During the fall of 2016, I took a technical call from a customer who owned a Sunfish Sailboat. He lived in the area and was looking for help repairing a few minor gel coat cracks and restoring his wooden daggerboard and rudder. I told him I would be happy to help because this would be a good opportunity to write an article about using WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener for the wood restoration part of his project. The mahogany daggerboard and rudder had weathered over the years because of only being varnished. Continue reading →
WOW, the home-built runabout I completed in 2000, has been a focal point of summer activities for our family and friends over the years. We’ve spent hundreds of happy hours out on the water, and taken it on vacations to northern Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New York. The majority of WOW’s use has been in Lake Nagawicka in Southeast Wisconsin.
WOW is a 20′ Glen-L Riviera with an inboard 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The hull is constructed of white ash frames, okoume plywood inner laminations, and a Honduras mahogany outer layer. The exterior is sheathed with 4 oz. fiberglass cloth on the deck, and 6 oz. on the sides and bottom. Primary construction was over one winter (see WOW by Mike Barnard in Epoxyworks 43). We started the build at the end of August 1999 and launched at the end of June 2000. The project continued with ongoing additions for the first several years, including upholstering the seats, installing a snap-on cover, a swim platform, cup holders, a wakeboard pylon, and a sound system. Continue reading →
One never really knows when the Fickle Finger of Fate will be pointing in your direction, but it sure did one day early last fall in 2015 at my brother’s shop—Nelson Niederer Woodworking in Bay City’s south end.
One day out of the blue a young man walks into the shop and relates a story about an old boat he found in his grandpa’s barn. He knew he wouldn’t really have the money nor the time and expertise to restore the boat. Nonetheless, he would hate to see it forgotten and disintegrating. Nelson told him to bring it by and he’d take a look. What he brought back was an extremely rare, 14′, 1954 Cadillac Runabout—in great condition! Cold molded, no frames. Mahogany veneer hull construction with a mahogany planked deck. The seat cushions and bimini top in good shape. No rot in the hull— only a little on the ends of the splash rails. Continue reading →
Hog Tide’s deck was spongy around the chainplates, so I decided to fix the core in the deck. Because the main bulkhead was being replaced, it made it easier to do the deck repair from the underside. I started by removing the inner laminate to get to the bad core. I determined the extent of the bad core by tapping on the laminate; a duller sound suggests deteriorated core. Another way of determining if the core is bad is to drill small holes to see where the bad core is by noticing if the balsa core is a dark color. Water may even drip from the drilled holes. To cut the inner laminate I used a high-speed oscillating cutter with a diamond grit blade (multitool). When cutting out the inner laminate, keep the area that is being opened up as small as possible. You can always make more cuts to make the area larger. Continue reading →
As a technical advisor, part of my job is to guide our customers to the correct product selection and discuss proper repair procedures. Sometimes it’s a fun challenge to take on my own projects to stay busy, and it helps me learn what my customers are up against when they do similar projects. This project was repairing the cockpit sole (floor) of a 1994 Four Winns 190 Horizon. The pictures will help tell the story. Continue reading →
I have a 1996 Sea Ray 400 Express Cruiser that I purchased in April 2014. The vinyl is in excellent condition in the cockpit. However, when someone sat in the front passenger seat (45″ wide) the back looked like it wasn’t attached. I went to the Sea Ray Owners Club website to explore the repairs and a fix for the seat. I learned that if I waited until the seatback broke, the vinyl would be damaged, and it would be costly to replace. Continue reading →
The Hog Tide project began last summer when we partnered with Sail Magazine to produce a series of short videos showing how to repair an older J22 that I had arranged to be brought into the GBI Tech shop. The boat, named Hog Tide, needed the types of repairs we wanted to cover. The videos of the Hot Tide project can be found at both westsystem.com and sailmagazine.com. Continue reading →
The prospect of fiberglassing overhead when laminating the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading →
Big Jon (BJ) serves as a reel for retrieving and letting line attached to floating planer boards in and out from a boat while trolling. Planer boards are used to get fishing lures off to the side of the hull so the lures aren’t following directly behind the boat while trolling for walleye. The further the planer board is reeled out, the further the lures are from the side of the hull. BJ has served Tom and Lorraine Klinski well but recently developed some cracks in what appears to be a black nylon plastic. Continue reading →