Yesterday, I was sanding and faring the hull in prep for a new paint job on my new (old) Newport 27
. I saw a series of cracks near the propeller support skeg-thing-a-majigger.
No problem, I think to myself. I've read this chapter in Don Casey's books a hundred times!
So, I get out the trusty grinder and try to grind them out, with thoughts of then filling the cracks I'd opened with West system epoxy. So, I start grinding and grinding, and I started to worry that I must be in danger of cutting into the hull. Right about then, lo and behold, a huge chunk of hull fell off onto my head, revealing a huge metal bracket!
Evidently, someone had put a big patch (epoxy, or gelcoat?) over the metal plate supporting the propeller skeg thing. Over the years, some combination of engine vibration and poor adhesion between dissimilar materials made this patch crack and jiggle loose. I can't tell if this was factory-issue, or some well-meaning previous owner.
Now, the questions:
What do I do to this area?
I figure my options are to leave it alone or to make a new patch to cover it over, right?
Should I fill the void with epoxy, sand and fair it so it blends to the lines of the hull, then paint it out to match the hull (and hope I don't have to repeat the same series of events in a couple years)?
Or, should I just put a bead of epoxy around the edges to prevent water intrusion under the gelcoat around the bracket base? (I am in Chicago, so the freeze-thaw cycle is a concern)
Or, should I just leave it alone, mask it off, and paint everything but the metal, so the screws are easily accessible if the things needs repair?
Thanks in advance!
(More pictures of my "project boat" can be found here