24' Fiberform - Rotten Stringers/Transom

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Ehdrian, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. e39dream
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: lake michigan, chicagoland

    e39dream Junior Member

    ouch! that sounds pricey! luckily my boat is only 18.5' :) Good luck to you Ehdrian- I'll check back on this thread as it develops.
     
  2. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

    I have new pictures

    The transom is in, however.... I'll be the first one to admit I did a hack job on it. The two boards are pressed together with mat in between (I think I did a good job on that - it was my first fiberglassing job.) :) The sad part is, the part of the hull where he transom was to be placed was not perfectly flat like the new transom boards. I had to 'squish' the hull toward the new transom using clamps and screws! I was so intent on getting the transom to bond with the wet resin, I rushed a little too much. I put about 10 new small holes in my gel coat.... I'll have to fix that now too. Also, I can tell that there are small areas of the transom that are not bound to the hull with fiberglass and resin (tap test). Dammit, but oh well. I would say that at least 90% of the transom board is bonded o he hull.

    Good news. I cut the stringers to fit, and they fit very well.

    The black stuff is 3M 5200 which I put into the stringer channel - used 2 tubes.
     

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  3. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

    Just finished getting the last stringer in place. I also just fiberglassed in the transom with nytex. That stuff soaks up a lot of resin! I think I'll tab it in with a few extra layers... just in case.... due to my problem I stated in an earlier thread.

    The plan is to have the bow and stern stringer portions encased with 4xlayers of nytex and have the engine mounts finished and fiberglassed in tomorrow.... Then I'll take more pictures.

    Hopfully I wount be far from glassing in the baulkheads.

    Cheers
     
  4. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

    Well, everything goes slower than expected right? I was able to fiberglass 3' in from the transom on he stringers with 4xlayers of nytex.

    A word of advice for other would-be fiberglassers, like me: Make sure and wet down the wood you are fiberglassing before laying the first layer - this will make sure the wood does not suck up resin needed for the fiberglass and it will help to 'stick' the thick fiberglass sheets to the wood before more resin is applied. Using a metal roller, force the nytex into he pre-soaked wood, smoothing out the cloth and removing big bubbles.... then add resin.

    I think I am allot better at avoiding bubbles in the fiberglass now.
     
  5. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    With practice comes skill..... and you're well on the way it looks like :)
    It took me a couple of square metres of glassing over plywood to figure that out, too. (Wish bd.net had been around then, at least in the form it is now.) Wetting out the plywood, waiting until that just starts to gel, wetting it out again and then pressing the cloth into that- letting it soak up the resin from underneath, rather than forcing the goo in from the top- yielded excellent results in the end.
     
  6. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

    I mixed up some regular baking flour into the resin when I ran out of chopped strand. That goop is brittle and not very strong at all.... so I rolled the rest up into a big 'potato' and waited to see how hot it got. I was hoping for smoke, but that didn't happen.

    I have a question for someone:

    Given that:
    1. The resin is blue
    2. The hardener is clear
    3. As I mix the two - the resin changes from blue to green
    4. I continue mixing until I see an abrupt change from green to honey brown
    5. The resin cures and is very hard - no tack

    After hardening... should the resin have a green tinge to it? Or does his mean it didn't cure properly?

    Also, if I'm going to do two layers of fiberglass, should I wait for the first layer to completely cure before laying the second? So far I have been placing the layers on top of each other while the bottom layer is still gelling. I was able to do 4 layers of nytex in 30min.

    Thanks!
     
  7. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    What you're doing is right. A layer added on top of a layer that is still in the liquid or gel state will have a complete chemical bond to that layer- essentially, it becomes part of the same gigantic crosslinked polymer. If you wait until the bottom layer is hard, you're now dealing with a secondary bond and all the additional surface prep work needed for that. If you're careful to avoid bubbles, the only limit to how much you can do at once is (a) when you get tired, and (b) when it gets so thick that it can't dissipate the heat of curing (on the order of a couple of centimetres, depending on resin, catalyst and layup speed).
    I'm not familiar with your particular resin and so can't speak to what colour it's supposed to be. A quick call to the manufacturer would probably be the safest bet.
     
  8. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

    Thanks for the advice!

    I live in a city where many people own boats, and have attempted to do what I am currently doing. Most times, the advice I'm getting is not always good advice, so I'm glad I can come here and receive tips from professionals like yourself. :)

    Please bare with me on this 'green resin' rabbit I'm currently chasing...

    Lets pretend that the greenish resin in my fiberglass is indeed under-cured. Can I just put a heater to it? Or is this something more sinister?

    So far, I have not been able to get a response from the manufacturer of the Polyester resin ... which is made by "Trimar". Is anyone familiar with this resin?

    I have been working in he shade of a tree and mountain, and temperatures have dropped as low as 10 degrees C in the evening. I would compensate for this by adding more hardener - up to 2% of the volume of the resin. The resin would gel and get hard at the same rate as when I'm working in 20 degrees C.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  9. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

  10. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

    :idea: Thoughts and Musings :idea:

    Apparently, the resin will always have a greenish tinge to it. No matter how much I heat and mix the stuff, it always comes out he same anyway. So I'm going to *assume* I'm doing this right. :)

    How to get the baulkheads level when the boat isn't sitting level and customize the deck height at the same time:

    - I'm going to use the height of the gas tank as a reference.
    - Use 1/2" ply for the base instead of 3/4" the manufacturer used (and glass it heavier)
    - Lower the decking slightly to make room for a 6'1" person to stand up in (me)
    - Keep all load bearing weight off of he gas tank
    - Make an access hatch for the gas tank and assemble more baulkheads adjacent to the stringers to compensate for the missing load-bearing decking.
    - Use weather striping for the seal? Is there a better non-water-trapping-idea?

    That's the plan so far. I'll post more pictures when it looks better than it does right now. :p

    If anyone knows how to make a hatch from scratch and seal it from water using plywood, please let me know! :) When you google anything to do with hatches, I get a lot of information about how to order one. :)
     

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  11. frastorno
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Panama Rep (Panama City)

    frastorno Junior Member

    I’m in the same situation but 50 posts ago, reading this thread is tempting me to start doing it by myself and learn along the way, 3 stingers, the transom and the deck.. Ehdrian: what do you suggest, would you do it again if you knew what you had to go through?
    To start with a doubt that I’ll have to clarify either way, in the process of selecting the wood for the stingers at the sawmill, they proposed me several type of wood that are used here for boating or building marinas, are much stronger then tek (hard to drill !)and don’t have that oil thing that tek has (not good for the resin) and they don’t rot even if they are left in the mod for years. They proposed to me “Cocobolo”, “Balsamo” , “Guayacan” or Kira. I ordered the Balsamo (myroxilon balsamum) because was the only one they were able to cut the stingers in a single piece. I was wondering if I’ll have some prob in attaching fiber to it.. couldn’t find any of the woods suggested at the beginning of this thread.. does anybody has any experience with those woods? Anybody tried to glass them?
     
  12. Ehdrian
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Ehdrian Junior Member

    Hi Fastorono,

    I think your asking some personal questions on 'life-issues' here. :D

    This is a lot of hard work. I'm single, I have flex hours at work and I have canceled many things I used to do in my spare time to work on this project (even charity work). If you have a wife, a boss that requires you on demand or responsibilities in your spare time, then your project will move ahead very slowly, I'm sure. :) I will put about $6,500 CA into this boat by the end of it all (although it will be worth over twice hat much when I'm done). Basically I have formed my life around this project for the last three months.

    Stringers: I have no idea about those woods you mentioned. You might want to start a thread and ask some experts. I used Douglas Fir for my stringers and exterior grade plywood for the baulkheads. After careful research, I have never heard anything bad about Douglas Fir, unless it's wet, but hat's not the wood's fault. :) Wood should have 20% moisture or less before fiberglassing and heartwood is the best.

    Chopping out the old stuff: If you are going to replace everything anyway, then don't be shy with the grinder. I spent too much time trying to save things in the boat I would have to remove anyway. Then in one weekend (30 hours) I just cut everything off at the base and was completely done - I wish I would have done that in the first place. People say fiberglassing goes quickly once you start, but that's not completely true! Surface preparation take a bit of time and will be the bulk of your work.

    An expert told me that removing rotten transom takes 3-4 hours, however it took me about 10 hours to completely remove. Keep that in mind when recieving expert advice.... I remember someone in his thread telling me that everything will take 3x longer to complete than I think.... he was right!

    I have enjoyed this project and have learned a whole lot I never new before. Yes, I would do it again - after a long break on the water, fishing, camping, cruising and hugging my current boat once it's finished. However, if I didn't think I would get it on the water this summer, then I'm not sure how much I would enjoy this project. My next project would be a hovercraft or a smaller boat - maybe a sailing dingy??.

    EDIT: People have named my boat "Adrian's Ark" because I've worked so long and hard on the thing. lol, But I'm still naming it "Buscador Del Mar".

    Hope that helps!
     
  13. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Thats a long enough project for a professional. As an ameture, you gotta set aside some time for the rest of your life. Its gonna take longer than you think. Get used to working at it during its appointed times. Extra time is ok but dont get burned out on it.
    You need a buddy, and friends with 'stuff' for pulling engines n' such.
    You need to build a warm dry shelter with plenty of lights and outlets for this job.
    But keep this in mind. Its just parts n' pieces. You can do it!
    Try not to buy anything until you are ready to use it.
    I had one of those 24' Fiberforms with Mercruiser 140's. It went 31Mph by the GPS. Its another one of those things I wish I'd never sold.
     
  14. frastorno
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Panama Rep (Panama City)

    frastorno Junior Member

    Now I’m scared!! :S . The good side of it is that I have a covered place were to keep it with all the tools I may need (about the part “don’t buy anything until you know what to do with it”..:) ) another good thing is that you have 25-27C degree, constant the whole year down here, plus have the gardener available to work on it full time, just not for too “deep” kind of things but it should increase my bandwidth and not mess up the rest of my life.. yes, I do have a wife, a recently born son and a boss to deal with.. But the work part is veery flexible. So, Thdepucker.. I think I’ll follow your suggestion, plus all the recommendations that come with it and start this project!
    Ehdrian, I was wondering which part of the existing deck I could save yesterday, after reading your post I decided that this weekend I’ll get reed of everything. I read in some posting that you are not supposed to remove all the stringer at once because that could deform the hull shape, is that true also for a small 23 feet boat?
    The only materials available over here are 1 type of resin (the blue one.. I’ll use your tips to balance the proportion) and only 2 type of fiber, a thick one that is a kind of ordered crossed tissue (vertical and horizontal .. row?), and a messy one and thinner (suppose this one is the so called MAT). Can’t find epoxies anywhere, only little syringes with a very little content and very expensive. Will I be able to do a good work with only these materials?
    Do you have step by step close pictures of how you attached the stringers to the hull and transom and covered them with fiber? Should the stringer directly touch the hull or should it be folded in fiber first? I read many different versions on how to proceed with that. Plus, Which of the 2 material mentioned should I use?
    Thank you both for your encouraging counseling and sorry for throwing at you so many questions. I’ll post my wood question on the material section of this forum. I’m getting ready for a huge and long adventure, but just during Saturdays.. and I’ll stick to it!!!
     

  15. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    stringer wood...?

    The USDA forestry has tables on the qualities of Various woods.
    That's where I found out about White Oak being the best wood for resistanct to rot, mould and Mildew.

    White Oak also holds a screw pretty good.

    Go to your public library, tell tell the counter person what you want. It'l save you some time.
    You may have the kind of wood you need right there in Panama.

    Remember to Cover everything you take out of the boat. Wrap it up in plastic and weight it down so the wind wont blow it away.
    Dont set anything right on the ground. Rust will begin soon.

    Take a lot of photos before you start. You have room to store them on a CD. Be sure you get all the details of wire and cable location.
    Coil up the wires and label each terminal. All that seems like overkill but you will be only too happy to have those photos later on.
     
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