Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: new england
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I would recomend Don Casey's book...I think called sailboat hull and deck repair. I recored the cabintop on my boat. It isn't all that difficult to do. Making the end product look like the factory finish is the hard part. Find the perimeter of the wet area with a meter or by drilling holes. Make sure you find all of the wet area before you cut. I have seen too many people who don't want to make a huge hole in there boat so they start with a small one...then another, and another. In the end the cut out looks like a puzzle and it will be much harder to finish well! Find out the thickness of the outer skin and use a pencil to mark the cut out. You need about 3-4 inches of open space on both sides of the cut to bevel and fillet. Then set your skill saw to just over the thickness of the skin. Make the cut. Then use paint scrapers,prybars, chisels, heat gun......whatever you can to remove the outer skin without damaging it...you will reuse it later if it is still intact. This part is hard....there will be some sections of core still adhered to the skins. If you can't remove the outer skin w/o killing it, you can lay up a new one.
Using a wood chisel, carefully remove all of the core material from both skins (if the outer is still intact). Then wipe them down with acetone to remove any wax/oils. Then grind them with 60 grit untill there all fresh glass.
Fiberglass is NASTY stuff. I am not allergic to anything, but fiberglass dust makes me feel like i'm being attacked by fireants...especially if your sweating! Wear a while painting suit, with long sleeve shirt/pants under and get the best respirator you can find. They make a full face one for like 100$ (it's your life). Use a sander/grinder that can hook up to a rigid shop vac so most of the dust is sucked up.
I've got to go now but will finish later....P