Newbe questions on floor and stringer rebuild

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by H2OHOII, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. H2OHOII
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    Location: Las Vegas,NV

    H2OHOII Junior Member

    Hello everyone, I'm new to the site and new to the Fiberglass experience...

    I have a 15' 1959 Dorsett Fiberglass boat that I need to rebuild the stringers and deck floor. This secluded protion of the hull has sat with water in it for about 8 years, and has now got it's first glimps of daylight since I have cut open a good portion of the deck. Also need to replace the Transom

    I have been reading alot of the posts here and other places on the Net... So eventhough I have no experience with working with Fiberglass, or body work in general, I'm prety confident that I can do the job I need to do... with some expert guidance as I have seen been given on this site, of course !

    I really have a lot of questions, but some mainly pertain to what I want to change with the structure of the boat. To which, being an amature, the KISS method is useually best.... Keep it Simple Stupid... In other words, dont change the structure dummy ! LOL
    When I say change the structure, i mean like dropping the forward Deck down below the side rail to be like a casting deck... stuff like that, basically modifying the bow and Aft deck structure.



    I know I shouldnt go overboard being my first time doing this, but alot of what I wouild like to do will play a roll in how I re-lay my stringers and deck floor. So I will move on to my main questions, and let you folks chime in on the above thoughs to steer me along...


    Stringers
    My hull starts in Sharp V then flattens out about midship to a very subtle V. ( See pics ) Im leaning to replacing the Stingers with 2x4. The original wood looks to be 1x4 or 6, not really sure due to the rott, and the angle cut in the stringer on the Hull side.
    So I'm wondering what would be the best method to install the new wood and still leave to top side level in order to support the floor... Should I try and cut the stinger at the same angle as the Hull, or lay in the 2x4 and use a filler (filler joint, or foam) between the stringer and the hull, then glass it all in. So really, how wide should a stinger be?

    Deck Floor
    My question on replacing the Deck... the old Floor was 1/2" plywood. I was thinking of going 3/4". Mainly for the fact that I wanted something stronger and also thicker in order to mount pedistal chairs.
    In reading up on fiberglassing and cores, I know that I will be encasing the deck in multiple layers of glass and epoxy. (exact terminology may be wrong,) So glassing the 1/2" core alone will provide the working strength, But as i said, i was looking to also have a thicker base to mount to. Is this a sound decision, or will I still be OK with 1/2" thick core. I do realize that i should also put in rib supports along with the stringers which I will do as well.
    Another question is mounting the deck to the stringers.... what is the correct way this be done? wood screws into the stringers, or can I use an epoxy bonding agent as to not compromise the epoxy and glass coating of the floor and stringers ? Obviously when the floor is down, I will be adding a couple layers of glass to bond the floor and sides of the hull, which would cover any screw heads, and also secure the deck to the outside stringers. ( majority of the floor is raised above the hull)

    Alot of my concern here is due to how bad the previous floor and stringers got,and how mushy the floor became. I just dont want that to happen again. I know this happened because of poor initial design, But I plan on glassing in the stringers and encasing the deck correctly now.


    Transom
    Here is a big question that will play in how I redo the Transom. I need to replace the centerline hull drain fitting. ( I forget the proper name of the fitting) As well as I need to re-glass the outside hull at the transom edge. I'm not sure what to do here... As you see in the pic, the hull is pretty flat at the transom, and the deck floor is only about 2" above the hull. The current transom has an extra layer that does not extend fully to the hull. I wanted to change this and make the new transom extend to the hull. The extra layer makes the transom 2" thick. I dont think the drain fittings are 2" deep, so would it be feesable to make the new transom core the 2" but leave a notch over the drain fitting and leave it 1" thick. ( build my new transom core with 2layers - outside layer notched)
    My biggest concern is the new fitting itself... I want to put in a threaded fitting, but based on the diameter and placement, I'm worried that the drain hole will sit too high off of the interior hull floor. which means if any water were to get under the floor, I would always have a certain amount of water that will not drain. So to aleaviate this, I was thinking about creating an opening between the two inside stringers and 24" from the transom...
    Or am I WAY over thinking this ???? LOL

    Any input on my mad plans are greatly appreciated ! Thanks

    Pics:
    first - transom damage -drain hole
    second - interior transom - 2 layers - plus position of drain hole
    third - raised deck floor - rotted stringers
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  2. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    I'm afraid you won't get too many advices how to repair that... excuse me.. piece of crap. That's unless you have a lot of time and money to waste for it. However it's cheaper to build a new one...
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've noticed a reoccurring theme in your post H2O, which is you're arbitrarily "upgrading" the size of materials to bigger pieces. This is a typical novice approach and should be avoided with every step. You're just adding weight and cost, not to mention higher point loading, so unless you have strong evidence to suggest a particular structural element needs to be larger in dimension, then leave the scantlings as they where.

    So, your first question about stringer width is answered, make them the same as before.

    Next question is about the sole. Again leave it 1/2" and when you get around to installing the pedestal chairs, mount a plywood pad (3/4" is nice) over the location you're going to place the base (20% - 30-% larger diameter), bond it down with epoxy and screws then mount the base to this reinforcement.

    Your next question suggests that half a century of durability wasn't sufficient, but I'll try. Epoxy is both an adhesive and coating. Wood, properly encapsulated will be protected with it. Epoxy can go over epoxy without any harm. Typically the sole plywood is screwed down onto the stringers, to hold it there awhile the epoxy cures. These screws can be removed or left in place. If left, use good quality stainless screws.

    Your transom needs to be completely rebuilt as it doesn't look good at all. Just cut out the outer skin with a 3" or 4" flange around the edges (where you still have edges left). Toss the rest in trash and bulk up new material during the transom core rebuild. Naturally, you'll need to tab this back to the hull shell and re-fair an outer skin.

    In all honesty, you have a boat that should be used as furnace fuel at the local land fill. When you have to toss this much energy, materials and labor into a hull shell, then you're starting with the wrong hull shell. In today's market, you can find a much better starting point.
     
  4. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I agree with PAR & Teddy. Can't you find a little better boat to start with? There are lots of runabouts out there that need TLC to bring them back to service but you really do have to determine if you are throwing good money after bad.

    With todays materials (epoxies, sealants like 3M 5200, 4200 and the products from Sika Industries) you can build a first rate boat without going overboard on the scantlings. My opinion is that most boats were designed well. It was the materials they were built from or the building techniques that were the issue.

    I'll give you an example:

    One huge issue with my old Silverton (in the original build circa 1973) was water getting into the cabin in the corners where the cabin sides and side windows meet the windshield. Think of the lower corner of the side windshield pillars. In the original build SIlverton pretty much screwed the assembly together and used some type of sealant that hardened over time. No epoxy, the wood involved was just painted. As you can imagine this didn't work out very well.

    After I rebuilt the entire cabin I exposed the boat to some driving flooding rains that we had here in the fall. Well, in the corners, I noticed miniscule water. There might be a tiny leak in my build, or it might be condensation, I'm not really sure yet. BUT, by using modern epoxies and sealants I was able to reconstruct the entire windshield/ windshield pillar area without using any fasteners. So even if I have a tiny leak, I'm not concerned that water will infiltrate the woodwork because, very simply it cannot. There is just no way in.

    I'll straighten this out in the spring, but my point is that what would have been a big problem 30 or 40 years ago is a minor issue today thanks to modern materials and methods.

    This example gives you an idea of what you can do with modern materials, chemistry and techniques.

    Now, go find a little better boat and drive a hard bargain.

    Hope you have a great new year!

    MIA
     
  5. irv
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    Location: Port Orchard Wa.

    irv Junior Member

    Don't even think of fixing that one. Been there, thankfully, money keeps coming so recovered. For $1000 or so you could buy a much better boat than that. Bet you get an engine and trailer too. That repair would be more by the time your done, and its still just an old boat. Bigger boats, like 24 ft and such, rebuilt properly are worth doing (doing a 24' now for retirement in Mexico). For me, I'm looking at $50,000 dollars to buy what I want, and still wouldn't be equiped as I'll need. Use a chain saw, cut that one up, haul to the dump (what I did with my first "project), and buy a better built one. Good luck
     
  6. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    Ooohhh That is nasty. I wouldn't take on a project that big.

    I agree with PAR. Stick with the original scantllings.

    I disagree. It was not poor design. It was just plain neglect. You said it sat with water in it for eight years! You could have the best design and that would still kill it.

    I agree you need to do it right but don't get carried away with "improvements" Just do a good job and it will be all right.

    But again, I would have spent a little more for a boat that needed less work.
     
  7. H2OHOII
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    H2OHOII Junior Member

    So let me get this right.... Scrap it..... thats the general consensus.... ???

    LMAO - yes I'm being sarcastic ! Yes, I do see all of your points as to why, and they all do make perfect sense. This is why I posted this in the first place.. for feed back from people who know the business so to speak. I do appreciate of of the input given !

    One thing I did not mention about the boat was that some friends and I bought this about 10 years ago for 800 bucks. Long story short.... I bought a new 22' cuddy and gave them the boat and they damaged the transom and let it sit outside for the last 8 years.... I just figured I may be able to get her fishing worthy again and put her back to use. Plus, it was a challenge for me to rebuild something I have never done before.

    I actually do have another " project boat " in mind its a 27' Fishing boat. My cousins dad hasnt used it in years, and it has been sitting. As I understand, the Hull is good, but needs alot of fixing up, he basically gave it to my cousin. So we'll see what happens. I stil may get to put to use alot of information I have read in other posts on this forum ! And I assure you ... I will be askin questions !

    thanks again for all of your input ! I hope you all have a great New Year !!

    Chris
     
  8. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    The first photo showing the bottom seems to show a lot of concavity, but maybe it's an optical illusion.
     
  9. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    One thing about it is it's age, they don't make 1959 boats anymore. Looking here
    http://www.fiberglassics.com/library/Dorsett
    doesn't show any shape that's too exciting though, and you want to change the looks anyway, so I wouldn't bother with the thing.

    As hideous as this one is, it has value because of it's looks...
    [​IMG]
     
  10. irv
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    irv Junior Member

    Did a bit of cost estimating this morning for my own job on my 24. With that being just a 15', and you have the tools allready, id say less than $1,000 for the job including sanding disc's etc.. Add tools, more. Boats are like women, you can get very attached to them. I hate when they look like you want them to look after your all done, but you havent even started yet. Been there. Cars same. Good luck
     
  11. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Just to give you an idea.....my 25.5" 1973 Silverton gets finished over the next few months. I saved all the receipts. Fully restored with first rate materials and my labor (more hours than I cared to track - thousands) over about 4 years in my spare time.

    Total cost for the restore about $30,000.00 and I'm using the original engine, trans and v-drive. This price tag doesn't include yard charges. I realize that there is a lot of lumber in my build but keep in mind that my hull is fiberglass. That 30K is for the decks and cabin, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, thruhulls, PSS, seacocks, etc.....etc.....

    Just know what you are getting into and the costs involved. New boats are expensive and nice old boats are too.
     

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  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Boy you've sure come a long way with that seemingly monolithic monstrosity you started with MIA. Remember how much resin it took to wet out and fill up that mat backed biax? She's looking pretty good now though, way to go big guy, now maybe you'll splash her this summer.
     
  13. H2OHOII
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    H2OHOII Junior Member

    SamSam - yeah i believe right about midship where the front V turns into more of a flat V, it starts to take a bit of a concave look. the keel line is more round than a V shape from front to back.

    pick from the other side. I dont have a clean Hull shot yet.
     

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  14. H2OHOII
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    H2OHOII Junior Member

    MIA - very Nice Sir !!! great job. and yes, I know all about the boat and car thing... I have owned 2 boats over a 7 year period. and my last boat went thru 2 motors and drive repair...

    like they say 2 best days of a boaters life.....
    and - BOAT - Break Out Another Thousand :D:p
     

  15. irv
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    irv Junior Member

    Very nice job. Very nice. Yep, understand completely about cost. Fished part time for Salmon with this old girl before the fishery crashed in the 90's. For just the power, I have a new Kodiac marine 302 fresh water cooled. Mating that to a Borg warner 1X1 trans and a Konrad outdrive. Through hull exhaust and water pickup, cost for outdrive, I have figured $16,000 for that. I installed new stringers and transom 15 years ago, never has seen water, but due to that I'm doing, cutting up deck, replacing the transom for the new drive, replace as necessary, estimated cost high end $3,500, including sanding discs etc. New trailer, $5,000. Refit with soft top, 12 volt freezer, 12 volt fridge, build fishing storage dresser, other mods. $4,000. Electronics, $6,000 dollars, New fuel and fresh water tanks, (luckey I can build) $1,500 dollars. Kicker motors, $6,000 dollars. Stuff I'll do and have not thought about, $3,000 dollars. So even before I start budget is $45,000,00. My challenge is not to spend that much, we'll see. Going to spend 3 or 4 months a year fishing in mexico when I retire in 2 years, Figure worked and saved all my life, may as well do one thing for me. Looked at a thousand boats and regardless of price, I said to my self, I'll still gut it and set it up the way I want, so why buy pretty stuff headed for the dump. I'll post pictures as I move along with this the next 3 years (my time frame). Craig
     
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