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Old 09-14-2008
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Hull Delamination

I have a 26' sloop that fell off her stands. There is minor surface scuffing. I am concerned about delamination of the foam core. Can I inject an epoxy product to stiffen the above waterline beam hull? Or is the removal of the outer skin required and the subsequent expensive repair necessary?
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This seems a question that a professional surveyor should answer after inspecting your hull...anyone here would be shooting in the dark...
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Do you KNOW you have delamination? Tapping and listening for sound differences with a plastic head hammer should tell the story. Leave well enough alone if you don't hear a difference.
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I'd agree with SF, a professional surveyor should probably be brought in. One problem with foam cored hulls is that they can "delaminate" by tearing the foam core material, and it will generally still sound like good laminate when you're tapping it, but it won't have anything near the strength of undamaged laminate. This kind of damage is more likely with ductile foam core materials, rather than rigid ones, which will generally damage the skins rather than shearing.
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, I know there is delamination. I am looking for someone who may have experience with repair of foam core construction and if there is a product which can be injected to stiffen the affected area. I'm trying to avoid scrapping the boat. Removal of the skin and repair will excede the value of the hull. A surveyor can confirm damage but would not advise on repair techniques.
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Bummer. The RIGHT way to do this repair is to cut it open and do a rebuild but you know that already. You CAN also attempt a repair by injecting epoxy into the delaminated area under some pressure...but there is no guarantee of success. To do this you drill a hole at the LOWER limit of the de-lam and then one or more "vent" holes at the top of the de-lam and inject slow cure epoxy under pressure till it exits from the top holes. In this manner you are SURE to fill any voids. Then seal the holes and allow the epoxy to cook and hopefully adhere. This will ONLY WORK if the core is completely dry so if you have water ingress, forget about it. Good luck!
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Be aware that just injecting epoxy is going to have some serious side effects that may cause problems, as the hull where the epoxy is injected will be much heavier and probably less stiff than the areas that have a proper foam core.

If the inner skin isn't punctured, you can probably do a fairly good job of re-coring the hull yourself, especially if you have a sister ship to use to make a mold of the damaged area. There was a good article on doing this in a recent magazine from this past summer. If I can find my copy of it, I'll let you know what magazine it was.

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Originally Posted by fastforward26 View Post
Thanks for the responses. Yes, I know there is delamination. I am looking for someone who may have experience with repair of foam core construction and if there is a product which can be injected to stiffen the affected area. I'm trying to avoid scrapping the boat. Removal of the skin and repair will excede the value of the hull. A surveyor can confirm damage but would not advise on repair techniques.
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Old 09-16-2008
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I guess it goes without saying that there was no insurance on this boat?
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The insurance has been settled and satisfactorly. Still the question remains, what is it worth to repair a 25 year old hull? I've had a professional quote of nearly $10,000.00 A replacement boat can be bought for far less. That said, it's hard thing to throw away. Thanks again to all for the imput.
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Hi
I have never tried this but its worth considering.

When bulding new boats vacuum infusion are becoming more popular it is a effective and inexpensive way to distrubute resin in a laminate.
You could do it the same way.

Drill some injection holes at the centre of the damaged area and holes for vacuum at the edges.

Apart from epoxy (or polyester) you will need plastic film, tape , hoses and a vacuum pump. If you google "vacuum infusion" you will get lots of hits.

The vacuum pump is the most expensive equipment. I have read som articles on using an old compressor from a fridge for this purpose. Or maybe you could by or rent one?

Just an idea

A boat repair shop close to my waters have recently started to look at vacuum infusion for repairjobs. (Don't know if they would use it to solve delamination thoug)
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