Fulmar Maintenance and Repair
Strengthening Fulmar Hull at Aft End of Keel
Fulmars are known to have a weakness at the aft end of the keel rib. This may have been repaired by now and is not technically difficult for an owner to complete.
The way to check if a repair is needed, the boat needs to be out of the water, either dried out or in a cradle, but the weight of the boat must be on the keel. Sight along the hull either side of the aft end of the keel. If it looks as if there is any inward deflection of the hull around the keel, then it should be strengthened. In some cases cracks can be seen in the corners of the internal rib. Strengthening must be done with the boat afloat as it is in the correct shape. It involves removing all the floor in the main cabin aft of the table and grinding all the paint off the aft end of the internal keel rib. Three layers of 500gsm chop strand mat should be fixed to the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the rib. Do not lay over the top of the rib as this will raise the floor level. Epoxy should be used as it bonds better with old glass fibre than resin. The layers on to the hull should be feathered, easiest by tearing the mat, rather than cutting it. The top edge of the mat should be cut to lay up to the floor level. Try to make sure each recess in the rib is done as a single piece of mat as it makes the corners stronger. It is a good idea to move the bilge pump strum box further aft and seal the large hole cut through the rib for the hose to pass (the difference in level of the strum box will not affect the efficiency of the pump). Once finished the job should be flow coated and painted.
Lifting of Deck Area around Shroud Plates
There can be a small lifting in the deck area around the shroud plates. This can be checked with a straight edge and could be as much as 5mm. It has been caused by the original angles for the tie down bars being slightly out. If water has not enter and caused a leak, then it should not be a problem and can be left. To remedy any leakage and lifting is a major job as a large stainless pad about 300mm square and 5mm thick must be inserted under the deck, but will involve removing the mast, removing the internal under deck covering (either plywood or vinyl covered plywood panels), rebedding the shroud plates using the new stainless pad as a massive washer between the existing under deck fitting and the deck and having the tie down bars shortened by the thickness of the plate and the amount of the deck lifting.
Removing Fulmar Fuel Tank
Removal of the water tank to gain access to the Diesel tank is not too formidable -- I managed it in about 3 hours at the age of 76 I made a note of how to do it at the time, so if you follow the suggestions detailed below, you would probably do it more quickly. Hope this helps
To remove the water tank via the cockpit locker you need a flat blade screwdriver with a 400mm extension handle and a ratchet socket spanner set. Follow the sequence below, but firstly do lots of stretching, bending and twisting exercises -- and lose as much weight as possible!! 1) empty cockpit locker 2) squeeze into rudder stock space and loosen water filler hose clip and breather hose clip. Pull plastic hoses off spigots 3) remove two water supply hoses from front starboard of tank 4) release 4 holding down bolts just reachable by hand with ratchet spanner 5) slide tank forwards until filler hose attachment can be reached and then remove jubilee clip and hose 6} slide and rotate tank into cockpit locker. 7) climb out of locker and remove locker lid 8) put straps around tank for lifting and rotate tank until the filler spigot is lower aft and the sight tube is forward and vertical 9) lift vertically through locker opening -- tilting as needed to clear the protruding spigots It really will come out -- just be patient
To remove the diesel tank :- 1) empty tank by suction pump or alternative 2) remove vent tube from rear of tank 3) remove copper fuel-return pipe -- port top 4) remove and take out the copper supply tube from stop tap 5) slacken top jubilee clip on filler hose -- long screwdriver for this with access through plywood cover just aft of engine controls -- you will need to prise the cover off 6) back inside the locker, remove two bolts from base brackets on tank. Go into cockpit and remove the 3 screws holding the filler fitting. Now prise this upwards 7) remove one bolt just below and forward of the engine controls (I took 2 hours to find this -- it may even be glassed over. NB there are only 3 holding bolts in total 8) grip each forward base bracket with a mole grip and inch tank forward -- mine was a very tight fit and took a lot of inching 9) remove plywood floor from watertank area to allow diesel tank to drop and give clearance for sludge sump and filler hose 10 take plenty of pain killers to ease your aching muscles!