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  • #3995

    Some of you may recall my forum thread last year called “Klonk”. I am refinishing (=painting) my Mk 2, Kez and I was asking for ideas how to fit the nut on the back of the bolt securing the stemhead fitting to the bows, because the back of the stemhead is impossible to reach without using a small child able to wield a ratchet spanner.

    Well I had to put the boat aside for a year or so while I attended to my real job, but she’s back and I am well on the way, having scraped off the old paint (horrible job) I epoxy primered the inverted hull today and have started the undercoat system, using eye-wateringly expensive International Paints. I am not worried about the weight of the new paint because the amount of old paint that came off was incredible.

    I still have not solved how to get to those bolts, but I think I’ve had a great idea…

    The cunning plan is to cut a hatch in the foredeck, right up at the sharp end, kinda triangular with nice smooth edges, reinforced with timber and foam and epoxy-glass reinforcement with rounded edges like a spinnaker launch hatch, but I am not so keen on having a hole in the deck so I plan to get a piece of polycarbonate or acrylic (I need to get some advice on the best plastic for the job) and will cut an overlapping piece which will be screwed down to the deck to make it watertightish.

    The benefits are that I will a) be able to refix the stemhead fitting, b) get some light into the Black Hole of Calcutta under the foredeck and c) be ready to launch a spinnaker when I learn how to fly one.

    Anyone any views on this? Any knowledge out there about the best plastic to use to withstand UV and be a little bit flexible to adopt the deck camber? I plan to tour more than race and a little open sea sailing is on the cards so I don’t want to leave the hole open.


    Why not pop along to your local boatyard ask them for a price…100 quid…what the hell…let a pro do the job and you won’t create an eyesore that will bother you for ever?


    Colin Parkstone

    How about giving Ian Porter a ring about a chute moulding for the spi and do the work on the bow when you cut out the hole in the deck.

    At the same time,have a look at the fortank to hull side joints at the front end as you can get at them with a hole in your deck,they sometimes come apart up in the black hole and are a pig to seal.

    C P 🙂


    Thanks Colin, for the helpful comment, I was thinking about a future spinnaker chute when I came up with the transparent cover idea, I was not aware of the issue of buoyancy tank leaks up front, given the hard life she appears to have had a few knocks could easily loosen the grip of the GRP in that inaccessible place.



    I have a plastic Mk2. I managed to squeeze into the gap to put nuts on the back of bolts through the stemhead fitting. In the process, I beefed up the area with epoxy using a plasticine and cardboard former.

    I also epoxied several places where impact on the outside had caused damage on the inside to the join where the top surface of the front bouyancy tank meets the hull. From the outside the damage could be seen as small star crazes, while from the inside, even with a bright light, it was only observable with a bicycle pump and washing up liquid. This very slight damage was enough to fail the pressure test.

    It was a rather tight squeeze and I could only gain access by removing the mast tabernacle moulding.

    I am not particularly thin although I did have to breathe in to get past the raised lip of the front tank and it wasn’t something I would want to do every day.

    I found it to be slightly easier when the boat was upside down on trestles a couple of feet off the ground.


    Thanks Jamie, I am rather on the extra-large size so I fear that once in I might not get out, but the hull is upside down right now so I could have a try.

    Kez had a small crazed areas on the bow right up near the stem, I have gouged out the cracks and filled them with with epoxy and colloidal silica paste before a coat of epoxy high-build primer and I think I have fixed the problem, but an extra lamination of cloth and epoxy on the inside surface would be a good reinforcement. You are not the first to mention the risk of small leaks around the tank so I will take a look while I have the chance.

    How did you remove the tabernacle? I assumed it was moulded in so I am guessing you cut it out?


    Mike, The tabernacle moulding on my boat is bolted top and bottom. At the top it is fixed to the deck moulding with three bolts [one each side & one at the front] which also hold plywood ‘mast positioning gap fillers’ in place. At the base the bolts holding the u-shaped channel that positions the base of the mast pass through the base of the tabernacle moulding. One bolt passes into the bouyancy tank, the nut for this fixing is done up from inside the tank, two other bolts pass through the bit of moulding that joins onto the centreboard case. Sikaflex has been used to seal the hole passing into the tank and generally fill gaps and stop movement between the mouldings. regards

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