Friday, 2 December 2011

More on the missing portholes

You may recall a couple of days ago I discovered the two missing porthole openings in the back cabin that had been filled in as part of Ben Harp’s efforts to disguise the boat.  This morning I decided to remove all the spray foam from the inside of these two portholes.

To my surprise I discovered a circular piece of steel plate hadn’t been welded into each hole.  Instead there was a lip around the hole.

That’s when I realised a whole new section of plate steel has been overlayed into the recessed panel on the exterior of the boat.  There’s a 2mm gap between the two sheets and faint traces of the exterior red paint can be seen.

So the question now is; did Ben Harp weld these two sheets into the recess of the exterior panel?  He’s a poor welder, and was in a hurry, so my guess is the additional sheet steel has been glued onto the exterior of the boat.  The edges have then been filled and the entire area given a coat (or two) of paint.

I will know for certain when Waiouru is grit blasted in a couple of weeks.  If; as I suspect; the sheets are glued, then we will have to work out a way of removing them without damaging or deforming the original underlying steel plate.

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