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  #1  
Old 07-16-2007
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Fiberglass - what do you think?

There was a small area (may be 5" long) of damage from grounding, perhaps, on my hull chine. The yard finally ground it today (hard to tell from photo, but it is about a 1ft - 1.5 ft long). Looks like damage did not extend too deep - they removed less than 1/8" in my estimate. However, what I am wondering about is condition of laminate in here - it looks rather yellow to me. Is this normal? I expected it to be "greener"


Plus - the hull is one of those two-halves-joined on chine types, and there is a crack (apparently superficial, since the same crack ran through the ground out area and does not extend deeper) running most of its length (second picture). What would be a smart thing to do? Leave it alone? Epoxy? Reinforce hull chine inside to reduce flexing?


Looking for general ideas here.
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The color looks ok to me. In terms of the other crack... not my area of expertise. Reinforcing is easy, so I would just go ahead and do it if you were really concerned. Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2007
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The color of the fiberglass is determined by the type of resin used, and may not be indicative of anything at all. How thick is the laminate there??? It certainly looks like they need to grind out and taper/bevel the ground out area before re-glassing it.

If you're really worried about the crack... grind it out and re-glass the area.
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Old 07-16-2007
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Laminate is pretty thick - 1/2 - 5/8 of an inch or so (look at the photo of 1" thru-hull down below for reference).

You think they need to grind more? They seemed to get pretty much to solid dry laminate there (except for two spots less than a size of a dime, the guy wasn't all that diligent or, perhaps, will wait till it dries out?).
I have a feeling they will try to slap some epoxy mixed with filler on this area and that will be the repair. While I am not all too happy about that, what they ground out was resin with chopped mat, which isn't particularly structural either - so I can't claim epoxy with filler is unsuitable replacement. I'd like to have the area properly covered by cloth - but then again, in a year or two I might want to do a complete bottom "peel job" and then this glass might be getting in a way. Not sure.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
The color of the fiberglass is determined by the type of resin used, and may not be indicative of anything at all. How thick is the laminate there??? It certainly looks like they need to grind out and taper/bevel the ground out area before re-glassing it.

If you're really worried about the crack... grind it out and re-glass the area.
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Generally, a damaged area is ground out to a 12:1 bevel and then built back up with glass cloth and roving. My point was that to fair in the new fiberglass cloth, you'd need to grind back a bit along each side to tie the repair into the main hull... rather than just have it stuck on the front edge of the hull, which isn't going to be as strong IMHO.

If you spot treat the two 'wet' spots with acetone, that will help dry it out, since the acetone will evaporate and take much of the water with it. Personally, I would re-build the thickness in the area with fiberglass cloth and roving, rather than just thickened epoxy.
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In general I would agree. Unfortunately, this is not a great yard and I haven't even spoken to fiberglass guy there. Everything is done through "service requests" and the guy is somwhere out there.

Plus, rebuilding 1/8" inch of non-structural chopped mat with cloth is way too cool even for me. One day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
If you spot treat the two 'wet' spots with acetone, that will help dry it out, since the acetone will evaporate and take much of the water with it. Personally, I would re-build the thickness in the area with fiberglass cloth and roving, rather than just thickened epoxy.
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Old 07-17-2007
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I guess I am curious about why you don't take over from the yard and finish it yourself. The fibreglass looks fine in the pic. The remaining wet spots need to be dealt with though. Don't let them seal and paint your hull while it is wet or you may be setting yourself up for serious problems.

Dry them out. If there is any soft stuff in there try to get it out without destroying or cutting the fibreglass roving strands. Then mix up a bit of home made chopped strand filler (put some fibreglass into a blender full of water and chop it up a bit. Pour it out through a fine sieve ((nylon stocking works well)), let it dry and mix it into your epoxy). Work this in to the holes you dug getting the wet stuff out. Don't put too much in - you primary goal is to seal it. Make sure that your epoxy does not form a bump that protrudes at all. If it does, then you will find it very dificult to get the hull smooth, as the epoxy sands less readily than the gel coat, hence it is very easy to gouge the gel-coat while you are trying to get the epoxy smooth. Particularly on a curved surface.

When the fill has dried, then apply a thin barrier coat of epoxy over the exposed fibreglass. S1 sealer is good for this. If you use S1 put on three thin coats, but make sure that the S1 is still a little lowewr than the undamaged portion of the hull.

When the S1 has almost set up (maybe 16 to 24 hours in warm weather - it should still be ever-so-slightly soft but not tacky), run a coarse piece of sandpaper over the surface once - no more - just enough to abrade it - not remove it. Now use a very slightly thickened polyester resin or unthickened gel coat to build up the remaining 1/16 depression and fair the hull.

If you let the yard finish it, make sure they deal with the wet stuff and ensure your hull dries out before you seal it up again.

The other "crack" is not an uncommon thing. Has probably been there since the boat was built. If you are worried about it, then try running your fingernail or screwdriver along it to see if there are any soft areas or voids. If you find any, sell the boat fast
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Old 07-17-2007
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Because I have a laundry list of projects to complete that is longer than guest list at oscars. And I have to balance what is important to me, and what I can or should hire out. I am already working on the boat 3 days a week (and have 20K budget for all the work I don't do myself).

Can't sell the boat - just bought her I am not too worried about the seam, but I am sure leaving it alone is not the right thing to do (but leaving it alone for now may be, depending on how important I feel it is - I am undecided at this point). Barrier coating it sounds like a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann
I guess I am curious about why you don't take over from the yard and finish it yourself.
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Old 07-17-2007
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I personally wouldn't be concerned about weakened structure. From what you describe, only the gelcoat and first layer of mat has been lost.

When fiberglass is molded, first gelcoat is sprayed into the mold, then a layer or two of mat is applied to it before any woven roving is put in. The mat is to keep the coarse texture of the roving from "printing through" the gelcoat. This is what you've lost.

When hulls are molded in two halves and brought together, the laminates in each half are put in so they taper to nothing at the keel. When the halves are together, the builder laminates glass across this joint to build up to proper thickness and strength.

Gelcoat is brittle, so even though the builder would have patched the joint when the boat was new, the joint is a weak point in the gelcoat that is likely to crack.

Have a look in your bilge. Where the gelcoat is ground away the fiberglass should be translucent. White, opaque areas would mean delamination. If you don't see any, the laminate structure is good.

Cheers,

Tim
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Old 07-17-2007
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Please don't take offense in my observation that it sounds like you are trying to create work. The only reason for a gelcoat peel is a million or so blisters.
pigslo
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