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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I was readying my new/old Albacore (~1969) for painting and as I continue to take off various equipment I discovered that the wood along the centerline, including where the mast butt attaches (this area had been repaired) was all rotted out and as I pulled back and investigated, it is clear that the area needs to be completely cleaned out and replaced.

I have never done fiberglass work (except small patching and repair on my Laser or on a boat I was caring for). So, while I am disappointed about the extra repairs, I am determined to bring this old beauty back to life.
For those with the experience, especially on this area of the boat, I would love to know the best practice for steps to make these repairs so I can get out on the water by this summer at least.
All advice welcome, thanks in advance.
See pics!
Stewart
138812
 

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We had a Blue Jay with similar problems. You will need to cut back the fiberglass until you hopefully find unrotted wood. Then you scarf in a new wood piece, gluing it in with epoxy. If the whole thing is rotted for the entire length, the whole thing will have to be replaced. At least then you won't need to do a scarf. Use oak or some other strong hardwood. Then you use a grinder go gently rough up the fiberglass on each side of the new wood to give it some 'tooth' for the new layers of fiberglass and epoxy that you will be laying on to hold it all together. Before 'glassing, you may want to put a fillet of epoxygoop in the corners where the wood fits against the bottom and round over the corners of the wood. (Fiberglass does not like making sharp right angles.) When you buy the fiberglass, try to get something like a 6" wide roll, instead of a big sheet that you have to cut. You can lay one layer down the middle, and then overlap two more on top of that, one to one side and one to the other. This will spread out the loads and make the repair stronger. The good news is that once you're ready for the the fiberglassing, it should only take a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Paul, thanks very much. Super helpful. I can picture the whole thing. What is the best to cut the present fiberglass out with?
 

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Lots of people use an angle grinder. They're quick & dirty, but you need to be careful not to let it go too far - it will blow through your hull in two shakes. Abrasive wheels on drills can be effective as well. Wear long sleeves & pants and eye and breathing protection: shards and dust go everywhere. Dremels will also work, but may need the assistance of putty knives or prybars.
 
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