I finally saw Axel. She's beautiful. Although Axel is a german boy's name (Thanks, H!) the boat is clearly a she. Axel is simply too lovely to be masculine. She is stout and graceful, in the way Ed Monk hulls just are. My camera crapped out so I don't have any pictures (will have some soon).
We'll start the transformation process tomorrow, and all the ugly will go away.
The keel is a thick steel i-beam with a 10-inch flange. I think the steel cladding the hull is 1/4 corten steel, but it may be A36. (I've been learning ASTM steel standards and specs. Yay for me!) Everything is largely intact and there will only have to be small patches over some pinholes in the hull. The deck is about 80% intact and a few panels will have to be scrapped and replaced. We had to cut the wheelhouse down to be able to truck it so that will require an entire rebuild.
I only have 2 weeks to be here and work on this with tDF. Hopefully we'll make some strides and be able to weld right after I leave. In the meanwhile I'll be scrapping all the assorted sticky gunk from everywhere. The stern has a pretty attractive accumulation of bilge water, hydraulic fluid, diesel residue, and fish ick.
I never knew I could love a boat, but I love Axel. It's my first child.