Astarte's Coaming Repair


Astarte's coamings showed signs of long-term deterioration.  They had been unfinished for many years (decades), so the wood oxidized and got thinner.  Then we scraped and sanded it to varnish, and it got still thinner.  Whatever the causes, there were a few distinct problems.
  • On the port side, there were cracks and check in the coaming, one of which went through the area where the winch pedestal is located.
  • On the starboard side, the coaming is higher, and made up of two boards, one wide and one about 1 5/8" screwed to its top.  On top of that is the cap.  In the front, the seam between the two boards was loose. 
  • Elsewhere, the coaming was so thin that the wood was fractured by the washers under the nuts of the through bolts that secured the coaming to the deck.


Maybe it is time to replace all the wood, but I have tried to repair these problems with a combination of splines and "dutchmen."  I want to sail this coming summer instead of having to complete a huge project.


 
On the port side, the coming was checked and/or split.  The light lines (two short ones at the very front of the board (right side) and one long one between, going back through the winch area ,are where I cut out the broken parts and epoxied in splines (1/2", 5/16", and the long one was about 5/8").
On the starboard side, at the back end, a screw holding the top board was right at the end, causing the top board to split.  I cut it out and fitted in a new piece of wood. 

The bronze post is the top of the through bold that secures the coming to the deck.  I removed the nut and washer, and I slotted the piece of wood to go around it.  I'm confident that epoxy resin around the bolt will adequately secure the top.


 


 

In two places, the washers and plugs that were associated with the top end of the through bolts were cracking the coming sides.  This photo helps to visualize the problem.  You can see the washer, nut supposed to be above it, sitting in its counter bored hole, that originally was plugged with a dowel, which expanded and contracted across the grain.
I removed the wood in the area, and removed the nut and washer.  I worked around the screws that secured the top board to the lower one.

The piece of wood on the lower left is clamped into position to serve as a guide for my router.
 
 
 
 

I then made a dutchman, cut it down the middle, and grooved out the insides of both pieces so that they would not bump against the screws and bolt.  This photo shows the outboard half.  (I ground off the tops of the screws so they won't stick out too far.)
The inside half makes the job look much better.  When epoxied in, the two sides of the dutchman will be glued securely to each other.  After everything is sanded and varnished properly, I think it will look pretty good, even if the grains don't match perfectly.

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