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  #1  
Old 12-04-2007
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Glass work in the winter outdoors

My friend has a boat that was just hauled. It is on the Long Island Sound. It is outside at a marina. We would like to do some bottom repair, grind some hull damage and re-glass and put it back in the water. The salesman finds they are easier to sell in the water.
Any tips on doing this kind of work in the winter. What is the chance of success?
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Old 12-04-2007
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It all depends on how warm it is. Below 75 and glass is hard to set. Below 65, it won't set.
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Old 12-04-2007
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I have a propane space heater. Need to wrap it anyway so would a few hours be OK?
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Old 12-04-2007
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Quote:
My friend has a boat that was just hauled. It is on the Long Island Sound. It is outside at a marina. We would like to do some bottom repair, grind some hull damage and re-glass and put it back in the water. The salesman finds they are easier to sell in the water.
Any tips on doing this kind of work in the winter. What is the chance of success?
Unless your hull and the materials that you are working with are warm enough, you will not be able to make a safe repair. If the hull and repaired section are not warm enough the resin will not cure properly. It is not honest to sell someone a boat that has had this done to it.

If you decide to go ahead and do it anyway, then remember what you did next time someone endangers YOUR safety.
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Old 12-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I have a propane space heater. Need to wrap it anyway so would a few hours be OK?
It depends on what epoxies you use. An easy trick is to leave halogen lights, or a space heater on inside the hull. This will warm up the hull. Prep the hull the day before and do the epoxy work in the morning to make the most of the heat of the day. You need to be very careful to keep the heat sources far enough away from the epoxies. If you don't, you will char the epoxy and ruin the bond. A lot of people build and repair fiberglass during the winter. You can find all kinds of tricks online. West System even makes a resin that will set in colder climates, but you still have to keep it above some temperature
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Old 12-05-2007
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1/ Get a thermometer to make sure what the temperature is where YOU are WITH the boat, not what some radio guy says it is outside his studio.
2/ Make sure you put the thermometer where you are going to apply the fiberglass or epoxy, not right in front of the heater blast.
3/ Bring LOTS of propane. If you think the keel of your boat looks like a huge heat sink, you are right. If you are applying resin to it, you will need to get it up to the right temperature (see dan above, or read the directions on your resin) AND KEEP IT THERE UNTIL THE RESIN SETS - probably many hours later. Many epoxies suggest overnight curing at a comfortably warm temperature, 70ļ F, for example. Colder = longer.
4/ Be there. Unattended propane heaters melt temporary plastic windbreaks and burn boats into black slagpiles.
If this sounds like a hassle... it is. That's why my outside fiberglassing project is waiting till spring, and I'm building a kayak in the garage this winter.
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Old 12-05-2007
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If you can avoid having to do the glass work now, and put it off until spring, that would be ideal. It is difficult to get the boat warm enough to ensure a good bond and proper cure of the epoxy. Forget about even trying polyester or vinylester resins. If you can tent the boat and heat the tent well enough, you might be able to get away with it...halogen lights and a propane torpedo heater will go a long way to helping, but not with the way the weather in NY/NE has been this week.
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Old 12-05-2007
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forget it

Hello,

It's been real REAL cold lately (in the 20's and 30's).
No space heater or halogen lights are going to put out enough heat to help.

My suggestion is to do all the grinding, scraping, etc. work that you can. Then move the boat inside (or wait until spring) to do the glass work. If the boat is small enough you may be able to build an enclosure, but if you can't do that or get the boat inside, wait until spring.

Barry
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Old 12-06-2007
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What about using epoxy for the repair as it is under water. I think you can get some epoxy for about 35 degrees.
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I would search cold weather epoxies online and see what you find. I don't think I would want to get into such specialized epoxies though. If you don't think you'll be able to bring the work surface and area up to temperature, it would be best to wait till you could. You could do all the prep work now, then on the first warm weekend in spring, epoxy. You wouldn't have to wait till the weather is warm enough to epoxy. You'd be waiting for it to get warm enough that you could heat the area enough. If it is getting into the sixties during the day and staying above the high forties at night, you could probably heat the work with your propane heater and a tarp over the area. It's over coming freezing temperatures at night, and barely making it to forty during the day that makes it to difficult to try right now.
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