Re: Potter 20

Mac Davis (
Mon, 16 Aug 1999 10:15:14 -0400

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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HI Eric:
My condolences (ISYP), and welcome to the semi-exclusive rock smatter's
club. I'm a longtime member, as you may recall from previous posts
concerning oyster bars. The damage you describe is all too familiar.
Fortunately, repairs are possible at the do-it-yourself level. Tedious and
aggravating, but do-able. Since there are no pros at this sort of repair,
just other guys who learn on your dime, I offer the following illustrative
anecdote based on last October's person experience:

First step is to bite the bullet and pull the daggerboard. I used a
combination of 2 jacks and 3 stands (augmented by concrete blocks as
necessary) to lift the hull 49" off the garage slab. This is tedious mainly
because of the difficulty of jacking the hull in such a way as to remove the
trailer. I used a padded beam made of 3 2x10's, placed just forward of the
daggerboard notch and supported at points wider than the trailer wheels.
The third jack point was the little fin under the center transom. Jack a
few inches, block, move jack and jack again until you have a stable 3 point
suspension. I also fastened a safety strap under the hull and tied to the
garage beams, just in case.
Jacking accomplished, you should be able to lower the dagger board all the
way down. Block under the dagger board to take the strain off the cables
and disconnect them. Put the jack under the dagger board and lower it to
the lowest position of the jack, block it and remove jack. Dagger board is
now about 4" off the floor on a block.

Now comes the cool part. A fearless partner helps here. You need to get
the block out from under the daggerboard so that the daggerboard will drop
free of the slot. Since I survived this, I'll tell you my method without
recommending it. I took about 3 turns of " line around the dagger board,
and tied it off to the cockpit rails on both sides. The idea was to keep
the daggerboard from falling sideways and possibly knocking over the support
stands. Then I used a large hammer to drive out the block and let the
dagger board fall 5" to the concrete. It remained in a vertical orientation
and I was able to maneuver it to a place where I could release one side rope
and let it fall over out of harm's way. While it may not weigh the 370
pounds that IM advertises, it a heavy chunk of metal.

This process tool most of a day, working by myself.

After the dagger board is removed, access to the slot is pretty good. I
found a dowel rod about the same diameter and the slot width and using that
as a sanding stick, cleaned up the damaged area. I glued 30 grit to the
dowel and put a nail in the end of the dowel. Cut off the head of the nail,
chuck the remaining nail into an electric drill and you get a custom drum
sander. When the damage was removed, ( messy job) the rebuilding process
was: epoxy, sand (80 grit), epoxy soaked cloth, sand (80),epoxy soaked mat,
sand (80), epoxy soaked cloth, sand (80), epoxy. Let it dry between layers.
Let the epoxy cloth and mat hang out the top of the slot (inside the
boat) - you can cut it off later and it helps it stay in place. I used a
wax paper covered dowel to position the saturated cloth and mat inside the

This took most of another day.

The last part, working on the bottom of the hull, went quickly, because I
was use to working with the epoxy and access was better. Sanding was a
pain, because I hate working upside down. I didn't tint or paint anything.
Judy, forgive me.

Back inside the boat, I discovered that the inner liner and trunk are bonded
to each other with 5200 or some other sealant. The bond was cracked, so more
sanding was in order there and then more sealant. Another day gone.

Result is cosmetically challenged; but structurally sound. Who, but a
prospective purchaser, is going to lift the carpet and shine a light inside
the trunk?
As they say in Chilton manuals: reinstallation of daggerboard is reverse of
Cost of repair: less than $50 out of pocket.
Time: All day Saturday (with frequent breaks); all Sunday afternoon
(football on radio is OK), and most of the next Saturday. Plus Sunday
morning to get it all back together and back on the trailer. It would have
speeded things up to have assembled the materials beforehand, and cheaper if
I was able to buy only the quanity of epoxy, cloth and mat I needed.

Besides, when you have the daggerboard out, you can haul it to a galvanizer.

Hope this inspires confidence. Others on the list will undoubtedly point
out deficiencies in my methodology and have excellent suggestions to offer,
Mac Davis, Kelpie, WWP19#804, Aripeka, Fl

----- Original Message -----
From: Eric Johnson <>
To: West Wight Potter Mail List <>
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 1999 11:35 AM
Subject: Potter 20

As I feared the lower rear of the daggerboard slot was crushed
pretty badly too. I had thought I might repair myself the damage if the
extent of it was only the upper front of the trunk, since its easy to get to
and usually above-the-waterline, but this damage underneath would be tricky
to fix correctly and being always underwater, I'll feel better if pros do