Stitch and glue restoration

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by zoso, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. zoso
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Australia

    zoso Junior Member

    Hi, I'm from australia and I have recently bought myself an old 12.5' sailing dinghy, a british design called a pacer: http://pacersailing.org.au/

    We've taken it out a few times and its a great little boat but it has some minor rot just under the gunwale and above the seats/flotation tanks. Also recently a few small cracks (~5cm long) have appeared in the hull which I think were due to my younger brother jumping into the boat in an unscrupulous manner while it was sitting on its trailer. I also noticed it leaking from a couple of cracks in the paint around the centreboard case which I think is due to the seam deteriorating around that area.

    Eventually I want to completely strip it back to bare wood and re-coat with epoxy and paint or whatever is the proper thing to do but for now I would just like to fix the rot and the cracks to stop it leaking so we can take it out sailing a bit without it filling with water. I'm not quite sure where to start, for the cracks I was going to sand back to timber around the crack and fill with epoxy/wood flour putty then re-seal with epoxy and paint over the top, perhaps a small piece of glass tape over the crack aswell?? For the rot I had planned on cutting out the rotten bit of ply and tape/glueing a new piece in place with glass tape and epoxy, coating and fairing it up with putty and painting over again. I'm not sure however what type of epoxy to use, where to get it or even if I am planning on doing the correct thing here?? A local boat store directed me to an epoxy product which supposedly seals all the timber fibres and stops rot but its quite expensive ($45 for 750ml of epoxy + $25 for a small bottle of sealer undercoat)

    I am a poor university student and this boat is a lovely little old thing but nothing particularly special so spending up big on proper a-grade repairs is not what I have in mind. I just want to give it a few more years for me and my girlfriend to have fun with and maybe down the track I will consider a proper restoration. I can provide photos if it will help?
     
  2. frosh
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: AUSTRALIA

    frosh Senior Member

    Why don't you enquire at your local surf shop for a repair kit for surfboards. This will be polyester based and therefore cheaper than epoxy, and should contain resin and hardener and some woven fibreglass. You can thicken the resin to make a filler quite easily with wood flour or chopped up fibreglass for a coarser fill for larger holes. Use some woven fibreglass on the cracks after sanding right back, preferably on both sides of the plywood. If you decide to restore properly later and use epoxy, it will stick to polyester if sanded to provide a key. :)
     
  3. hansp77
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    hansp77

    zoso,
    photos will definately help.

    It is difficult to say what to do because once you start repairs, it is hard to stop,
    so it all comes down to your wants.
    Cheap and temporary, or fixed.

    I would be inclined to it properly now so that the repairs are done now in winter to have it ready for when it warms up.
    Thats been me and my girlfriends plan.

    It sounds like you've got the right idea about repairs. It just depends on the situation. Remember to scarf your joins where you can, with backing panels.
    if the wood is good around those cracks in the hull then you would want to dry that out and adress it now,
    rather than have to cut that out later from a temporary fix.

    That said, I would just go straight to epoxy rather than poly resin.

    We used west system products on ours, and I was pretty happy with that.
    As with the other major brands there are fairing filler microballoon additives and glue mix additives.

    If you do want to go temporary, then it depends on when you are planning to fix it, but- You might want to go for something cheap that is the easiest to remove when proper repair time comes around.

    Our boat is a lot bigger that yours but we have just replaced most of our deck and cabin roof etc..
    It started off so small.
    (see here http://boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?t=11026)

    Good luck.
    Hans.
     
  4. zoso
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Australia

    zoso Junior Member

    Some Photos

    Here are some photos of the boat and relevant problems, its sitting upside down on a couple of stands so some photos are upside down, others I have artificially turned around.

    Firstly the cracks which I would ideally like to fix first and before the end of winter, incidentally winter is a fine sailing season where I live in a very warm and beautiful part of the world, more breeze, plenty of sunshine avereage 22-24 degrees celsius (not sure what that is in farenheit... 70-80 or something??) We were hoping to do lots of sailing this winter but the leaky problems with the boat stopped us but mainly the trailer it came with was very sub par (had wheelbarrow wheels fitted!!) so I've been working away at fixing that up aswell.

    anyway the cracks.
    crack02.jpg crack04.jpg crack03.jpg

    inside of one crack
    crack_int.jpg

    cracks around cb case:
    cb_case.jpg cb_case2.jpg

    and the rot:
    rot_ext2.jpg rot_int2.jpg

    and a couple of the boat:
    transom.jpg boat.jpg

    I like the idea of using a surfboard repair kit, but I thought polyester resin didn't adhere well to timber though?? Also, I used to work as a floor sander/polisher and I have a small bottle of polyurethane floor finish and another of the timber sealer we used to lay down under the finishing coat, nasty isocyanate based stuff. I'm not planning on using polyurethane on the boat but could I possibly use that sealer under the polyester resin?? I happen to have a tin of polyester resin already so if its going to work then I'm stoked. Also, what about sealing the timber and using some polyester based filler putty like standard automotive bog to fill the cracks??

    Again, I am a POOR university student who is still learning to sail and just trying to get out sailing again asap :)
     
  5. frosh
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: AUSTRALIA

    frosh Senior Member

    Hi Zoso, I personally havent use polyester resin for a very long time but even though not as sticky as epoxy will do the job. I posted a link here to a technical page from a resin manufacturer which seems very good and simple to follow. I don't think that you need a separate wood sealer though. A polyester based filler will be fine also and compatible. Looking at the photos the dinghy does not look all that valuable, and may not be worth any sort of expensive reno either now nor later. Also the type is pretty unkown in Oz so the resale is near zero. Just to go sailing and enjoy it, I would use the materials that you have on hand.
    Preparation by drying and taking back to bare wood and leaving a little roughened is essential to get a bond.
    http://www.lbifiberglass.com/techinfo.html :)
     
  6. hansp77
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    hansp77

    tell me about poor;)
    we are both full time uni students too.
    Somehow we ended up buying a 30ft full keeler.:D
    (that needed serious restoration)
    its almost buried us- but we are almost done.
    At least now she is floating happily out there on her swing mooring sound and water-tight. No more crippling yard fees.

    After seeing it and what frosh said,
    I would agree,
    just use what you've got.
    There are people that swear by car bog for boats. [apparantly you just have to make sure it is completely cured and dried]
    I haven't used very much poly but if you give it a good tooth to grip to then it will be more than ok.

    The rot in the pictures is a bit harder to see how bad it is.
    Is it soft and spongy or weak or hollow?

    penetrating (thinned) epoxy, or probably better- heated (unthinned) epoxy, would help to soak in and get some more life out of the (dried) rot damaged wood- if your not going to replace it.

    Norseal does that wood preserving penetrating epoxy, that has glycol fungicides (I think) in it.
    But nothins cheap.

    whats the rot like?
     
  7. zoso
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    zoso Junior Member

    Rot

    The rot is soft and spongy, I know its hard to see in the photo but the small section of paint that has peeled off of the outside you could shove your finger through. The gunwale is solid, I can still sit right above the rot and it happily supports my weight.

    Norseal is the stuff I was talking about in my original post, they quoted me $45 or so for enough to mix up 750ml.... I know nothing is cheap but it doesnt have to be THAT expensive :)
     
  8. zoso
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Australia

    zoso Junior Member

    bog

    oh yeah automotive bog is hydroscopic so it will absorb moisture out of the atmosphere (I have another hobby playing with old holdens) so generally for cars you apply an undercoat of etch primer or something rather than bogging straight onto steel, thats why I thought I should seal the timber underneath perhaps? but I reckon it should be allright :)
     
  9. hansp77
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    hansp77

    It is hard to say what you should do.
    It is rotten wood so it should come out, but,
    if you really don't want to do that- yet-
    then you will just have to dry it right out- soak in as much resin into it as you can and lay some glass or woven matt over the patch.

    How long do you want to have the boat for?
    If it is long enough to have to clean up this fixit job then I would just replace the wood now. Compared to the cost and effort of doing the job once now and again properly later.
    I would buy one sheet of marine ply, and a reasonably decent bottle of epoxy resin. Any little bits of timber you need you could easily salvage.
    If you plan on sailing in the future too, then epoxy and marine ply will always be usefull.
    Better to buy one bigger bottle than go back for more little ones.

    If you want to go on the real cheap, and just try to cover the rot with your poly resin, you could also treat your wood with auto antifreeze. It is a good glycol fungicide. You would have to clean the residue off the wood well for the resin to bond properly.

    good luck.
     

  10. zoso
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Australia

    zoso Junior Member

    Interesting

    Glycol you say?? Interesting indeed

    No I was planning on cutting the rot out quite soon actually, maybe just not this month or the next, but the boat isn't likely to see that much action anyway - I work part time and study full time and play with my toys as often as I can inbetween :D

    I do plan on keeping the boat until we can afford a new one or majically come across something better, so for a few years still hopefully - it's not falling apart just yet :)
     
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