (or maybe start 1/4" long or so). Then bevel or round off the corners and shove it in the belt, it sould be nice and snug. The beauty of this tool is that the "paper" is rugged as hell and the block is really stiff, but narrow. Then Rick you could try to attach something like John's mega handle.
                              >
                              > Maybe that helps
                              > Chris Brunette
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