Jeni and I were looking forward to the long holiday weekend to get some more work done on the boat. She’s still scraping Cetol off the teak trim, and I started investigating the source of the rotten wood I found inside the starboard cockpit coaming last week.
Jeni has spent several hours scraping and sanding the teak cap that covers the coaming, and now I had to pull it off to get inside and work. At least I managed to get it off in one piece, and more importantly, the curved part of the cap at the aft end of the coaming. I had to cut away the top of the fiberglass box channel in order to free up the teak because the screws holding it down were just spinning in wet, rotten wood backer blocks and wouldn’t come out. It frightens me to think that the two Lewmar 44 primary winches were attached to this “structure” using only wood screws. One good puff of wind on the jib sheets could likely have yanked them clean off the boat.
Once I scooped out all the crumbs of mahogany blocking and plywood I began to understand how they laid up the glass for the decks and cabin top. The lower half of the coamings were molded as part of the deck, with solid mahogany blocking and plywood inserted into structural areas where winches and cleats were to be installed. The raised part of the coamings were just tacked on after all the vertical trim on the coach house was installed, with yet more solid blocking and plywood stacked up in key areas. With all that out of the way, I finished up my excavations by cutting down the fiberglass sides to the level they were when the deck came out of the mold in 1977. Now I just have to figure out how to build a new [structural] coaming extension, and then glass it in place (while the boat is still floating in our slip).