Upon further investigation, it was learned that the only two pieces of wood in the whole boat were rotten. The engine beds were originally made of fir 2x stock, and strangely were not fully protected with fiberglass. They were, however, still about 60% solid, not bad for 50 year old wood in a boat.

uniflite stringer

Uncapped, the chisels came out and with great enthusiasm, I dug in for what I thought would be a multi-hour ordeal. 45 minutes later, clear caverns between the skins.

On the supply trip, I dug up a pair of good looking pieces of Doug Fir and recut them for the appropriate angles against the hull. Coated in epoxy, they were then dropped on top of some PL Premium adhesive (waterproof, strong, flexible), then bedded in epoxy filled with milled fiberglass and a little silica.

fir stringer

Now I opened up some books on scantlings and did a little math, which told me that I was already over the mil spec for active coring, and was very close to the thickness for inactive coring, so I added two layers of 17oz glass tabbed well out onto the hull. On went the glass that allows the cores to be completely turned to mush and remain plenty strong enough in glass alone.

Port side is very much the same, so I’ll try to spare you some redundancy. Moral of the story you put the sticky stuff in and clamp it.

Then fiberglass finishes the job. This makes her feel stiffer and creak less, so that’s exciting.

One thing I’d like to point out to the wood stringer nay sayers; This thing had a solid stringer with only about 2 feet of rot on the port side. Believe it, the stringer came out in one piece, a little wet, but solid. So much so, that the glass wrapped on the top was stuck so well I had to notch around it and pull it out on top of the stringer. Remember this wood hasn’t seen the light of day since 1963, 50 years ago…

Once the stringers are back to full strength, the 351 will get mocked up in the hull, and everything set up for measurements for new ballast tank/fish boxes and a vast array of seating.

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