“Maybe the prettiest yacht ever built.” That is what some folks say about Bolero. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, still, very few boaters would be able to take a quick glance at this yacht and not continue to stare and measure every detail with their eyes. Any sailor would imagine themselves on board sailing for Bermuda or their destination of choice. Her proportions are just right and the construction details are elegant and refined. Continue reading →
I have a now-discontinued Harken furler unit for my F-27GS trailerable trimaran. This furler is made of an extruded PVC foil with a braided stainless internal liner, with a rod that passes through as the actual forestay. I really like this flexible foil because of its ease of use when raising the mast as well as the fact that it can be somewhat coiled and stowed in the boat for travel. Continue reading →
A local sailor stopped by our shop with an old plastic hatch that was slightly warped and badly cracked. He hadn’t been able to find a similar hatch to replace it. He wondered if we had an epoxy that could be used to repair the hatch. I said G/flex would likely work but to know for sure we needed to do a bit of adhesion testing. Continue reading →
Photo above: IRYS Students splash the Herreschoff 12.5 they restored during the school term on launch day. Image courtesy of IYRS.
If you travel to the campus of the International Yacht Restoration School, you might think you are walking into the past. The staff offices are inside a restored 1831 mill building. Students restore wooden boats from the 19th and 20th centuries while learning plank-on-frame construction inside a cavernous building from 1903. And hanging off the IYRS docks are majestic classics from a bygone era. Continue reading →
Photo above: Dented varnish repaired with G/5 Five minute adhesive. The repair area is quite difficult to detect.
A few years ago a customer approached me at one of the trade shows to say he loves our G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive for filling dents in wood trim prior to reapplying varnish. I thought what a great idea. It cures clear, can be wet sanded in an hour (longer if you are dry sanding), and can be varnished over without a problem. It looks much better than filling with wood putty because it is clear. It can be difficult to match the surrounding wood color when filling with wood putty.
This fast blister repair method is tailored to fixing individual gel coat blisters prior to bottom painting. The advantage of this method is it can repair blisters on hulls recently pulled from the water or hulls that have been out for some time.
Fast Blister Repair Method
Open the Blisters
Open blisters with a small abrasive tool like 3M’s Rolock™. 2″ diameter sanding disk with 60-grit sandpaper. Make sure you have removed the entire blister, including the edges of the blister dome.
Clean the Cavity
Wipe the cavity clean with an alcohol prep pad or paper towels that have been soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Be generous with the alcohol and change towels frequently so the contaminants are removed rather than spread. Repeat the alcohol wipe process and allow the laminate to dry to the touch. It is particularly important to repeat the alcohol wipe on blisters that were fluid-filled at the time they were ground away.
Fill with Six10
Fill the cavities with Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive dispensed through the static mixing wand.
Spread the Six10
Spread the Six10 Adhesive flush with the surrounding hull with a wide putty knife or plastic spreader. Avoid overfilling the cavities because Six10 is difficult to sand.
Wet sand with 80–120-grit wet/dry sandpaper or wash with water (no soap, no ammonia) and sand dull with 100-grit sandpaper. If you are using Six10 in warm conditions, you should be able to wet sand and bottom paint later the same day. If working in cooler temperatures, allow the epoxy to cure overnight before sanding.
The final step is applying your choice of bottom paint to complete this fast blister repair job.
Why this Fast Blister Repair Method Works
Six10 Adhesive is epoxy thickened with fumed silica, which allows the epoxy to remain an excellent moisture barrier. When the static mixer is used to dispense it the blister cavity is filled with air-free epoxy. This is important because small bubbles in coatings and putties degrade moisture barrier potential by creating shortcuts for moisture to permeate the hull. In the end, Six10 produces a moisture barrier that is better than the original gelcoat.
In our Gelcoat Blister manual, we recommend filling and fairing extensively blistered hulls with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy thickened with one of our low-density fillers (407 Low Density or 410 Microlight®). The hollow microscopic spheres used to make low-density fillers easy to sand, make them poor moisture barriers. So, the blister manual requires that an effective epoxy barrier coat be applied over the filled and faired surface.
Six10 Adhesive is an excellent option for filling ground-out blister cavities—especially if you don’t plan to barrier coat your hull.
More Good Reasons for Using Six10
Six10 is simple to use. No stirring is required when the epoxy is dispensed through the static mixer. The Six10 cartridge fits any standard caulking gun and always dispenses epoxy at the perfect mix ratio. Six10 makes filling blisters easy and efficient. This is comforting to know whether you’re doing the job yourself or paying someone else to do it.
Above: Meade fixes his broken spinnaker pole with a blend of WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy and fast curing G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive.
Adagio, our 35′ trimaran, was already off to a bad start in the 100th anniversary of the first running of the Chicago to Mackinaw race with an over-early call by the race committee. Everything went downhill from there when we had to deal with a broken spinnaker pole. Continue reading →
Above: The legendary commuter yacht THUNDERBIRD, underway on Lake Tahoe. She was built at Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan, which later became the manufacturing site of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.
A little history lesson. Last year a cousin of the Gougeon Brothers, David Huskins and his family, visited the Thunderbird Lodge on Lake Tahoe. He sent us a couple of photos of Thunderbird, the legendary commuter yacht designed by John L. Hacker in 1939. It was commissioned by George Whittell and built by Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan. Continue reading →
Above: Robert Patenaude performs emergency rudder repairs with G/flex so he can get back into the regatta and take first place.
Robert Patenaude had ten miles left to reach the finish line in the Bermuda One-Two offshore race when a 30-ton whale hit Perseverance, his C&C 41, seriously damaging the rudder. Not content to drop out of the competition, he called on his racer friends to help him remove the 160 lb, 9′-long rudder from the boat while it was still in the water. He reasoned that if the contenders in the Puma or Vendee Globe races could make major repairs without dropping out of a race, he could too. Continue reading →
Above: Stan and Glenda Bradshaw in the Mad River Freedom 16′ Royalex canoe repaired with G/flex Epoxy in August 2007 on the Blackfoot River near Ovando, Montana a couple of miles downstream of the Roundup Bar.
The wooden gunwales of Royalex canoes can rip a hull apart if left out in bitter cold temperatures. Somewhere south of freezing, the plastic body of the canoe shrinks while the dampish wooden gunwales expand. Unless the screws affixing the inwale and outwale are backed out, they pin a shrinking hull to an expanding gunwale, and something will give. That something is always the hull. Continue reading →