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A restoration tale (with pics)

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  • I guess all work and no play makes jack a tosser so I was more than happy to take the morning out to go and join Slig and co on their Shetland 570 for a spin up and down the Shannon. Thanks so much Slig, that's a beautiful boat you have there. I photographed every bolt on it and got some nice good information and advice which I hope to apply to my wreck. And boy what a beautiful morning to be messing about on the river.

    I went to Ballina in the afternoon to see if I could get my windows sorted after I had located a plastic fabricator there. He took a look at the existing salvaged windows and then gave me some prices. YIKES!!!! It was prohibitively expensive so I got in my car and drove home still none the wiser as to how I will solve the problem of window replacement.

    My next plan, is to rey and make molds of the existing front windows using tape in card and resin. From there I may be able to fashion a ply rest mold. Then I might have a go at making an oven using a homemade wooden box lined with foil and a 2 bar electric heater. This paragraph is how my brain is currently seeing this, the reality may follow suit or may not. One thing that I don't want to do is go at perspex with a heat gun and end up with the bodge job that is the existing front windows.

    Spent the evening sanding and grinding, grinding and sanding, and sanding and then I did a bot of sanding. I'll post a couple of before/after pics tomorrow maybe. I love fine weather, it's everything.

    1. Carla at the helm. I believe Slig's boat is christened after her.
    154592.jpg

    2. It's a beautiful country, especially from the water.
    154593.jpg

    3. Summer breeze
    154594.jpg




  • Day 10

    More sanding and grinding. I have become a bit addicted to sanding tbh. If anything or anyone stands still for more than about a minute, they get sanded atm in my house.

    I am still at the prep stage with the boat, again I am literally shovelling out the old sanded and grinded paint by the bucket load. I reckon so far I have dumped 10-15Kg of old paint.

    One thing I wanted to do for a while was remove the old seat behind the helm. It was in a bad state of repair with a large chunk missing. After some investigation as to whether it would affect structure or not, today I finally cut it out, it felt great, plus gave me a great excuse to use my new recip saw - oh god yes!

    So not much to report by way of a post on the web but as promised, here are one or two before and after shots.

    1. Bought this beauty on Ebay last week, €115 delivered. Plan to use it for decking etc but couldn't wait to use it today. It went through the grp like butter. The dremmel device - I bought in Aldi a while back for 20 quid I think. I't made a great job of tidying the recip saw cut.
    154680.jpg

    2. Bulkhead scrubs up well
    154681.jpg

    3. The remaining seat finally sanded. The top is corregated and a bitch to work on. This seat took about 4 hours to do and I sweat tears and broke my back doing it.
    154682.jpg

    4. The old seat behind the helm, getting rid of it frees up loads of space on deck.
    154683.jpg




  • Looking great, I think you will get out on the water before the end of the summer at this rate.:)




  • your doing a wonderful job can't wait until till the finished product




  • Do you still have the old perspex windows? If you have you can restore them back to very good condition with a bit of T Cut. Use plenty of T Cut and elbow grease and they'll come up like new.

    Good job on the restoration.


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  • Donie75 wrote: »
    Do you still have the old perspex windows? If you have you can restore them back to very good condition with a bit of T Cut. Use plenty of T Cut and elbow grease and they'll come up like new.

    Good job on the restoration.

    I have some of the old windows, but one of the front ones is missing, and the other one is a badly botched homemade job. Also the windscreen is beyond recovery. The flat side windows are fine, I can make new ones very easily, but the two profiled front ones and the windshield might be tricky. WRT the windshield, not only do I need to form perspex, but I also need to make (or have made) an aluminuim surround. Jesus I don't know where to start.

    So the windows are a bit of an issue, and I aint giving no dam fabricator 400 quid for three windows on a boat that cost me 500 quid in the first place. (sometimes I really hate the ripoff republic)




  • In fairness DNME if the difference to having a fantastic restoration and one where you constantly say its great except for the windows..........bite the bullet get them done.You are doing a super job with the cleaning down if you carry on like this you will be up and running in no time.
    I check here daily to see your progress and your flying it:)




  • dnme wrote: »
    I have some of the old windows, but one of the front ones is missing, and the other one is a badly botched homemade job. Also the windscreen is beyond recovery. The flat side windows are fine, I can make new ones very easily, but the two profiled front ones and the windshield might be tricky. WRT the windshield, not only do I need to form perspex, but I also need to make (or have made) an aluminuim surround. Jesus I don't know where to start.

    So the windows are a bit of an issue, and I aint giving no dam fabricator 400 quid for three windows on a boat that cost me 500 quid in the first place. (sometimes I really hate the ripoff republic)


    Great work, when I think of the little bit of sanding to the repaired fibreglass that I had to do it really puts it in perspective. I cant get over the difference in the photos. Keep up the good work.

    If you do find someone that can supply you with the aluminium frames for the windscreen PM on their details as I've been planning on re-engineering ours for about 3 years now.




  • Day 11

    A small break in the weather and off comes that tarp. I still have some sanding to do, infact quite a bit of sanding left to do; but I'm also starting to think about the other thousand jobs that need to be done on this boat.

    I went to my local builders merchants today and ordered 18mm marine ply, 12mm WBP ply, a sheet of 4mm perspex and a sheet of 4mm cheap ply for test cuts, templates and what have you.
    So that lot will allow me to start thinking about the floor, door, hatch and windows. My first batch of Epoxy resin arrived on Tuesday. So this paragraph has cost me around €400 :eek:

    I live close to a Coillte site up on the Curlews. I take the dog walking up there a lot. One thing that sickens me about the otherwise beautiful place is the dumping that goes on up there. It makes me sick to my stomach. The dirty ****ers go up there in the middle of the night and dump their filth. Anyway, last week I was up there and noticed a table top dumped along with beds and mattresses. I decided the table top looked decent and would do me for a work table alongside the boat. So I opened up the car boot and managed just about to get the dam thing in. It's a massive heavy table, I'd say 6x4 and weighs a ton. Thank god for the old Corolla liftback, you'd fit a snooker table into it. As I drove out of the remote area with boot open and table sticking out, I wondered if I had been seen and if so, would the onlookers assume I was a dumper :eek::D

    Anyheeewww, today I decided to get started on the windows. The two front windows are profiled with a complex compound contour and I would like to get them shaped as well as I possibly can. Through much research on perspex, I now know that a heat gun is not the way to go. My plan is to make moulds of the windows, then make an oven, lay a cut of perspex over the mould and allow it to drape mould to shape. Sounds so simple when I just type it like that, the reality is somewhat different.

    I started on one mould this afternoon. I cut a piece of old ply oversized in roughly the shape of a window, then cut it along where the main window bend is. I then taped the two pieces back together along that cut thus giving me a cheap hinge on the ply. It was then a case of using masking tape and uprights to position and hold the ply from the inside. I then started the job of filling the outside with more ply cuts and chicken wire. I then started to fill the profile from the outside with Homebase exterior filler (cheapest I could get). So tonight I have one window filled roughly, I will finish it off with a finer fill material and pray that it stays together when it comes time to remove it and place it in a makeshift oven. What could possibly go wrong !!!

    I wasn't going to post this at all as I am in uncharted waters here. There are no precedents for what I am doing and I am bound to run into many problems. But I decided that a restoration is about the downs as well as ups so warts and all. If this goes belly up - so be it.

    My plan for an oven, is a plywood box lined with foil, I will hang a 2 bar heater over the piece and maybe use a small fan. I have ordered a probe thermometer from ebay which will allow me to control the temp properly. I need to work on the perspex between 120 and 160 degrees c. To give you an idea of perspex when it's hot, think of an easy singles cheese slice and that's precisely what it's like.

    1. Table top rescued from a ditch up in the Curlews. I bolted on 4 legs and voila, I have a big heavy work table out by the boat for free.
    155362.jpg

    2. I cut a piece of ply to use as a mould backing.
    155364.jpg

    3. The piece of ply in place. Started filling with other ply offcuts and chicken wire.
    155365.jpg

    4. The first fill using Homebase exterior filler. This comes dry and you mix with water. I threw in a drop of washing up liquid for pliability and smoothness.
    155366.jpg

    5. Back to sanding. I am suffering trying to get years of paint of rough grp. I have tried all sorts of tools and materials. Tonight I tried this fella, bought in Woodies a few days back. It's like a very hard sponge with just a small amount of give. It works great but wears away very quick and they're a tenner a go.
    155367.jpg




  • Here is a link on thermoforming that might be of help, you can use a heat gun to blow heat into the box and control the heat if it has a temp setting.
    http://www.theplasticshop.co.uk/plastic_technical_data_sheets/working_with_perspex_manual.pdf


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  • fergal.b wrote: »
    Here is a link on thermoforming that might be of help, you can use a heat gun to blow heat into the box and control the heat if it has a temp setting.
    http://www.theplasticshop.co.uk/plastic_technical_data_sheets/working_with_perspex_manual.pdf

    Yea Fergal I have read that pdf previously, very useful.




  • Day 12

    Good weather all round, it's so nice out that I never want to go inside. I have been working on some woodwork over the past few days and making progress with the windows.

    I ordered a few sheets of ply and yesterday, I attempted my version of a hatch. 12mm WBP is not the stuff to make it with though, I learned this after two attempts. It's useless for butt joints. So I will buy one or two lumbered hardwood boards and use those with a dowel jig for any future joinery. My hatch top is profiled so I have cut three pieces of 4mm ply and will laminate these with epoxy. For now I have put the hatch together as a dry fit and it looks and works well so when I apply the above alterations, epoxy and paint it (toplac), it should look and feel great. I will borrow a router and roundover all the corners making it look a bit more professional.

    Having a mate who lends you tools helps of course. He's just about dozy and dopey enough to trust me with some good kit.:D One tool he lent me was a brute of a belt sander. It's a heavy beast and very effective. I have always found belt sanders dodgy for edging as it's tricky to get a true right angle to your edge, so I made up a couple of very quick jigs to hold the sander, one upright and one on it's side. This allows me to present the work material to the sander and move it rather than the other way around.

    The hatch ends were cut using a compass jig. A piece of timber with a screw in one end and a hole in the other. Screw it on the work material at one end,place a pencil in the hole and draw your curve (to predetermined measured radius length). Once rough cut with a jig saw, I am then able to present the curve to the belt sander jig and move the material back and fourth forming a perfect curve back to my pencil line.

    Now to the window(s). I have been filling and sanding the starboard front window with filler for the past few days. I managed to get the profile pretty smooth and nicely contoured. But to be honest, I had my doubts about creating a mould out of concrete basically....I mean how was I gonna get it out of the boat if I ever got it shaped?.....as I say, uncharted waters, no one has done this before afaik. So today, I decided to have a go at getting the mould out. A final sand, a wetting to check the profile. Then I started to cut round the edge very carefully. This was a tricky stage, a few tiny chips etc, then I remembered my €20 Aldi dremel thingy. Out it came to my rescue once again. It allowed me to precisely cut the mould out of the window. I had it well shored up and supported inside the boat thankfully. Eventually it came away and I gently got hold of it from inside the boat. Bloody hell it weighs a lot. I carried it out and laid it down. It is a success. The mould looks and feels perfect. Now all I have to do is make an oven some how and drape form my perspex over it.

    The success of the window mould was a real boost today. I had my doubts about it but it worked so I have now started moulding the other window learning and improving from my first attempt.

    Money has run out literally. I sat down last night and logged into online banking. Not a pretty sight. It's a lot worse than I feared having kept my head in the sand for the past month. I guess I can afford to order some glass cloth and continue on with grp repairs and do a bit of woodwork. But stuff like fit outs etc are gonna have to wait indefinitely.

    1. Nice office, and to think I almost ended up working for Microsoft.
    155822.jpg

    2. Belt sander jig
    155823.jpg

    3. First attempt at a hatch. Ply doesn't work so well for joints etc so I will repeat this with a hardwood base. The curved top is three sheets of 4mm ply that will be laminated with epoxy.
    155824.jpg

    4. Ready or not, I'm gonna go for it
    155825.jpg

    5. Success! The mould cut out. A perfect base for forming a window. Now I just have to figure out how to go about applying heat to the perspex over this.
    155826.jpg




  • What can I say, you were born to do this, I am very impressed with your dedication and work,microsoft would have killed you good career move.:D




  • I'm just wondering would a heat gun, (you know those paint stripper ones) be enough to form/shape the perspex over the window mold??? I've no experience in anything like that but I just thought it might work.

    Keep up the great work.




  • I'm just wondering would a heat gun, (you know those paint stripper ones) be enough to form/shape the perspex over the window mold??? I've no experience in anything like that but I just thought it might work.

    Keep up the great work.

    was thinking that myself, anyone have a loan of a heat gun?

    Also, does anyone know of a product that I can use to surface fill epoxy repairs? Gelcoat, Isopon et al are all polyester based aren't they? What do people use to finish epoxy repairs?




  • Use the resin mixed with the 405 filler you can get a finish as good as the gelcoat or you can get a gelcoat repair kit from MPD http://www.marineparts.ie/paint-and-maintenance/epoxy-repair-kits/plastic-padding-gelcoat-filler.html

    Isopon is not as waterproof as epoxy and can break down after a while.




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    Use the resin mixed with the 405 filler you can get a finish as good as the gelcoat or you can get a gelcoat repair kit from MPD http://www.marineparts.ie/paint-and-maintenance/epoxy-repair-kits/plastic-padding-gelcoat-filler.html

    Isopon is not as waterproof as epoxy and can break down after a while.

    I'm not using West System, bought my epoxy here. Are gelcoat repair kits polyester based? if so they wont chemically bond with epoxy? no?




  • dnme wrote: »
    I'm not using West System, bought my epoxy here. Are gelcoat repair kits polyester based? if so they wont chemically bond with epoxy? no?

    They are made to bond with the fiberglass where it's exposed use a sander to clean it out and taper the edge it should be fine.




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    They are made to bond with the fiberglass where it's exposed use a sander to clean it out and taper the edge it should be fine.

    Most boats are manufactured with polyester resin including mine. You can epoxy onto polyester and achieve a chemical bond, but if you polyester onto epoxy, you only get a mechanical bond. In my case, I am repairing holes in polyester with epoxy. But then I need a filler to finish the epoxy. Am I being too particular?




  • dnme wrote: »
    Most boats are manufactured with polyester resin including mine. You can epoxy onto polyester and achieve a chemical bond, but if you polyester onto epoxy, you only get a mechanical bond. In my case, I am repairing holes in polyester with epoxy. But then I need a filler to finish the epoxy. Am I being too particular?

    You can fill and finish with the epoxy and fillers, the epoxy that you are using also sell a filler and if it's made with microballons you will get a perfect finish.
    Do a test bit first, fill up the hole then tape on a thin bit of plastic over it the kind you will find used as a window on your easter egg box :D this should leave you with a smooth finish that will only need a very fine sanding to match it in.


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  • The whole epoxy / polyester thing is killing me. It seems now that Epoxy is not really compatible with csm. CSM is coated for polyester. So Epoxy only takes woven cloth or bi-axial cloth. Also, gelcoat / repair is polyester based as are most finish fillers, also polyester is a dam sight cheaper. I'm thinking of returning the epoxy order and going down the polyester route. Good god, for a beginner this is confusing stuff.




  • dnme wrote: »
    The whole epoxy / polyester thing is killing me. It seems now that Epoxy is not really compatible with csm. CSM is coated for polyester. So Epoxy only takes woven cloth or bi-axial cloth. Also, gelcoat / repair is polyester based as are most finish fillers, also polyester is a dam sight cheaper. I'm thinking of returning the epoxy order and going down the polyester route. Good god, for a beginner this is confusing stuff.

    Once you sand the polyester the epoxy will stick to it no problem




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    Once you sand the polyester the epoxy will stick to it no problem

    Oh yes I know, New epoxy will chemical bond to poly but not the other way around.




  • I have no new work to report, just lots of the same old grind. Sanding and sanding and sanding. I have been struggling to get the paint stripped from the cabin interior. I've tried all my different sanders, all different disks, all different gimmicks on my drill etc but nothing gets paint off rough grp easily. Last night I resorted to paint remover, I carefully tried to apply it and remove it before it did any damage to the resin, for the most part I was successful. It worked great at getting the cabin seats stripped. Remember they are a corregated profile and bloody awful to try and sand.

    I have my second window mould well under way, It may well be finished tomorrow. In the meantime I am finding it difficult to source a 2 bar heater. None of my neighbours seem to have one, I even posted a request for one in the Sligo forum here. My Ebay thermometer arrived during the week so I'm ready to go as soon as I get a heat source. Also, my new window rubber seals arrived today along with sealing strip and installation tool so the new windows are good to go pending the front window fabrication and topside painting.

    I spent this evening on my back sanding the underside. The old anti-fouling coat is actually several coats of black bitumen (a popular and cheap alternative) so it's pretty much UN-sandable. As soon as the sander bites it, it gets tacky and that's it.
    I tried again with the paint remover on a small section under the transom, it seems to work well, I am able to scrape 70% of it away leaving a very thin layer of bitumen. I may have to do the entire underside of the hull this way.

    Here are a few questions by way of images

    1. Does anyone know where I might source this rubber strip profile? Sealsdirect don't do it or anything similar afaict.
    156295.jpg

    2. This is the windshield aluminium strip. Does anyone know if this can be restored? especially the end profile? or if not, where would I source such a thing?
    156296.jpg

    3. Working on the second window mould.
    156297.jpg
    156298.jpg

    Also I am wondering about the structural side of the boat. What types of wood do you folks recommend for the following jobs.....
    1. Stringer repair and other fibreglass strengthening
    2. Cabin exterior - door, hatch, helm frame
    3. Cabin interior, seating, structural frames (for cupboards etc)
    4. Cabin interior, finishes, cupboard doors, bulkhead lining etc
    5. Strakes (along the side exterior of the boat, originals are missing)




  • no pics for me




  • Me neither. You have to leave the pictures attached to embed them.




  • OK I've edited the post, Day 13 pics should now be visible




  • Try these for the rubber I have about 2 foot of it if it's any good to you.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CENTURY-BOAT-BOTTOM-WINDSHIELD-GASKET-RESORTER-CORONADO-/360316069858?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item53e482e7e2#ht_2920wt_1421

    http://www.classicboating.com/_catalog_16648/Windshield_Gaskets

    The aluminium can be polished up with very fine sandpaper 1000-2000 and then rubbing compound as for the corner bracket I think the only place that will rechrome in Ireland is http://www.tubularsteelproducts.com/




  • Day 14.

    Today owes me big time. It started off with an early excursion up to Carry Bridge in Northern Ireland to a boat jumble. When I got there, my heart sank, after nearly 2 hours drive, I arrived to find one....yes ONE single stall holder selling the kind of gank that you find in a Euro shop (or what we used to call a pound shop). One single stall and a few boats for sale...full stop. I went looking to find one of the organisers so that I could break his (or her, I don't care) jaw. Drove all that way for nothing. Even the Carry Bridge hotel is NOT in Lisbellaw, It's in Carry Bridge, about four miles away, and it's not even a hotel, it's a bar and a couple of chalets. I drove home way too fast as I was so pissed off.

    This afternoon, I decided to try my first go at baking a window, so off to Woodies in Carrick where I purchased a heat gun. First thing I did was try an off cut draped over the mould and just applied the heat gun. This was a disaster, the piece of perspex buckled and coiled and the result was horrible.
    I then made up an oven of 12mm ply lined with tin foil. I cut a hole in one end into which I placed the nozzle of the heat gun. I tried a few off cuts. The results here were somewhat better but the perspex was still not laying down totally.

    I decided to go for a full front window. I cut a piece of perspex to size, re-laid the mould up in the oven, placed the perspex over it and played about for about 10 minutes adjusting levels, lengths, orientation etc. When I was happy, I placed the cover down and fired up the gun. The ebay thermometer is working brilliantly giving me very accurate readings. I let the oven reach 150 degrees c for about 20 mins and then let it cool for a while. When I lifted the top, I was a little disappointed to be honest. The piece did drape but only partially. Mind you, where it is draping, it is forming a beautiful curve. So, it gave me enough hope to determine that this method will infact work, it just needs a little refinement to the engineering.

    1. The oven needs to be deeper so that the perspex can drape properly, as it is now, the narrow end is hitting the bottom of the oven leaving no room for draping there.

    2. I need to apply weights to the sides of the perspex to gently persuade it down onto the mould. Especially at the wide end. I might drill holes into the perspex edge and tie weights out of it or I might place weights on top of it (tricky to balance as it settles / drapes).

    I hope these dam windows work, I have already spent quite a bit of cash on this experiment and if it fails, it will be a disaster. Jesus Christ, this boat I took on is just on bag of problems, there's nothing simple with the fcuker. I'm starting to resent / hate it. Can't let that happen eh.

    So today cost money and time in perspex, petrol and wasted time trapsing up and down the country. Mind you it's a beautiful drive from south Co Sligo across Leitrim and into Antrim.

    1. This was the Entire Carrybridge Boat Jumble. If I could have located an organiser, I would have broken his jaw. One stall selling crap - totally ridiculous!
    156554.jpg

    2. Boat porn
    156555.jpg

    3. First attempts at a baking oven for the perspex windows.
    156556.jpg

    4. as per #3, this should be rotated 90deg left, can't be arsed to fix it now.
    156557.jpg

    5. Initial result. Needs weights and more height in the oven for room to drape properly
    156558.jpg


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  • That perspex is looking very promising - nice work! Looks like you've almost got it figured out.

    I hear you with the frustration setting in. I dropped my "rudder" onto a table-top and one of the planks broke off. After a long, soothing walk I decided that it was better for it to break at this stage than when it's all nicely finished and in the water, so I made up a gluing/clamping jig all over again...

    Hang in there, dude.


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