Filling old screw holes in deck...

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by mdevour, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. mdevour
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Michigan

    mdevour New Member

    Hi folks, first post here...

    I own a 1963 vintage Hinterhoeller Shark 24 (they were later made by C&C). This is a very early fiberglass design, so the entire hull and deck is laid woven glass, no foam or plywood cores. They hadn't figured out how to minimize materials yet. It's built like a tank! :D

    I want to re-arrange a lot of the running rigging, and I need to be able to plug a bunch of old screw holes in the cabin top or elsewhere on deck.

    I've got no problem with the basic idea of relieving the ends of the bore with a countersink, slapping a bit of duct tape on the underside, wetting it out and filling the hole with thickened epoxy... but I have no idea how to deal with the cosmetics.

    The deck is a light blue-green, similar to the familiar color found on many old Herreshoff boats. Can I add pigment to my filler to make it match? Or do I have to spot-paint with something-or-other? Or re-paint the entire deck after I'm done? <sigh>

    I've done a fair amount of bonding and glassing with epoxy, but nothing with colors, gel-coat, polyester, etc... Cosmetics were done with enamel or varnish on my other projects.

    Please teach me some basics and point me to some resources?

    Thanks!!

    Mike D.
     
  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    By now any original gelcoat must be faded. Time, perhaps, to think about paint or non-skid material. You've got the filling part down. The cosmetic part, short term, would simply protect the epoxy from UV, and coloration can be close enough to get by. Long term, look towards doing the whole deck in any color you like. Spot paint, in other words, maybe with oil-based eggshell paint from Glidden or Sherwin Williams, custom matched by their spectro-computor--- for now.

    Alan
     
  3. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    just a fast hint,, dont fill in the holes like that. first take a dremil to the holes and "odd" shape them, go from a (O) to a (V) or (U),, anything except a circle. no matter how great you fill, no matter how fantastic the painter is,, you'll ALWAYZ see the circles.
     
  4. mdevour
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    mdevour New Member

    Ancient Gel-Coat

    Thanks for the reply, Alan. That is another of my concerns. The boat is 44 years old. Although the deck is in decent condition, without much damage or stress cracks, it is no longer shiny and tends to attract and hold dirt.

    Is it the general consensus that there is no magic in a bottle or other superficial treatment or process that can resurrect old gel-coat?

    Generally, what sort of materials and process are you describing here as "doing the whole deck?"

    It would be nice to do a complete restoration, removing all wood parts and hardware, repiaring damage, painting, and putting it all back together again... but not real soon, I'm afraid!

    I suppose I could do a couple of sections of or even the entire cabin top, which is where most of the holes are.

    If I decided to spot paint but wanted more durability, what would be better paint to use?

    As I said, my experience with fiberglass boats is limited. I need some pretty basic information.

    Thanks!

    Mike D.
     
  5. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    the only thing you can do to old gel-coat to make it look better is wet-sand it then buff it, but with it being 40 years old it might nit help much. and i think he's saying paint or gel-coat the whole deck. on the spot painting, if your just going to do the spots you should use what is on it now, gel-coat. but, it would be hard (if not impossible) to match the color it is now, because of fading.and for paint durability i use awl-grip. it comes in alot more colors and harder and lasts longer then gel-coat, but you pay for them features ( as usual),. im pretty sure alan will respond and explain what he means ;)
     
  6. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Right. Close up. that dullness is actually from a lot of tiny pinholes. Sure, you could apply a lot of things, but the resulting shiny look is short-lived. You have to repeat the process over and over again. Otherwise, it regresses back.

    The process would involve just what you're saying, including dewaxing, sanding to 240 grit, priming and painting with either single or two part paint, or, skipping painting, new gelcoat.

    I wouldn't spot paint with anything more than the cheap paint I mentioned, but what I mean is just what you said--- spot painting, a bit of paint over a spot. If you use exterior alkyd paint, those Home Depot minimum-wage kids will try all day to get the color right. Marine enamals cost three times as much, and a cranky old coot will look at you funny when you suggest custom mixing. He might even laugh at you and then just walk away shaking his head.
    I'm sure an alkyd paint, especially an exterior paint, will last until you commit to doing the whole deck over, which is inevitable. In any case, ten minutes would restore any fading of the spot touch-up you did two years back.

    Then, as said, single part polyurethane, two part, or gelcoat are the three basic options. Each has different qualities and pros/cons. Awlgrip, a two-part poly, is the cadillac solution, hard and long-lasting and expensive, gelcoat lasts long too, isn't cheap (or particularly easy), and is less hard, and single-part is easy to do, to fix, less money, softer, and gives you a five year job (which ain't bad for something you can do yourself quickly).
     
  7. mdevour
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    mdevour New Member

    Dear Alan, 1much,

    Excellent responses, gentlemen. That's exactly the level of detail I need.

    I can go ahead, then, and plug all the holes I can't re-use, and paint each hole, or very small areas where there are several holes, with relatively inexpensive color-matched oil-based enamel, without expecting a perfect color or finish match.

    That ought to buy me a few years while I catch up with all the other things that need doing. Then, once I'm sure the boat is sound and everything is where it is going to stay for a while, I can plan the ultimate renovation with awlgrip.

    Well, the good lord willing, I can go ahead with the first round of rigging changes... time and budget permitting, of course! ;)

    Be well,

    Mike D.
     
  8. Kaptin-Jer
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    Mdevor,
    I just completed the deck of my boat, Lots of holes, even the cabin top was stoved in from a mast crash. I posted some pictures in the thread "open Letter" You will see I used Awl Grip for everything including the non-skid, same color just added flattening agent and the Awl-Grip sand. This was all roll and tip, no spray. I understand that you don't want to get into this right now, because it does take a lot of time and work. First the fairing of all the filled cracks and holes then the primer coat(s) and more sanding mostly all by hand because there are almost no flat places to use a machine. That deck took 4 months work on the weekends, but it sounds like you will be sailing long before me. Good luck.
     
  9. mdevour
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    mdevour New Member

    Are we crazy? Yep!

    Dear Kap'n,

    That's quite a story, and the boat looks to fulfill your dreams if given a chance.

    My little boat was left to me by a good friend and sailing buddy who died 3 years ago. The only thing that kept him owning it was a few friends like me who were happy to crew with him.

    The word he used when describing his plans for the boat was to "inflict it" on me if something should happen to him. He knew exactly what he was saying! There's no way in the universe that I should have a boat in a marina right now, with 2 kids in college, the 3rd lookin', and my health not reliable enough -- YET! -- to hold a job working for other people.

    So like the fortunate few here, I've a saint of a wife. She understands the sentimental attachment and the value it has for me as an outlet. I keep the cars running and remodel the house, and she keeps the lights on.

    So, we have a boat! Two, actually, counting the skiff we built with the kids and some of their friends -- but there's no ongoing cost there. That's a good story, too.

    There's enough work to be done that I can't see escaping devoting an entire season to doing a rebuild. Use the slip rental to buy a trailer and put her in the back yard for the summer.

    I'm glad awlgrip is amenable to roll and tip. That's about my skill level as far as spraying goes. :D

    I'm afraid I'm crazy, too, Kap'n. And lucky.

    Be well,

    Mike D.
     
  10. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    all you guys have a pre-notion bout spraying,, im bout the simplest person to work on boats,( actually im closer to the "idiot" stage) but spraying is WaY easier then rolling.once ya figure out ya speed, spraying is just covering up. now you people using rollers and brushes,,,well you guys waY more talented then me spraying.i can spray on gel or awl,,and make it look perfect,,,,let me roll a spot,,,i wouldnt pay me 5 bucks for a crap job i do. anyone that can roll and make it look as good as you all do earns all my respect ;)
     
  11. Kaptin-Jer
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    O.K. Much, I'm pulling the Benny the last week of December to fair and Awl Grip the hull. You are invited to South Florida to do the final spray. I'll even put you up at my house and feed you! You need to bring all your own equipment, and by the way, before you start you have to build a six sided tent (yep, top and bottom)- that's EPA, and add an exhaust fan- thats local fire marshal. I guess you can estimate the size of the tent - BIG.
    Now you understand why we had to learn to roll and tip.
     
  12. Kaptin-Jer
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

     

  13. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    can ya wife cook?,,i need back rubs too,,my neck has been broke for 2 years heh,,oh,,plz send pic. of wife/and or/girlfriend/and or both ;),,,and come get me(bring a big u-haul) ,,and bring the "gold card" i like having fun travelin hehe :)
     
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