Anyone willing to offer advice to a newbie on stringer repair on Fabuglas tri-hull?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Fabuglas74T, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Fabuglas74T
    Joined: Jul 2016
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Clarksville TN

    Fabuglas74T New Member

    Hey all.
    First, I know that this repair will be economically disadvantageous but I have the money and enjoy new things.
    Second, I consider myself capable and methodical. I have restored old Honda motorcycles and vintage radios.
    Third, I do NOT know how to fiberglass but want to learn.

    Boat is a 1974 Fabuglas 146 tri-hull fishing boat with 85hp Mercury 850. Came with a nice BMC trailer for $200 and it was a whim purchase.

    Deck is rotten and stringers are as well. A few initial questions:

    1. The front quarter of this boat has a deck that is part of the original fiberglass pour. I assume the stringers go all the way to the front of the boat. Is this assumption wrong?
    2. Under the above mentioned deck is a stow hole. There is a fishing chair mount on the upper deck up there. There is no support under the chair base. Is a thin Fiberglass deck sufficient to put a deck chair upon with no support? Seems like a grown adult with a beer belly might go right through the deck.
    3. I can extract the rotten stringer wood leaving the two sides of glass intact. Can I merely lay in new stringers and glass to the old sides?

    Thanks guys, pictures to follow
     
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,037
    Likes: 227, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    The first order of business is to inspect the transom core. Old boats, notoriously, have rotten transom interiors which are commonly composed of plywood. A deteriorated transom and that big motor make a bad combination.

    You can use a circle saw to cut the glass skin from the inside part of the transom. Make several exploratory holes to determine the condition of the core. If the core is still good, then use epoxy and glass to patch the holes. If the core shows signs of deterioration then you will need to replace the whole core or maybe the entire transom.

    The deck is not stiff enough to support a swivel chair containing a guy with a beer belly. The deck could be reinforced with beams to make it an acceptable mounting place for the chair. That would cause a lot of work and expense but it can be done..

    The stringers need to be bonded securely to the hull if they are to serve their assigned purpose. The process for secure bonding new wood to existing sides is problematic. You need to be certain that all contact surfaces are perfectly bonded. Not easy to do. Consider removing the fiberglass sides and starting over. Fit the stringers glue them down with epoxy, then cover the stringers with new glass and epoxy, not polyester. The cover will be in a hat shape with the bottoms turned out so that the glass is bonded to the bottom of the boat
     
  3. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
    Posts: 2,164
    Likes: 52, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 575
    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    First, strip all the wood out. I find a pressure cleaner and a small electric chain saw my favorite tools. Like Messabout said the transom is the most critical, and start there. On a small boat it might be worth it to split the two halves apart then you can work on separate parts easier. Or consider cutting a big access hatch on the floor almost as big as the whole open deck area. I then insert a presealed and fiberglass stingers back into pockets and glue them in place with ss bolts and epoxy. But for all this work requires clean sanded surfaces everywhere. It can be very difficult to achieve. Actually used a sandblaster on one build to get into all the pockets. It all depends on boat, post some pics.
     

  4. Fabuglas74T
    Joined: Jul 2016
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Clarksville TN

    Fabuglas74T New Member

    Ok guys. Will take some pics this weekend.
    I appreciate the willingness to help.
     
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