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Old 05-27-2009
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serious fiberglass repair- help

Not really a design question but I thought folks here might point me in the right direction-

"Approach the dock at the speed you are willing to hit it"- i was approaching a steel bulkhead and my reverse linkage failed I hit HARD.

The front of a Nicholson 31 is a massive hunk of metal holding the anchor rollers and the base of the forestay. I broke it off and pushed the whole thing into the anchor locker.

So, I guess I need to clean out the broken peices and rebed the mounting bolts?

Exactly what should I buy to do this? What are my choices? Epoxy? Polyester? What weave fiberglass? I need enough info to keep back the Yacht Club sages.

Thanks

dave
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Old 05-27-2009
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Dave—

You will need to get fiberglass cloth and epoxy. This is definitely a structural repair and will need the strength of epoxy resin—especially since the repair will be depending on the secondary (or adhesive) bonding characteristics of the resin for its connection to the boat.

The real issue is how you are going to go about getting the repair to be the correct shape and making sure the laminate is thick enough to support the loads that it will be required to support—like those imposed by the forestay.

I would recommend using heavy cloth to build up the layers fairly quickly.

I would recommend getting the epoxy from Progressive Epoxy Polymers. I would recommend getting the cloth from Fiberglasssite.com.

Is there another Nicholson 31 that you can make a mold of the bow from?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Dave—

I would recommend getting the epoxy from Progressive Epoxy Polymers. I would recommend getting the cloth from Fiberglasssite.com.

Is there another Nicholson 31 that you can make a mold of the bow from?
Are the products you suggested significantly better than the West System stuff i can get locally?

If I understand your question about another Nic 31- I don't think I'll need it. The outside of the bow is ok, Just a little crack. The metal base was set back behind a fiberglass lip.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordnc View Post
Are the products you suggested significantly better than the West System stuff i can get locally?
The epoxy is probably a bit better than the West System stuff... and considerably less expensive. It is also a no-blush formulation, which reduces the chances of getting contact dermatitis from the amine-blush.

Compare their price for a SIX quart kit—$83, versus West Systems, $70 for .98 Gallon of Resin, and .86 quart of Hardener for $33, or $103 for less than FIVE quarts...


Quote:
If I understand your question about another Nic 31- I don't think I'll need it. The outside of the bow is ok, Just a little crack. The metal base was set back behind a fiberglass lip.


Thanks
Good luck...

BTW, you'll need to grind back the existing glass at about a 12:1 taper on both the outside and inside... and then build up the laminate from both sides.
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Old 06-16-2009
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Just a quick note; once you start grinding away you might find that the small crack is actually much larger. Make sure you grind out any and all compromised glass. HTH.
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Old 06-16-2009
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Good call on the 1:12 grinding of the existing material.
As you are building up the replacement layers start with narrow strip at the bottom and make the succedding layers progressivly larger so each layer is bonded along the edge to the existing material. If you start with a full width strip first you would be depending on the bond of that layer to hold all the others in place.
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Old 06-18-2009
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You've got lots of armchair advice here!

Now call your insurance company and get the boat fixed right. That repair requires experience unless you want it to look like a mess. A pro can use polyester resin and get a good primary bond from existing styrene and match your boat's gel coat. Gel coat won't stick to epoxy. If you fix it with epoxy you'll need to paint it. Now you are into a major league MESS!

Use your head, take a crowbar to your wallet or call the insurance man. If you want to learn all about glass and resins build a kayak in the winter.

After you build three fine kayaks, you'll learn to leave repairs that require matching colors to the pros!
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Old 06-19-2009
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Gene has a good point, unless you have extensive experience with fiberglass repairs this might not be a good one to learn on. Without pictures it's hard to visualize the extent of the damage.
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Old 06-19-2009
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actually gene, gelcoat will stick to epoxy as long as the epoxy is preped right, ie was sanded, dewaxed etc.

but yes i would recommend at least letting a pro look at it, a good long look
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Old 07-09-2009
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West Systems have a page of HOW TO articles.

Fiberglass Boat Repair and Restoration

Also matching a gell coat color is a LOT harder than matching it with paint.

If it was my boat I would get grinding and buy some West - just remember it is the CLOTH not the resin that has the strength.
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