Repairing Nicks in Milanes Rudder and Centreboards
09/06/2018 at 9:54 pm #14986
Sorry if this, or a similar question has been asked before.
My GP14 has a Milanes wooden rudder with, what I assume, is some sort of plastic white painted veneer on top of it. My centreboard seems to be the same (I think it is also Milanes).
Both had nicks on them when I bought the boat. Some of them appear to have been sealed with some sort of epoxy (though not completely filled). However, some are exposing the bare wood. This was made worse due to my accidentally sailing in a shallow area, resulting in the rudder and centreboard coming up, but not before scraping briefly along the bottom. So I have unfortunately made a few new nicks, as shown in the photos. In addition, at the bottom of the rudder (see bottom.jpg), the paint/outer layer has been scraped off, though this only goes superficially into the wood.
I would like to fill in these nicks (none of which are very deep), especially as I don’t want these foils to rot as water gets into the wood. So I would like to know what is the simplest way to fix and seal them please. Could I use Milliput as the filler? Is it necessary to recreate the plastic white coating and, if so, how?
Apart from the nicks in the photos (these are all from the rudder), the rudder and centreboard are in sound condition.
At my sailing club, I saw someone repairing nicks in his centreboard (different boat) with a polyester-based marine filler (which was conveniently white, so matched the colour of his centreboard). Should I consider that?
- This topic was modified 1 week ago by martastik.
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10/06/2018 at 4:02 am #14999
There is a very good video on the SP epoxy resins web page on how to make the perfect repairs to Epoxy coat foils as are the Milanes foils. Basically you need to clean up the damaged area, fill with epoxy resin filled with one of the special fillers, supporting the filler with tape, then once hard rub down with progressively finer wet and dry abrasive until smooth. If wanted to be white a coat of two pack poly white paint (expensive) for a small repair or any other marine white gloss.
Good Luck. Steve Corbet
10/06/2018 at 8:26 am #15000
Seconded – I’ve repaired GP14 and Mirror rudders and centreboards this way.
Be sure to clean back to good material,, then if the nick or break is deep you can use a fine panel pin tapped into the damaged edge as support. I used the SP ‘Handipack’ epoxy with dispenser pumps, thickened with microfibres + the red/brown microballoons to thicken and give body.
This filler isn’t quite as hard as the ‘glass bubble filler but much easier to sand and fair in, doesn’t ‘slump’ too much before it goes off; important for foils. Just clamp the foil in a workmate of vice while you work on it, Unless you plan to make a habit of going aground on gravel (!), single pack marine pain is fine.
10/06/2018 at 9:08 am #15002
“Unless you plan to make a habit of going aground on gravel (!) …”
If your type of sailing or the location of your usual sailing water is such that this is a significant risk, you could consider letting in a narrow metal strip to protect the leading edge. In my university days in the early sixties we did this as standard with the rudder blades on our college Fireflies, using thin brass strip nicely bonded with Araldite and faired in, and I have occasionally done it on other boats over the years since then.
However in many inland locations that won’t be needed.
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Oliver Shaw.
10/06/2018 at 10:01 am #15004
Thanks for the advice. The nicks in the photos are at most a few millimetres deep and in the case of the bottom, just scraped off the outer white coating (those photos are all close-ups) . So I’m basically looking to do some superficial filling and, importantly, seal the wood. So surely, after lightly sanding the areas affected, there must be a single application filler I could use? These filler systems requiring multiple different coatings of different things seem like are overkill for small repairs like this.
10/06/2018 at 11:58 am #15005
Try WaterTite (from International Paints), or Plastic Padding Marine Filler; both are 2-part epoxy fillers, and if you feel it absolutely necessary to fill without priming the underlying wood I would have confidence in using them.
However a better job would surely be to first seal the wood with a suitable primer, and then fill on top; I think that might give better adhesion to the wood.
For a primer, I myself would be inclined to use International’s “Clear Wood Seal Fast Dry”, which despite the mouthful of a name is an excellent (2-part) clear primer; either polyurethane or epoxy, although I forget which. And, as the name implies, it is quick drying; at this time of year one can apply four coats in a day. But then, in part, I would be inclined to use that product because I normally have some in stock and I use it fairly regularly; there are of course alternatives.
11/06/2018 at 5:38 pm #15016
For now, I would be tempted just to seal the nicks and scrapes with paint and wait till the sailing season is over to remove the board, sand it down completely, properly fix the issues, and repaint it before installing it back into the boat. Granted, it is now sailing season here in Mid-Atlantic region of the US, I am not sure where you are, but I would rather be out sailing than repairing
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