wood boat repair

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Cecile, May 2, 2012.

  1. Cecile
    Joined: May 2012
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    Location: Juneau Alaska

    Cecile Junior Member

    Hello my first time posting so direct me if Im not doing something right.
    I have a 22ft plywood rowboat that has been thru a couple people. It has been gelcoated on bottom and bow but there is a gap of about 1/4 inch between wood and gel coat. its been out of water A LONG time and i want to get it back in the water.....Im better at rowing than fixing.

    Any advise would be welcom
     
  2. Saildude
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

    Saildude Junior Member

    Others are better than I am for your type of boat - but they will probably ask for a few pictures of the boat and the damaged area you want to repair to help them give you accurate advice.
     
  3. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Your sheathing is becoming unstuck. I'm guessing there's glass cloth involved too? You'll have to remove it all if the boat's worth saving. It is probable that there's already rot to some extent. You'll know when you strip off the old glass.
    Chances are very good that the boat isn't worth saving but you never know. Pictures would help.
     
  4. Cecile
    Joined: May 2012
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    Cecile Junior Member

    Thanks will take picture and post next week....out of commission for a few days
     
  5. Cecile
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    Cecile Junior Member

    Can I just patch the fiberglass, the spots that have cracked.. I got rid of the loose pieces and sand it down. Im hoping I can just epoxy the spots directly or with fiberglass patch...I just want to get out rowing. And yes there is some rot but I want to at least band aide it and get it out on the water.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Without a much better description and photos of your boat, most of the replies are shear speculation. I'm betting you have a polyester sheathed boat and it's doing what all do eventually, which is spit off their hard plastic coatings. If this is the case you have two choices, grind down until you're back to solidly attached sheathing, fill the area with fairing compound and paint or remove the sheathing a try again.

    It's unlikely the boat has gel coat, though you never know. It's probably paint over poly and the wood is moving with moisture content changes. This eventually sheers the sheathing from the surface.

    Post some pictures and the make, model and year of the boat if available. Under the areas with surface defects, is there bare wood, raw wood or other wise un-coated wood? In other words, if you removed the paint directly under one of the bad spots on the deck (underside of the deck) would you see 'glass or wood?
     
  7. Cecile
    Joined: May 2012
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    Location: Juneau Alaska

    Cecile Junior Member

    rowboat handbuilt klepper kayak design plywood

    rowboat bow.JPG

    IMG_1452.JPG
     
  8. Cecile
    Joined: May 2012
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    Location: Juneau Alaska

    Cecile Junior Member

    here is a picture of the bow - I pulled the gelcoat off and sanded down paint not sure how to proceed.

    THe second photo is from the stern view, newly painted. I guess I need to get photos of the bottom to discuss how to proceed with that section
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't see any gel coat or 'glass in either picture. Are you sure that it's gel coat? Do you have pictures of the 'glass? What color was the 'glass when you first exposed it?
     
  10. Cecile
    Joined: May 2012
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    Location: Juneau Alaska

    Cecile Junior Member

    I tore off the gel coat on the bow and that is the bare wood...you can see a small piece left, its white. will post more pics this weekend
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I highly doubt it was gel coat, as this wouldn't be put straight over wood, except by someone who didn't know what they're were doing. If this is the case, then grind it all off or forever be dealing with these types of of issues.
     
  12. Cecile
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    Cecile Junior Member

    ok, he didnt know what he was doing. The original owner DIDNT fiberglass it. If I grind it off can I do that with a powersander? what grit?
    Do you think I should then just epoxy the bottom? This boat if done well and right could be used year round but will be in and out of the water alot. Thanks for your input
     
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yes, you can sand off the paint or what ever that is. The grit you use, depends on what works. You could use 16 or 24 grit and make very quick work of it's removal, but also very likely need to repair some damaged areas, from the aggressive grit. 36 to 40 grit would be reasonably fast, with less surface damage if you're careful with the sander. 60 and 80 grit would do even less damage, but you might make a career out of removing the coating. The best bet, is to try a grit and if you seem like you're working too hard, go down to a coarser grit.

    The choice of sander will also make a difference. A DA will probably be the kindest to the surface, but it's not really a bulk removal tool. It's a finishing tool. A disk grinder is what I'd use, but this is a tool that can easily remove way more than you ever wanted in just a few seconds. There are about a dozen options in this regard, often you'll need more then one type. Two rules with any sander and bulk removing stock: always keep moving and change the paper often.

    If you're going to epoxy the boat, the minimum would be the whole exterior of the boat, not just the bottom. With this boat's expected service, you'd be wise to also sheath it, for abrasion protection. Personally, I wouldn't bother epoxying her or sheathing either. It's a lot easier to repair and finish a wooden boat without these hard plastic coatings on it. Get the crap off it, sand her smooth, fix the dings and divots, prime and paint. Next year you'll fix the dings and touch up the paint. In fact, you'll do this each year and every 4 or 5 or so, a whole new paint job, because it'll look like hell and it'll be due. Welcome to the wonderful world of old wooden boats.
     

  14. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    That white stuff looks like it could be glass. If you saw a gap between it and the timber, then chances are it was fiberglass of some sort. It looks thick enough.

    Even so, Pars advice sounds good for a sound hull, and if the bow is anything to go by, a good paint job should work ok.

    However, you may find that the reason it got fiberglassed in the first place is that some of the hull isnt that good. If that is the case, then epoxy may be called for.

    In either case, an big hull cleanup, including removing the fasteners, would be the prudent way to start either process.
     
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