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A restoration tale (with pics)

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  • Do you need a donor boat or use yours as one.

    http://www.donedeal.ie/for-sale/boats/2106006




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    Do you need a donor boat or use yours as one.

    http://www.donedeal.ie/for-sale/boats/2106006

    Interesting alright, no cash though




  • dnme wrote: »
    Interesting alright, no cash though

    He is open to offers so it may be worth a look, tell him your story he may have a soft spot for this boat and do you a deal, weigh up the cost of finishing yours and making the windows buying the rubbers and everything else and see what this boat needs it might pay in the long run . I know it's not what you want hear after all the work you put in but if you can have a look at it and then a good long think, sometimes life throws you a curveball.




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    He is open to offers so it may be worth a look, tell him your story he may have a soft spot for this boat and do you a deal, weigh up the cost of finishing yours and making the windows buying the rubbers and everything else and see what this boat needs it might pay in the long run . I know it's not what you want hear after all the work you put in but if you can have a look at it and then a good long think, sometimes life throws you a curveball.
    Would probably worth a look even just to see how the boat looks as it is, see if there's anything you want to do differently etc.




  • TBH if i had 700 notes i would buy that boat man i know what it is like to be broke,i'm even tryin to sell my own boat and engine just to make ends meet ah well keep the chin up


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  • I posted some time ago about the keel plates and the glass over them delaminating, see post #61 here.

    Today, I decided to address this, after some scraping and removing, it became apparent that I would need to remove the entire glass cap from the keel plate. Underneath, I found timber plates that are soaked through and some partially rotten.

    156792.jpg

    156793.jpg

    156794.jpg

    Can anyone tell me, how serious is this? How far do I need to investigate this? What to do next?

    Many thanks




  • Just replace the timber and cover back up with fiberglass mesh the one with the long strands it will mold around it better than the cloth. You might have to spray the bolts with WD40 and leave overnight before you try to open them.




  • dnme wrote: »
    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
    Huh! Duly noted...




    :D




  • Yea I have removed the plates, glad I did, they are soaked rotten. The floor underneath and the mounting bolts seem good, no rust and I am hoping water did not leak down along the bolt line.

    1. You can see where I followed the delamination with a scraper and opened up this hole. The hull's of these boats are bloody thin I have to say.
    156807.jpg

    2. Clean base thank god
    156808.jpg

    3. One of the keel plates intact. Can anyone tell what kind of timber this is? Will a softwood replacement do seeing as it's being glassed in?
    156809.jpg

    Should I open up the rest of the plates even though there is no visible signs of delamination? What would you flks do?




  • Use a bit of 1/2" or 3/4" marine ply coated in resin it won't crack in half when you tighten the nuts.
    If you are worried about the others drill into them a few mm and have a look at the wood that comes out if it's ok just fill the hole back up.


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  • fergal.b wrote: »
    Use a bit of 1/2" or 3/4" marine ply coated in resin it won't crack in half when you tighten the nuts.
    If you are worried about the others drill into them a few mm and have a look at the wood that comes out if it's ok just fill the hole back up.

    Fergal, great idea to test drill the others. I will phone around a few stair makers and the likes to see if I can blag any scrap pieces of hardwood for this and other jobs around the boat. I need to sort out the strake and rubrails anyway, timber might be the way to go with these as rubber and pvc extrusion is very expensive.

    I have ordered glass today, I went for 5m of 600g Biaxial, 5m of 300g Woven Roving and a KG of chopped strands compatible with Epoxy. I should have it early next week.




  • Folks

    I am looking at Hempel Epoxy Filler for my outer hull repair fairing and other filling / fairing around the boat.

    See here
    http://www.mbfg.co.uk/filler-pastes/2046.html

    Would you recommend this, is it good at resisting water, will it do below waterline?




  • Hi Fergal,

    I had a good look underneath the hull today. The port keel grp has delamination in the same fashion as its keel plate did inside the hull.

    This worries me cos we are now on the outside of the boat below the waterline. I am going to drill a couple of test holes into the keel to test the timber. If it's bad, I am looking at cutting away the grp covering and removing the side keel timber. Then fitting new wood and recovering with fibreglass.

    Is this as daunting as it sounds? Am I approaching this correctly and doing the right thing?




  • Don't worry about it you can do it. The only holes through the hull should be the bolt holes holding the timber in place so don't cover up the nuts in the boat till your happy that the outside timber is ok. Worst case like you say is replace the timber and fiberglass still not to bad a job compared to what you are doing.There is nothing on this boat you cant fix.:D




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    Don't worry about it you can do it. The only holes through the hull should be the bolt holes holding the timber in place so don't cover up the nuts in the boat till your happy that the outside timber is ok. Worst case like you say is replace the timber and fiberglass still not to bad a job compared to what you are doing.There is nothing on this boat you cant fix.:D

    so if I find rotten timber, it's ok to cut away the grp and remove timber?




  • dnme wrote: »
    so if I find rotten timber, it's ok to cut away the grp and remove timber?

    Yep it's quite a common job, you might get away with just taking the face and one end off and forcing the timber out but if the fiberglass is bad your better off replacing the lot, try and keep the timber so you can make a copy.




  • I'm very much in 2 minds about saying this but I mean absolutely no offence and I admire your persistance and enthuasism in all this, You have done so much work to this boat, and research and learned new skills so I just want to throw this out there, and its only my opinion from past experience that sometimes its worth stepping back and looking at the big picture again.

    I gave up on a project boat before because I made too much work of it and there was alot less work needed than you have to do. It was basically a bare fibregalss hull (shetland 536) with a nice new engine. I started work on it to make it more comfortable and look less shabby, basic cosmetic stuff, but time I unbolted something or sanded something down or removed a panel I uncovered a new potential structural problem. before long I was grinding off old nuts and bolts and woodwork and seperating fibreglass components, removing brightwork and fitting new bulkheads etc.

    It took a couple of months away from the boat (I stormed off one day after something else went wrong) to realise that the boat was floating and working grand before I started and that all my extra work and time and costs fixing things that would never be seen would add absolutely nothing to the finished product, it would still be the same 30 year old bare fibregalss boat with a nice engine.

    What I'm trying to say is dont lose sight of the final picture, I know that for piece of mind and safety all structural issues especially below the waterline should be sorted out but dont go looking for trouble or getting stressed out by little things. We can all see the time and effort you have invested in this little boat and I am definately enjoying this thread so I'd hate to see you get frustrated as the finish line keeps moving.




  • Slig wrote: »
    I'm very much in 2 minds about saying this but I mean absolutely no offence and I admire your persistance and enthuasism in all this, You have done so much work to this boat, and research and learned new skills so I just want to throw this out there, and its only my opinion from past experience that sometimes its worth stepping back and looking at the big picture again.

    I gave up on a project boat before because I made too much work of it and there was alot less work needed than you have to do. It was basically a bare fibregalss hull (shetland 536) with a nice new engine. I started work on it to make it more comfortable and look less shabby, basic cosmetic stuff, but time I unbolted something or sanded something down or removed a panel I uncovered a new potential structural problem. before long I was grinding off old nuts and bolts and woodwork and seperating fibreglass components, removing brightwork and fitting new bulkheads etc.

    It took a couple of months away from the boat (I stormed off one day after something else went wrong) to realise that the boat was floating and working grand before I started and that all my extra work and time and costs fixing things that would never be seen would add absolutely nothing to the finished product, it would still be the same 30 year old bare fibregalss boat with a nice engine.

    What I'm trying to say is dont lose sight of the final picture, I know that for piece of mind and safety all structural issues especially below the waterline should be sorted out but dont go looking for trouble or getting stressed out by little things. We can all see the time and effort you have invested in this little boat and I am definately enjoying this thread so I'd hate to see you get frustrated as the finish line keeps moving.

    Slig, You are absolutely correct. There are two probelms here. One is an old boat with a lot wrong, and two is me. I am an obsessive perfectionist with an addictive nature. When I go at something, I normally go over the top.

    Biggest lesson I learned so far is that I bought the wrong boat. If I were to buy a boat again, I would hopefully know now what to check, what to look out for etc. The boat I bought cost way too much for start.

    I am going to back away from the perfection edge on this one now. I have given up on the front windows, that was a disaster that cost me time and money. I'm gonna try and get the hull fixed, then timberwork and then paint. I am starting to hate this boat.




  • You will get there and she will pay you back, here is a chap doing something a bit like you so you might get some inspiration. from his work :)
    http://www.dawncraftowners.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=6116




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    You will get there and she will pay you back, here is a chap doing something a bit like you so you might get some inspiration. from his work :)
    http://www.dawncraftowners.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=6116


    That's my mate Clive from the Norman Boat users forum. Been getting great advice from him for a while now. Small world. :D:D


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  • Day 15

    After a few days of failed experiments, I awoke today feeling somewhat beaten. But then I looked out the bedroom window and saw the blue sky and the lake.

    I spent yesterday constructing a fairly robust oven. The box was resized, lined with fibreglass insulation and foil. I made a few attempts at baking perspex windows over my drape moulds. I tried different temps, different timing, different heat gun positions and tried adding a fan. The results in all cases were awful. I think drape moulding is ok for simple shapes but my windows are a little complex in that there's a bend across the length, and then compounding that is a sharp bend for the wrap around. My conclusion is that these windows need to be pressed rather than draped.

    I have given up on the front windows. It's an experiment that failed. Could be worse. So what now? I think I will glass in the wrap arounds on both sides of the cabin thus creating new rectangular window apertures. I will then be able to cut and fit this far simpler shape. So instead of looking like Bono, my boat will look more like Nana Mouskouri, and that'll do me.


    In the meantime, I needed a psychological boost today so I decided to cut and dry fit the other windows. Cutting the perspex was delicate cos I need a 5mm gap between the window and it's aperture for the rubber seal strip. I spent the morning cutting and fine tuning with a fine blade in the jigsaw and a belt sander. I came up with four nicely fitting windows that I then proceeded to dry fit into the new rubber seals. Not as simple a job as you might think. Took me about an hour to seat the first window.....a few expletives, a few roars at the dog, a few flings of various tools in anger.....etc. It took me about 10 mins to do the last one though. Ah the glory of learning and experience. Then it came time to install the sealing strip, same story as above. Now thankfully when I ordered the rubber, I also ordered the installation tool. At the time I thought it might be a waste of money, but today, once I figured out how to use it, I was running the sealing strip in like a pro, zipping my way around the window. Without the tool, I would have made a haimes of it with a screwdriver and I'd probably still be at it. I owe a big than you to a can of silicon spray lubricant for the entire job. Job would be impossible Without it, especially it's directional nozzle.

    Now back to hard labour. I have a hull underside covered in crud. There's a thick layer of black bitumen and many layers of paint. It had proved impossible to sand as the bitumen was destroying my sanding disks, so I decided to try a tub of Dilunett. This is a paint remover that is safe to use on grp. I ordered it on line during the week, cost €30 delivered!! If you've never used it, it's a paste. It looks like very think chicken soup and is water washable. That's about all I can say in favour of the stuff. It is also lethal to the skin, it burns in seconds and is highly caustic. It's nasty stuff and here's the thing....the instructions advise that removal of it be done by power washing it off !! ??? You have to keep wetting it to keep it active, a dirty nasty job considering I am working on my back under the hull looking up at all that crud coming down on me.

    So this evening I decided, I needed better access to the hull. I chanced a go at getting the boat off the trailer and up on timber. Out with my beloved Halfords 2.25 ton jack, lots of pieces of timber, two homemade stern stands and two homemade side keel supports.
    I was able to jack up the front of the trailer, push the boat back, then pull the trailer out by myself relatively easily. Then lots of slow jacking - placing timbers, slow jacking - placing timbers, balancing, up little by little, bit by bit. Tonight I have the boat about 800mm off the ground, the keel is supported in three places, There are two stern stands and two side keel stands. These side keel stands take no weight, they just act as a backup. She's off the trailer and up where I can get in under her. I can't believe I managed this on my own. Took a while but I'm delighted. I can now also get at the trailer and start de-rusting and painting it. Onward. I'm not beaten yet.

    1. Yesterday, trying to bake a window. Yeah right!! 157193.jpg

    2. A psychological boost, a dry fit of new windows just to see some progress. Worked a treat.
    157194.jpg

    3. Things could be a whole lot worse, just look!
    157195.jpg

    4. Trying to get crud off the hull. A dirty messy job. Health & Safety how are ya :rolleyes:
    157196.jpg

    5. Boat is now off the trailer and up on timbers.
    157197.jpg




  • That trailer needs a bit of work alright and a few more rollers :D
    Like someone said on YBW if you make the windows out of 1-2 or 3 mm perspex you might be able to bend it into shape and just seal it in place, it won't be the strongest but it will work as a window and be tough enough, it would be a shame to change the look of the boat.




  • Day 16

    I started tackling the hull underside proper today. I have to say that the specialist paint stripper I was using, (Dilunett) didn't really work so well for me. I probably applied it too thin and didn't keep it wet (who the hell has time). Regardless, I have to tackle the thick bitumen on the underside of the hull so today I resorted to standard paint stripper. I can tell you it works, at least in this situation. With a bit of care, I am painting it on, waiting a couple of minutes, scraping it off and rubbing dry with a cloth wetted with solvent. In the case of my hull, I am having to do this twice. That just about gets rid of 60% of the bitumen allowing me to get in with the sander and hit the paint and primer that lies underneath. Right down through the layers of history, is a copper coloured coat that I'm guessing is an ancient coat of antifoul.

    Getting crud off the hull underside is the hardest job I have ever tackled (and in my time, I used to remove 500+ heads off cattle daily in a slaughter house). This truly is the job from hell. So far today I have managed to do about two feet under the hull either side, that's it for a days work. I'm lying there getting splattered by paint stripper, then having liquid bitumen drop on me, then having thick balls of tar drop and stick to me so that I end up looking like a tyre from an F1 car after a few tasty laps. Then there's the sheer torture of holding up a heavy RO sander to the hull as you lie underneath. The pain in the shoulder and arm muscles is something. I have to drop the thing every few seconds to relieve the burn.

    By means of brakes from sanding, I spent a half hour at the trailer today. I lobbed off all the old broken rolller brackets with an angle grinder. I love the smell an angle grinder makes against metal. Then for an extra added brake from the torture, I got out the recip saw, pulled a few old branches and trunks out of the ditch and made myself a wheelbarrow load of fine firing (should it get cold anytime soon).

    1. Stripping the hull underside (bow - starboard side). Once the thick black bitumen is gone look what I find; not one but two large patches. These were done pretty badly and left very uneven. I got out the belt sander and lobbed off the high spots. Nonetheless they still resemble potato farro's. The guy who did this repair, must have done so before mankind invented "sanding". Also you have to wonder what in the hell caused this massive damage.
    157266.jpg

    2. Trailer, I lobbed off all the old broken and worn fittings. I might lob off one axle (leaving enough for roller supports. A single axle trailer is more than enough for my boat and is a simpler entity with regard to road traffic laws.
    157267.jpg




  • dnme wrote: »
    (bow - portside)
    - either that pic is reversed or something but that is your starboard bow?




  • Day 17

    I spent the day stripping the starboard hull underside. To my horror I have uncovered four (yes four) large patch repairs. The repairs are pretty awful in terms of quality. One of them is filled with Isopon (I recognise the smell). The starboard side keel grp is delaminating at it's leading edge and there is massive patch repair all along its inside. We are talking a lumpy patch some 2+ feet long by about a foot wide.

    I am posting a couple of photos of the worst one (the side keel). I am asking anyone who has ever worked with fibreglass to comment and tell me what you think. What in gods name happened to this boat?

    - Is something this size repairable?
    - The repairs are delaminating in places, do I remove them completely or just as much as seems loose/weak?
    - I am now pretty sure the keel timbers will be rotten so they will need replacing. Therefore we are looking at new side keel and a new repair right beside it maybe 2x1 feet in size. How the hell do I repair something this size?
    - What techniques to use when glassing in new keels?


    Many thank yous for any good advice you can give me.

    157512.jpg

    157513.jpg




  • You are not getting a lot of luck with this boat I feel for you coming across all this mess:eek: it's no wonder the last owner put so much tar on it, I don't think you will have any comeback as most boats are sold as seen.
    It is fixable and I'm sure what ever you do will be better and stronger than whats there, this has to be as bad as it's gets so things should get better from here on in, having said that keep weighing up your pros and cons you still have a good bit to go and she will keep taking money out of your pocket so have a good think about what you want to do and how much time and money you want to spend on her and weather she is worth it to you. It might save you money and work to cut your loss and move on to another boat and let this one go but if you want to go on I'm sure all of us will be behind you all the way.




  • That looks like the keel was ripped off at some point. Are you sure that there's no structural damage that has just been patched up in the past? It might be time to step back and check that the boat is straight and bulkheads are correctly placed etc. You can repair anything fibreglass but it may not be worthwhile.




  • I paid €530 for it, and have spent in or around €1k - €1200 on it now. I can't just cut my losses. I'm kinda trapped now, every penny I had has gone into it and it's now un-sellable etc etc.

    Has anyone any technical advice as to the keel repair and the massive patch repair? How would you go about this?




  • I would do this in two parts first remove the keel marking where it sits and just work at cleaning all the isopon filler out right down to the fiberglass leaving a tapered edge all the way around the hole. if it is very deep but not all the way through cut some fiberglass to fit the deepest part of the hole and resin it in then when it is still tacky add another pice of cloth a bit bigger and so on till the hole is filled you can then use resin mixed with filler to finish and level off. If you find the hole goes right through I would clean off all the edges with a grinder and prop some flexible plastic sheet (or cardboard with cling film covering so it wont stick) to the under side of the hull covering the hole and taking the shape of the boat and then start laying down the fiberglass from the inside.
    You can build a new timber keel to fit the boat and just bolt and stick it on with thickened epoxy leaving the wood to show or if you like you can cover it with cloth and fiberglass it on.


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  • fergal.b wrote: »
    I would do this in two parts first remove the keel marking where it sits and just work at cleaning all the isopon filler out right down to the fiberglass leaving a tapered edge all the way around the hole. if it is very deep but not all the way through cut some fiberglass to fit the deepest part of the hole and resin it in then when it is still tacky add another pice of cloth a bit bigger and so on till the hole is filled you can then use resin mixed with filler to finish and level off. If you find the hole goes right through I would clean off all the edges with a grinder and prop some flexible plastic sheet (or cardboard with cling film covering so it wont stick) to the under side of the hull covering the hole and taking the shape of the boat and then start laying down the fiberglass from the inside.
    You can build a new timber keel to fit the boat and just bolt and stick it on with thickened epoxy leaving the wood to show or if you like you can cover it with cloth and fiberglass it on.

    I have cloth arriving tomorrow. I went for a mix of 280gsm and 600gsm woven roving, 6m of each.
    Also ordered a batch of 6mm chopped strands. Also some Freefix bonding paste and Hempel marine epoxy filler. Hopefully the right kit for the job.


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