New member with new to me boat

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Eddie A, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Eddie A
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: New Orleans

    Eddie A Junior Member

    Hello everyone, I hope I'm posting in the correct area. My name is Eddie and I've just become the owner of a 16' Campagna skiff that seems to have some minor issues. I was a military aircraft structural repair mechanic with a specialty in composites and I have no problems working with glass but there are some things in boat construction that I have never encountered in the aircraft world.
    I've never worked on fiberglass structural components, only cosmetic parts and only with a technical manual that showed exactly how the layers and weight of the cloth to be used for the area being repaired along with the maximum amount of damage that was allowed to be repaired.
    The boat has some surface cracks on the inside horizontal surfaces, a few nicks in the outside hull, and a small delaminated area where the engine was mounted to the transom. To me it looks like a gel coat followed by cloth and then either chop or mat. I've never worked with mat or chop and I'm not sure what the correct way to repair it would be or if it's even repairable. For example would it be okay to sand the cracks down and come back with a layer of cloth on top of the chop/mat?
    So far my plan is to take everything off the hull that isn't glass and go at it with the sander starting from the inside to see what the real extent of the damage is. I picked the little boat up for $300.00 and I'm really hoping it's okay to go over mat/chop with some cloth and epoxy, and learning the proper way to finish a boat. Looking forward to some long itchy nights again. I have a picture of the worst area if anyone needs to see it before giving advice.
     
  2. Eddie A
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 5
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    Location: New Orleans

    Eddie A Junior Member

    Maybe this will help in getting some advice, this is the worst area and I'd like to sand these down then glass over them but I need to know if the glass would just end up cracking again if I did put cloth back over it. I'm not familiar with this type of cloth and don't want to waste my time if it isn't worth repairing.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Welcome, Eddie A. If that is the worst area I think it is worth the effort. It sounds like you have a good grasp on what you need to do. It is good you have composite knowledge already.
    Grind out damage to past the end of the cracks and re-glass to original shape. Use epoxy, not polyester and you will have a good repair. Make a casting of the underside of the area before grinding it out so you will be able to recreate the original shape when you re-glass it. Use positioning marks on the casting. I cannot stress how important it is to use epoxy. After the repair you must paint over the epoxy to protect it from UV rays.
     
  4. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    Are those cracks in the 'glass itself? It looks like a layer of Bondo.
     
  5. Eddie A
    Joined: Jun 2012
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    Location: New Orleans

    Eddie A Junior Member

    Thanks very much and good point on making the casting, I almost forgot how fast fiberglass can disappear when sanding away damage.
     
  6. Eddie A
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 5
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    Location: New Orleans

    Eddie A Junior Member

    That's what I want to know, the cracks don't go all the way through the hull and it looks like the inside of the boat has a layer of chop from a chopper gun? or a layer of chop mat, I was hoping to hear that that layer was a finish for the inside like gel coat is for the out side because the cracks look to me like the cracks that gel coat get in it and the cracks in my boat are only on horizontal surfaces, maybe sun damage? There is a layer of weaved cloth under the gel coat that I can see in two damaged areas If the rain lets up I'll find out today if that cracked layer is just a cosmetic layer.
     
  7. Eddie A
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: New Orleans

    Eddie A Junior Member

    Well it looks like the weaved cloth was only used along the seams and the rest of the boat is either mat, woven roven ?or chop from a chopper gun.
    [​IMG]
     

  8. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    ok need to grind out bigger and lay some woven on a 45Degree angle then one at 90 and another at 30 and then 20 !! EACH time make the patch smaller and then a bug flat washer . always start with the biggest patch and get smaller as you get closer to the hole that way all the glass will be working for you . and toy could hang the whole boat with it !!. Vinylester resin is the best to use !!.and finish with just good old chopped stand matt . :D
     
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