Restoring my wounded Hobie Tiger

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by skier51423, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. skier51423
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    Location: Tahoe City

    skier51423 Junior Member

    My 2004 Hobie Tiger was picked up and dragged around during a windstorm here in Lake Tahoe. As a result, I need to do some work! I'm fortunate enough to have some local friends with a good deal of fiberglass experience, but thought I would seek out the friendly help of you guys to get some extra ideas, and to keep you up to date with my progress. Fiberglass work has always intimidated me in the past, and this is the first time I've dived into it. The repairs estimate I got from our local fiberglass repair service totaled more than what I paid for the boat, so that is serving as good motivation to do it myself. I'd like to do the best job I'm able to do and get my dream boat sailing again!


    http://mattbansak.com/boat/11.jpg


    I'll start with the first problem area, a 6" crack in the starboard hull. I'll call it Crack1.

    [​IMG]

    With a rotary sander, I have sanded out the cracked fiberglass, and sanded beyond the outer perimeter of the damage a few extra inches to create a bonding layer. The core material in the damaged area is fairly decomposed. I plan on wetting this area with unthickened epoxy and then filling with 405 West Systems microfiber filler. Once dried, I plan to cover the entire area with 24oz fiberglass using West Systems epoxy resin, and layer the glass up. Below is my progress so far, ready for the fill and glass:

    [​IMG]

    The next problem area, which I'll call Gouge1, could have probably just taken filler, but it was a bit deep, and the crack made me want to investigate. I wound up sanding more than I should have and making the problem worse. So now I need to fix it. It seems that there is core material missing, exposing the inside glass layer. I will somehow need to rebuild the core and reglass. I'm hoping some of you might have a good idea of how to approach this one.

    Pre-sanding:
    [​IMG]

    Post-sanding:
    [​IMG]

    The other damages are less intimidating and seem fairly basic, but will post if I have questions!
     
  2. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Usually an epoxy with filler will substitute the core. Say a lightweight filler or microballons. I've used this Ok wit quite a few boats, Sometimes you need a light timber core WR Cedar or ply but you have quite a curve. I've done someusing WR cedar pieces glued together around the curve, and they have worked OK.

    I'd actually take any crack down to the 'core' which is sometimes to the inner glass layer. In my experience sometimes the crack is worse on the inside of an outer crack... So if much worse you have to work out what is the inner glass layer condition. If pretty good with light tear you can usually reglass from the outside with confidence. If really torn you need to get some glass inside so be prepared to pull it into place with a piece of polythene sheet and string. So depending on the inner glass layer condition either glass fom the outside or inside (after some abrasion) then rebuild core and re glass outer. After you re gel coat and like new. One other consideration is sometimes with a polyester build you can use polyester , but on anything else use epoxy - except gelcoat.
     
  3. skier51423
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    skier51423 Junior Member

    Thank you for the guidance! I think the upper portion of the core is less stable, it feels that the inner glass layer has been fractured and is not supportive. The lower half of the core feels more solid. Do you think I'll be okay just adding the filler and glass on top, given the majority of it is supported?
     
  4. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    I would take the existing core, where cracked right back to the inner glass. Then you can see how good or bad it is. If a light tear, and if it will almost stitch back together you can put a new layer of glass (or two) on this to bind it. The rebuild the core and glass the outer layer. If the inner is really broken and splitered, you need to put a layer inside so cut out enough to abrade the inside and use a sheet of polythene on a string to pull a new glass layer into position. Then after feeding the glass (with string through it) into the hole pull into place and clamp it there til the resin sets. You can usually find some temporary item to act as something you can tie the string to with light pressure, ie clamp a batten, even a nearby trolley handle. You don't ned much pressure just enoughto get the sheet to take on the iner hull curvature

    Best done with another bit of string (cheap garden polyprop stuff is good) through a corner (of the sheet) and fed through the nearest hatch, so once set the sheet can be removed. Food container lids are usualy quite suitable if PE or PP as they naturally do not stick to epoxy or polyester.
     
  5. skier51423
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    skier51423 Junior Member

    Would the boat survive and still be strong enough without repairing the inner fiberglass layer, and just saturating the core with resin and applying filler and then laying new glass for the outer layer? Or would you strongly recommend removing all of the damaged core and repairing that inner glass layer first? I don't want to avoid critical steps, but also am intimidated to increase the damage beyond my ability level to repair.
     
  6. Canracer
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Canracer Senior Member

    I don't think that it requires extra ability to repair the inner skin, it just take some extra steps. The strength of the panel comes from both the inner and outer layer of glass being in good condition and being well bonded to a good core.
     
  7. skier51423
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    skier51423 Junior Member

    Thanks guys! I peeled away the broken core material, added new glass, then used 403 filler to fill to just above the outer glass, and will sand it flat tomorrow to prep for fiberglass.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I also repaired another minor crack on the starboard hull using 3 sheets of 6oz.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. skier51423
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    skier51423 Junior Member

    Here's an update on Gouge1, I've added 403 filler and sanded it down, but discovered some voids (pictured). I then filled these up and will sand again tomorrow to prep for glass.

    For the nonskid, would it be possible to just grab some beach sand and mix it with the gelcoat? Or other recommendations?

    [​IMG]

    Here is a repair to a ding in the side of the transom, also done with 403
    [​IMG]
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    West 403 isn't best suited as a "surfacer", but as an adhesive. You can do the bulk of the filling with 403, but leave it slightly shallow of flush, so you can come back at top it off with West 410, which will sand to a feather edge easily.

    Sand in gelcoat or resin will do, but it's a lousy texture. It works, but tends to pop out with abrasion, is really rough and makes future repairs a real pain in the butt. The texture you have was cast into the mold and isn't easily repaired. You might have some luck finding a rubber or plastic mat, with a similar texture on it and you can cast some more, when you gelcoat it. If you don't want to try this, just use a roller through freshly applied gelcoat and it'll leave a random texture.
     
  10. skier51423
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    skier51423 Junior Member

    Thanks for the tips PAR! Going off your roller idea, do you think I could press some rough 40 grit sandpaper into the gelcoat while it's still tacky to rough it up? I've never worked with gelcoat so I'm not sure what to expect.
     
  11. skier51423
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    skier51423 Junior Member

    My friend mentioned maybe getting some grip tape from a local skate shop and gelcoating over that?
     
  12. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I've had good luck with Interlux Intergrip on my decks and on a swim platform that I just finished up yesterday.

    A small 1/2 pint can will give you way more than you'll need and you can give the rest away to some boat club buddy after you've finished your boat. Cost for the little can is about $11.00.

    If you go this route use the broadcast method with a pepper shaker to sprinkle the Intergrip onto wet paint or gelcoat. I found it difficult to get an even distribution of the nonskid when I mixed it into the paint and tried to roll it on.

    With this stuff, less is more. You don't need a lot to get the texture and too much will defeat the purpose of the non-skid. Practice on a piece of scrap with some old house paint and you'll get the idea.

    Good Luck,

    MIA
     
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Ditto what MIA has suggested. Casting sandpaper will prove very difficult. Over coating textured tape will also have issues. The easiest and most effective ways are usually technique related.
     
  14. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    One trick for replicating texture is to use Blutack. Spread a sheet over the texture you want such as an adjacent panel, then gently peel back and gently roll it onto the fresh new gelcoat whilst still wet. Be careful to let air escape. This certainly works well for small repairs. Yours may be a little to big for this to work.
     

  15. skier51423
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    skier51423 Junior Member

    Thanks guys, that is awesome advice on the non-skid!

    Here is the repair on Gouge1 pre-nonskid
    [​IMG]

    Crack1 turned out quite nicely!
    [​IMG]

    Pre-sanding on Crack2 and another damaged area of non-skid
    [​IMG]
     
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