1947 Snipe Restoration

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by mrector, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. mrector
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Intermountain west

    mrector Junior Member

    Hello All,

    I'm in the process of restoring a Wooden 1947 Mills Snipe (see my thread:1947 Snipe Woody Restoration). I'm at the point where most of the structural repairs are done (will post some new photo's soon) and starting to think about turning the boat over to fiberglass the hull.

    I'm a fairly proficient woodworker but have no experience with fiberglass application. Here are a few questions that I have:

    1) For this 15.5 ft hull what weight of fiberglass cloth should I use?

    2) What is the best way to estimate the amount of glass cloth and epoxy to order?

    3) After the glass has been applied what is the best way (materials and method) to fair out the hull?

    4) What type of paint should I use to finish the hull with after glassing?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You don't need to apply 'glass fabrics to your Snipe, nor is it especially desirable to do so. This is because it makes repairs and possible maintenance issues much more complex.

    On the other hand 'glassing the boat will improve abrasion resistance some and improve water proofness.

    If you elect to 'glass the boat you don't need much (weight), so 4 or 6 ounce cloth is fine. To determine the amount of fabric you need check with your supplier and see what they offer in 4 and 6 ounces widths and order enough to cover the exterior of the boat. It's unlikely you'll find fabric that will cover the whole bottom so you'll over lap at the centerline with two pieces. This usually mean 11 yards (5.5 yards per side) for a Snipe. Average costs for 6 ounce will be around $6 a yard for 50" wide material. So, less then $70 bucks for your boat.

    The amount of epoxy is about 2 gallons just to fill wet out and fill the weave. You'll need at least half as much more to fill and fair, depending on skills and how much you have to fill. If I were you, I'd get a 3 gallon kit of 2:1 Marinepoxy, from Bateau.com.

    As far as techniques, there are many previous threads on fairing, filling, using epoxy etc., but the best thing you can do is down load the users guides from www.westsystem.com and www.systemthree.com. These cover the basics. Also check out the methods videos Joel has preformed over at Bateau.com.
     
  3. mrector
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 6
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    Location: Intermountain west

    mrector Junior Member

    re

    PAR,
    Thanks for the response, this is very helpful info.

    Do you think it would be better to seal the exterior hull with an west system epoxy barrier coat without fiberglass? My intent is for the boat to be dry sailed only.

    Mike
     

  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 490, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Snipe you have wasn't designed for epoxy and fabric sheathing, barrier coats or any of the modern building methods. It would be best served to remain what she is.

    If she's going to be a trailer boat, then use alkyds or single part polyurethane paints, over a good, possably epoxy primer. It'll mean she'll have all the maintenance requirements of a 64 year old wooden boat, but it also means with simple, easily understood techniques, she can be kept and maintained in reasonable order.

    Epoxy is a great goo, but should be used in context with what type of engineering you have. Unless you intend to completely disassemble the boat, strip each piece to raw wood surfaces, encapsulate each piece, then reassemble, then you're much better off leaving her as she is and not attempting a partial "embalming" process with epoxy coatings.
     
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