Category Archives: Boat Repair

The U.S. Customs graphic was restored after the repair was completed.

US Customs Fiberglass Boat Repair

by Rich Simms, NMSC

Above: The US Customs fiberglass boat that was damaged while interacting with suspect violators and repaired with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

Vessels used by the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) can be subjected to severe conditions during law enforcement operations. Occasionally, the intense interaction between law enforcement vessel and suspect violators can result in unwanted vessel damage. The damage on this ICE interceptor was the result of an intentional impact by a suspect vessel (Photos 1 and 2). Continue reading

A great tool when you want to prepare fiberglass laminates for epoxy adhesion

A Better Way to Prepare Fiberglass Laminates

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: The Rapid Strip Brush™ is a great tool when you want to prepare fiberglass laminates for epoxy adhesion.

During a recent inspirational hardware store visit, I discovered a rotary wire brush made by Norton™ called the Rapid Strip Brush™. It is used with an electric drill and produces results comparable to bead blasting or a needle scaler. The package says it can be used to abrade metal, masonry, and fiberglass. I immediately thought of a fiberglass application that I wanted to try it on. Continue reading

repairing machined holes in fiberglass

Repairing Machined Holes in Fiberglass

Technical Staff Report

Above: When repairing machined holes in fiberglass, whether screw or a through-hull fitting like the one for the pictured seacock, your strategy will depend on the size, purpose, and location of the hole.

First, we will classify the types of holes we are discussing as ones that are round and have been machined, probably with a drill, as opposed to punctures and cracks incurred from damage. The reasons they may need to be repaired are numerous: refitting, resizing, removing obsolete equipment, or mistakes. When repairing machined holes in fiberglass boats, the challenge is to determine an appropriate repair strategy. You want a repair that is safe and adequate, but also realistic. You want to ensure that the repair is strong enough for the anticipated worst-case load and err on the side of being conservative. Other things to consider include the costs in time and money and the skill required to perform the repair. Continue reading

Installing a Teak Deck on ZATARA

by Ken Newell
Epoxyworks 20

Cover Photo: The intricate plank layout of ZATARA’s finished teak-covered cockpit, before the hardware was reinstalled.

The Zatara refit project began two years ago when my partner Steve Gallo (a mortgage banker) and myself, Ken Newell (a materials engineer), decided that we wanted something to do with our spare time and money. What we didn’t realize was the level to which the refit project would absorb every weekend and every non-critical dollar we had and cause our significant others to chastise us for our obsessive behavior. Continue reading

We mixed and applied a third coat thickened with 406 Colloidal Silica Filler to create the non-skid texture.

Creating a Non-Skid Deck

by Bruce Niederer — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: We mixed and applied a third coat thickened with 406 Colloidal Silica Filler to create the texture for the non-skid finish on the deck.

This racing season onboard Triple Threat has been filled with the usual mix of tedium, laughs, and excitement. It’s a good thing when the exciting part is due to close racing and fast downwind surfing-it’s a bad thing if the excitement occurs when the foredeck crew nearly goes overboard because the deck is wet and the non-skid finish has the texture of a Slip n’ Slide! I’m happy to report no instances of skidding off the foredeck this year, as there had been in years past, because this year the non-skid finish was brand new. Continue reading

With her bulkheads back in place, the Evelyn sailboat RUSH is back in action.

Replacing Damaged Bulkheads

By Dan Witucki

Above: With her damaged bulkheads replaced, the Evelyn 32-2 sailboat RUSH is back in action. Several weeks later, the new bulkheads proved they could handle the stress of a heavy knockdown and a major storm during the infamous 2002 Chicago to Mackinac race.

If you race a sailboat long and hard enough, it eventually will reveal its weaknesses, sometimes violently. My friends and I race an Evelyn 32-2 called Rush. Less than a month before the 2002 Mackinaw races, we were competing in the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association, Gravelly Shoals race. Throughout the race, the wind had been building and we were a little overpowered with a full main and 150% headsail. We had completed about 45 miles of the 50-mile race when the starboard chainplate decided it had enough and pulled out of the bulkhead. Continue reading

Replacing Damaged Balsa Core

By Bruce Niederer — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Surprisingly, much of the damaged balsa core on TRIPLE THREAT was well bonded to the glass skin, as it was to this section of skin around the chainplate. The bad core that didn’t come out with the glass skin was removed with a chisel.

I love my boat. I love to spend time with it-sailing it, working on it, improving it.

I think I need my head examined. Continue reading

ARION

Damian McLaughlin Rebuilds ARION

By Kay Harley

Above: ARION as she looked in 2001.

Damian McLaughlin, a custom boatbuilder from North Falmouth, Massachusetts, has been designing, repairing, and building boats for more than thirty years. Recently, he finished the reconstruction of Arion, heralded at its launch in 1951 as “The first auxiliary sailboat built with fiberglass,” and “The largest one-piece hull of reinforced plastic in the world.” In 1950, Sidney Herreshoff, son of the famous Nathaniel, designed the 42′ Arion to be built using what was then an innovative new material: plastic resin reinforced with glass fibers, otherwise known as fiberglass. Continue reading

Repairing individual gelcoat blisters

Repairing Individual Gelcoat Blisters

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Gelcoat blisters can be a serious problem if left unattended. At some point, your hull may need extensive repair, including gelcoat removal and epoxy barrier coats as described in Gelcoat Blisters: Diagnosis, Repair & Prevention. However, if you have isolated blisters and a manageable number to repair individually, we often recommend that you patch individual blisters and continue to use the boat until you determine the cause and extent of the problem. Continue reading

Plastic Boat Repairs

By Tom Pawlak

Editor’s note: this article was written in 2000, years before we formulated G/Flex 655 epoxy which has superior performance with plastics. The basic plastic boat repair methods described here still represent best practices, but for optimal results use these methods with G/flex 655 epoxy on plastics.

Molded plastic canoes and kayaks are incredibly tough and durable. Occasionally though people damage them and call us for repair recommendations. Considering that plastic film is often used as a mold release for epoxy, you can see what we’re up against when we try to bond to it. Continue reading