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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I got this Buccaneer 18 dinghy to fix up. The biggest issue is a small leak from around centerboard box which has a small crack, probably from hard grounding. PO made a real mess there, trying to fix it with stuff like liquid nails, silicone caulk, and Lord knows what else. How do I prepare this surface so that the fiberglass repair holds, stops the leak, and is solid? It is somewhat of a tight spot, where one needs a contortionist midget to work comfortably. I can lay down and clean/scrape this area with a wood file to get to solid fiberglass. But then what would you recommend? Acetone cleaning? Some special fiberglass?
Your help is greatly appreciated, as always.
 

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69' Coronado 25
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west systems six 10 thicken'd epoxy adhesive with fiberglass layed in the areas that need repair, after you get it cleaned. You can try a dremel with an assortment of different bits, maybe a long drill bit on a high speed drill motor and use the end of it like a mill. Good Luck
 
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I hope you didn't grind too hard before you clean all that crap out of there. Epoxy does not like silicone. Horrible horrible stuff silicone. Acetone will work but I would recommend the MEK. Well what they sell as MEK. The fake MEK is pretty benign compared to the Acetone and not quite so volatile. You really need to get every last bit of silicone or you will not get new epoxy and glass to stick to the hull. Grinding and sanding can force the silicone into every little crevice making removal that much harder. Good luck it sounds like a mess. A grinder is really the way to go if you can get in there after silicone removal. West System has this awesome PDF that will tell you all and more about boats and fiberglass. Good luck http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-...com/ss/assets/HowTo.../GougeonBook 061205.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hope you didn't grind too hard before you clean all that crap out of there. Epoxy does not like silicone. Horrible horrible stuff silicone. Acetone will work but I would recommend the MEK. Well what they sell as MEK. The fake MEK is pretty benign compared to the Acetone and not quite so volatile. You really need to get every last bit of silicone or you will not get new epoxy and glass to stick to the hull. Grinding and sanding can force the silicone into every little crevice making removal that much harder. Good luck it sounds like a mess. A grinder is really the way to go if you can get in there after silicone removal.
I have not yet started grinding, just scraped off the lose stuff to let it dry out (it was a wet mess). I was worried about spreading that silicone all over the place. I have access to real MEK. How would you go about cleaning up that area with a solvent? Before grinding or after? I know that area has to be completely dry before laying fiberglass.

Thank you all for good advice. Eventually I will sell that boat but I want to fix it right and learn something in the process.
 

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If a big grinder won't fit, Dremel is a good option like mentioned above. They actually have a flexible drive that is about 18" long which you can get in almost anywhere.
Grind first, clean later. Consider using polyester as epoxy and many paints will adhere to that better than to epoxy. Remember 90 degree bends don't do well in fiber glassing, so build up a broader curve at the joint between the board trunk and the hull. Begin with shoe lace size lengths of cloth then build up with progressively larger pieces.
Looks like a bitchin lil boat.
 
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I'd try one of those vibrating multi tools. It has a sanding head shaped like a small triangle which you maybe able to get in there with. Use coarse sand paper to give some tooth to the new epoxy. A hot air gun may be able to soften up the silicone/5200 so you can peel or scrape it off.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looks like I know how to proceed with surface preparation. Thank you for great advice. I have a dremel tool I can use. Should I first lay a layer of un-thickened epoxy so that it will soak into the old fiberglass better? I'm talking about doing it on the inside of the hull. What would be the best resin to use in this spot? This area will not be painted.
 

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Always brush in some un thickened epoxy then push in and smooth some thickened epoxy let it set up until it's semi hard but still sticky and then lay some fiberglass overtop with resin to seal and build the area up makeing sure there is no bubbles then let it fully dry 24h and sand. After sanding clean with acetone and use a fairing material to smooth the area. If you don't need to fair it the next step would be to clean the area with acetone and brush on some un thickened epoxy to reseal any fibers and fillers then once cured paint it
 

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Epoxy is way better then polyester resin. For your job epoxy is what I would use. Six ten is a good product but not cheap. Certainly easier, cleaner, and quicker but at a price. Drying out the area is very important. It is likely the centerboard trunk is made of plywood. It would not hurt to drill some small holes to inspect for rotten wood and fill later with thicken epoxy. To ensure it is dry you can use sunlight, heaters, fans etc. The fake MEK works just as well as the real stuff and is relatively a benign solvent. It is the same stuff they use to decaffeinate coffee. Fiberglass will degrade with UV light so it does need to be painted if not hidden from direct sunlight.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good points Mr. Waterrat. I will check the centerboard box to see if it has any wood. I sure hope it does not. I looked up that 610 epoxy. 190 ml cartridge for a caulking gun is about 20 bucks. I think I will get one and try it. Would it be best to first lay the 610 repair on a properly prepared surface, and then cover it with regular epoxy job, or the other way round?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have to clean up from the bottom first, so I can see where the cracks are, and where they begin and end. There is so much crap on top, it looks like someone took a dump in there. :/
Any ideas on fixing the cracks in the centerboard?
 

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Oh Boy! You have a big job ahead of you. I see two bulkheads that need to be replaced. You should drop the centerboard and and assess the damage to both board and trunk and pivot point. You might want to power wash the whole boat and scrub well with TSP and bleach. Check your stern around the grudgeons or any screws. It is probably cored with plywood. Just like on the big boats pull all your hardware drill out larger holes fill with thicken epoxy, re-drill and bed (butyl tape). If you don't have a grinder get one and those little vibrating saws work well too. These older day sailors can be a ton of fun and a ton of work. There is a point where you just patch it together and sail it till she dies. For the time an effort for a rebuild you could build your own. Hopefully some of these links are helpful.

Some of these might help
Buccaneer 18 The Sailing Experience

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Bucc18/info

If or when you find you need more then a couple of 610 you might want to check out. They are much more reasonably price then most others.

Raka, Inc. 772-489-4070
Fiberglass , Epoxy , Composites, Carbon Fiber - U.S. Composites, Inc.

The West System Boat Building repair manual I posted earlier will really make things easier and answer everyone of your questions and save you lots of headache. The Gougeon Brothers have conducted and shared a ton of research and if you have the cash and are so inclined to support Gudgeon Brothers/ West System by buying their epoxy that is great. For the record the only connection I have to west system is the that I reside in the same state.

If you take any of my advice read appropriate section in the West System PDF. The time and money fixing, researching etc is way less then you would spend for most college credits. Plus you will have a sailboat in the end. Good Luck
 

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Any cracks that you find make sure you drill the very end of the cracks with a 1/4'' drill bit it's called stop drilling because it stops the crank from moving after a repair
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You also need to find out what is rusting
The PO left some tools inside for a year (or more) and they got flooded when cockpit drains got clogged. Seems like all the rust is from these tools.
 
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