A mission ...

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by ixplorer, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. ixplorer
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Auckland NZ

    ixplorer Junior Member

    I have a glass 16ft VistaCraft with an outboard, that is a 36 yr old hull and has over time had various average quality "glass" jobs done on the interior of the hull to seal and strengthen it. One of those, someone used car bog to add a cap to the wooden keel edge that came up into the boat [thin bit of wood] and when I belted the bog off a few days ago it all came off in big chunks in my hand, and the inside of it was sodden with mud, sand, water. The keel wood was then exposed, i touched that and it moved, pulled it, and I was holding it... about 18" long bit of wood not ply, wet, and rotten.

    It has been suggested a day ago by a Marine survey bloke that inspected it, that I grind out all the edges of the boat interior, back to solid glass, cove them all, and glass them all back up to give the whole hull strength. Which I am launching into.

    I have never touched anything fibreglass in my life.

    Starting with this keel area... grinding it away to expose what I might find. Someone else told me that the metal keel strip has been added to the boat keel and the screws they used might be too long, water runs up them, and gets into the keel wood. His solution, remove them, and cut out anything wet, replace with thinned epoxy to fill the void. I'm not confident in that, both in that it sound like a hell job, and like ill be adding a liquid UP wards, unless i flip the boat. Never done that before either !

    So it has 2 problems, water entry from keel screws. And general bad hull interior condition that needs strengthening and a bulkhead added.

    Bulkheads or only one should be added, suggested the marine survey guy, just aft of the centre console position and he mentioned the gap with a fillet but didn't give much advice there, so your comments helped alot. And thanks Sam on the WR ideas as I will be going there when it comes to glassing that in.

    I happen to live about a km from the largest Fibreglass supplier in NZ. So I went there and spoke to them for a few hours today. As my knowledge of glass is or was z e r o. They were able to call a boatbuilder staff member of theirs, but its the boat show this week and he is there "talking". He will come and visit my boat next week to determine if we are going to be using poly or epoxy as I want this job done right and perfectly, and I am going to be doing it and have plenty of time before I NEED to be landing kingfish over the summer approaching.

    Phase 1 for me is the removal of everything crappy out of the hull corners anyway, and that was kicked off with a 2 hour covered head to foot in a moon suit, two pairs of latex gloves and a 3M 6200 respirator which worked a charm. I wear glasses though, and they got covered in glass dust. As goggles would be a bit tricky.

    I'll be posting pics of progress and start point shortly. Not sure if that will be of any use to you, but your advice will be helpful as I progress it.

    Many thanks
    Guy
     
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Hi, ixplorer. Grind away all bad surfaces back to solid glass, like he said. Clean all surfaces of any old oil or soil which would interfere with good bonding. Don't use thinned epoxy. Thinning it compromises waterproofing. It will be runny enough without thinning.

    Cheers,
    Hoyt
     
  3. ixplorer
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    ixplorer Junior Member

    Yup thanks for that, had a few conflicting opinions on thinned epoxy... cheers for that.

    Fibre Glass dust tastes like hell.
    g
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Flipping it shouldn't be too hard to do. Just use your head and think it through. Get a couple of friends to help.

    Wear a dust mask and stay upwind of the dust. Try to avoid too much contact. It itches like hell, too. Wear disposable protective clothing while grinding. I used a floor fan behind me to carry the dust away.
     
  5. ixplorer
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    ixplorer Junior Member

    I look like a Nuke discovery team, covered head to foot, double gloves, goggles, muffs, respirator, and when i take a break im still coughing like hell. Its not itchy for me, but the dust is massive. Off to grab dads extraction unit sucky thing he has... that should solve alot of it. Can't think how to flip it, so i'll check that online... its not too heavy, or won't be without the engine on it. All up incl 60ltrs gas and the old heavy trailer it weighed 990kg when I took it to the dump ... they have scales so i always weigh my boats there :)

    The old trailer weighs about 150-200kg I think.

    My hands feel dry as hell and smoothed off... lol.

    Thanks
    g
     
  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Remove all equipment from the boat including engine, battery seats; basically everything you can remove. Then lay the hull on the grass on a couple of mattresses. Put a couple more mattresses in the landing zone where it will lay when flipped. Cover the mattresses with plastic sheeting to keep them clean. Get enough guys together to make the job go easy. Encourage them with beer or whatever. Once you have the hull flipped you may proceed in a logical manner.
     
  7. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    If his wife/gf sees this he'll be done for.
    Therefore,make sure she's not at home.
     
  8. ixplorer
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    ixplorer Junior Member

    Ok correction - its as itchy as HELL. Did a two hour straight stint this am... after I got the belt sander... and got 2 x 40grit belts for it... does a great job but takes three times as long as the grinder. But no "golfing" divots in the glass. Sooo... the trick is to cut the top stuff off fast with the grinder and then flatten it out and tidy up with the belt sander.

    Went and got the extractor unit from Dads... its awesome and sucked all the settled dust out of the hull and off the sides... does a fantastic job of taking the dust away from the cutting edge of the grinder, but kind of need three hands.

    Did another 1 hour stint with the extractor unit.

    Crazy things happen... I have a big thick old screwdriver thats more like my universal "whack things with that" tool, I went to pick it up to tighten a screw on the extractor unit, and i dropped the screwdriver, onto an exposed edge of some ply i cut back, and it made a thud rather than a clang... uh oh i thought... and started digging at that area with it... sure enough... all wet... shot to bits... its the vertical edge of the step up to the foredeck and its the step that the console sits directly snugged up to. I'm doing the whole starboard side first, so I can find all the problems on one side first, then see if they are on the other as well. I'm guessing this can't only be on one side ! No problem its not a large part. BUT it sits directly against the supporting bulkhead in front of it, which supports the foredeck floor. The foredeck is glass, and you can see a support in the centre of it through the glass which looks to be a ply "rail".

    I do NOT want to have to replace the foredeck, or the bulkhead that supports it, as that is getting deep into the guts... but it looks like that bulkhead is also wet and shot. I'll leave it 24 hours and see how bad it is, possibly need to do a core sample of it with the drill. :( But I do not want to have to lift the foredeck to get the bulkhead out. Dammit.

    Its at about this time that I remind ALL BOAT BUYERS - get a professional to do a hull inspection no matter what the seller says he has just had [a hull inspection.] Utter bloody liar. It is a killer boat, but I seriously would like to have not had to pull that out, and I would love to have not had to pull out the support bulkhead. :( Rats.

    Photos coming next.

    Cheers
    g
     
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Thats 4 mattresses !!! how many bedrooms you got?
     
  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    III. Trois. Drei. Tres. 3. Three. Drie. สาม.
     
  11. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    cou·ple
    pr. /ˈkəpəl/
    noun.
    1. Two items of the same kind; a pair.

    Couple +couple=4
     
  12. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    You are correct. You win a cigar if you pay for it.
     
  13. ixplorer
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    ixplorer Junior Member

    Ripout is virtually complete except for a small section in the stern. Really hard to get to easily as you have to lay down and after a full days cutting and grinding glass I couldn't face it.

    Tearing everything out has exposed a few issues... tips of thread poking up through a rotten wooden keel strip... the screws are newish and stainless. Can only see a few from inside the boat. But there are loads of them in the metal keel. Which have been siliconed and its my guess that was an attempted repair to a leaky keel. Water follows the thread into the boat and presto. Leaks.

    The second issue is three screws on either side coming from the transom into the stringers. The screws are brass and "rusted" The dampish transom surface doesn't look like a problem. But the presence of the screws at all to me doesn't sound good. I think it was someones attempt to secure the stringers. As they were both not attached at all to the hull and only were attached by the tops of them to the floor on both sides of the centre cavity and the bulkhead at the centre of the boat. The bulkhead was wet through. The stringers were dry as a bone and are Rimu, a native New Zealand wood. They were 60-70mm thick and 2.1mtrs long ! Damn heavy !

    Now on to wiping the hull down with acetone and on to glassing this week... got all my buckets ready for mixing and my mixers, what else will i need ? Got fibre glass matting coming, and rollers... got resin, got talc, hardener. When wetting up the fibreglass what do you do that on to conserve the resin ? I don't want it all over the place...

    I'm thinking in a week I will know the answer by trail and error but I would love to know first as this is expensive !

    Cheers
    g
     
  14. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    I put down poly plastic film to catch any drips. :)

    It is re-usable as the epoxy will not stick to it. When dry you can shake the plastic and most the epoxy dots will just drop off. fold it up and re-use it for something else.
     

  15. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    You say it is a 36 year old hull with an outboard. The outboard is the most indispensable, most expensive part of the boat, motor, trailer package. If the outboard is no good, get rid of it all and sell the trailer. If the outboard is good, consider getting another boat that fits the trailer and put your outboard on it, and get rid of the hull you have.

    There are plenty of ways to cut down on the fiberglass itch/mess. Cut things apart with chisels. Don't grind unless unavoidable. Use big grits and lots of pressure to slow down rpms to avoid creating fine dust and then blowing it all around. Use fans to suck air past you, over the work and then away. Lay a vacuum hose where it will catch most grindings/stuff as it appears. Have a garden hose handy and mist/spray everything down often to keep dust down, like grind for 15 seconds and then spray it down.

    Make sure as you deconstruct the boat that it retains it's original shape so when you glass things back in you don't permanently glass in bumps and hollows that will ruin the performance of the boat or cause other parts, such as the deck, to not fit anymore.
     
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