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post #1 of 12 Old 04-16-2017 Thread Starter
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Burning to make repairs...

(I am cross-posting here, so as to get more ideas.)

So I was working on my boat, which is still covered and on the hard today... I was using my butane torch to seal some plastic plugs related to a minor project that I've been working on when after heating one of the plugs I dropped it down the companionway. I shut the torch off, and went down the companionway to look for the plug in the cabin. While I was down there looking, I smelled this funny smell. Once I found the plug, I stuck my head back out of the companionway to find that the smell was more intense, ... and SH!+!!! THE TORCH WASN"T OFF!!!!

I shut it off and found this new bit of "character" added to my companionway hatch:

The burn goes through the textured gelcoat into the underlying glass. Yes, I was lucky that I didn't burn the whole boat down.

I actually DO step here when putting the sailcover on, so I would prefer some non-skid.

My first thought is to use Isiteek... However, I know that Gibco Flex-Mold sells the correct texture pattern mold. I HAVE CONFIRMED that it is this one

#319 - "O'day Weave," available through West Marine, Jamestown Distributors, and iBoats.com.
I do know that this gelcoat color is almost impossible to match (I have tried several minor repairs, and never gotten it close enough, I have become very good at matching the hull color though).

Any ideas of how I should proceed to improve the appearance of the companionway from here?
The boat is an O'day 35, and the companionway hatch was in great shape before this incident...


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Last edited by eherlihy; 04-18-2017 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Confirmed the non skid pattern
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-17-2017
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

Well... its the hatch... Find a junker boat that you can get the hatch from. Then you have the exact right part without the patch.

The scorched edge of cabin might be able to be buffed out.

You can operate with a patch while you re looking on craigslist and other ads for someone scrapping their boat.

It might take a while to find the part but this is the way to get the best result.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-17-2017
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

Do you have the same non-skid pattern on the rest of the deck, with a patch in good shape about the same size as the hatch?

If so, then just splash a mold off it, create a new piece of non-skid for your hatch from the mold, sand off the hatch non-skid and glue the new piece on.

This is easier to do than it sounds. Mask off a section of deck non-skid larger than you need. Wax it well - 3x - wax, wipe off 3x (or spray with PVA mold release). Roll on two coats of no-wax additive gelcoat (color doesn't matter) - let the first coat gel before putting on the second. When gelled, glass on two layers of mat. When cured, pull off and you now have a mold.

To make a new piece of non-skid: Wax your mold like you did the deck. Color some gelcoat as close as possible to the correct color. Make a bit more than you need (see last step), and only add hardener to the amount you use, when it is time to use it. Roll on 3 coats of gelcoat, letting each coat gel before the next. Take a piece of chopped strand mat and from one corner/edge of it, very carefully start to divide its thickness in half (or so) so you end up with just a thin sheet of CSM (you will be surprised at how easily this is done). Glass that thin sheet onto the gelcoat in the mold. When cured, very carefully peel it out of the mold and trim it to the exact size you need for the hatch. Cover the non-skid side with paper/tape to prevent getting resin on it in the next step.

Sand off the hatch non-skid to a flat surface and mask off where the new non-skid will be applied. Thicken some resin with cabosil to mayonnaise quality and evenly spread/roll a thin coat of that onto the hatch non-skid area. Carefully lay down the new piece of non-skid by bending it into a shallow "U" shape and putting the center down first - then allowing the contact area to increase as it is further laid down. This will help to keep air from being trapped. Smooth it down, making sure the glue is all the way to (and out) the edges. Clean up any resin that came out the edges and weight the piece down with some plywood/weights until cured.

After curing, thicken some colored gelcoat with cabosil to consistency of fairing putty and using your finger, make a small cove of putty around the edges so that the transition from edge of non-skid to smooth part of hatch is smooth and seamless. Of course, mask hatch and non-skid so that just a small 1/8" or so gap is showing for the putty cove. This last part isn't really necessary, but it does make it look good and keeps the edges from chipping later if something hits them.

Use polyester resin throughout - this is no place for epoxy.

Match the gelcoat color as best you can, but being perfect doesn't matter because this piece will be visually isolated from the rest of the non-skid and any color difference won't be noticeable.

Again, this sounds difficult and involved, but it is really easy. Once you have made a mold, you will be looking for other places to add non-skid!

Mark
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Last edited by colemj; 04-17-2017 at 09:38 AM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-17-2017
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

Alternately, just burn a bunch of those marks all around the boat and call it "factory option finish".

Seriously, though, another option is to just glue on some after-market stuff - either the fake teak or rubber non-skid.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-17-2017
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

Take the hatch to a store that sells automobile paint. They can match the color.

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-17-2017
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

There's a lesson here beyond the fixing gelcoat. Propane and acetylene valves may ooze a bit when you thought they are turned off. Finding the tank low or empty may be a bit of luck.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-18-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

So where does one find a boat bone-yard with a companionway hatch from an O'day 34/35? Where does one begin to find a boat bone-yard at all?

I will give Rudy a call later today.


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Originally Posted by Turnin Turtle View Post
Well... its the hatch... Find a junker boat that you can get the hatch from. Then you have the exact right part without the patch.

The scorched edge of cabin might be able to be buffed out.

You can operate with a patch while you re looking on craigslist and other ads for someone scrapping their boat.

It might take a while to find the part but this is the way to get the best result.


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post #8 of 12 Old 04-18-2017
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

Here is an alternative to fixing the non-skid using a mold:
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-18-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

Debbi answered and put me on with Rudy. Rudy says that he thinks that he has the mold, and he checked in the barn while I was on the phone with him. Unfortunately, he is not sure (it seems that this mold may have been used for other applications), so I will have to remove the damaged hatch and bring it to him, so that he can verify. The price for a new hatch would be less than $800.


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post #10 of 12 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Burning to make repairs...

Check out (click on) Flex Mold. They may have the pattern you need and reforming the non-skid once you patched and sanded the damaged area smooth isn't difficult.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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