Deep holes

Patrick and I patched up the sides of the hulls pretty nearly now – all that’s left is sanding, fairing and painting. There’s also epoxy injections needed for both decks a couple of feet forward of the front pylons. It’s usually a straightforward operation, except… I marked the soft spots and drilled holes for the injections, but in about 30% of the holes my bit sank right through both layers of fiberglass. That’s not good.

Hobie hulls are constructed with two layers of fiberglass with a layer of foam in between. It’s hard to imagine that foam could provide strength, but it does, as long as it contacts both the inner and outer fiberglass. If there’s a gap between the foam and the fiberglass, it’s not nearly as strong. If sailors stand on the deck the foam gets crushed, creating a gap. Design flaw, but whatever. Epoxy can be injected through the external skin to fill the void unless the internal skin is also ruptured. Injection won’t work then because the liquid epoxy will leak into the inside of the hull rather than fill the void between the two skins. That means removing the entire sandwich and repairing the breach in several stages, like like we did with the starboard rudder and port side.

Now, I was careful not to drill too deep, but maybe I was just careless on 30% of my holes. If so, I could create a thick epoxy plug for those holes and continue with the rest of the liquid injection. If the inner skin was already fractured and broken before I drilled, then plugging won’t help, I’ll just be squirting epoxy into the hull. The word for this is setback. So close… worse case scenario is opening her up tomorrow, carving out the broken inner skin and patching it – two more days. Best case scenario is a few more exploratory holes near the deep holes to see if the inner skin is totally broken, and if it’s not then continue with thick and thin injections – 1 day. For now sleep and the activation of the unconscious for problem solving.

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