05/11/2017 at 4:35 pm #13192
Just had a part good days sailing, managed a good place in then first race but couldn’t start Race 2 as the under deck genoa track support, anothner piece of untreated wood collapsed so that we were unable to sheet the genoa in to sail to windward. When on shore and able to examine the situation the plywood to which the track is bolted with two stainless bolts with rusty ordinary steel washers under the head had disintegrated and was rotten. Looking at the other side showed that this piece of ply had also gone rotten and the track was holding on with a small piece of glass fibre. A photo of the tracks and the rotten plywood is attached.
This is a very difficult part of the boat to get at!! My only idea for a repair is to clear out as much of the old plywood as possible, cut a new pies of ply which will be coated with epoxy resin to seal it, then to fit the new ply and the track to the underside of the deck by bolting through the deck with a pair of long counter sunk headed bolts or possibly pan headed with a large washer to spread the loads.
i would like to hear from any other owners of Speed boats who have experienced problems with rotten plywood problems and how they have solved the problems. If you don’t want to make an open reply email me at [email protected].
08/11/2017 at 10:21 am #13215
Since writing about the problems with the genoa track supports, I spoke to Steve Parker who suggested I look at some other areas of wood for rot. The worst rot now discovered is the wood supporting the mast step, echos of the problems we had with the Series One boats when the keel / hog failed under the mast step, at least these were repairable without major surgery.
Now trusting my boat to Steve Parker for repairs to allow at least a few more years racing.
08/11/2017 at 10:31 am #13216diroseParticipant
It’s surprising how many bits of plywood there are around a Speed GP! There’s another at the transom end of the ‘keel’, by the bung hole. That rots in time, allows the bottom of the boat to crack, and another spring leak! into the double skin. After sorting that mine (13558) has been dry, apart from one too many bashes to the bow, and a leak behind the bow protector – a Welsh Harp modification by the way!
18/12/2017 at 8:42 pm #13395
Hi, to those who have followed the problems with my Speed GP. I have just picked it up from S P Boats where Steve Parker and Glynn have carried out the major surgery to remove and replace the rotten plywood used in the original construction replacing it with good quality coated plywood. The work is not easy, but I am very pleased with the quality of the work I can’t see the joins where they needed to cut out the hull structure. Thanks guys you have restored the boat for some more racing.
18/12/2017 at 8:59 pm #13396Oliver ShawModerator
Well that’s a bit of good news for you. Glad you have been able to get it sorted out.
26/02/2021 at 12:03 am #21372
Sorry to hear about the problems you have had Steve
I have Speed GP 14022 that I bought last summer. The ply I can see looks in reasonable condition (through the hatch into the front tank to that section of the hog and using a camera through the rear hatch to look at the transom end).
I have a look over the weekend at the under deck track supports (fortunately the boat is wintered in my garage).
Where else is this sub standard ply hiding?
26/02/2021 at 12:34 am #21373
Further to my earlier post on this thread – I have just read your article Steve in the Spring 2018 issue of Mainsail – and I now know where else to look – thank you 👍
26/02/2021 at 7:54 pm #21377
Hope you dont find any rot in the ply wood bits in your boat, other places to check are the plywood pads bonded to the sides of the hull for the genoa sheet turning blocks and finally the pads bonded to the hull for the shroud plates. The genoa sheet pads debonded on 13954, the shroud plates seemed to be sound but I had had enough and part exchanged her with SP Boats for an SP1 boat No 14197 which Steve Parker assured me would not rot – so far it has been a great boat to sail. Just want to get back on the water once lockdown is over.
27/02/2021 at 4:06 pm #21389
I have rolled 14022 out of the garage and into the sunshine this afternoon and I have had a really close look at all those places.
I’m glad to report that all the ply appears to be dry and sound.
I think I have been lucky. I suspect this boat may have been garaged for quite a lot of its life, which is probably why it’s survived so well, but I can see why other similar boats may not have fared so well.
There really is no excuse for such areas of exposed ply though, particularly in such inaccessible places. If it is essential to the structure of the boat, which it appears to be, then it really should have been glassed in. If it’s not essential, then it should not be there in the first place.
I am going to treat all the bits I can get to with wood preservative and I am going to be super cautious to make sure the boat is as dry as possible when not in use.
28/02/2021 at 10:26 pm #21399Oliver ShawModerator
Not my specialism, but I would tentatively suggest that you consider epoxy rather than a penetrating wood preservative.
Or even a penetrating epoxy sealer. Although Gougeon Bros (WEST System) recommend warming the epoxy and using a slow hardener (to have the benefit of lower viscosity but avoiding the unduly short pot life that would otherwise arise from warming it) there are alternatives on the market which are specifically designed to penetrate some depth into the wood rather than merely coat the surface. One that I see regularly advertised in Classic Boat, although I have not yet used it myself (but I do intend to try it next time I have a need) is Smiths CPES and FILL-IT, from http://www.makewoodgood.co.uk This is not a recommendation, since I have not yet used either product, so make your own enquiries and use your own judgement; but I am impressed thus far with the modest amount that I have read.
28/02/2021 at 11:22 pm #21400
Good advice if access to the wood to be treated is easy, but on a Speed GP14 the bare plywood is hidden away and is difficult to see let alone access to apply any coating. The areas that Paul is considering are the vertical piece of plywood inside the transom to which the rudder fittings are bolted – access is through the inspection hatch on the port side of the stern knee, it is just possible to get your hand through the hatch to the rudder fitting bolts but you cannot see what you are doing, it is feel only – and coating would need to be sprayed on, so an epoxy would not be possible unless applied with a squirty bottle. The other areas are the pieces of plywood bonded to the underside of the deck to support the under deck genoa tracks and first turning block – these are best accessed with the boat upside down with the boat supported on high supports so that the work can be carried out from under the boat, to avoid getting the coating into the genoa blocks and tracks these would need to be removed and the bolts taped over then an epoxy or other coating could be applied.
Other areas of plywood tat gave me problems had been coated or bonded in during building the boat but due to poor workmanship the bonding layers had failed and water penetrated the plywood – plywood under the side thwarts, turning block pads all needed repairs. The other main problem area was the pad under the mast foot track which was between the cockpit floor and the hull, once this is wet and rotten only way to repair is to cut a hole in the outer hull, replace the wood and then make good the hull, trying to coat this insitu would be spraying something through the two inspection hatches in the cockpit floor and then it would be very hit and miss as it is not possible to see what you are actually doing!!
Sorry this is negative but access to the bare plywood fitted to the Speed GP14s is very difficult and needs professional repairs if rot is found.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by steve13003.
28/02/2021 at 11:52 pm #21402
Having just written last thoughts I remembered the final problem I had solved was the leak into the main buoyancy tank under the cockpit floor, one of the self bailers had not been sealed and after every sail we had several litres of water to drain out, this was keeping the wood in the under cockpit area wet!
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