Posts Tagged ‘fiberglass’

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

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


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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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.


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.


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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DIY Fiberglass Boat Floor Repair

DIY Fiberglass Boat Floor RepairI found this great guide on that I think all of you should read. Your boat’s floor can root over the years and so it becomes dangerous for you and your crew to move safely around the vessel. At some point you will have to consider repairing or replacing your boat’s floor. It is very important to assess the damage correctly so you don’t start the repair and by the time you are done you realise you forgot to renovate the foundations for the floor. These are usualy made out of wood and are covered with fiberglass. Moisture can start to build up inside the fiberglass cover and just imagine what will come out in a few years. Check out the Fiberglass How-To Guide and Basic Fiberglass Molding Techniques to get a general idea on what you have to do. Also Boat Plans for Boat Builders might shead some light on the topic.

Assessing the Damage

Locate and correctly mark the areas of the fiberglass boat which have been damaged. Keep the required materials ready so that you can start working on the repairs.

The damage often results in delamination, so tap the area with the back of a screwdriver to see the extent of the damage to the laminate. Solid sounds crisp and sharp, while the delaminated part sounds dull. You can always compare by tapping one side that is good, and then the damaged area to notice any differences.

Repairing the Damage

The repair process is devided into eight easy and understandable steps. if you follow them I am sure you will make a fine job restoring your boat’s floor. Read more…

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 26, 2010 at 02:56

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Fiberglass DIY Step-By-Step Guide

Fiberglass DIY Step By Step GuideWorking with fiberglass is not so difficult as many people think and it if usually very fun to do. A lot of people has asked me how to do it and where I have learned all the stuff I do with fiberglass and where an individual can find these information in order to learn to work with it. Every time someone asks me about my work I take some time to explain to them how the whole process looks like.

Usually I get asked where I have learned all this stuff but there is no simple answer to that. I can tell you about many online tutorials that I have used to learn how to work with fiberglass but at the end you must try it on your own skin to learn how to master the technique. I read a simple fiberglass guide written by Drew Wilson at Explorer Forum. It gives you all the basics that you need to know when you decide to work with fiberglass.

After I read this great fiberglass tutorial I bought a very cheap fiberglass kit which included some fiberglass resin and mat. It was enough to try to start building a inflatable boat steering console for my first boat Lean I. I had no knowledge on the topic despite reading an article about it.

Since the fiberglass kit was cheap I decided that I can waste some money to try something new and so I read the instructions on the fiberglass kit box and started working. I build a wooden mold for my console which I then coated with one layer of fiberglass mat. The kit I bought was just enough to cover my console with one layer.

After my first layer dried I went back to the supply shop and bought some more materials, that is about 5 kg of fiberglass resin and about 3 kg of mat. I then applied another 5 layers over the first layer and let it to dry. When it dried I removed my wooden mold and what was left was my custom made fiberglass mold for inflatable boat steering console.

I then used some molding wax to wax my console mold form the inside and when it dried I applied white boat epoxy paint. I then fiberglassed the inside of the mold with fiberglass. You should apply about five layers of fiberglass to get a strong steering console. I also fiberglassed in a piece of plywood that was later used as a mounting for steering mechanism and steering wheel. And that was it. I had a brand new custom made inflatable boat steering console and it was a lot cheaper than if I had bought it. Read more…

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9 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 24, 2010 at 14:11

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