Wooden boat repair question

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Tracy Lauricella, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    I'm still recovering from a bad cold; it knocked me out Thursday and Friday. I was feeling a bit better Saturday and was pretty much just sitting around taking it easy. I was still getting exhausted easily, and still congested, but one of the things I hate about recovering from being sick is having to sit around not doing anything, particularly with projects sitting half-done.

    I decided that finishing up the bottom of the boat would be ok. Putting the last few coats on would not be physically demanding, and would likely mean a half hour of putting on epoxy followed by a nap for an hour and a half between coats. I'm still congested and exhausted today, but am feeling good about the little bit I did on the boat yesterday to keep me sane.

    Anyway, for better or worse, I went ahead and did it, starting late Saturday afternoon. I rolled on the first coat of expoxy + graphite, so it went on pretty thin. I figured this was the best way to ensure good adhesion. (I did rough up the previous epoxy coat with 80 grit sandpaper first). I let that cure for an hour and a half then applied a second coat of epoxy + graphite while the first coat was still slightly tacky. This coat I put on with a 3" foam brush, so it went on a good deal thicker. I checked on it after an hour and a half; it had kicked, but a few spots still seemed like they could afford to wait a bit, so I let it go another half hour. (90-110 minutes at 70 degrees is what the manufacturer calls for.) Things were cooling off at this point, and about 7 pm, I put a final coat on using another foam brush.

    This morning I went out and inspected. In general it looks ok. There's a few thinner spots and a few thicker spots. The thick spots feel really slick and smooth, like a piece of glass. Most of the thinner spots do too, but there are a few of the thinner spots that feel a little less smooth; more like a smooth hardwood floor than a piece of glass. I think ideally another rolled on thin coat over everything would be ideal, but since everything has cured at this point, it would mean sanding the whole thing again.

    I'm confident that it's good and strong, and completely sealed, so anything more at this point would be cosmetic, and while you can tell it was done by an amateur, for a first attempt, I think it'll pass.

    I still need to put the aluminum guards back on the bumpers (this will help cover up some of the poor cosmetics on the bumpers as well). I plan to screw these in, but will wet out the screw holes with epoxy first, which it appears the previous owner did not do.

    Here are the pictures I took today. If I end up doing work on this scale again, I'll put a tent up over it. I kept having to pick dead bugs out of the epoxy as it hardened!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next steps:

    I'll sand the tops of the bumpers to catch any places where the epoxy dripped over them, paint the tops, then put the aluminum guards back on them.
    Repaint the side guards using some black boatbottom paint. (probably overkill to use the antifouling stuff, but I have it here, so why not.)
    Caulk where the the guard and and bumpers mate to the side wood using marine caulking.
    There's a couple of small scrapes on the side hull that I want to fill. (Maybe I'll hit the whole thing with another coat of spar varnish too.)
    Inside- hull bottom: there are some places inside where the wood grain has popped a bit. Plus the varnish in these areas is yellowed. I'm thinking a light sanding and re-varnishing would be sufficient.

    That sounds like a lot, but most of that is pretty quick stuff.

    I've also got a number of other improvements in mind for the interior (more dry storage, replacing the solid deck with slats, updating the seating, etc.) but those may wait until next season, or be done a bit at a time, we'll see how adventurous I get.

    I'll continue to post progress, thanks for all the feedback and support thus far!

    --Tracy
     
  2. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    For finishing the epoxy graphite mix you can just sand the heck out if it. It turns an nice matte grey and looks really nice.
     
  3. Warren Messer

    Warren Messer Member

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    Instead of just trying to get some "brushed on" epoxy to go up the holes for the screws to protect the wood; you want to locate where the screws will go, "over bore" the holes, and fill them with either System Three's EZFillet, or a "good mix" of wood filled epoxy. The wood filled epoxy will protect the plywood from water getting in around the shafts of the screws, and give a "better holding" in the hull for the screws, than natural wood would do. If it's underwater, I always over bore and fill with epoxy. I did that for the metal strip I installed on the keel for the bottom of the 12ft Grandville Bay.
     
  4. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    What's the little runabout we can see in the background? I love classic glass speed boats and that one looks cool.
     
  5. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    That one belongs to my neighbor. He's tried to sell it to me several times, but I've hesitated, since he has no title for it, and probably never transferred it properly from the previous owner when he bought it. I don't know much about it other than the fact that he didn't store it properly last winter and it filled up with water. He spent a good deal of time bailing it out and trying to dry it, but since then it's just been stored with the tarp over it that you see, so some mildew is likely.

    His wife wants him to get rid of it since she thinks it's an eyesore, and the entire time he's had it, it's never left that spot. I was tempted to buy it from him, move it 3 feet onto my property and then let it sit. ;)

    Seriously though, if the title issues could be figured out, it's probably a decent boat.
     
  6. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    I still have a bunch of West Systems 405, do you think that would work, or am I better using actual sawdust for this?
     
  7. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Title issues on boat in WA are easy. You can get a registration that's provisional and then turns into a title after a few years. Call June at the liscensing department agency in Ballard and she can guide you through it. Only use the ballard DOL for this type of thing because they deal with so many boats and will know what you're talking about. The trailer is considered a vehicle and can be more difficult, but even that can be worked out.
     
  8. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Don't use regular sawdust, but bandsaw dust is sometimes ok if it's really fine. 405 or commercial wood flour are better choices.
     
  9. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    I think they have the title for the trailer, so no problem there.

    Hrm.. do I have time & space for another boat? :)
     
  10. Warren Messer

    Warren Messer Member

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    The West 405 would work fine. It's Ford or Chev on the 405 or EZFillet. Both do the job better than a "home mix". They both contain more than just epoxy and wood dust in their mixes.
     
  11. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    Thought I'd check in with an update. I cleaned up the aluminum guards, drilled out the screw holes and injected them with Epoxy + 405. They are setting up now.

    I also sanded the tops of the chine guards, where the fiberglass had wrapped down and wasn't 100% even with the edge where I had cut it. While I was at it I did a light sanding on the guard plates on the sides of the hull. I will paint these and the chine guards with black bottom paint soon.

    I filled a few hull scrapes with Expoxy + 405, and then did some light sanding on a few spots on the hull; some of these are areas that were scratched, others just had a few epoxy drips on them from when I did the fiberglass. (lesson learned: Don't mask with paper. Enough epoxy drips will soak through and bind the paper to the wood.)

    Here's how things look now for the exterior:
    [​IMG]

    After painting the guards, I'm just going to hit the outside with a coat of spar varnish. I don't think it needs much more than that.

    On to the inside!

    The inside bottom hull isn't real pretty right now. The floor was 1/4" plywood, and since you couldn't see through it, it wasn't obvious that the bottom was looking pretty rough:
    [​IMG]

    It looks to me like it had water sitting inside it at some point. The grain of the plywood has popped in a few places and the varnish (resin?) coat has yellowed. Everything seems fine structurally, it's just ugly. I'm going to sand the yellowed crap off, then hit it with some epoxy & varnish it.

    While I'm at it, I need to sand the epoxy down and even things out where I put in the patch:
    [​IMG]

    Next steps after that are to put in a new floor deck. I don't want to just use solid plywood again, as it doesn't let wet boots drain, and anything that happens to roll under the floor is lost.
     
  12. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    The work looks good and that boat has really sweet lines. It would be interesting to find out who designed it.
     
  13. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    More progess:

    Sanded down the inside bottom, including evening out the squeezed-out epoxy from my patch:
    [​IMG]

    Epoxied half the bottom. (Only doing half at a time, since I need somewhere to kneel when applying it.) Each half will get two coats, then I'll go over it with spar varnish.
    [​IMG]

    Painted the side guards and chine guards with bottom paint, and hit the outside with a coat of spar varnish:
    [​IMG]

    I spotted some cracking along the surface of the prow, so I sanded through the coating and found there was body filler and plywood separating. The coating over this was not bonded to the wood properly. I sanded through the filler and removed some of the separated material:

    [​IMG]

    I gave it a coat of epoxy and filled in the low spots with epoxy + 405 fillet material. I then sanded this level and added two coats of epoxy with graphite mixed in:
    [​IMG]


    What's next:
    finish epoxying and varnishing inside bottom.
    Make a floor deck.
    Accessories & furniture repair.
     
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Member

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    Agree. Nice looking boat. And this is a great thread, lots of good info and photos. Keep it up.

    Mike
     
  15. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    Not much to add yet, been working a lot of long hours this week at the office.

    I did get the second half of the bottom epoxied with 2 coats:

    [​IMG]

    Next step is the floor. I like the look of individual board floors, but don't like the idea of losing flies, split shot, etc between the floorboards and having them sit in the bottom of the boat. Right now the boat has removable 1/4" plywood flooring, painted black. It works ok, but it's pretty flimsy, and it's ugly. I'm thinking about doing the best of both worlds and installing boards on top of the 1/4" ply.