Fiberglass void repair?? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-14-2007
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Fiberglass void repair??

The boat I just purchase was found to have a 12"x12" void in the bow with a few very fine cracks along one edge. The surveyor informed me that it was probably from the original layup (1981). He suggests drilling a hole and injecting epoxy. I read in a thread from 2000 that polyester resin is better. Any thoughts on the best way to tackle this project and whether epoxy or polyester resin in best?
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Old 04-14-2007
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I'm not a boat builder so there are probably more informed views about to appear.

My view FWIW is that if there is any possibility of flexing in the area you're repairing, polyester resin may be to brittle/firm and could posibbly start cracking and eventually the void will be filled with dust. Epoxy generally has a little flexibility to take up minute movement.

Of course there's a strong possibility I could be wrong ;-)
Andre
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Old 04-14-2007
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I had lots of small voids in my cabintop some years ago. A master shipwright and I fixed them by drilling a bunch of small holes and injecting West System epoxy into them.

He made up a bunch of teak bungs to fit the holes ahead of time. My job, as he squeezed in the epoxy, was to watch for epoxy exiting a hole, and to bung it quickly.

Worked perfectly. No further problems.

Bill
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Hands down use epoxy. Adding to what trayfors said, I would try and find a depth so when you drill from the inside of the boat you don't puncture the outer skin and the gelcoat. It would save you a boat load of time doing that. I also would use an old anal key on a drill to widen up the inside of the hole, so you can get more epoxy inside of it.
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Using an anal key to widen a hole is something I hope to never experience.

I believe that is called a Fruedian slip!(G)
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Freesail99,
You mentioned repairing from inside the boat. The void is on the deck. Are you suggesting to drill and inject the epoxy from below? Is this a better way than from the deck?
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Whoops, forgot to ask how big of holes should I be drilling??
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Yes that is what I am suggesting. It will save days of time doing that way and not messing with matching and repairing the gelcoat.
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I would have responded sooner, but I had to wait to stop laughing after SailAway's post.

I think epoxy is recommended because new fiberglass resin doesn't bond to fiberglass that's been cured for a long time. I assume the gap you're trying to fill is fairly thin. If your void is 12" X 12" X something like ¼" between plies, epoxy alone might not add enough strength to prevent future flexing..
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A 12x12 VOID from the original layup? I would get a second opinion and make sure you don't have core rot. A couple of pilot holes from below should tell the story.
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