Fiberglassing 15m wooden fishing boat

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Giorgos, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Giorgos
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Greece

    Giorgos Greek fisherman

    Hello friends.This is my 4th post in this forum.I am a new member and i am from Greece.I am a professional fisherman.I own a 15m fishing boat.It is made of wood in 1999.The hull is made of iroco and keel/frames from pine.
    My biggest problem is water leaks and maintenance.The boat is the best for the job i do.She is stable as much as possible in rough seas,fast for her size,heavy,etc.
    I am thinking of fiberglassing the hull,deck and superstructure.Why to do such a thing?
    The job is hard and easily paints are off from wood!!!I tried to make the deck as waterproof as possible but no matter what i do water leaks exist.These leaks either from hull either from deck causes many problems.The water converts into moisture that kills all of my equipment,either mechanical either electronic.
    Rust is everywhere.I am tired of painting engines and other things.I spend a lot of money in paints and maintenance of pumps,engines and other.
    The best thing is to change boat but this is not something i can do for various reasons.If i fiberglass the hull,deck and superstructure of the boat and do it in a way that will be 100% sure that water will not pass between fiberglass and wood will i have problems with rot?What can i do to ensure that fiberglass will not seperate from the hull?Should i nail it onto the hull after 2 layers of fiberglass and after to put another 5 layers?I don't mind about extra weight.I need extra weight.Please guys guide me through this.I am 50-50 to do it or not.But i find no other solution to minimize expences of maintanance and damage to all my equipment due to moisture.
    Thanks in advance friends.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You should use epoxy resin for better adhesion and water resistance. The hull and deck needs to be ground and degreased. The Gougeon brothers book on boat repair has a good step by step method.
     
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    There is one book that is essential to show you exactly how to do a fiberglas over wood boat:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.amazon.com/Covering-Wooden-Boats-Fiberglass-Vaitses/dp/0877421374

    This man literally "wrote the book" on how to do this stuff. I have read the book and it's well written. It's a perfect, step by step guide to covering a wooden boat with fiberglass in a way that the fiberglass will stay on.

    Get it, no matter what the shipping cost is to Greece.

    You will do it in epoxy, just as Gonzo says.
     
  4. Giorgos
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Greece

    Giorgos Greek fisherman

    Thank you friends.I am not sure because some people told me that the boat will rot,will be destroyed and other things.But they can't unterstand that the boat is not used as a pleasure boat and fishing is a hard job that causes damages in boat's look every day.But can you explain to me why the wood rots?If i fiberglass one side of a piece of wood and i ensure that water is not coming in from this side,the moisture that exists inside the wood isn't free to evaporate from the other side and slowly-slowly with months to become dry and stay strong as it was?
     

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  5. tiller
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Brisbane,Australia

    tiller tiller

  6. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    What type of wooden boat do you have. Conventional caulked plank on frame ? or strip plank, edge nailed, glued ?


    And you deck ? what construction..PLywood or plank
     
  7. Giorgos
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Greece

    Giorgos Greek fisherman

    My boat is traditional caulked plank on frame.All plank is from iroko exept deck that is from pine (caulked plank on frame too).It's a shame to talk about covering wooden boat with fiberglass my friends but is the only think that has left to avoid moisture that kills all of my equipment and made machines and other things into "rust factories"!!!Don't mention all the pre-painting and painting job every year!!!New boat,with professional fishing licence, in this size is not possible to buy in our days!!!I have to fix this one!!!
     

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  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The best thing you can do for this boat and your friends are correct is to 'glass the weather decks. The best way to do this on your type of hull and deck is to skin the deck with plywood first, to stabilize and "freeze" the planked deck. Next you seal the plywood with two layers of light weight cloth, set in epoxy, then a heavier layer, maybe Xynole, considering the abuse it'll take. This is what works, anything less and you'll get leaks. The reason is you need sufficient sheathing thickness to tolerate the foot traffic and the plywood prevents the laid deck below from moving around, breaking out the sheathing.

    To recap, encapsulate the plywood, after it's been cut to fit the deck, with 3 coats of epoxy, with special attention to the end grain. Screw the plywood down to the deck beams and original planking (stainless steel screws), over a bedding compound or thickened epoxy. Next, sheath with 2 layers of 6 - 8 ounce cloth, then apply a layer of Xynole, of course all set in epoxy. This will keep you tight.
     
  9. Giorgos
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Greece

    Giorgos Greek fisherman

    What about the hull? :confused: Plank's thickness is 5 cm.It is from iroco wood.Boat,before i become her owner last year,was out of the sea for 6 years!!!!When we inspected her, with professional wooden boat builders, wood was found like new.Not even the smallest sign of rot was found.Something else that has to be mentioned is that there was not gap at all between planks of the hull and a very thin line of caulk between them was intact.No caulk was needed at all after being 6 years dry.Isn't it a proof that there is not a big movement of the planks and that fiberglass will stick with hull without to separate?
    Exept that i hate moisture and water into my boat...i think of covering hull with fiberglass because every day at work small damages show up due to reasons i can't control.Mostly i use longlines and if you have to do with hooks,wires,swordfish and tunas , always there something around that will scratch or hit the hull causing small or big damages to the appearance of the boat.:mad:
     
  10. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Get the book or risk doing it wrong.
     
  11. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I can understand glassing decks...its effective, particularly in Greece with hot sun burning the deck. ... but not glassing a relatively new plank on frame hull. What is wrong with the hull that cant be repaired ? Plank on frame is the easiest, cheapest build method to repair.

    Glass over planking is death for a wood boat. you only use it when the boat is close to junk and you need a few more seasons.
     
  12. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I agree, if the hull is in good condition it is not worth fiberglassing over. Usually it is a last resort for a failing hull.
     
  13. Giorgos
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Greece

    Giorgos Greek fisherman

    That's what i thinK after all your comments.NEVER COVERING HULL WITH FIBERGLASS!!!!
     
  14. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Its not worth it. Decks and cockpits yes..hull no.
     

  15. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Yes, wait to cover the boat. It is usually done at the end of a boat's life to extend it.
     
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