PROCEDURE......Widgeon was corded in 1996 at the Cutts and Case Boat Yard, Oxford, MD. The process consists of first completely drying out the entire hull. After four months of drying, her entire bottom was faired down to bare wood. All her seams were reefed out (cotton calking removed) and filled with West Micro-Fiber Epoxy. Kevlar Cords, (1/4" thick) were inserted into the hull after grooving out a channel to accommodate each cord. Cords were placed every 4" starting at the boot stripe, down the side, through the keel and up the opposite side stopping at the boot. Every cord was saturated with West Epoxy and when completely dry faired to a smooth finish. The final procedure involved coating the entire hull with West Epoxy prior to bottom painting.
TENSILE STRENGTH.....After extensive testing, Ed Cutts reported that every cord inserted into WIDGEON has a tensile strength of 7,000 lbs. per side, or a total tensile strength of 14,000 lbs. per cord. Cords were placed every 4" or three cords per fool, (42,000 lbs. of tensile strength every foot). The total tensile strength throughout WIDGEON'S hull is over 2,000,000 + lbs......When compared to the tensile strength of one wood rib at 400 lbs. WIDGEON'S hull is so strong that there literally is no need for any wood rib.
The resulting procedure has produced an extremely strong and extremely tight hull. WIDGEON no longer has to be hauled on a rail but can be easily be lifted using traditional straps. In fact, many have mistaken her hull as being fiberglass.
OTHER RESTORATION.......In addition to the cording of WIDGEON, many other upgrades have been done over the years. The entire hull has been refastened, her super-structor has been restored to her original bright work, cabin sides, doors, windows, hatches and stem have been repaired or rebuilt. The aft deck, and transom have been completely rebuilt including solid oak framing. The aft sleeping area has also received extensive restoration including new ribs, floor beams, strut plates and several planks. This work was done just prior to installing the Kevlar Cords.
Last, in 1990, new Cummins four cylinder turbos diesels (150HP each) were installed. This upgrade enables WIDGEON to cruise at 11 knots burning a very economical 10 gallons per hour. In addition, the entire engine room had sound proof material installed. Her Manel fuel tanks were removed and pressure tested. New copper fuel lines installed along with extra large fuel filters....
MAINTENANCE.... The maintenance of WIDGEON's hull is quick and easy compared to traditional wood boats her size. There are no seams to fill, no butt blocks to check and or repair and no planks separating. After power washing and a light sanding, the hull is ready for paint.
Widgeon's top side seams have also been reefed out and filled with West Epoxy Fibers. This has resulted in extremely low and quick maintenance, as there are no cracks or seems to fill. In fact, contrary to popular belief, WIDGEON is often back in the water quicker than a fiberglass yacht comparable in size.
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