As you probably saw in the previous post I had a mess of rot in my “new” boat. Once I knew what the extent of the damage was there was nothing left to do but get to work. Unfortunately that meant grinding. Lots and lots of grinding!
This is by far the worst part of boat restoration. It’s itchy, nasty work. It also doesn’t help when you are doing it in the middle of a south Florida summer. Oh, you also have to do it in a suit and respirator if you don’t want to itch from every pore for the rest of your life. Fiberglass dust is nothing to mess around with so be sure to take the right precautions.
Other than the physical discomfort (did I mention it sucks?) this is a pretty straight forward process. You simply jump in with an angle grinder and remove all the rot. Just be careful not to get too carried away in the moment and grind away something you might need or make any holes, gauges, etc. Chances are you’ll have plenty of things to repair anyways so don’t add to that list by making a mistake with the grinder.
My plan of attack for this stage of the restoration was easy. I just cut out and ground away everything that was rotten or was going to be replaced. Unfortunately in my case that was everything except the engine splash well and the hull. In the future I even decided to replace the wooden deck. Having seen what happened to all of my bulkheads and stringers from water intrusion I didn’t want to take the chance of having to do the deck in the future.
Once I got all the rot removed I roughed up the entire inner surface of the hull to prepare for bonding in the new stringers and new transom.