Category Archives: Boat Repair

Water beading on a bright finish topcoat.

The Art of Choosing a Topcoat

By Rachael Geerts – GBI Composites Materials Engineer

You’ve just finished your epoxy project and it looks great! But you don’t want the sun’s UV rays to start degrading the epoxy. So, like the smart individual you are, you look into applying a UV stable topcoat over the epoxy so your project will last for years to come. You look at your options, go down a few rabbit holes, and come out much later asking why is it so difficult to select a UV stable topcoat for my epoxy project? Continue reading

Bill Wright, Ian Wright and Tony Riek, Norman R Wright with the hull of Saltash (Left to Right).

High-Tech Composites will Revive Champion Keelboat

Saltash gets a new lease on life

By ATL Composites

The nifty keelboat Saltash—an eight-time winner of Australia’s Brisbane to Gladstone Race—is getting a new lease on life from the craftspeople at Norman R. Wright & Sons using WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy and carbon fiber. Currently upturned in the yard at Norman R. Wright & Sons (and dwarfed by the carbon fiber bulk of the supermaxi Comanche) at the Rivergate complex, the hull and skeletal superstructure of Saltash belie her glorious past and pedigree. Continue reading

Choosing the Right Wood for Your Boat Repair

Why pressure-treated plywood is a poor choice

By Terry Monville — GBI Technical Advisor

A very high percentage of boats in the U.S. are at least 30 years old. It doesn’t surprise me when a boat’s plywood components fail due to water intrusion. In my experience, the transom is the first area to rot out in most trailerable boats. That’s not to say the first thing to rot couldn’t be the cockpit floor, stringers, or motor mounts. Continue reading

gaff repair on Appledore IV and V

Gaff Repair

By Bill Bauer

In preparation for a thorough Coast Guard inspection, we’d stripped the masts, booms, and gaffs on the schooners Appledore IV and V of paint and varnish. This revealed several small rot areas, wear, and damage. Two of the gaff jaws (also called gaff saddles) had significant damage, including cracks in the jaws themselves, probably due to hard jibes and insufficient repairs. Gaffs are the angled spars from which the sails are hung. Continue reading

average multiple layers applied by hand lay-up

Laminate Repair: Infusion vs. Wet-Bag

By Rachael Geerts – GBI Composites Materials Engineer

Many products, especially boats, are now being manufactured with a process called Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM), also frequently referred to as infusion. The main topics of this article are: what infusion is, how to repair an infused part with vacuum bagging vs. infusion, and the results of our study comparing a vacuum-bagged repaired laminate and an infused repaired laminate. Continue reading

THIS LITTLE PIGGY racing on Tawas Bay, Michigan

Sea Hood Repair

By Terry Monville — GBI Technical Advisor

After a few years of racing on the J22 This Little Piggy, the owner was ready to take a step back and gave me the first option to purchase it. I took advantage of the opportunity. As with many boats I’ve owned over the years, the first couple winters I plan on spending money upgrading and doing repairs. Not that a lot has to be done, but a few changes in hardware placement and re-bedding the deck hardware are at the top of my list. Continue reading

Fiberglass Repair on a Yamaha WaveRunner

By Jordan Teddleton

I wanted to purchase a personal watercraft so I’d be able to join my friends at the local lake for some fun in the sin this summer.  Like most people on a budget, I searched Craigslist for the best deal.  I needed something low maintenance, so a WaveRunner™ felt like a good fit.  After a week of looking, I found a 2004 Yamaha GP1300r that appeared to be in decent shape; however, a strangely placed sticker on the top port side turned out to be covering a painful past. Continue reading

Aluminum hinge repair on a SeaArk

Aluminum Hinge Repair

By Gary Harrison

I made a difficult rear-hatch repair on my 2007 aluminum SeaArk 1872 MVJT (modified V-jet tunnel) center console using WEST SYSTEM G/flex Epoxy.

The year before I bought it, my SeaArk center console had undergone a complete rebuild. The entire inside of the boat was sprayed with Line-X® Protective Coating, which makes clean-up super easy but prohibits any additional welding to the aluminum.

Continue reading

Mini Skeeter

Mini Skeeter

By Randy Rogoski

There is only one solution that comes from the ache of seeing iceboats ripping around on Mona Lake all your life: give in and buy one. If the thrill doesn’t quite meet expectations, build one that will be faster.

Pat Filius has lived 20 years on a now-flooded celery flat fed by Black Creek, the main tributary of Mona Lake in Norton, Michigan. In 2014 he bought his first iceboat for $400. Sailing it just once was enough to convince him that he wanted a faster boat. Continue reading

Triple Threat, 38 years old and counting

A case study in remediating gelcoat blisters

By Bruce Niederer — GBI Technical Advisor

My father, rest his soul, and I bought Triple Threat together sometime in the mid-’80s. We raced our ’81 Pearson Flyer hard together for the next 15 or so years, including 12 Port Huron to Mac races. The purchase date is lost to history, but the details surrounding how many times the boat needed a new bottom—meaning a new epoxy barrier coat—are forever etched in my psyche. It’s all the sanding that accompanies repairing gelcoat blisters that has addled my IPA soaked cranium. One just doesn’t forget those seemingly endless hours of self-imposed torture. Continue reading