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S&S Swan Maintenance - Genoa track removed
25 September 2023 - 23:33
#1
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Genoa track removed

I am in the process of removing my deck and want to replace it with fiberglass. I have two questions

1- How do I put the Genoa track back so it is as strong as before? Belive me it was not only very difficult to remove but there was a bend in the track that straightened up when I removed it. That means there was some tension built into the trac. Also the bolts were screwed in but there was no nuts to hold them from underneath. Shall I use epoxy to build up the eak that was underneath the track since it was very thick compared to the rest of the deck.

2- Should I use epoxy or polyester for the deck?

 

I know the question about the track is long winded but I when I took the track out I said to myself oh what have you done and I am very worried. Thanks.

 

Kaz 411/15

26 September 2023 - 06:53
#2
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1014

Hi Kaz,

please post some pics.

Originally genoa tracks (Lewmar) have a tufnol/micarta layer between the track and the deck, and screws are bolted underneath.

Looking forward to seeing the photos.

Fair winds,

matteo (47/069 Vanessa) 

26 September 2023 - 09:28
#3
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 161

Hi Kaz,

pics would indeed be helpful.

Some comments:
If I understand you correctly, you found the teak underneath the genoa track to be thicker (stronger) than the teak next to it. Can it be that the teak under the track had kept the original thickness, and the teak all around it has been worn down? You would then find the same effect with, e.g., the fuel and water inlets, the mast collar, or the chain plate covers.
With our boat (48), the genoa track is bolted through the deck and has washers and nuts below deck. However, the nuts are glassed in and look like little humps; the bolts were cut to length. You can loosen the bolts from above, and you can -- if you keep the holes clean with no epoxy drops! -- probably fix new bolts into the old nuts. However, using the same bolts will leave you with some extra length (taken up by the teak, before). You cannot simply drive them further in, since they hit the glass cover on the nut. So you either need to experiment with bolt lengths, or you need to liberate the nuts.

I've done a re-decking including the removal of the genoa track, so I can probably comment some more (pictures first, though).

Best wishes,
Martin (Vellamo, 48/039)

26 September 2023 - 16:02
#4
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Matteo. I have uploaded some pictures. The brown wood appearing that you can see is probably what you described. It was underneath the metal part of the track.

Thanks

Kaz 411/15

26 September 2023 - 16:07
#5
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1014

Dear Kaz,

correct, and as said it's a sintetic material called Tufnol, not wood. Lewmar made even some blocks out of the same material, much better than the cheap plastic they use nowadays.

Are you able to take a picture frm down below, just to check, as Martin wrote, if the nuts were just covered with gelcoat, which I imagine, and not missing (which I can't imagine)?

Thanks!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

26 September 2023 - 16:10
#6
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1014

PS if you are dismantling windows frames too, please keep in mind they are GRP, not metal, so quite delicate to be dismantled, due to the old glue, you need a sharp tool to be inserted between the frame and the hull, and with a lot of patience detaching them.

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

26 September 2023 - 16:25
#7
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Martin. Thanks for the info. This mystery is over now. I had a few sleepless nights thinking how I am going to strengthen the bolts so they can hold by themselves. I can see why I was able to unscrew the bolts without having to hold the nuts from underneath. I feel more confident now and that is a big weight off my shoulders. There was some guee substance attached to bolts when they were unscrewed. Do you know what they are? I am guessing some kind of sealant but I don't know which one. It was black colour. Thanks.

Kaz 411/15

26 September 2023 - 16:40
#8
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1014

Dear Martin,

why not changing the nuts/bolts as you are doing such an effort dismantling everything?

I agree the quality Nautor used in those days is impossible to be matched today, but these are nearly 50 years stainless steel bolts/nuts, which have been exposed to salty environments all those years.

Just a thought!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

27 September 2023 - 16:02
#9
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 161

Dear Matteo,

I totally agree! What I meant (and unfortunately did not make clear enough): even if you leave the old nuts and washers in place and you mark all the bolts so that every bolt goes in exactly the same hole, they will not fit after removing the teak layer. As the deck strength varies minimally, the bolts were cut individually after tightening. To make them hold again, you'd spend more time trying and adjusting than you'd need for drilling out the nuts and glassing the new ones in. Plus, you'd be left with the vintage material.

So, even though new is definitely not always better, sometimes it is ...

Best,
Martin

28 September 2023 - 11:54
#10
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Matteo

The bolts looks perfectly ok after 45 years. No sign of rust at all. They look new which is so strange as if it has been put in a few years ago.  am trying to build up the track up to 10 mm to compensate for the teak removed and also add some strength. I was thinking of covering the teak under the fuel inlet. Is this going to cause problems in the future? Where can you buy the Tufnell from? Thanks.

28 September 2023 - 11:54
#11
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Matteo

The bolts looks perfectly ok after 45 years. No sign of rust at all. They look new which is so strange as if it has been put in a few years ago.  am trying to build up the track up to 10 mm to compensate for the teak removed and also add some strength. I was thinking of covering the teak under the fuel inlet. Is this going to cause problems in the future? Where can you buy the Tufnell from? Thanks.

28 September 2023 - 12:05
#12
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1014

Dear Kaz,

I am not surprised, in those times Nautor just bought top quality materials, cheap Chinese stuffs did not exist or at least not for them and building S&S Swan! Would you imagine Rod Stephens allowing a poor quality material onboard one of his boats...? Never!

Maybe 10 mm is too much, I think Martin could give you a wiser advise on this matter, he is definetly more prepared than me. Anyway you could find it even under "Micarta" name. In some countries it is forbidden, as the powder produced when cutting it could be dangerous for your lungs.

Another product with same caracteristics is G10.

Why covering and not cutting a Tufnol/Micarta/G10 ring, same thickness of the teak ?

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

28 September 2023 - 17:21
#13
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 161

Hi Kaz and Matteo (and all the engineers reading this!)

there seem to be two topics. One is the fuel inlet (and all similar fittings), one is the genoa rail.

The fuel inlet ("I was thinking of covering the teak under the fuel inlet") is a fitting with no load whatsoever (so are the chainplate covers, for instance). The funnel is either bolted through the deck or screwed in; the hose is attached to the funnel with a hose clamp. The bolts/screws need nothing more than to hold the funnel in place and make the installment watertight (and prevent the inlet from being stolen). I'd suggest to use sealant and screw/bolt the funnel directly to the new deck level. It looks neater, it is more friendly to the toes when walking barefoot, and you will probably not even need to cut the hose.

The genoa rail is a different matter, as it takes a lot of load. Functionally, the Tufnol piece is just a spacer that allows the genoa car to grip below the track itself. For this spacer function, if Tufnol can be used, so can be PE plastic or G10. The harder the material, the more difficult to work it, so I think I would go with one of the former two, whereas G10 seems way over the top.
However ... "I am trying to build up the track up to 10 mm to compensate for the teak removed and also add some strength". My subjective impression is that the load of the genoa cars is not only upward from the deck but outward as well. To counter this diagonal pull, I would try to get the tracks as close to the deck as possible. Building up the deck to 10mm will leave you with an awkwardly raised genoa track. However, I'd be reluctant to simply inflate the spacers to 10mm due to the diagonal pull (I fear it may bend the bolts when the genoa catches a gust), but for this, I would gladly defer to the engineers.

Hope that helps,
Martin

28 September 2023 - 19:07
#14
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Martin, Matteo

I think I was not clear in my head as what I was going to do but my intentions was to compensate for the teak up to 10 mm. One way would be to build the deck up to 10 mm like you said and make the track as close to the deck as possible. I am not sure if it will be as strong as before that makes me think, should I use epoxy for the deck due to its strength? Thanks.

Kaz 441/15

29 September 2023 - 07:50
#15
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 161

I don't think you need to worry about the strength -- not with an S&S Swan.

The deck laminate thickness (in our boat; I guess yours will be similar) is 8 mm for the top sandwich layer and 6 mm for the lower sandwich layer. Either one is stronger than some newer production boats' hulls.
Nevertheless, just to be on the safe side, we too added layers of fibreglass/epoxi when we had taken the teak off. If I recall correctly, we laid two layers of 600g/m² bi-directional mats, so we added almost 2.5 kg/m² of top weight (2 layers of 600g mat, same amount of epoxi, is 2400g). Of course, the teak weight was more.
Then again, one layer of this quality equals about 0.5 mm in laminate thickness, so you would need about 20 layers to get to the 10 mm you aim at. Simply using epoxi and filler (instead of glass fibre strips) will not give you anywhere near the same strength. I am not sure if the filler can take the diagonal loads; for the vertical, I don't see a problem. Again, I suggest waiting for an engineer's verdict.

Best,
Martin

29 September 2023 - 12:15
#16
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Martin Matteo

i was not going to use just epoxy and filler. What I meant was the choice between using epoxy vs polyester resin.
I am in the Caribbean and consulting engineers is out of the question. The smallest job here is $3000 and upwards and you don't know who is really good. I was recommended someone to do work on my boat and all he did was making a mess of my boat at the end I had to let him go. 
I am struggling taking caulking off the deck. Do you know a solution or did you have the same problem? Thanks.

04 October 2023 - 08:52
#17
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 115

Hi Kaz,

not claiming to be an expert but based on what I do know I would use epoxy if at all possible.

Believe epoxy it is more expensive but - amongst other things - I understand that it has better adhesion, fares better in terms of resistance to osmosis and is possibly also easier to work with.

When we had Kairos' deck replaced in 2021 we added two layers of fibre glass and expoxy before the installing the new deck; this was not to add strenght (not required for S&S Swans, as mentioned before)  but to ensure that all holes from the old teak deck were covered, and also provide a good surface for the new deck to stick to.

Fair winds,

Stefan

SY Kairos - 57/043

04 October 2023 - 09:11
#18
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1014

Hi Stefan,

agree with you, I did the same when put a new teak deck on vanessa, in 2020, and we put bamboo epoxy impregnated nails on every old screw (can't imagine how many!).

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

04 October 2023 - 19:01
#19
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Stefan Matteo

Thanks for the comment. I am going to put only polester or epoxy down and not putting any teak down due to the enormous cost of teak. I wish I had the luxury of bamboo stick in here! Do you think 3 layers of epoxy would be too heavy for the deck. I was thinking of using biracial and waved rover and biracial on top. Thanks.

Kaz 411/15

04 October 2023 - 19:48
#20
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 115

Hi Kaz,

I wouldn't think that they weight of three layers of epoxy laminate would be more than the old teak deck so you should be ok.

Even if you'd ignore the price for the teak and the labour costs to install it, (sadly) I think that we won't see many more teak decks in the nearer future mainly due to the sanctions on Burma.

Makes it virtually impossible to obtain good quality teak now, our boatyard told us - we were very lucky as by chance we decided to go ahead with Kairos' new deck virtually weeks before the sanctions were but into play in Spring 2021 ...

Fair winds,

Stefan

SY Kairos (57/043)

06 October 2023 - 22:41
#21
Join Date: 28 September 2022
Posts: 24

Hi Stephan

That is good to know because I would like to strengthen that area on the sides where there was a lot of wear specially starboard side. I think maybe because most people are right handed they use the starboard side a lot. Port side is fine and no wear and tear. 
You are very lucky with your teak deck, for me is out of the question . Thanks.

Kaz 411/15

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