Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: cabin sole stringers
I don't recall how the framing on the Grampian 26's were constructed, but speaking generally, there are three types of frames that you might encounter in the bilge of a boat of this era; 1) Stringers (which run fore and aft), 2) transverse frames (which are the major structural elements running athwartship and which are also called 'floor timbers' or 'Floors' but which are not there to support the cabin sole, even if coincidentally they do support the cabin sole), and 3) deck frames (which also run athwartship but which are only there to support the cabin sole and are sometimes called 'deck beams'.)
The first two (stringers and transverse frames) should not be made of wood. That is pretty poor construction and would be harder to repair than if they were made of fiberglass. The deck beams are often made of wood and are pretty straight forward carpentry and glass work to repair.
On the stringers and transverse frames, the answer is that the boat needs to be supported so that the shape of the hull is as close as possible to its design shape because whatever distortion is in the hull when you do the repair, potentially will be locked in permanently. You would then cut away the bad sections of the stringers and transverse frames and grind an area on either side of the area where you are installing the new portions of the stringers and transverse frames. Then using either foam or wood, you would scribe and make a core for the new length of stringers and transverse frames to be replaced. Lastly you would layup heavy structural laminates of mat and woven roving in epoxy resin to reconstruct the missing portion of the stringers and transverse frames. The new laminate should extend a foot or two onto the portion of the original frames that are intended to remain.
Deck beams are pretty easy to replace. Its simply a matter of shaping them of wood to fit on whatever supports the ends, coating them with epoxy to seal the wood so that they don't rot out again, and then glassing the ends into the boat. You can probably do all of the cutting and sealing in a day in a day and the glassing in part in perhaps two or three short work sessions.
The answer to your question about doing this yourself, would by necessity derive from your self evaluation of:
"How good a carpenter am I?"
"How much do I trust my own fiberglass work?"
"How much do I want to do this myself rather than pay someone?"
"Do I have a good resource that I can count on to talk me through any part of this that I am not confident about doing?
"Do I have a fall back if something goes wrong?"
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay