With the boat out of the water the yard swung straight into action.  The bottom was water-blasted (not as bad as it could have been), the rig came off, scaffolding was erected and a roof built over the boat.  Off came the winches, stanchions, pull-pits, push-pits, and other deck fittings – it was all happening fast.

We knew from the survey that we had a few tricky jobs coming up so decided to get straight into them.  One, in particular, was the repair of areas identified as suffering delamination or potential delamination during the survey.  We had these areas roughed out on a drawing and sure enough on testing with a moisture meter, they were wet …. really wet!  Unfortunately, we were not able to source an ultrasound technician here in the Philippines to do a full hull survey, so we had to resort to tapping and testing with a moisture meter every millimetre of the hulls.  In areas that were considered suspect, even if only slightly suspect, test holes were drilled through the outer skin. In all, we drilled in over forty locations in the hulls, deck and cabin top.  About half were cause for concern and most of those were in the starboard hull.

There was only one thing for it, out with the saws, cut in and follow the rot until we were confident that we had solid core.  It was grim work and quite a bit more than we had anticipated.  However, by following the rot we were able to confidently confirm the full extent of the problem as well as identify the causes – namely poorly fitted tracks, blocks, stanchions and hatches and very poorly sealed scuppers in the cockpit floor.  We found no areas of water ingress in the lower hulls … thankfully.

With all of the grimness now exposed to the world, we rolled up our sleeves and we got into the repairs in the hulls, decks, and cabin tops.  No major dramas, just a lot of foam, epoxy, vacuuming, fairing and sweat.

One area that did present a few nervous moments was the area around the mast base.  When checking for rot we had found some suspect areas in front of the mast base.  Tracing this back we discovered that the marine ply providing lateral support for the carbon mast post was disintegrating.  This was all dug out back to solid core and the post closely examined.  No problem in the underlying structure … phew.  Given that we had some unidirectional carbon fibre sheets that had come with the boat (the boat came with an impressive collection of spares, tools, and repair materials), we used this to provide additional lateral reinforcement and a cap to the mast base to tie everything together.  This was backed up with high density foam and everything was vacuum bagged into place.  We are very confident that we now have an incredibly strong structure through the whole of the mast base and the turning blocks that lead the halyards, reefing lines, and such to the cockpit.

On to the next set of challenges ….