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jumaggafanny 03-03-2009 10:29 AM

Who says I don't know JACK?
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I may have never met Jack Helms but I am getting to know & respect the fellow more as time passes. I have owned my 1975 Helms 25 #504 for about 12 yrs. In that time I have disassembled, modified and generally tinkered with every part of my boat. I’ve crawled into lockers with flashlights & mirrors for inspection.
When doing a topside job five years ago I drilled over 200each 1” Dia. holes to replace core material at each & every fastener or penetration. I was surprised and pleased to find core materials clean and untouched by water in all but 2 places, those at the primary winches. I recognize that this <1% failure after 30 years of use or 99%+ success rate is proof to Jack understanding how and then doing the job right when bedding the fasteners.

Fast forward to my current winter project…

I’m almost complete with the gel coat removal below the water-line and “Bottom-Job”. During the gel coat removal I found a 6”x 6” repair to the keel, deep into the fiberglass. I & others examined this in detail. I asked the previous owner and we now believe its a “factory” repair, of very good quality & workmanship, proving to me that Jack Helms had good quality control. The fact he didn’t conceal the problem but fixed it sure pleases me.
The hull of my Helms is chop cloth beneath the gel coat and while looking for any un-wetted strands or voids while it was stripped I found small pieces of woven glass fabric embedded. To me this showed that Jack Helms was not wasteful with his materials during construction but using the scraps of glass fabric in hull layup.
I never had the pleasure of meeting the man, but I feel like “I do know Jack” but don’t misunderstand me I admit don’t know Dittley Squat.
Chimera is almost finished with her new bottom, I’ve applied seven coats of epoxy (thin film) and hand sanded between coats, kind of like forced fairing of the hull for a guy that can’t spray paint. I didn’t opt to apply “hot” coats of epoxy because I wanted to take my time and go slow even if this forced the inter coat sanding. I’ve applied 2 coats of 65% copper in epoxy over the clear and I expect to apply the final 2 coats of Pettit APC-50 this week and hope to launch before April fools day (a tradition for me)

Picture #1 is what started this job

Wayne25 03-04-2009 08:54 AM

Glad to see your finishing up the project David.

jumaggafanny 03-05-2009 09:39 AM

Getting to know Dittley Squat
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I am trying to stay on schedule for April Fools day! I've got a mess of stuff on the 2-DO list. I painted the Pettit ACP-50 1st coat yesterday. It is a smooth co-polymer ablative stuffed with more copper. After rolling & the epoxy this stuff seems like it painted itself. I quart per side per coat with enough left over to do the rudder & wind vane tab. I'm going to 2nd coat it today leaving only cut in where keel was propped on wood cribbage.
I have to prep the trailer while I've got it M-T, I discovered some broken suspension parts to replace and have a new coupler for replacement of the surge brake hitch.
I was really thinking twice as I painted over the epoxy-copper with ACP-50 in Red. I really liked the copper look on the bottom but in light of my mooring in salt water I knew it would be greening up quick.
You can see from some of the pix I moved the waterline up by 1" this isn't going to affect my displacement any of course but I anticipate less scrubbing , I will again use a tape for the boot stripe.

sailingfool 03-05-2009 10:27 AM

54 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by jumaggafanny (Post 457049)
..... I’ve applied 2 coats of 65% copper in epoxy over the clear and I expect to apply the final 2 coats of Pettit APC-50 t...

I am curious, how do you put together "copper in epoxy', this a is a new reference I've never heard of mixing epoxy with anything other than the usual fillers. What product and from who?

jumaggafanny 03-05-2009 12:00 PM

I bought it on Ebay, the can(s) are from American Marine Coatings. 1445 Northlake Way. Seattle WA> 98103. (here's the rub EPA#67599-2) I believe it no longer to be used....I've still got the labels, It was 2 part epoxy I suspect it is the same as WEST system since the catalyst was red. Each quart can of resin weighed 9.19# I mixed 14 parts catalyst to 100 parts resin, by weight. I rather suspect that this is no longer available since it is not real gentle on environment. My product is old and I heated the resin per Gougeon Bros. I used 4 coats on my rudder trying to achieve electrical conductivity......more on that latre'.

kwaltersmi 03-05-2009 01:29 PM

Good stuff David. Thanks for sharing. You're making my boat jealous!

Wayne25 03-05-2009 05:17 PM

Lookin gooood David. I replaced my boot strip with new tape last year. Easier to do than I thought with good results.

kwaltersmi 03-07-2009 12:15 PM

David - Any feel for how heavy (or not) the hull is laid up? I have always been under the impression that the Helms 25 hull is thicker than it needed to be. Though that impression comes from feeling the hull and comparing it to other new boats were the hull will give some under a good body lean. Also, I always figured 1960's and very early 70's boats potentially had thicker glass because the material (fiberglass) was relatively new and untested.

How about the hull to deck joint? I haven't gotten a good look at mine.

jumaggafanny 03-09-2009 08:33 AM

Caution, these are disturbing pictures.
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I glassed the hull/deck joint over wiht 2 layers of woven matting. The cheesey rub rail manufactures offer are no match for my ability to "RUB" docks, pilings etc. In a move to save some dollars I thought to install a wood rubrail 1"x3" teal. I drilled and bolted to the now smoother hull/deck joint. I've very satisfied with this modification, stiffer and a good look as well. I could drive old rusty nails into it to hang fenders, eh?
Here's some pictures I have of a Helms that sunk at the dock and was later cut apart. Looking at the profile of the hull the ballast added is evident in the keel. I can't make out a lot of detail of thickness but you can look for yourself and perhaps draw some conclusions. I know it's solid, not cored.

Caution the first 2 pix could be disturbing to Helms owners, it is the dismembered hull of a 1972 25'er.
3rd is my hull deck joint.

Wayne25 03-09-2009 09:23 AM

Can you hand sketch a section of the hull deck joint? I see where the deck overlaps the transom in your picture and is screwed or through bolted as I can see the heads of the screws under your epoxy. But I'm not sure what happens down the sides of the boat. Most manufacturers either have mating flanges turned in or turned out. Ours don't seem to have that. I don't know if the 1/2"x3" horizontal rib is part of the hull or deck. I would assume the hull. If so, does the deck turn down and overlap the hull (like the transom) and rest on the 1/2"x3" rib? The hull then should turn back up after the rib about an 1" to make the joint. Is that rib solid glass or just a turn in the mold of the hull?

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