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WildJasmine 09-10-2011 02:53 PM

Help on cheap Fiberglass repair on boat
Background: My wife and I received a "free" Chrysler Lonestar 13 from a friend. We are planning on purchasing a sailboat in the 30 foot range in Febuary and just want this 13 footer to learn the basics. It will most likely just be given away when done so keeping costs down it priority #1.

All of the rigging is in decent shape, we have a sail for it and it floats great.

Problem: All of the wood is almost completely rotted out from the boat sitting. My first thought was to do everything the right way replace the wood, reglass it and be done. Im learning that at this moment in time I dont have the time or money to waste to do this. (I will have the time and cash starting in February but we want to get sailing asap, we have the sickness)

The beam running down the center is what is rotted out, the mast and the hardware that attaches the Mainsheet to the boom are attached to this beam. The mount for the mast has already pulled out of the wood and the hardware for the mainsheet is still there and feels somewhat strong when I pull on it.

I am looking for the quickest and cheapest route to rig this to work because like I said I will probably just give it away when done with it in three months

Fiberglass epoxy resin? would polyester resin work for a temporary fix? To reseat the mast hardware? Thanks

TQA 09-10-2011 03:05 PM

Polyester or vinylester resin is not reccomended for repairs to fibreglass because the bonds are poor. But it will stick well sort of.

Most people use epoxy when bonding things to cured fibreglass.

It comes down to spending a little more to do a proper job looks like a quart will do it so an extra 40-50 bucks.

Ulladh 09-10-2011 03:25 PM

If you are just looking for something quick and dirty, try drying out the wood then saturate with a penetrating epoxy (search on line for "Progressive Epoxy") then make-up whatever is missing with plywood and Bondo Structural Filler. Paint the finished product so that it looks somewhat uniform.

It will not be pretty but will probably get another couple of seasons use out of the boat.

Siamese 09-10-2011 03:31 PM

Why not just get rid of it. It's going to eat time and money. Just buy a Sunfish or a Laser, Butterfly, etc., and sell it when you're done. Or keep it.

If the idea is to go sailing, then go sailing.

If you weren't new to fiberglass work, I'd advise otherwise. If it's new to you, concentrate on learning to sail.

WildJasmine 09-10-2011 03:32 PM

Thanks for the quick reply.

Will I be able to screw the mast mount into the hardened epoxy or should I just epoxy it into it?

My plan for the other hardware would be to drill holes around it and fill it with epoxy?

Maybe that will hold for about 8-10 outings?

johnnyboats 09-10-2011 03:54 PM

I agree with the penetrating epoxy. its really runny and will seep into any soft wood to make it rock hard. it also helps delamination and cracks. once you start tearing out old coring you open up a huge "can of worms". let it dry, patch it up and use it. dont waste money on expensive epoxy either, for re-tabbing or re-glassing. if the surface is properly ground down and prepped, boat builders resin will work fine. even a little boat like that can keep u busy all summer(winter) if you want it to be perfect.

TSchwarck 09-11-2011 07:28 AM

I have had very good results using Bondo resin with cloth/mat from a hardware store. I know that many say to use epoxy, but polyester has worked for me.

Skipper Jer 09-11-2011 08:18 AM

Do it right with epoxy. The loads on fittings even on little boats are enough to inflict damage to you if there is a failure. Whats an eye worth?

WildJasmine 09-11-2011 08:59 AM


Originally Posted by Captainmeme (Post 772969)
Do it right with epoxy. The loads on fittings even on little boats are enough to inflict damage to you if there is a failure. Whats an eye worth?

Good point, epoxy it is

Ulladh 09-11-2011 09:37 AM

This the Bondo I have used for structural items, also available at auto parts stores at about the same price;
Bondo-Hair Long Strand Fiberglass Body Filler

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