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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 01-07-2009
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To support the balsa, rather than cutting props to size use a bunch of scrap 2x4 ripped down to about 3/8" or 1/2" thickness and some to 1/4 or 3/8.

Wear a hard hat when you put the balsa in place, then hold it with your head and place one of the strips across then spring a few of the other boards up to hold it in place. Put as many cross bits and springs as you think you need. The hard hat's easier to clean than hair, and frees both hands to speed up the work.

The strip across the balsa evens out the pressure so you don't get divots, and springing the strips in place to hold it works better than trying to cut a brace with an exact fit, and 2x stock is tons cheaper than buying dowels.
You can place them as close together as you want for more pressure if needed.

tape on the cross bits will prevent the resin from sticking if/when it starts to bleed through.
the spring makes it self adjusting so it takes up space as the resin levels out

Much easier to do it from outside.

You DO need two layers of fiberglass for strength. But the fiberglass can be built up in place, use "T" headed pins, or very short staples to hold it up, then remove the pins or staples as soon as the resin cures enough to hold the cloth in place

Ken.
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  #22  
Old 01-07-2009
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I suppose if the inside layer is as insubstantial as the OP states, it may not be feasible to do this from the top. I can't wait to see the pix!
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  #23  
Old 01-08-2009
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I have some pix already on film, I'll see if I can't dig em out tonight. I'll be sure to bring a digital cam with me to get some before pictures.
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Old 01-08-2009
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recoring from the inside

I have done some recoring work from both the inside and the outside. My experience is that recoring from the outside is easier, except that the finish work can take more time than you save with the fiberglass work if the area is small to moderate. If the deck is already painted, going at from the outside makes all the sense in the world because it is easy to match paint or repaint the whole deck. If you have original gel coat & molded nonskid on the deck the choice is harder. Work from the inside can typically be concealed by the headliner so a perfectly faired job is not necessary. To work from the inside, wet out the area with epoxy, then glue in the balsa with epoxy thickened with silica. A generous amount of thick epoxy should be applied the center of small to moderately sized balsa sections and pressed into place until epoxy oozes out the sides (Clean up with a plastic scraper). Brace in place using a piece of thin ply (covered with plastic) & numerous cheap pine battens from the local lumber yard (flexed into place). Laminate each fiberglass layer from the inside by wetting out the area and then waiting util tacky (e.g., after 30 min for 60 min pot life) and then pressing precut cloth sections into the tacky epoxy. Use a roller to eliminate voids and then paint on fresh epoxy for the next layer or finish coat. Use staples (remove as each layer kicks) or thickened epoxy if you have area that are problematic.
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Old 01-08-2009
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Thank you for that detailed response.
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Old 01-08-2009
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interesting discussion.

Mike
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Old 01-09-2009
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ZZ,
If you can get the balsa core to set in place with thickened epoxy (and lots of patience holding it in place until it kicks) to hold you can put the glass back in the same way (i.e, half kicked thickened epoxy troweled on and push the glass into it. Do it in manageable sections and use a bunch of plastic thumbtacks/t-pins to hold it up until it starts to kick then use regular epoxy and a roller to wet the glass out. Leave the pins in place until it's solid, then grind off the heads and smooth the interior as needed. Finish it with paint or a vinyl liner if needed.
If you do it in sections you may want to do seams, or one big sheet over the whole thing. It's about strength not fracture lines.

If you really want to go esoteric - vacuum bagging won't work in your situation but a balloon might (blow up mattress anyone?) Test first, your results may vary

Remember the epoxy secret - epoxy doesn't stick to wax paper or waxed surfaces. Use liberally, often and before you THINK you need it.
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Old 01-12-2009
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I would highly recommend doing the repair from the topside, not from the bottom. First, getting a properly laid up laminate without voids is much more difficult from the bottom—since gravity is working against you. Second, you have to really be careful when glassing inside the boat or you can make a really amazing mess...that will take forever to clean up—which isn't the case when working from the top down. Third, it will go much faster if you work from the top down. You also do need to put a layer of fiberglass on the side you're working from—since that is what gives the cored laminate its strength, as others have stated.

The way a cored laminate works is that the two layers of fiberglass act as the top and bottom of an I-beam effectively, one in tension and one in compression with a stress web, the core material, between them. This makes it far stronger than solid laminate of the same weight would be. Not glassing the interior will result in a one-sided I-beam...which is pretty weak.

For core material, I'd go with divinylcell or Airex foam rather than balsa. It is probably going to be a lot easier to work with. ContourKore balsa is great to work with, but have you priced it recently???
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  #29  
Old 01-12-2009
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Yes I've checked the price of those. Its more than a $1 per sq ft increase over balsa. Marine plywood is by far cheaper. Then balsa, then the foam as far as price goes.
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Old 01-12-2009
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I'll say again that the scope of the area you're recoring is too big to do from the inside. I sincerely wish you good luck if you go that route, but I don't see a repair stretching from the companionway to the foredeck ending well.

Much of the repaired area will be under non-skid, right? Non-skid is very easy to paint with durable products like Interlux Interdeck.
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