Removing Fiberglass (new to forum)

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Flipsdream, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The strips have to be cut down in different lengths. The cut will look like stairs zigzagging. Otherwise it will not be too strong a joint.
     
  2. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Like the article from Gartside boats says, wooden boat planking has to be carefully protected to last, and all 'joins' or holes in the hull (in this case, lots of rivet holes) run the risk of making entry points for damaging moisture. He omitted to make it clear that this applies equally to Carvel planks as to 'Strip Planks' like yours.

    Its obvious that this hull has suffered badly from water entry, but my gut feeling based on the photos makes me think that the hull may be worth saving.

    The first thing you will need to do is totally strip the outside of the hull totally, including the rubbing strake up the side.

    Then, all the rotten bits need to be replaced, even those fiddly bits joining the transom.

    The quickest and easiest way I can envisage to repair the rotten planks approaching the transom, is to

    1) Clean the inside thoroughly near the stern, stripping all paint and dirt from the third last rib, right up to the transom.

    2) Make at least 2 moulds for the inside of the hull. One should fit the shape right before the transom (mould 0), the other just in front of the second last rib, ( mould 1), joined by a strongback frame, and turn the boat upside down on the moulds, high enough to work under as well as over.

    The hull should be screwed tight against mould 1, and you can screw into mould zero anywhere you can find solid timber.

    You haven't shown us a photo of the ribs inside, but I imagine from the rivets they would be steamed timbers about 3 inches wide, and say 3/8" thick.

    You may have to remove the final rib nearest the transom if it is also rotten. If you go through any timbers at this stage, it wont matter so much, as the boat will be securely held in shape. The transom should now be able to be removed totally.

    As Gonzo said, the ideal technique for replacing the short rotten pieces at the stern, is to cut them at staggered lengths, so they form a 'zipper' effect. The problem is, how to support and hold them in the right location as you repair them. It is probably going to be easiest to replace them in a staggered fashion. I would try to cut out, and replace every fourth plank first, and glue (with epoxy) to the good timber on either side about two foot back from the rotten part, past rib 0, and screw the other end to the mould 0 at the transom, and leave it sticking out past the transom location.

    Once the epoxy has dried for the first replacement, go around again in a staggered manner, and replace other 'ends'. Let the epoxy cure again, and repeat the process until all strips are done. As you butt up against the new good strips, obviously glue them together. Luckily the stern run has zero curve to worry about.

    This will give you a properly shaped, solid '***', that you can construct a new transom to fit in, and epoxy into the stern. At that stage, you can replace the rib closest to the stern (if required), or simply re-rivet the new sections to the old rib .
    You can then identify any other rotten planks elsewhere in the hull, ( cut out and epoxy in new strips )

    I personally would then epoxy some glass fiber (probably quite a heavy weight ~ 600 gsm) over the whole outside of the hull. The heavy glass will be needed to resist the planks swelling, and the rivet holes. Some people might not approve of this - but I think the age and general condition of the hull makes this a good idea. If you decide to do this, remove the false keel. If the keel extends through the hull (and isn't a sacrificial strip) plane it down flush with the planks before fiberglassing. After glassing, you can build another laminated false keel

    Then you can paint the hull and flip it right side up for final interior fitting.

    I wouldn't be inclined to glass and epoxy on the inside - too many ribs, and rivets! A good paint job would be best. Make sure it is maintained, because if lots of moisture gets into the timbers, rot and or swelling will occur.

    The end result will be a virtual 'cold moulded' hull, with fibreglass as the outer layer, and wood as the inner layer. If you did a good job preparing the outer hull, the epoxy will be firmly adhered to the planks.

    The other option is to buy some plans for a nice new stitch and glue dinghy .....
     
  3. Flipsdream
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    Flipsdream Junior Member

    Thanks very much for the excellent information.

    I've posted a good many new pictures in response to your post and also due to the questions that have arisen as we've progressed working on the boat.

    As you will see from the photos, the damage at the stern and transom are (imho) extensive. I am concerned that if one had to replace every strip that attached to the transom, it would impair the structural integrity. In other words, it would seem to me that at least half of the strips should run the entire length of the boat?

    We don't care if we have to replace every piece of wood on the boat (hoping that doesn't happen). But the longer we have her, the more we love her and intend to restore her.

    We don't understand why screws were used in her construction. They are difficult to remove and when they break off in the wood, it makes us think we'll have to drill out the broken screw, then glue in a plug to provide for a new area to hold a new screw.

    We don't understand why the strip that formed the bow ran only a partial length of the boat, instead of from bow to stern. We are also curious about the reinforcing strip inside the bottom of the bow that held the bow strip and the beginning of the keel on. Is this standard?

    We do not intend to put any fiberglass on this restoration, just good oil based paint as it appears that was the original finish on the boat.

    We really appreciate the help given here and are deeply grateful for it. Please continue to help us,

    mikensherry
     
  4. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Thanks for the posting. it was very interesting to see your work progressing.

    The shot I really wanted to see was the inside of the transom, but there isn't one.

    Screws were used because she is lightweight construction, and it is easier to pull two pieces of light wood together, than bang something heavy through something light - with more risk of splitting the timber.

    Often, copper roves were used in hulls like this, where someone held a heavy weight under the hull, while someone else hammered the roves through. eg
    http://agboat.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-boat.html

    If this had happened, your rusty screw saga would be minimised.

    The strip along the side was for bump protection, as well as water protection. The bow rarely touches a jetty when moored, so they saved the weight. It wouldn't hurt to extend it, and if you tapered it, it would look fine.

    Re your worry about the short timbers to the stern being a structural problem - Yes, it could be a problem, and why I suggested epoxy and 'glass over the outside. I think this boat is really too far gone for a full restoration, and it will need lots of epoxy fillers and the like. Otherwise, it would be easier to start again and build it from scratch. You can make it seaworthy and safe, and still look like the original, with a fibreglass outer skin, or you can replace the majority of the longer planks.

    Another option is to remove some ribs near the stern, and do some cold moulding of plywood inside the last, say 2 metres of the hull.

    The re-inforcing strip holding the bow to the stern ( the knee ) is very traditional, and a great location to check for rot since it can hold all sorts of rubbish beside it where the hull narrows.

    Its easy to fall in love with an old wooden wreck, but unless you have lots of spare time and a good workshop, ( not to mention a good source of timber ), I suggest you learn about the modern materials that will make the restoration job barely worthwhile, instead of years of anguish.

    If you want to own a solid, well built strip or carvel hull ( with an even nicer shape) , you can build one sometime in the future. For now, you have your work cut out to keep this off the woodpile.

    I am presuming you didn't have to spend much to buy her.
     
  5. Flipsdream
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    Flipsdream Junior Member

    Thanks very much Mr. Watson. I'll start at the end and work my way up:

    "Much" is a relative term to the user. They were asking 1,000.00, I paid 500.00. The trip to pick her up was at least that much or more.

    As I've said, I hope we don't have to but if we end up replacing every stick of wood in her we'll live with it. The thing I like about this project is most of the measuring, angles etc. are already figured out for me. I just take off the offending piece and make another.

    I know I'm naive but I think we have adequate sourcing for materials here. We do live on the coast and fishing is basically the only industry we have beside oil and government.

    I also "think" my shop is adequately provisioned and of course as long as we're still in the game...what we don't have today we can get tomorrow.

    I do have to remove some (at least one) of the stern ribs and intend to use that as a model for your previously suggested support to hold her up while under going repair. I've noticed several other likely candidates for replacement as well.

    I'm guessing for the integrity issue, we will replace some full length strips with the likely candidates being those already damaged in places other than the stern.

    I am also hoping to make the strip from the bow to the end of the keel at the stern a single piece of material.

    I have seen videos of people hammering the copper nails I think you are talking about and using the metal block inside to bend them over. Hopefully I mentioned there are some small copper nails in this boat, but none strong enough to withstand being removed. I am amazed at the amount of rot in the screws themselves. Does that give any indication to her age?

    Can you tell from her appearance if she is of commercial manufacture or something someone built in their own shop? I've seen Penn Yans with remarkable resemblance.

    Also, I found the blocking for a fourth seat in the bow. The seat is missing.

    After I remove the rear seat, I will post additional pictures of the transom. And I will remove the reinforcing strip in the bow to check for additional damage and sends pics of that as well.

    Finally, I haven't mentioned it until now and it may go without saying but I found that the wooden strips are molded like tongue and groove.

    Thank you so much for your kindness and sharing with us,


    mikensherry
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I took a look at your pictures a week ago and again today and the thing I see, that is of a bigger concern then your planking issues are the hull distortions. These are seen most commonly are the hardest turn of the bilge aft.

    My experience tells me these are cracked and/or broken frames, which would be typical of this type of build. I see a slight hog forward and a hook aft, plus less then continuous curves in the bilge turns. This, plus the obvious stem and transom frame issues, not to mention possible keel issues all lead me to suggest you not worry so much about the planking and start accessing the structure.

    The structure has to be sound or the planking repairs or replacements will just rip right out in a few years of use, not to mention you'll also be incorporating these hull distortions into the finished product (never a good idea).

    I see a lower stem replacement necessary, likely with forward and aft end of the keel repairs. Very probably a new transom frame with most if not all of the aft frames needing replacement or scarfed repairs (sisters aren't easy on this build method), though intermediates could be used, but they'll add some weight.

    Without a much better look at the inside of this boat, it's difficult to tell more, but the planking repairs and replacements are the last thing you'll address, not the first.

    This boat has all the major problems you could expect to see and frankly not something I'd recommend a novice undertake. It needs everything, most of the planking is shot, all the fasteners need to be removed and their holes restored, new rubs, new splash rails, new inwales, many new frames, a new stem, a new transom, a new transom frame, keel repairs if not replacement, etc. all these repairs or replacements and this assumes it's an open boat, which the few interior photos suggest it's not.

    Having taken on a fair share of projects like this, I can assure you it would actually be faster and cheaper to build a new boat, just like this one, then rip apart, repair and reassemble this old gal.
     
  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I hope you mean " THAN rip apart, repair and reassemble this old gal." ;)

    We wouldn't want to double the already big build job.
     
  8. Flipsdream
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    Flipsdream Junior Member

    Thank you so much for your guidance Mr. Par.

    By "frames" do you mean ribs? If so, then yes there are many cracked, split and broken ribs. We'll replace all of them that need it.

    I am anxious to understand the keel and it's attachment. At this point I do not believe the keel is built through the bottom of the boat, but instead somehow attached externally. We'll discover that as we go along. I do know that the bow strip and keep were two separate pieces as I have remove the bow strip, which was really deteriorated right along the line of the attaching screws, in fact it just split in half with a minimal amount of pressure. Which leads me to wonder: were the keel and bow strip one piece at some time and later separated for a section repair?

    I will post complete transom pictures when I'm able to remove the rear seat.

    Thanks,

    mikensherry
     
  9. Flipsdream
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    Flipsdream Junior Member

    Mr. Watson. I have located Western Red Cedar available locally. Do you believe the entire boat was built of that or are different members made of different species?

    I posted a cross section of a gunwale in hopes that you would render an opinion on it's specie.

    Thank you,

    mikensherry
     
  10. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Hi FD.

    Yes, frames does = ribs. Interchangeable terms.

    I could not locate the 'cross section of the gunwale' though I looked through the new photos. In any case, photos are not a reliable way to check the species.

    Often, they will use mixed species of timber for special jobs - eg the 'keel' may have been made from a harder timber than sides.

    I would also expect that the keel is externally attached to the 'backbone', and that it should be removed to check for rot etc. and check for flatness.

    You can tell if the hull is warped in any way, measure from the top of the bow to each corner of the transom. The length should be within say, 1/4 - 3/4" of each other.

    Taking off the rubbing strip on the side will probably reduce a lot of strength on the overall hull.

    If the boat is warped, you may need to build a substantial support cradle while you replace the ribs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The bow strip you mention is the outer portion of the stem assembly. This assembly is often two or more pieces to accommodate the curves involved, unless you happen to have a tree farm with complimentary shapes growing in it.

    The stem assembly is tied to the keel with a "gripe" piece (typically), which is a sort of knee that marries the stem assembly to the keel.

    The keel also is an assembly of smaller pieces, again because trees don't cooperate nearly well enough to supply full length or shaped stock, in spite of the steam box. Yours appears to have an inner and out keel batten.

    Ribs and frames are interchangeable terms. You really shouldn't be removing pieces arbitrarily Mike. Each shares loads with neighboring structural elements and removing pieces isolates the neighbors, increasing the loads they must endure (yes, a boat sitting static on a cradle, still has many loads in it). So currently the inner stem is standing alone against the pressure of the planking fasteners, without it's brother in place. Even rotted badly, it was still offering resistance. This is especially important if you expect to restore the hull shape to it's old self.

    When replacing ribs, you need to restore the hull shape, so the new rib will conform and hold this shape. Bending in new ribs over places where previous broken and cracked ribs once lived, will just lock the plainly obvious hull distortions in place. As a rule this make the boat un-fair to say the least and usually makes it preform like crap. The hog forward and hook aft will kill the abilities of this boat and also may make handling ill as well.

    Yes, I did mean THEN, so you read it correctly.

    Mike, I can understand your desire to redo this boat, but if you use a hodge podge approach, you'll have a structurally unsound, poor preforming craft. After all the work it will take to get her back in shape, in might be worth it if she showed some signs of her former glory days rather then exhibit all manors of ill behavior.
     
  12. Flipsdream
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    Flipsdream Junior Member

    Thank you Mr. Watson. The picture that I "think" depicts a gunwale cross section is DSC-918.

    And, yes with each member removal, she loosens up. I think we've determined at this point to replace all the ribs.

    The strips forming the center of the bottom are significantly wider than those making up the sides. And, they seem to be the most sound members in the boat (other than a well worn keel).

    I have contacted a sawmill on the Kenai and he says if "Alaska Cedar" grows there he is unaware of it and he's been there all his life. The species is actually a cypress, I'll contact the USFS tomorrow and see what we come up with.

    Thanks again,

    mikensherry
     
  13. Flipsdream
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    Flipsdream Junior Member

    Thank you Mr. Par. Well said and duly noted. Now that Mr. Watson has given me a tool to determine the straightness of the boat, i'll slow down and take those measurements.

    The pieces I've removed at the juncture are the outter keel/bow batten? And most of the gunwales.

    I was trying to get to the stern/transom to take pictures for you review and I would have to remove the back seat assembly to do that.

    I'll focus on constructing some kind of plywood/mdf inner frames to put in her before removing anymore components.

    Kind regards,

    mikensherry
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Checking the hull with a tape measure, to see if the transom has twisted will not show hogs, hooks or other hull deformations. In the limited views I've seen of your hull, I can see all of these things.
     

  15. Flipsdream
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    Flipsdream Junior Member

    Thank you Mr. Par and Mr Watson.

    I did take the measurement suggested by Mr. Watson and found there to be a 1/2 inch discrepancy between the two transom corners.

    I took pieces of wood I had removed from her into a local specialty wood supplier and unfortunately the fellow I spoke with was of no help determining the species. Although, he did say it was "soft" wood and from the coloration of some of it, he guessed Western Red Cedar.

    I also spoke with a sawyer in Hoonah Alaska today that told me he was currently harvesting Alaska or Yellow Cedar and that he could have me some clear cants ready in about 30 days.

    We looked at a couple of small specimens at the local supplier and we think we'd probably like to rebuild the entire boat sans keel, rub strake and any other members requiring different species with the Alaska Cedar. From what we've read it's boat building properties are very good.

    So, now where do we start?

    Mr. Par, I apologize for my ignorance, but the only hogs I know end up on the table, and we use hooks to catch big salmon. Would you kindly consider telling me what these are, how I can come to know and correct them?

    Best,

    mikensherry
     
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