Category Archives: Boat Repair

Measuring the 4 core replacement samples.

Balsa Core Alternatives

By Greg Bull—GBI Technical Advisor

When you need to repair your fiberglass boat’s balsa core but don’t have any replacement core material on hand, what can you use as an alternative? I tested some different replacement core options to see how they’d perform in flexibility and strength alongside original balsa core in a fiberglass laminate. Continue reading

BO-PEEP II underway.

BO-PEEP II 75-Year Refit

By Ronald Lane

The motor yacht Bo-Peep II is a 55′ bridge deck cruiser designed by Hacker-Fermann Naval Architects Co. of Detroit, Michigan. In 2001, BO-PEEP underwent a major refit with extensive use of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Two decades later, the benefits of this approach are apparent in hull longevity and strength; dry bottom blanks, frames, and keel; a dry bilge; dry bronze thru-hull fittings, hardware fasteners staying put; shorter shipyard haul-outs; and the propeller shaft remaining properly aligned. We no longer have rotted planks or loosened fasteners to replace, seams to caulk, or corrosions headaches. Continue reading

BO-PEEP II's tender

Restoring BO-PEEP II’s Tender

No more replacing rotten planks, no more replacing fasteners, no more caulking the seams, and no more corrosion headaches.

By Ron Lane

The original wooden tender for the BO-PEEP II was also built by Defoe Boat and Motor Works of Bay City, Michigan in 1926. This tender needed a few repairs. Satisfied with the performance of the repairs done on BO PEEP II with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy back 2001, I decided to use WEST SYSTEM in restoring the original tender in 2014. Continue reading

This Cal 33 underwent a wet rudder repair

Wet Rudder Repair

By Terry Monville—GBI Technical Advisor

My friend Chris bought a 33′ fiberglass sailboat, a Cal 33, to use as his family cruiser. Because it was an older boat, he knew he had a few projects ahead—including drying out the wet rudder. Here in Michigan, we haul our boats out of the water for the winter and it gives us a chance to do repairs and inspect under the waterline. Continue reading

Nelda Ray under sail

Aluminum Mast Step Repair

On a Farrier Trimaran

By Don Gutzmer—GBI Technical Advisor
Epoxyworks #54 cover featuring the NELDA RAY, a Farrier folding trimaran

Cover photo: The Farrier folding trimaran Nelda Ray under sail following Don Gutzmer’s aluminum mast step repair.

I received a call from a friend of mine who owns a 2004 Farrier F33RX folding trimaran, the 33′ Nelda Ray. This sailboat is a frequent competitor in regattas on the Great Lakes. The aluminum mast step was compressing the deck and causing laminate failure. I told my friend I’d figure out what went wrong and then fix it so it would never happen again. I’ll outline the process I used to make this successful repair. Continue reading

The completed Chris Craft transom painted with marine bilge paint.

Chris-Craft Transom Repair

By Don Gutzmer — GBI Technical Advisor

Here’s how we recently repaired a rotted Chris-Craft transom. The boat* had rotted stringers, transom, cockpit sole, and other problems common in fiberglass boats. I’ll explain the process we used for replacing the transom to provide some direction on tackling similar projects. Continue reading

A Club 420 dinghy getting some TLC

Kids Rescue a Pair of Club 420 Dinghies

By Brett Langolf

The prep crew recently rescued and restored two Club 420 sailing dinghies using a combination of their own tenacity and West System® Epoxy. They achieved this through our youth sailing organization, More Kids On Sailboats (MKOS). At MKOS, we strive to let the kids lead, make mistakes, and learn how to do better the next time. The Club 420 project allowed them to do just that. Continue reading

Takara, an Irwin 30 Competition

Tackling Thru-Hull Repairs on TAKARA

By Jeff Mueller

Upgrading our sailboat’s navigation instruments called for eliminating one thru-hull fitting and reducing the diameter of another by 1/8″. Takara, a 1974 Irwin 30 Competition, has a one-piece molded fiberglass and polyester hull with alternating layers of hand-laid mat and 24 oz. woven roving. Her original instrument set included a pair of 2 1/8″-diameter transducer thru-hulls in the bow. Upgrading to modern instrumentation standards required installing an NMEA 2000 network instrument that was 2″ diameter. Continue reading

1957 MG 15 Fiberglass Runabout with original mahogany transom.

The Restoration of a 1957 Fiberglass Runabout

By Bill Bauer

I acquired this 1957 MFG 15 fiberglass runabout with its original mahogany transom in 2017. The previous owner had started to restore it but did not finish. When I first got the boat it was just a hull and a bunch of parts. A neighbor, Kami, and I work on it on weekends at Black River Boat Shop when we both are available. Continue reading

Repairing Gelcoat Stress Cracks

By Terry Monville – GBI Technical Advisor

Knowing how or why your boat’s gelcoat cracks occurred in the first place is the key to a successful repair. For example, if hitting a seawall or dropping a champagne bottle on deck is what caused the cracks, after fixing them you will know how to prevent them in the future: Don’t drink the champagne causing you to hit the seawall and drop the bottle. Continue reading