Less than helpful

Let me bring you up to speed on the Keel repair.

My buddy “Curtis in Alaska” scared me.  He finished his keel weldment repair and went sailing.  He told me he had a pinhole leak that over the course of a four hour sail let in about half a gallon of water.  Yikes!  After I do this repair I want zero water in infinite amount of time!  So while I was gung-ho to go ahead and finish, that made me put the brakes on real quick.

As a side note, he’s pulled his boat out of the water for the winter.  HOLY SMOKES, he told me that in August!  Curtis buddy, you know I respect you, but living where it is that cold makes you a bit crazy in my book!

I decided to call a well known (really well known) Catalina parts supplier on the west coast and get some advice before I pulled out the gloves and started slathering on epoxy and fiberglass.  The salesman I reached at first was very helpful and suggested I buy a west systems fiberglass kit they sell.  He also said to be sure and use epoxy and not vinyl.  Then he referred me to tech support.

They should be called tech non-support.   He said it’s simple fiber glassing, nothing special if you know what you’re doing.  He said Curtis’ patch must be leaking because he left air bubbles in it for the water to get through.  He wasn’t even helpful enough to mention what the salesman had said about using epoxy.

After explaining my experience level (almost none-except for the bit where I helped my buddy Phil fix blisters on his keel)

(Hi Phil, by the way, I’ve lost almost all my Florida phone numbers when my phone died – please give me a call or email me so I can look you up next time I go down to FL)

the guy told me the job was too big for me and I should take it to a yard and let them do it!   Argh!!!!!   Made me so mad.  I don’t know why but I get so bent out of shape when I’m fixing a problem that I don’t quite know how to do and someone says I should call an expert.    Maybe I’m just too cheap.

but I figure anything someone else can do I can do – eventually.

Anyway, they were no help so I’m on my own. I may have to practice on the sunfish first.


3 thoughts on “Less than helpful

  1. Hello, Curtis from Alaska here. It is a balmy 55 degrees here during the day. Still lots of time left for sailing. 🙂 I only put my boat away because I have fall projects to complete, gather firewood, car maintenance projects, etc. I wanted to give my boat plenty of time to dry out before winter comes. I didn’t want water trapped in the fiberglass to freeze and further damage my boat.

    But I do appreciate you perpetuating the myth that Alaska is a frozen waste land. It keeps the riffraff from moving up here. 

    • Ha Ha! (I don’t think it’s a myth!) We’re still having 90 degree days here. You do let the riffraff visit in the summer, right? Is it true Alaska pays you to live there?

      After the feedback about not having enough fiberglass experience, I’m thinking maybe I should go back and work on the sunfish. Tackle the Catalina 22 in the spring.

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