I was recently asked for help in choosing adhesives for a large spar-building project. This led to much thought and discussion with the wonderful WEST SYSTEM® Technical Advisors. The choices we made won’t surprise anyone, but the reasons we made those choices are worth explanation. Continue reading →
By Rachael Geerts – GBI Composite Materials Engineer
Have you ever wondered how laminate thickness can be determined without breaking out the epoxy and reinforcement fabric? The answer is simple—use math. While some of you may have just lost interest because you think math is too difficult, I can assure you that this math requires nothing more than some basic multiplication, addition, and division. Let’s get to it.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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 →