Sunday, 31 July 2011

Moment of Truth

A scary moment but thankfully I was able to pick my boat up by the coaming with no creaking and cracking sounds and more importantly the coaming still attached.
 I tied my boat off upside down to a couple of A-frame ladders and dressed up like some psychotic mad man to begin the repairs on my boat.
 I detached the coaming forward of the seat and cleaned off all the old resin and what looked like hot glue that previously held it on.  I then used a Dremel to grind off any old gel coat that was loose and cleaned up the edges.
I mixed the epoxy and hardener 5:1 and added roughly 10% of microfibers into a plastic measuring cup and mixed it up into a fairly thick runny paste.  I then used a the end of a chisel to open up the gap between the coaming and the lip and used a syringe to pour in the resin mix.  I taped up the outside of the coaming with insulation tape to stop the glue coming through.
 Under the deck I used a Dremel to grind down the loose gel coat and remove the gel coat around the splits in the lip/deck.
 Before (above)... After (bellow)  I added four layers of fibreglass to cover the cracked gel coat you can see above after I ground as much of it away.
I also added layers of fibre glass around the splits near the coaming to reinforce them (bellow).  I then sanded down the area for a smooth finish (the white bits are from sanding not air bubbles).  I left it to cure overnight and then came the moment of truth.  It seems to have done the job.  I've given it a good wiggle, picked it up, stretched the spray deck over it and it seems solid enough.
For my first experience with fibre glass I enjoyed it.  That was until the plastic cup I was holding started smoldering and disintegrating in my hand.  Epoxy is lethal!!  That's why I only got to four layers and the last one was rushed.  Thanks to everyone that helped out, and a big thanks to Damiano off Gnarlydog News  for his supurb instructions. 

5 comments:

Taran Tyla said...

Nice, my turn next :)

You at the Monday Club?

Stuart said...

Clutch just went in my van (again) so will have to see if i can get it fixed in the morning otherwise no.

gnarlydog said...

Stuart, from the pix it looks like you have done a neat job, especially if that was your first experience with epoxy.
About the plastic cup melting: large-ish amounts of epoxy will heat up enough to get hot.
When you mix up a whole cup it will start to smoke and set in minutes. Best if you keep epoxy in a wider container and preferably not thin plastic. Higher ambient temperature will also make the epoxy go off faster. (It's summer where you are, right?)
In winter (let's say air temp of 10C) and the same epoxy will take forever to set off and cure.
I notice that you used the 205 hardener: it is the "fast" one. I only use 206 here in Australia (subtropical climate) or I can't finish my job in time (205 will set off in 10 minutes).

Dr Blug said...

Great job there Stuart.
I use one of those mini roller trays to pour mixed resin into, like GD says above, and you can crack it off when its hard. Start saving the bottoms of plastic milk bottles for your boat build; much cheaper than buying 'specialist' cups!

Stuart said...

I only put in 100ml but it has been warm latley. Not quite as warm as Australia mind :) I was just supprised that all the way it heats up. Thanks for the tips.