Category Archives: Boat Repair

D-Ring Pads and G/flex Epoxy

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

New Possibilities for HDPE Boats

D-ring pads are often attached to flexible surfaces with urethane adhesives to gain load-carrying capacity where there otherwise wouldn’t be any. They are used on waterproof fabric cargo bags, heavy tarpaulins, and inflatable boats. They are also sometimes used on the decks of canoes and kayaks to hold cargo in place on long trips. D-rings are not typically used on polyethylene canoes and kayaks because the urethane glues are not recommended for use on HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic. We experimented with gluing D-ring pads with G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive to HDPE plastic with that end-use in mind. Continue reading

12oz fiberglass patches for both the inside and outside were wet out with G/Flex 650.

Patch Holes in Aluminum Boats with G/flex Epoxy

by Rob Monroe

Above: 12oz fiberglass is used to patch holes in an aluminum boat. Fiberglass patches for both the inside and outside of the hull were wet out with G/Flex 650.

When we started testing G/flex Epoxy as a solution to leaky seams and rivets in aluminum boats, we put out a company-wide call for test boats. John Kennedy offered his old 15′ Michi-Craft canoe, saying he would bring it down from his cabin at the end of hunting season. Not smiling, he asked a few weeks later “just how big a repair we could handle.” It turned out John jack-knifed his utility trailer on an icy road, punching a fist-sized hole in the stern quarter of the canoe. Ouch. Continue reading

Fix Leaking Rivets in Aluminum Boats with G/flex 650

We have a video demonstrating aluminum boat repair: Fixing Leaking Rivets in an Aluminum Boat.

We wanted to experiment with using G/flex to fix leaking aluminum boats. I was quite surprised to find that every aluminum boat owner I talked to said they had some sort of leak. Within three hours, I had several co-workers volunteer their aluminum boats for the experimental fix using G/flex. Continue reading

transom saving tip

Transom Saving Tip

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Tom’s transom saving tip is to epoxy conveyor belt material into place, protecting the transom wood from getting crushed by the motor mount screws.  

Ten years ago, I replaced the plywood transom in my 16′ aluminum fishing boat. It had gone bad due to the motor mount screw pads crushing the wood from over-tightening, and from shock loads involved in hanging a motor off the back of a boat and traveling down the road at 70 mph. Continue reading

Appledore IV makes her way upriver after a cruise on the Saginaw Bay with her restored topmasts in place.

Repairing Rotted Topmasts on Appledore IV

by Randy Zajac

Above: Appledore IV makes her way upriver after a cruise on the Saginaw Bay with her repaired topmasts in place.

The Appledore IV is an 85′ LOA topsail schooner owned by the non-profit organization BaySail, based here in Bay City, Michigan. She is licensed to carry 52, including a captain and crew of three, on educational tours of the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. The main topmast and the fore topmast on Appledore IV were found to have rotted wood when they were inspected in the spring of 2006. Once the topmasts were taken down from the boat, they were brought into the Gougeon boat shop for paint removal and further inspection. Continue reading

International 110 sailboat restored

Rebuilding an International 110

By Tim Botimer

Above: Tim’s International 110 sailboat. After winning the National championships, he gave her a new coat of paint.

I first got into International 110 sailing 15 years ago and soon bought an old fixer-upper boat. After sailing it for a couple of years in a decrepit state, I made the decision to fix it right. I had worked with WEST SYSTEM® products before, and I was pretty familiar with the product line. I had done significant repairs on a 1965 plywood Thunderbird and a 1950s vintage Flying Dutchman, which incidentally was one of the original test boats when Jan and Meade Gougeon first came out with the product. I had never tackled anything on the scale of the 110 project, and at the time it was the only boat I had. Continue reading

Bounty Hunter after sheathing with WEST SYSTEM.

Giving BOUNTY HUNTER New Skin

by Patrick Ropp—GBI Technical Advisor

Above: The 65′ strip-planked Bounty Hunter after sheathing with fiberglass and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. After 5 years, she still looks as good as she did then. In addition, her new fiberglass skin quickly paid for itself through increased performance.

Five years ago, Captain Glenn James decided it was time to make improvements to his Coast Guard-inspected charter fishing boat operating out of Edgewater and Solomon’s Island on the Chesapeake Bay. Bounty Hunter is a 65′ cedar-strip planked hull, a one-off Davis™ hull that was built in 1967 at Harkers Island, North Carolina. The planks are fastened to frames on 16″ centers with monel fasteners. The cedar strips are narrow, less than 2″ wide, and are edge nailed with monel nails and edge-glued. Continue reading

Rebuilding a Rudder

by Barry Duke

Above: The two foam halves of the rebuilt rudder, with the plywood core, are dry fit around the post before bonding.

What started out to be a relatively easy job of replacing the motor mounts and cutlass bearing on my 1983 Nelson/Marek 36 turned into building a completely new rudder. Once I removed the rudder, I had planned on fairing it and applying a WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy with 422 Barrier Coat Additive. barrier coat. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that the rudder appeared to be bent.

Continue reading

Epoxy vs. Polyester is an important consideration in fiberglass boat repair.

WEST SYSTEM Epoxy vs. Polyester

for Fiberglass Boat Repair

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Epoxy vs. polyester in a typical fiberglass boat repair cross-section. 

Even though we’ve been promoting the use of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy for repairing fiberglass boats (boats made with polyester resin) in our manuals and Epoxyworks for many years, we continue to receive inquiries asking whether it is appropriate to use epoxy for polyester boat repair. Because of the misinformation still prevalent in marinas, local yacht clubs and on the Internet, we felt it was time to restate the case for epoxy. Continue reading

Polyester Gelcoat Over Epoxy

by Jeff Wright — Vice President of Technical Services

Most production fiberglass boats are made with polyester resin, and we’re often asked if it’s appropriate to use polyester gelcoat over epoxy. WEST SYSTEM® epoxy is a wonderful material for repairing polyester fiberglass boats. One reason for this is the ability of epoxy to form a stronger mechanical bond to a damaged laminate than polyester resin. Epoxy also provides a better moisture barrier than polyester resin. Continue reading