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post #8 of Old 08-14-2011
1968 Pearson Wanderer 30
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Richmond, VA
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I was surprised to find that what passed for "floor timbers" installed by the factory were little more than a few miscellaneous scraps of oak placed seemingly randomly here and there. They were not attached to the hull anywhere - they were just laid in the hull and the sole laid down over them and screwed to them.

I decided to make new, properly fitted floor timbers, to be epoxied and glassed into the hull.

I used the old "ticking stick" method to make templates for new floor timbers:

I took the templates home and cut out the timbers on the bandsaw. I used spokeshaves to fine-tune the fit to the hull, then used thickened epoxy to bed them down into the hull.

Before epoxying, I used a twisted wire wheel on the angle grinder to go over the entire bilge to clean it to try to ensure good adhesion of not only the epoxy, but also the bilge paint that I would be using. That operation made a huge mess and blew fiberglass dust everywhere. My arms were itchy for days afterwards, and every time I visited the boat, I'd get it again. I finally hosed out the inside of the boat, which helped a lot.

I coated all the surfaces of the new timbers with unthickened epoxy, then used colloidal silica to thicken up a batch and stick them to the hull and make some nice fillets. Here are the new floor timbers after epoxying:

I also went over the fillets with fiberglass and epoxy.

- Bill T.
- Richmond, VA

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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