DIY Guides

Step by Step Fiberglass Boat Repair Guide

See how to patch a small hole in your boat’s hull using West System epoxy kit and this fiberglass boat repair guide.. (Video Rating: 3 / 5)

Step-by-Step Fiberglass Boat Repair Guide

Step by Step Fiberglass Boat Repair GuideStep 1.

Examine the pattern and location of cracks in your boat’s hull to determine their cause. If the pattern or location indicates flexing, examine the interior side of the panel to determine the best location for additional reinforcing. If the cracks are a result of impact, examine the interior side of the panel to determine whether damage extends through the entire laminate.

Step 2.

Remove any surface contaminants such as wax, oil or mold release from the surfaces you examined in step 1 of the Fiberglass Boat Repair Guide. Wipe an area at least twice as large as the damaged area with a wax and silicone remover (Dupont Prep-Sol® #3919S), acetone or other appropriate solvent. Dry the area with clean paper towels before the solvent evaporate.

Step 3.

Open the cracks for repair. Use a sharpened “V” shaped tool to scrape down to the bottom of the cracks. A puncture-type can opener with the tip sharpened to about 90° works well. Beveling the sides of the crack provides more bonding area for the repair. It may be more effective to grind out an entire area of many, closely spaced or deep cracks. Scrape or grind as deep as necessary to reach solid, undamaged material. The depth of the crack will determine which course of repair to follow in this Fiberglass Boat Repair Guide:
  • Shallow cracks or scrapes that affect only the gelcoat layer may be repaired with the gelcoat repair techniqe. If necessary, reinforce the laminate to reduce flexing as described in Section 2.3. Some small cracks or chips can be filled with a gelcoat touch-up kit.
  • Minor cracks or scrapes that run through the gelcoat into the first chopped strand mat layers of the laminate should be repaired with epoxy using the procedures described below. Finish with the gelcoat repair technique. If necessary, reinforce the laminate to reduce flexing.
  • Deep cracks extending into woven fabric of the laminate require a structural repair before beginning the cosmetic gelcoat repair. If the crack extends into or through the woven fabric of the skin, follow the procedures. If a core has delaminated or is damaged from moisture penetration or impact, follow the appropriate procedure.
For better and more detailed explanation of the fiberglass boat repair procedures described in this fiberglass boat repair guide you should look into the official West Systems Epoxy Repair Guide which can be found at http://www.westsystem.com.au/files/fibreglass_boat_repair__maintenance/rm_fiberglass_boat_repair_and_maintenance.pdf.

Step by Step Fiberglass Boat Repair Guide

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18 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 27, 2011 at 21:30

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Boat transom replacement tutorial

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People who are restoring old boats often face the problem of rotten wood inside their boat’s core. One of the most frequent repairs on older boats is replacing or at least repairing a plywood cored transom. I had a similar problem when rebuilding my boat and since I didn’t find any good How-To’s I decided to write one and try to illustrate how to replace the transom plywood core on a boat.

Preparing for the boat transom replacement

The first thing to do, before you start to remove parts from your boat, you should take some pictures of how everything looked in the start, so you will have some guidelines for later on. Also you should take some measures of parts around the transom, such as fiberglass thickness of the outside skin, plywood thicknes of the transom itself, inside fiberglass skin thickness, stringer location and thickness and so on…

Be sure to support your boat’s hull well, becouse when you remove structural parts from the hull it becomes flexible and it can twist. You will end up with a twisted boat, and that can’t be undone. Keep in mind that the keel should be heavily supported. Read more…

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 30, 2011 at 02:07

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The Ultimate Guide to DIY Teak Deck On Your Boat

The Ultimate Guide to DIY Teak Deck On Your BoatTeak wood has been used for centuries in boat deck manufacture becouse of its resistance to water penetration and moisture. The teak wood looks very nice even if it’s not shaped to a smooth surface, but it needs to well protected in order to last a long time. If teak is used on a boat deck, it becomes less slippery and teak wood also surves as a important structural elemnt of a boat beck, providing the needed strenght and elasticity on the other side.

To properly protect you wooden deck the teak wood should be covered with natural teak oil at least two times per year (three times is recomended). The natural teak oil makes the wood completly waterproof. If teak looks a little worn off you can also sand it a little bit and then cover it with special teak-cleaner oils to make it look good again.

It is recomended that you clean your teak deck frequently with water (drinking water is the best becouse salt water leaves white marks on the wood) after you return from your boat trip. Also the not so good side of teakwood deck is that it gets very hot very quickly when exposed to the sun, so be sure to wear your sandals.

Read more…

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 7, 2011 at 22:12

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DIY PVC Boat Blige Pump

DIY PVC Boat Blige PumpThe most realistic fact about DIY Cheap Boatbuilding goes like this: “If you build your boat from cheap material you should consider a blige pump!”

I did a google search on blige pumps and there are a lot of different products out there. I found electrical and manual pumps. Then I did a search for DIY blige pump to see if anyone has ever try and build it himself. I have a friend who did but I never got to see the finished version. Anyway I found this cool website that offers a DIY guide for building a homemade PVC blige pump for your boat.

I like it when I manage to build something with my bare hands so I  decided to try to build a DIY PVC Blige Pump. I borrowed some pictures from the source site of the article, that is from Bruce C. Anderson ‘s site.

Read more…

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 9, 2010 at 01:59

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DIY Homemade Vacuum Bagging Pump

DIY Homemade Vacuum Bagging PumpIf you read my DIY Fiberglass Vacuum Bagging For Boat Building article, then the first thing you will need for the vacuum bagging process is a vacuum pump. I will show you here how you can build one for as little as 20 EUR.

Design

This vacuum pump was designed by James Redmon and Tim Cook and they call it the “Cheap Little Sucker”. This pump was so effective that EAI now supplys the plans with the Berkut kit. It is a very simple design and it is made of parts that are cheap. The big round black thing is a freon compressor off of a cooler.  You can find those in old coolers in the dump yard. Just be sure that it is in a working state. You can also use an automobile A/C compressor and an electric motor to power it.

Diagram

The opposite side of a compressor is a vacuum. We then put a compression fitting, a couple of ‘T fittings, a bleeder valve, and an automotive vacuum guage on the vacuum side of the compressor. You then have to wire the whole thing to a switch and ther you have it! A nice homemade vacuum pump that works great! It produces very little noise and heat and it is capable of pulling 25+ inches of vacuum. That is all you need for your DIY fiberglass vacuum projects. For detailed instructions read the  Cheap Little Sucker article or download the DIY Vacuum Pump PDF file. Read more…

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 2, 2010 at 15:41

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DIY Fiberglass Vacuum Bagging For Boat Building

DIY Fiberglass Vacuum Bagging For Boat BuildingFiberglass brings a lot of advantages into boat building, however, the material is made at the same time as the structure of the product which means that the material isn’t complete until the cure cycle has finished and from there comes the need to control all the conditions that are crutial for the process. The three most important ingredients that are needed for the cure are heat, pressure, and vacuum. All three are mandatory for prepreg layups. Pressure and vacuum are known to work to always result in a better laminate. Pressure compacts the laminate, and so provides good consolidation and interlaminar bonds. Vacuum draws out volatiles and trapped air, and so resulting in a low void content. Both help to improve resin flow. The best fiberglassing method is a vacuum bag which is able to provide both  pressure (up to 14.7 psi) and vacuum.

Bagging a Laminate

All laminates are bagged in essentially the same way. Once you know the basics, you can bag just about any structure. There are some tricks to handle complicated geometry, but the bags all look alike. You should follow the steps bellow to make a nice looking and functional product. Read more…

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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 1, 2010 at 00:43

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