Those new to the process of fairing a boat’s hull or deck are quick to mix up a batch of fairing compound, WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy with a low-density filler, and apply it to the surface, so they can start sanding right away. My experience in boat repair and construction has taught me the importance of making a fairing plan and selecting the correct materials before any epoxy is mixed.
Located on the banks of the picturesque Huon River at Franklin, Tasmania, The Wooden Boat Centre is Australia’s only wooden boat building school, creating original masterpieces and restoring heritage vessels while mentoring students from all walks of life.
For the past 30 years, the Wooden Boat Centre has been dedicated to keeping the tradition of hand-made boats alive. Their one year shipwright course, and a variety of shorter courses, give students hands-on experience in both traditional and modern boat building techniques.
Epoxy safety begins with working cleanly. When handling WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy resin and hardener, take steps to keep epoxy out of your eyes and off your skin and clothing. Ventilate your workspace to protect your respiratory system. Minimize the amount of epoxy that gets on your work surface and tools. Regardless of the type of boat repair you have planned, follow these safety practices.
Lisa Blair sailed her 15.25-meter Hick 50 into the record books this year as the fastest, non-stop, solo sailor to circumnavigate Antarctica. The wild, demanding nature of the Southern Ocean required Lisa Blair to ensure her vessel was in the best possible condition before undertaking her voyage. Equally important was provisioning the proper materials and spare parts to cover every kind of repair job on her epic voyage.
If your swim platform is experiencing water penetration, a repair or even a rebuild could be in your near future. We’ll show you how to measure the damage, and perform a successful repair that will last for years to come.
By Jeff Wright – GBI Vice President of Technical Services
Before starting on your next fiberglass repair or boat modification, let’s look at some projects that would most-likely require you to make appropriate structural reinforcements to your boat. After all – boats are complicated structures. Sailboats endure multiple loads from the rigging as the shrouds are pulled in tension and the mast is compressed into the hull. Inboard-powered boats must transfer the thrust from the engine mounts into the stringers while outboard and sterndrive boats place substantial loads on the transom. Even the steering wheel at a stand-up helm can undergo high loads when the boat moves fast through large waves — the security of which many go-fast boaters may take for granted. Let’s dive in.
Typically, when a fastener fails on a boat, it pulls out of the wood or fiberglass that it was screwed into. There are many causes for this failure: shock loading, fatigued from being pulled on one too many times, or moisture softening the wood. Let’s take a look at how using WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy can improve the holding power of a fastener in wood to give you fewer troubles on the water.
After 20-plus years of vibration and pounding on the water, the molded plastic console on my 2001 Lund® boat was riddled with stress cracks and broken pieces. All of the fastener-mounting points were stripped out or broken. As often happens with older boat components, replacement parts were no longer available. I’d have to repair the console myself.
I’ve been restoring an MFG 15. The transom was made up of one very thin fiberglass hull transom sandwiched between two ¾” mahogany layers and bolted together. I chose to reinforce the fiberglass transom with 12 oz. fiberglass. I also laminated the backside of each mahogany layer piece with 6 oz. fiberglass, and the front (exposed) side with 4 oz. fiberglass.