FS 690 Restoration (Alt. Floor Process & Gunwales)
My dad and I are restoring FS 690 which had been a club boat in Duxbury, MA., and Gilford,NH, in recent years. As you might expect, there were many blemishes (understatement), but the boat is generally sound.
There was de-lamination of the hull floor on either side of the centerboard trunk, but the trunk itself seems perfectly sound. The deck, seats, etc., are also all sound. Last fall I drilled many test holes through the floor and into the balsa core. The balsa was dry and clean and most places with only a couple of spots where there seemed to be deterioration -- but the wood was dry there, too.
Having some experience with West System products and restoring wooden centerboard trunks, I attempted to take an easy way out of the typical recoring process. After vaccuuming the drill holes (left to continue drying over the winter months), I injected West System epoxy with a bonding/filleting additive). Then I placed weights on the cockpit floor in an attempt to re-laminate the de-laminated top layer of the cockpit floor. Though there is still some work to be done (further filling of voids), the early results are promising. However, the first time out on the water in a good blow and heavy chop will tell if I was even marginally successful -- I'll post back to let you know.
The last real hurdle to getting the boat back in the water is replacing the gunwales which were beyond salvaging. I have ordered and received the aluminum gunwale strips from FS, Inc., in 8' sections (to accommodate shipping). The holes don't line up well and will require additional drilling, etc. Even then, it seems that there will be a possibility of sloppy and maybe dangerous seams between the gunwales strips (laceration threat). Does anyone have any experience with this procedure that could offer advice?
Any experience or knowledge you could share of others that have attempted my recoring shortcut would also be very helpful!