soaked gunnels

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by valvebounce, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. valvebounce
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    valvebounce Senior Member

    I have a 10ft fibreglass dinghy with a 5ft beam.
    I drilled holes in the gunnel to fit safety rails,and the timber inside the gunnels
    is saturated with water.The boat has quite a robust keel,which I suspect is also saturated.
    The boat is a lot heavier than it looks,and I suspect that the water saturation is
    the cause.
    The fibreglass on the gunnel is damaged at the transom end,but I can't see the point in repairing it without drying out the gunnels.
    Has anybody had the same problem?
    The keel is sound on the exterior,I have just painted it.
    I was thinking of drilling holes from top to bottom in the gunnels to allow it to drain,and then fibreglassing them over,and drilling straight through the keel to do the same.
    The sheet had blown off,and the boat had a few inches of water in it for a few days.There is a channel above the keel inside the boat.
    The boat is on a road trailer.
    Any idea's?
     
  2. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Did a repair to an Optimist of Danish build, mixed polymer build with timber gunwhales last year. Only one option, ripped off saturated timber and replaced with new. Mind you it was pretty straight forward as the gunwhale was at least 2 faces external. Even this baby took around 20 F clamps a side.....
    Done a lot of replacing of cores on stuff, like GP14s' side bench cores, parts of keel, c/board supports etc etc. Enterprises too, like the whole internal hog, Larks aft board case knees etc etc.
    Usually best to replace the whole core, a rotten one tends to come out reasonably easily. Epoxy coat any replacement prior to glassing/bedding in so it has a better chance of resisting taking up water. Also when drilling through, oversize, epoxy with filler and redrill.

    Any half decent dry pine that is knot free, would do in your case, without being too heavy. You might put something beter in the keel but probably not worth it.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yeah, I wouldn't bother trying to dry out the rails, just pick up some really pretty 16' 2x12's and rip out what you need. I say 2x12's simply because these will have to come from older trees, which will have tighter growth rings and you can find blemish free stock in this size. Rip to size, scarf to length, shape as needed and use a heat gun to "talk" them into place around the rail.
     
  4. valvebounce
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    valvebounce Senior Member

    I might have a dabble at replacing them then,and drill the keel and hope it drains.
    I have a 14ft launch/speedboat from the 60's,I replaced the gunnels with Mahogany.I put them over workbenches and attached a bucket of water to the end,then adjusted the height of the end workbench to give me the right curve,and kept them wet (when it didn't rain Haha)
    It took about 3 weeks,but I got the curves and they fitted perfectly.Like you said,those "F"clamps were very handy.
    I've sheeted it up until I have time,I didn't get on the water in my own boat last year,so I've been messing about with the Skipper and the Dinghy.
     
  5. valvebounce
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    valvebounce Senior Member

    Sounds like replacing them is the best option.
    If I went in a timber merchants here in the UK and asked for the type of timber you are suggesting they would look at me Like I had "Gone out"
    You Americans don't know how lucky you are.
    Special orders here have a very special price,that's why we call it "Rip off Britain"
     
  6. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Not quite true VB, in terms of timber. What has happened is over the last 15-20 years there are far fewer merchants and few specialist ones. Because the trade now has very large merchants, they simply deal with large volumes of stuff, the marine and aircraft sectors are very small.

    To give you some idea, I used to get Sitka Spruce over in Purfleet, I now have to go the other side of Devon and I'm based near Guildford. So that is a 400 mile round trip, far enough for you?

    However you can quite happily use WR Cedar which will be available but will need reinforcing around any through holes or decent pine. I've found the largish merchants say 10 acre+ site who let you pick out stuff will be reasonably happy to let you buy a plank or two which you can pick. Places that supply quality joiners usually have some fair stuff. Just don't ask them to cut a plank in two and if it's 5 meters and you want 2, they'll regard it as an insult if you don't take the 5....

    I don't know about merchants up North but believe there is a good one near Leeds. There were one or two dirct timber guys in Liverpool docks only a few years ago too.
     
  7. valvebounce
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    valvebounce Senior Member

    To tell you the truth SS,the boat is just to potter about in with the 6hp evinrude on it.A bit of Mackerel bashing etc.I think like you suggested,a nice bit of pine will do.
    Now I've reached the ripe old age of 70,"Fings just ain't what they used to be"
    I've got 4 boats,but I am running out of space,I have been thinking about a nice 535 Shetland Suntrip,with that nice little cabin.
    I will keep the 60's launch/speedboat,I've put new stringers on it and a complete new transom,gunnels,upper and lower futtocks,and staggered the stringers to take a flat deck.
    It's a fibreglass hull,and a very nice shape.I have stripped every bit of the old timbers off it.My idea is to stick the 18hp fast twin on it and have a blast from the past.
    PAR reckons I should get 22/24mph out of it
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Instead of the bigger retailers, try the local mills and millwork houses. These will not advertise much, most working on contract or through industry distributors, but they'll have access to good stock, at less than retail pricing.
     
  9. valvebounce
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    valvebounce Senior Member

    Your suggestion brought to mind a supplier who will "order in"
    He's only about 4miles from me.I'll have a ride over and see what he can do.
    The gunnel is only 2.5" square external,and allowing for the radius 2 pieces by 12' will do the deed.
    I might get away with cutting the top face of the gunnel off,removing the old timber and slotting the new pieces in.
     
  10. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Unfortunately these more local yards are few and far between. Even my 'local' ones are 30 miles away but they are quality concious. I happen to live on the edge of most wooded county in England but no local yards!. Household type timber is easy to find but generally too poor to use ie slab sawn and still wet. Sometimes you can be lucky....

    As for pricing, it is worth the extra miles to select stock and more than pays the fuel cost difference between a secondary supplier and the importer.

    I now also generally will not use yards that will not let you select the stock. Been bitten once with that one, thanks Latham's but there are still some good guys out there. Some of the more local mills are good for certain species of timber however such as oak, cherry, sycamore etc. I suspect the US which is more self sufficient in timber may be easier to get reasonable timber though the distances are much greater, it is a big country after all....;)
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    30 miles, hell you can walk there in a half a day, though carrying lumber home on your back, might prove a wee bit problematic.

    I have 3 mills within 40 miles of me, 2 are fairly specialized, but the third can get just about anything. On the other hand a built up understanding with the local big box managers and speciality supply stores can be more beneficial as they have bigger "purchasing power" which can mean better pricing, though this is often quantity dependant.
     
  12. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Cripes. For a 10' dinghy, cant you just get some treated wood and stick it in there? Does it even need the wood?
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Good point Sam, I've used PVC before, which is really easy to cut and shape. PVC molding stock is available at any big box store. I bends easily and if you use a heat gun, you can bend, then freeze it in place with a cold water soaked rag.
     
  14. valvebounce
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    valvebounce Senior Member

    That's food for thought Sam,PVC maybe?
     

  15. valvebounce
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    valvebounce Senior Member

    Maybe PVC box section? I could get away with removing the vertical face on the gunnel,remove the timber and slot the box section in,then glass over it.
    It would make the boat lighter,and also act as an extra buoyancy aid.
     
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