Monday, May 3, 2021

1963 Alcort Sunfish CHIP 18 Apr 21 Air Leak Test

18 Apr 21:

CHIP spent a little time at sea during Hurricane Sally and worked up against a piling for an hour or so. We repaired one small chip and thought it prudent to do an air leak test to make  sure she is still water tight. We found a few small areas that could use attention, not uncommon for a 58 year old wooden boat. For the air leak test we blew low volume, low pressure air into the hull with a shop vac and sprayed they hull with a mix of Dawn dishwashing liquid in water. The important point when pumping air  into a pontoon hull is to go slow and don't pump in too much air, it is possible to over-pressurize the hull and pop a seam, or cause an internal block to pull loose in the fiberglass hulls. 

A side benefit of the air leak test is that the boat gets a bath. When we get a new boat, we weigh it and do the air leak test, this lets us know the condition of the hull, find areas that need repair and get an idea if there is any water trapped inside the internal foam of of the fiberglass models of Sunfish. 

Any leak areas will be sealed up with thickened epoxy. 

Located a few tiny leaks along the deck/hull seam. 

Shop Vac + Dust Deputy = good air source and a wet vac.

A side benefit of the air leak test is that CHIP got a bath. Along the way we found storm debris still lodged in her daggerboard trunk. Poor CHIP.

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