Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 54 Old 01-19-2020 Thread Starter
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Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

Hi Folks

For your advice

To add to my "Ooops This Voyage Ain't Going Well" emergency supplies I am wanting to get something to cover a blown out hatch / window etc, or general purpose large hole problem, to stop water ingress.

I'm thinking of a 1 meter x 1 meter sheet (40 inches x 40 inches) of 800gm Woven Roving. (see link below)

Alternatives are 600gm or 81gm

Price is pretty negligible and takes up little room on board.

I know nothing about boat building apart from normal boat maintenance.

My kinda scenario:
Long passage over 1,000 nms and a wave breaks off, smashes etc one of 13 opening hatches or 3 large deck windows. Resultant water ingress or clear danger of it.
Cover hole with any firm board, timber, door etc and lay over fibreglass matt and splatter with resin which I normally have more than 2 litres aboard, West system 300
Deck would be wet so resin would need to adhere wet polyester deck.
Needs to remain in place for, say, 2 weeks till I gain the coast.
Does not need to be water tight but reduce water ingress to what the pumps can handle.
Does not need to look nice. This is for emergency only.

What different method could be used?


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Polycraft-8...ef_=ast_bbp_dp







Thanks for your thoughts


Mark

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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

BTW the last time the boat was this tidy was when the photo was taken
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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

I agree with the roving but you should also carry at least twice at much mat, around 6oz.

The roving by itself is difficult to fill the weave without holes and topping with 6oz. takes care of that. Takes no more space than another t-shirt.
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post #4 of 54 Old 01-19-2020
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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

I don't think you will have any luck at all working with wet fiberglass (meaning resin and glass) in conditions that take out a window. Or any conditions at all on a passage. I've done a lot of fiberglass work, but don't think I'd be able to make your proposal work at sea.

Maybe another approach would be to carry some plywood under a bunk mattress, and some thick butyl tape or rubber gasket material. If a window or port blows out, cut an oversized piece of plywood, put a gasket around it, and fit it to the port. Hold it there with a couple of backing pieces of wood screwed into it from the inside or similar.

If blowing out a window or port is really a probability beyond just a "what if" worse case never really going to happen thought scenario, then maybe consider making shutters for offshore work. These could be relatively thin plywood easily stored under bunks, settees, lockers, etc.

You're not all of a sudden getting traditionally conservative are you? Next thing you are going to want a real "blue water boat"...

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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I agree with the roving but you should also carry at least twice at much mat, around 6oz.

The roving by itself is difficult to fill the weave without holes and topping with 6oz. takes care of that. Takes no more space than another t-shirt.
His resin is epoxy. Mat will be difficult to work with because the binders don't dissolve in epoxy. It still wets out eventually with the binders intact, but it doesn't tool well. There are mats that can be used with epoxy, but if he wanted to carry glass on board, then maybe choose biaxial with a mat stitched on the back instead of roving and mat.

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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

Just to put working with wet fiberglass construction in perspective, even with epoxy, the surfaces you are binding to need to be dry, free of wax and dirt, and have some tooth to them. Regardless of the condition of your gelcoat, and that you last waxed it years ago, it will still have wax on it that will prevent bonding. In your scenario, you would need to grind back the gelcoat around the area to be glassed, dewax it, keep it dry and clean, prepare a board to fit over (if varnished, that needs to be removed, and the surface cleaned, and prewetted with resin), find a place to mix resin and wetout the fiberglass (it won't be practical to just put the dry glass on top and pour resin on it - particularly if vertical), find a way to keep the board or whatever in place, get the wetted out glass onto the whole shebang, further wet it out with squeegee or brush to ensure bonding and eliminate bubbles and delamination from the surfaces, then keep it all dry and physically undisturbed for several hours as it kicks. You would likely need slow hardener for the resin just to give you enough working time in these conditions, but that works against you in keeping everything dry and undisturbed to initial curing.

Like I said, I've done a lot of fiberglass work and I don't think I could do the above.

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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

I also think plywood would be a more useful material for patching holes in a glass boat in an emergency. We carry some screws with very thick threads and I would drill and then drive these screws right through the cabin side, deck or even the hull. A course in firefighting and damage control could be useful to those setting out on an adventure on a sailing boat.
I've spent some time considering how I might patch a significant hole in the hull, caused by a telephone pole (this happened to a couple of young guys about a thousand miles west of Hawaii in the early '70s), or some other debris the boat holed herself on while sailing. My first action would be to cover the hole from the outside with a sail, after stopping the boat by heaving to. Then blocking the hole from the inside with a mattress held in place by a strut or two across the cabin. This should minimize the water intake until the weather moderates (if needed) enough to screw a plywood patch on the outside of the hull, using any caulking that comes in a tube applied by a caulking gun and a piece of cloth as a gasket. At any rate, the patch need not be 100% waterproof, only sufficiently so that the bilge pumps can keep ahead of the inflow.
As a much younger man, sailing a gaff ketch built in 1909, we opened up a number of seams at the break of the bilge in a storm between Hawaii and Tahiti. It required all the electric bilge pumps and the manual pump going 24/7 to keep ahead of the water. After the weather moderated, I hove her to and went over the side with lead strips 4" wide and 12' long, underwater seam compound and copper tacks and covered every open seam. It took 2 days. I got the pumping down to a couple of hours a day, which was just fine until we recaulked in Pape'ete, which is how I met Bernard Moitessier, but that's another story.

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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
or some other debris the boat holed herself on while sailing. My first action would be to cover the hole from the outside with a sail, after stopping the boat by heaving to. Then blocking the hole from the inside with a mattress held in place by a strut or two across the cabin.
Wouldn't such a large hole cause water ingress too fast to take the time to get a sail out, situated properly, and over the hole? It seems like doing the reverse of your steps might be better - jam enough stuff into the hole to control the ingress, then get something on the outside.

Personally, I think for many boats, the old saw of getting a sail over the outside of the hole is a pipe dream - I know it is for us. Many boats only carry their working sails, and these are usually on furlers or mast tracks. Getting one off takes over an hour, and might not be doable in strong winds lying ahull. If the boat is modestly large (40'+), the free sail itself is humanly unwieldily off the rig. Then fin keels and shallow hull forms makes securing an outside cover almost impossible.

I think it was mostly a myth in the old days, but for most boats nowadays, it is a delusion. At the very least, it should be prototyped with an old tarp at anchor before becoming part of a planned defense.

Mark
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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Wouldn't such a large hole cause water ingress too fast to take the time to get a sail out, situated properly, and over the hole? It seems like doing the reverse of your steps might be better - jam enough stuff into the hole to control the ingress, then get something on the outside.

Personally, I think for many boats, the old saw of getting a sail over the outside of the hole is a pipe dream - I know it is for us. Many boats only carry their working sails, and these are usually on furlers or mast tracks. Getting one off takes over an hour, and might not be doable in strong winds lying ahull. If the boat is modestly large (40'+), the free sail itself is humanly unwieldily off the rig. Then fin keels and shallow hull forms makes securing an outside cover almost impossible.

I think it was mostly a myth in the old days, but for most boats nowadays, it is a delusion. At the very least, it should be prototyped with an old tarp at anchor before becoming part of a planned defense.

Mark
Perhaps you're right. I probably should have said tarp, several of which I have conveniently stowed, with ties, in a cockpit locker.
I doubt there's much one could do if one had a hole a foot in diameter or more below the waterline, so my 'defence' is more centered around a hole at or above the waterline, but near enough to be taking significant water.
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Re: Which emergency use fibreglass matting should I have?

Cover outside of hole with plywood set in an underwater epoxy like "Splash Zone", secure with whatever screws are available and seal the edges with more Splash Zone. Wear latex or rubber gloves when using Splash Zone, mix into about golf ball size in wet hands, without gloves it will stick to skin and be difficult to remove.

https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...QaAo5cEALw_wcB

The screws are just to hold things in place until the Splash Zone sets.
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