Refinish Wood/Fiberglass hull to wood only

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by AAnderson, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. AAnderson
    Joined: Oct 2019
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Los Angeles, CA

    AAnderson New Member

    Hello All,

    I have a 1959 home built wood flat bottom with fiberglass over the outer hull. The fiberglass is in pretty bad shape and needs some extensive repairs. And with that amount of work I'm thinking if I get rid of the fiberglass completely and go to all wood it would be a bit more work but possibly a better finished product. It has a V-drive and was originally set up with a big block oldsmobile, which I am swapping for a small block Chevy with a velvet drive.

    Help and opinions appreciated.
     
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 1,149
    Likes: 304, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Can you perhaps post a photo or two of your boat please?
    How thick is the layer of fibreglass - does it contribute to the strength of the hull or is it just for abrasion resistance?
    If the fibreglass is structural, are you going to replace the fibreglass with (for example) a layer of wood instead?
     
  3. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    Chances are that if the fiberglass is in bad shape the wood underneath is even worst. Meaning the fiberglass could be all that's preventing it from falling apart.
    Restoring it to wood only is certainly possible, it involves replacing any and all rotten wood.
    What is the boats initial construction method (the wood part)?
     
    bajansailor likes this.
  4. AAnderson
    Joined: Oct 2019
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Los Angeles, CA

    AAnderson New Member

    The fiberglass is about 1/16” thick, so doesn’t appear very structural to me. Some of the wood will more then likely already need to be replaced once the glass is stripped down. From the many holes in the glass it looks like it’ll have several dry rot areas that’ll need attention.

    If I go the wood route I would like to remove all the glass and add a layer of wood on top of the existing. Not sure what methods, thickness, or wood type are best. I have read that epoxy is the way to go? More going for looks and style then speed and lightweight.

    Added a couple of pictures, i’ll Try and get some better ones in the next day or so.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. AAnderson
    Joined: Oct 2019
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Los Angeles, CA

    AAnderson New Member

    I have no clue what the construction methods where for the original.
     

  6. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 719
    Likes: 269, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    The pictures are clear enough. Ply (Douglas fir by the look of it) on stringers, probably screwed or nailed and fiberglassed (probably polyester resin). The sides look reasonable, the bottom looks shot.
    I would replace the whole bottom with new plywood. Keel looks like it needs replacement too, and probably at least some portion of the stringers. It's up to you if you glass again or not, but at least fiberglass tape with epoxy over the joints.
    Then it's sanding and varnishing or painting the interior.
    It's not complicated or difficult to do, it's just time consuming and not really cheap. You should download the Gougeon book on boatbuilding and read it. Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction book - WEST SYSTEM Epoxy https://www.westsystem.com/the-gougeon-brothers-on-boat-construction/
     
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