glass and bulkheads in the winter - SailNet Community

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Old 12-18-2008
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glass and bulkheads in the winter

Hello all,

I am sure this is answered somewhere but I couldn't seem to find anything with sailnets search.

My brother and I have acquired a 1980 Cal 25 Mark II. The bulkheads were badly replaced. We have removed them and are going to replace them. We are on pause though because of temperature concerns. Here in Chicago it is obviously very cold. With two electric heaters going on high we can maintain about 72 degrees when it is 12 degrees outside. Can we go ahead and glass the new bulkheads in? Is the temperature difference too great between inside and outside the hull? Will it make a decent bond with the hull?

thanks
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Old 12-18-2008
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It will be very difficult to get a guaranteed good bond under those conditions.. I'd put it on hold for a bit.. or better yet get the boat into heated storage for a job like that if you have to do it this time of year!

btw I hope you're using epoxy resins, you'll get a much better secondary bond than with polyester, and some epoxies work better at cooler temperatures as well.

Good Luck.
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We are using West System epoxy resins. We went ahead and replaced a section of hull deck joint and it SEEMS to have cured properly with interior in the 70's and exterior air temp in the low teens. The interior hull temp was around 50. Can't afford indoor heated and we have so much work to do we really want to get this done. But I would hate to have to do again.
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Do you have teh $$ and space to build a Tarp or Poly Quonsett hut type enclosure over the boat? If so you could easily get the temp surrounding the boat above freezing.
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Rogan-

There is a product that was mentioned recently called Cold Cure epoxy. I would highly recommend trying that instead of West Systems.

The problem with using West Systems Epoxy is that some of the outermost epoxy may not cure properly, and if the epoxy is stressed before it does, it can ruin or seriously weaken the bond between the two epoxied surfaces. It could also introduce air voids in the uncured parts of the epoxy.

Tenting the boat with clear heavy plastic, and putting black plastic down on the ground will help increase the temperature of the air around the boat by acting as a "greenhouse". I would still recommend using the Cold Cure Epoxy though.
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Simply wrapping a couple blankets under a tarp directly against the area you plan to work would be fine, wrap it, warm up the area from inside then do the work.

Radiant heaters work fine for spot type work, if it's not real windy one aimed at the repair area from outside to warm up the surface is plenty good, for windy conditions use the blanket and tarp anmd apply heat from the inside.

If you use cold temp epoxy, it's better to have the whole thing at one temp, so do it all cold.

Ken.
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