Remove wood from Fiberglass

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by cstickman, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. cstickman
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    cstickman New Member

    Hello all!! We are new to the forum my gf and I. We purchased a boat that we wanted to restore and make it our own. We purchased a 1988 Bayliner 2455 Ciera Sunbridge. The person we bought it from really did a number on it and pretty much stripped everything out of it. Which we are okay with, this way we can make it our own and have a clean slate to start from. We did have a surveyor come out and look at it and he stated the hull and fiberglass are in great shape. We have taken a picture of the cabin below since this will need most of the work. The problem is that when he had it he never covered it up and he removed the windows. So when we had it delivered to us it was full of water. Well the wood now has been rotting and will all need to be replaced. Our first few questions are is how do we remove the wood from the fiberglass, what wood should we use to replace it with, and how should we treat the wood and then re-mount it back into the hull? We are beginners, but are very motivated and eager to start working on our new project. We have a deadline of next Memorial day to have her back in the water and enjoying her. So any advice would be greatly appreciated on getting the cabin repaired. Thanks
     

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  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Removing wood from fiberglass requires a few methods depending on the particular job at hand.
    Generally, you can use a sawzall with a long blade, which you bend into the hull's curve and cut very close to the limit of the wood. Then a 4 1/4" offset grinder w/36-50 grit to grind flush the ridges left behind from the saw.
    For now, try that. Later, when you bond in new wood, you'll need in-depth info. Take some close-up pictures too to get detailed help.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It might be easier to take it through "stages", such as bulkhead replacement, transom replacement, etc. Each task will require slightly different approaches and techniques. You may use the same tools, just differently or completely different methods to do the same jobs.

    Generally, as as Alan has mentioned, you need to cut or grind out the wood. Often it's easier to remove the offending piece, 'glass and all, then strip it on a work bench, instead of inside the 120 degree hull shell, lying on your back in a pile of 'glass dust and wood chips.

    Use the search tools and look for specific tasks, like new floors, etc. and learn about the techniques.
     
  4. rwatson
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Of course, you dont have to replace the wood unless its an aesthetic thing. You could do foam with a top layer of fibreglass I supppose
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Depending on laminate thickness and application, yes some areas could be foam cored.
     
  6. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    one word, termites
     
  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Uh - no. Not even if it were laid on a forest floor for 6 months. They dont build through fibreglass, and they have to have a nest nearby with the facility to tunnel.

    Wood looks lovely, but it is quite problematic in boats.
     
  8. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    We've been down this road before and I do not wish to offend anyone here but if one can kick a piece and loosen it (hit it with a hammer, etc.) often it can be unzipped with much less muss, itch, and leftover sharp edges to grind. Big, American made vice-grips (not Chinese crap) are a satisfying tool, as is a wrecking bar. Sawsalls do have their place and you will need one but look at the structure first, think about how it went together and reverse the order. Just because the wood you have got wet, does not mean it rotted (there is no such thing as "dry rot", only rot that is dried). You definately are not building pianos here but when you put it back together, try to keep the weight/balance similar to original (no mean feat on a Bayliner - they are built light). have fun.
     
  9. cstickman
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    cstickman New Member

    Thanks

    Okay thanks for all of the advice. Someone told us that we could use a heat gun, putty knife, and a utility blade to remove the old wood. We are replacing the wood cuz it is all rotted out. We can sit there and just peel it apart that is how bad the wood is damaged. We were going to do it in sections start with the side benches and then move forward. That is how it looks like it was put together and the middle seems to keep it all locked together. When we go back this week to work on it some more we will take better pictures so you can see what we are talking about. Thanks
     
  10. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Again, use the sawzall and get as close as you can to the hull by curving the blade. This makes for itchy skin just like grinding so get a tyvek suit and respirator. Forget heat. Your boat shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to clear everything away, and no more than a couple more to grind tabbing ridges down to flush.
    It ain't rocket science, just do what makes sense. The fun part will be building back the interior with a new layout. Then you can level the boat and use a plumb bob and level to make new parts and pieces and bond them in.
    The gutting is a drag, but thankfully, it doesn't take too long to accomplish.
     
  11. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Herman Senior Member

    Whatever you use to get rid of the wood, please make templates from cardboard first. This saves you from a lot of measuring once you want to get new stuff in...
     
  12. 2stu2
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    2stu2 Stu

    I've got termites cleaning out my seafarer at the moment, they don't work fast but are very thorough.
     
  13. 2stu2
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    2stu2 Stu

    I forgot to mention that the nest is in the boat and hence contained safely. Basically they need moisture, reasonably stable temeratures and somthing to eat. They've done the transome and floor but not the tank shelf at the back.
     

  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If they wood is all rotted that probably includes the stringers and transom. They are what give the hull structural integrity and keep the original shape. If you just take wood out and replace it to what the shape of the boat is now, it may run badly. You need to brace the hull to its previous shape before installing and laminating the new wood. Most of the furniture and cabinets are structural.
     
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