While most of our customers are successful when using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to repair damaged fiberglass, we have become familiar with some common mistakes that are easily preventable. These mistakes are made by both professionals and amateurs. The information discussed in this article is available in our Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual and WEST SYSTEM User Manual, and on the WEST SYSTEM website.
A typical fiberglass repair in cross section.
This diagram illustrates how we recommend laminating a repair after the damaged Continue reading →
Early in March of 2012, a local boat owner called our technical line and asked about repairing his cast iron wing keel with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. He asked if a technical advisor would be willing to take a look at the cracks on his keel and recommend the best way to repair it. After looking at the boat I gave the customer a call back and recommended using G/flex® Epoxy. The advantage of G/flex is that it is a toughened system that has a tensile elongation of more than 30 percent, which would prevent cracks from reappearing in the fairing compound. The boat owner then asked if I Continue reading →
The amount of wood used in a production fiberglass boat is significant; it is used for many things such as stringers, bulkheads, floors, and backers. Higher quality production boats often use marine grade plywood for these applications but it can still be damaged by long-term exposure to water. Continue reading →
Many of our EPOXYWORKS articles feature projects that our customers have spent years building and represent major personal accomplishments. I also believe we have many customers who, like me, use WEST SYSTEM Epoxy simply to keep an older boat in good repair.
The following are examples of repairs and small projects that I have completed on my personal boat over the last ten years. These would apply to many production fiberglass boats. Since WEST SYSTEM Epoxy has a shelf life measured in years, it is easy to keep it on your shelf and tackle these tasks when it’s convenient. Continue reading →
Built in 1957, my 15′ Larson Thunderhawk Jr. is a fiberglass runabout reborn. I launched her into the waters of Grass Lake, in Fox Lake, Illinois in late August 2010. But before this happened, the boat underwent a major restoration. I purchased this boat in August of 2009, after it sat idle for several years, collecting dirt, rainwater, leaves and snow. All that remained was its shell,
I purchased this boat in August of 2009, after it sat idle for several years, collecting dirt, rainwater, leaves and snow. All that remained was its shell, motor, and a rusted trailer. I found a group of Larsen enthusiasts who helped me locate my boat’s original specs, drawings, and
The following photos detail some recent repairs made by the owner and crew of Jester, a 2005 C&C 99. Jester is well equipped and has been meticulously maintained by her skipper and only owner, Greg Horvath. Jesterhas only sailed in fresh water and is stored indoors during the winter. She is also the boat I’ve raced aboard here in Saginaw Bay as well as around the Great Lakes including the Port Huron to Mackinaw Race and the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs. Continue reading →
I have just about finished restoring a Gougeon Tornado. I’ve always had and loved catamarans, and this one had been sitting out in the sun at the Oklahoma City Boat Club for years. Bob, a fellow club member, offered some parts. His plans were to “chainsaw the hulls tomorrow” and put the pieces in the club Dumpster. That was the push I needed. In a moment of insanity, I told him there was no way I could let him do that. Continue reading →
New for 2012, WEST SYSTEM is offering three specialized boat repair kits designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. Each contains the right materials and instructions for making lasting repairs and retails for around $30 at your local stocking WEST SYSTEM dealer. Continue reading →
All of the boat builders that I know have little tricks that make a job go faster or do it better. Fairing a 40′ custom-built hull is an arduous task which is often accomplished with two-man teams and fairing boards. We do 90% of the work with a grinding device. Almost everyone in the business will agree that a grinder will remove a substantial amount of material quickly. The trick is controlling that removal.Continue reading →
On July 15th, 2006, a friend and I took my 1958 Flying Dutchman out for a sail in the Saginaw River. This was only the third time the boat had sailed in 30 years and the first hard sailing since my six-year-long restoration. We set both sails and made several runs in front of the Saginaw Bay Yacht Club before we hit something, maybe an old piling or maybe the freighter rudder that went missing the previous fall.
The Damage The centerboard took the first impact, splitting at the pivot bolt hole. Next the rudder hit, forcing it upward, snapping the tiller and tearing off most of the transom. The board jammed against the back of the centerboard trunk and gouged a triangle out of the trailing edge of the centerboard. Continue reading →