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Thread: Boat Shed Thread.

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    Should Get Out More Yambo's Avatar
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    Default Boat Shed Thread.


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    About 6 or 7 weeks ago I was asked by a Turkish friend to have a look at a boat he'd bought for his 10 year old son. It's an old boat, a very old fibreglass boat that has definitely seen better days. I had a quick look and told him that although it needed a fair bit of work, I thought it could be made good. However, July and August here are oppressively hot and working on boats in the open is not a good idea so I said I'd have a better look and come up with a plan in September.

    It's September so I had a look a couple of days ago and wasn't too impressed. The starboard side of the hull has had 3 fairly large holes and also a big crack repaired in the past and whoever done it didn't do that good a job. I can understand why, they have done 'enough' to get it back in the water but there's a lot of other work could have been done at the same time as those repairs and as they haven't been touched it means a lot more needs to be done.

    The hull is very thin and the top edge is rounded over to provide a bit more strength I guess. Bonded to that is a moulded fibreglass gunwale. This was fractured in a number of places. My original plan was to put a length of timber up inside the overhang of the gunwale to provide more strength but it had been so badly repaired that a single length of wood would be difficult to form and more than one piece would not provide the strength. Around most of the hull the joint where the gunwale should be stuck to the rounded over bit of hull was coming apart and it soon became apparent it wasn't bonded at all in a number of places. I levered a few sections off and told Özgur we needed a different plan.

    Today I sanded off paint etc in the areas of the old repairs to get an opinion on whether a good job was viable. We've decided it is and I should be able to do most of the jobs/improvements with excess stuff I have available. I've stopped building boats so I really should get rid of the timber and plywood I have lying around. I still have quite a bit of fibreglass spare as well so costs will be minimal. The boat was built with polyester resin as opposed to epoxy which is a good thing - polyester resin is less than a third the price of epoxy. Kamoron, the 10 year old is champing at the bit but to get this to where he can use it for a couple of years before upgrading is going to take a bit of time. The weather is still very warm and humid so work at the moment will be a couple of hours in the evenings - when I'm not out fishing.

    I took a couple of pictures today, not really 'before' pictures because I've already ripped some bits off but you'll get the gist. I'll take more as I progress and a couple more over the next couple of days to help explain the issues.



    You can maybe see the rounded over bit of the hull in this picture. I've ripped off the front section of gunwale.



    There was a piece of timber behind these holes, there to support the thole pins (the Turkish/Mediterranean equivalent of rowlocks). It was rotten. The nuts and bolts were originally 6mm steel - not good and most are now about 1mm in diameter. You can clearly see where the gunwale/hull joint is cracked. Around the hull there was more crack than bonded bits.



    You can see the line of the repaired crack in the hull quite easily. There doesn't appear to be a lot of fibreglass used, it looks mostly resin. I'll strengthen it with more fibreglass after sanding a fair bit of it away. You can also see one of the repaired holes which also need fibreglass patches on them. After that's done Ill fair those bits and then I'll sand the whole hull and coat it with 2 or 3 coats of epoxy barrier coat. That should do it.



    The port side of the hull not looking too bad. I've ripped off the front section of gunwale this side too.

    Welcome aboard!

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    Slight off topic. The roof of my van has had a repair in the fibreglass roof. Rough looking fibreglass was used and its quite unsightly. I want to sand this back and paint before winter but its bloody sold and sand paper on a block wont touch it. Unsure if i should go near it with an electric sander.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    The rough looking fibreglass is probably chopped strand matting. It has its uses. I sand fibreglass regularly - I was sanding some today and you're right, it can be tough going by hand. I usually use a random orbital sander and may use 80 grit discs to start with but if you are just looking to prepare for painting, 150 or 180 grit should be fine. Run the sander on a slow speed if you can. The resin can heat up and will quickly clog up the sanding discs if the speed is too high. Van roofs are quite thin iirc so don't press hard, let the sander do the work and keep the plate flat. It would be very easy to go through the roof if you tilt the plate and use the edge of the disc. If you are going to use a basic orbital sander you might need coarser paper, they don't normally put a lot of effort in.

    What paint are you going to use? I'd go for a 2 part epoxy barrier coat personally.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yambo View Post
    The rough looking fibreglass is probably chopped strand matting. It has its uses. I sand fibreglass regularly - I was sanding some today and you're right, it can be tough going by hand. I usually use a random orbital sander and may use 80 grit discs to start with but if you are just looking to prepare for painting, 150 or 180 grit should be fine. Run the sander on a slow speed if you can. The resin can heat up and will quickly clog up the sanding discs if the speed is too high. Van roofs are quite thin iirc so don't press hard, let the sander do the work and keep the plate flat. It would be very easy to go through the roof if you tilt the plate and use the edge of the disc. If you are going to use a basic orbital sander you might need coarser paper, they don't normally put a lot of effort in.

    What paint are you going to use? I'd go for a 2 part epoxy barrier coat personally.
    Cheers for that. My sander is an old hand held belt what may be a bit brutal so ill pop into B&Q and grab a wee orbital sander.

    Paint is just a company called Arc-Rite who do chassis paint in a satin black what i just roller on as its a rat van


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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    Right, listen in! I'm back and I even have a few photos.

    I've been chipping away at the boat but around the time I started it was really hot and hard work trying to do things but it has cooled down recently so I've been getting on. I do have a plan of what's going to happen but I'm making it up as I go along so it could well change.

    The first thing was to do a better job on the repaired holes in the hull and the big crack. The holes were easy, I cut two pieces of fibreglass for each repair site; one to fit the repair and build it up (they were all concave) and one bigger to cover it all and be blended in to the rest of the hull. I'm using polyester resin as this is an old boat and that would have been used originally. Polyester resin is a lot cheaper than epoxy and is great for simple jobs although there are a couple of cons. The hardener is Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) and technically it's not a hardener, it's a catalyst, the resin will go hard on it's own over time and the MEK just hastens this. I don't like MEK but you only need small amounts - about 2 or 3% of the volume of resin. Put any more in and it'll kick off too quick. MEK though can lose it's efficiency over time and the stuff I had was quite old and at 3% it took 4 - 5 days to harden completely. I'd got the big sanding block on after a couple of days and it just clogged the thing up. The chemists among you will know that if you add peroxide to MEK, making MEKp, you get a high explosive. I'm not tempted. Not at all.



    After 5 days I was able to sand the repairs reasonably well. The crack was a different matter. I was looking at it quite closely prior to doing the same sort of strengthening repair when I noticed a few pinholes in the previous repair. These were all in line with the crack itself so out came a chisel and Stanley knife and I started enlarging the holes. It turns out there was basically an unfilled groove over about 3/5ths of the original repair. I made up some filler with resin and fibreglass microfibres, filled the groove and then fibreglassed over the whole lot with the same 2 patches. The filler and wetted fibreglass will set up together and should make a considerably stronger repair than the previous one. I didn't take any photos, sorry.

    I then set to and removed as much as I could of the rest of the paint on the whole hull exposing two more repairs on the port side. These were a better job than the ones I'd just worked on and just needed a bit of sanding. I used paint stripped as a first stage of paint removal but it wasn't very effective so the big random orbital came out with 80 grit and that did a reasonable job. There are a few more dings to be repaired before I start on the filler and paint but the hull itself can be left for a while.

    Time to get on with some other work. The gunwale was hardly attached in some places as evidenced by the big crack around most of the boat.



    It all came off (easily) leaving pile of old polyester resin that had been used as glue or filler or something. I cleaned some of it off but it's going to be a pain so it can wait. I didn't fancy it at the time and wanted to get on with making some wooden bits.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    The easiest bits to start with were the plates either side of the transom where an outboard would be mounted. The plate inside the boat is a single sheet of 10mm plywood, shaped, given a few holes, epoxied and deliberately left a bit oversize. The outside one was laminated up from 3 bits of plywood glued together with thickened epoxy. I've made two of the pieces so that they fit into the channel you can see in the last photo of the previous post and the a third piece was added that sits a wee bit proud. More holes, more sanding and epoxy and a dry fit.





    Both plates will get a final coat of epoxy and a few coats of varnish later on. They'll be fine for now.

    To add some strength to the hull it will have a pair of quarter knees at the stern, where the sides and transom meet and a breasthook at the bow. These also look nicer and are worth the effort of making. To start, I laminated up 4 bits of 8mm ply cut into 20cm squares and another 4 pieces 45 cms long x 15 cms for the breasthook. The square block was cut diagonally to give me two pieces, one for each stern quarter. The quarter knees are a bit tricky to make as a) the corner is rounded, b) the transom is angled in towards the bottom of the boat and c) the sides and transom are not square. But I have all the gear (and no idea) so after some careful, measuring, cutting and sanding I produced two quarter knees which are a reasonable dry fit and when glued (with sixaflex 292i) and screwed will be just dandy.







    In those pictures you can probably see the mess of resin that needs to be cleaned up before I make and fit a new gunwale.

    I've yet to start on the breasthook but it's not going to be as easy as the quarter knees. Here's the bow and block ready for a bit of ingenuity.






    It's all OK though, I have a plan.

    Tools for cutting and shaping? My Scheppach BASO1 bandsaw (for which I need a spare part ) and my Scheppach belt/disc sander.


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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    Stop it. You are making me feel really inadequate!








    Great work though.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    I finished cleaning up the top edge of the hull, getting rid of a load of old resin that had been used I think to try and stick the gunwale down. I chipped a lot off with an old chisel then smoothed it with a surform. I think surforms went out a favour a long time ago but I find them very useful for this sort of work.







    The gaps along the top edge are where the bow seat, a separate moulding, doesn't fit too well. It's not an issue though.

    With that all prepped I set to to make a breasthook. I'd done a practice run the day before yesterday which wasn't too bad so I got the laminated block onto the saw and started cutting. It's an awkward shape as the sides bevel inwards and nothing is very true. I'd made up a rough shape out of a thin piece of scrap ply, bodged up a means of holding it in place and the stuck bits of thin cardboard to it to form the shape of the bottom edge. Lay that on the workpiece and draw round it and you have the basic shape of the bottom of the work piece. Draw another line offset from the first line by the amount the bevel of the sides causes and you have a rough outline of the top edge. Cut around this line square then angle the table of the bandsaw and cut the bevel. Easy. Ish.

    Unfortunately, the roller guide block on my bandsaw is broken and I can't fix the right side roller in place to keep the blade from flexing so it's a very careful operation and with the sides of the top edge being a little bit curved, a tricky one. I've been trying to order a new part for a few days now - I broke the block when I was tightening the set screw the other day - but was having difficulties. I've now managed to get in touch with the Scheppach spares people and told them what I want. They don't appear to be very well organised though as I can find no way of paying for the damn thing. I'm not sure what will happen.

    Anyway, I got it cut, a bit oversize of course, then used the sander to get it right. Ish. I put it in place, put 4 screws in to hold it and the same with the quarter knees at the stern and cleaned up. Özgür appeared so together we flipped the boat over ready for the next stage. I'd forgotten to take any photos of the breasthook in place so got on my back and snapped a couple with the phone. It's far from a perfect fit but I'll fill the gaps with lots of sikaflex and that and the screws will hold it just fine. It and the quarter knees are going to be covered with a plywood gunwale so cosmetically it's no big deal, so long as it adds some strength.



    The next stage is the start of strengthening the hull sides. Tomorrow, I'll clean out the groove that runs around the boat. To fill it I'm going to use an old trick that I'd all but forgotten - use hemp rope to fill the groove! I'll mix up a couple of litres of polyester resin and dunk the correct length of rope in it, twisting the 3 strands open to get resin inside the rope. I'll let it soak for a bit and use some of the resin to wet out the groove. After squeezing off the excess resin with a gloved hand I'll lay the wet rope in the groove. some of the remaining resin will be thickened with fibreglass microfibres and that will be spread onto the rope to fill any gaps and make it look pretty. Those holes in the sides that you can see in the pictures above? I'll clamp a piece of scrap ply covered in polythene to the inside of the boat and fill them at the same time. When it all sets up it should be fairly rigid. With a couple of strips of wood fitted inside the boat (inwhales) it'll be stronger than it has ever been.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    I was just thinking the other day, after coming across my surform whilst looking for something else, that they don't appear to, well, appear any more.

    Does any one else remember the advert in Exchange and Mart with the zookeeper that claimed to trim the elephants toe nails with one?

    Right back to the boat - not much I can say as I know almost nothing about boats, other than they're meant to float, but am enjoying your posts.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    Got the rope sorted today and this evening realised that I had taken some photos the other day when I was making the practice breasthook so those first.

    The old gunwale that I had ripped off had a reasonable pattern for the front of the boat so I used it to make a template for the new gunwale which could also be used for getting the breasthook right. It's an awkward shape but I marked and cut the inside curve first which is deeper than the outside curve then I was able to easily mark and cut the outed shape.





    It was a simple matter to clamp the breasthook to this plate to check the bottom edge fit and also to secure the breasthook in place. In the previous post I mentioned how I marked the shape of the bow and I'd forgotten that I'd taken a photo. This shows the method I use for getting an inside shape as near as dammit.



    So long as you continuously make sure the rough shaped piece doesn't move too far it can give a fairly accurate result. To stick the card to the plywood I use nothing more than a Prit Stick. It gives you a bit of leeway to make sure the card is right before going hard.

    So onto today's messy operation. I mixed up 2 litres of polyester resin and 2.5% MEK hardener in a bucket and coiled the rope in. I gave it a good dunking so that all of it was wet then carefully open the strands of the rope every 3 inches or so to make sure I got resin into the middle of the rope. I used some of the resin to wet out the channel around the boat. I used my hand to squeeze/wipe off the excess resin off the rope and dump it in the blue bowl to keep it clean. I'd tied the ends of the rope with a bit of string to stop it unravelling.



    Once it was all wet and in the bowl it went into the groove and where necessary was forced in - the channel is not a consistent shape and in some places I could have used 16mm rope and in others 12mm but I used 7.5 metres of 14mm rope and a hammer where necessary.



    With still about a litre of made up resin sitting in the bucket I transferred some to a smaller mixing pot, added some microfibres and used that to fill in around the rope.



    A bit of timber covered in polythene clamped on the inside of the boat meant that the old holes in the hull could be filled.



    I still had a fair bit of resin left so I thickened more up and used it as a filler on the cracked and broken gelcoat of the hull. It'll mean a lot more sanding but that's cheaper than buying proper 2 part filler. I slapped a load around the bottom edge of the transom in an effort to tidy that up as well. It just has to all cook off nicely now and I'll be a happy boy. I'm not sure how long it'll all take to harden but that's no problem. Tomorrow, Saturday I'm going to watch England v NZ in the semi-finals. It's on at 11am here. I might even drink beer.

    When this has all set up it should add strength to the hull. We'll find out when we flip the boat again so that I can do a bit more woodworking.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    Apparently there's a limit to the numbers of photos per post so here's the ones I deleted to be able to show the rest.





    This is only a template. I'll make the gunwale out of a single piece of plywood (it wont be one single piece of wood as that would make too much waste but it will all come from the same piece of ply) so that the colour matches all around the boat. It's old and untidy but I don't want people saying "See that Yambo chap, he's just used scrap bits for that gunwale. You'd think he'd have used some matching bits!"

    I also picked up an inspection cover while I was in town today but more of that later, I've got to cook my dinner now before I head out to the Turunç Bay Yacht Club meeting and drink beer.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    With the boat turned over it was easier to cut holes and fit inspection covers to provide access to the areas under the bow ad stern seats. There was already stones rattling around in both compartments and the covers would make it easier to get them out. As well as stones I also found a few bits of sponge and a couple of bits of wood.

    The stern seat already had a hole in it with the remains of some sort of cover base pop-riveted on so I removed that and filled the dozen rivet holes with sunfix. The hole needed enlarging a bit for the new cover (not so new - I had it lying around from some time ago) but that was a simple job with some sandpaper. I made 2 backing boards out of scrap 8 mm ply, one for each cover, the stern seat getting a 6" and the bow an 8". I measured the flange (just love that word) and drew corresponding circles on AutoCad and stuck a centre line across the middle. If you then remove half the circle but leave the line in you can mirror the remaining half and centre line offset by the width of the jigsaw blade - about 1 mm. This means that when you cut the circle out and then cut the whole board in two (to get it through the hole in the panel it will be a circular hole that fits snug round the flange. Forget to take account of the jigsaw blade thickness and the hole won't be a proper circle and will need fettling.

    I marked the parts of the plate where they'll fit together and drilled a hole matching the mounting holes in each piece. They then got epoxied so they'll last a few years without attention Those bits then go into the compartment, the cover is fitted and a bolt goes through each piece to hold them in place. It's then a simple matter to drill the remaining 5 holes and bolt it all together with M5 machine screws and nylock nuts.

    This is the smaller stern seat cover:




    and the larger bow seat cover:






    I'd plastered a load of thickened resin on the hull when I'd finished wetting out the rope and that needed sanding. I'd done it to fill a lot of imperfections in the gelcoat and of course, I didn't get them all. Once that was all smoothed out (ish) I used some polyester filler to do the bits I'd missed. The filler I have is good stuff but you have to mix up small batches as it goes off very quickly, in around 5 minutes. It's also a 1 or 2% hardener mix so a small scale is needed for small batches. I have a suitable scale from when I used to measure out small amounts of medicine for my tropical fish. I didn't think I'd use it again but it was just the thing.

    The filler is ready for sanding in 40 minutes or so and I got done after a sandwich for lunch. The whole hull then got cleaned off with a brush and then wiped with acetone ready for the first coat of epoxy barrier coat. This epoxy paint is really tough stuff and is also a good base layer for top coats very often acting as a very good undercoat. This hull will get two coats and I got the first one on this evening.







    Tomorrow, if I don't take Bubbles out of the water, we'll turn this thing over and start fitting the inwales. I might just have enough epoxy for that. Fingers crossed. That white scoot in the last picture is my electric scooter that I got for running around the village on. I live at the north end and it seems everything I need or do happens at the south end. I'm not getting any younger so indulged myself. If I forget something while I'm working on this boat it's going to be 25 - 30 minutes going home to find what I need and bring it back walking. Five to 6 minutes on the scoot.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutin View Post
    I was just thinking the other day, after coming across my surform whilst looking for something else, that they don't appear to, well, appear any more.

    Does any one else remember the advert in Exchange and Mart with the zookeeper that claimed to trim the elephants toe nails with one?

    Right back to the boat - not much I can say as I know almost nothing about boats, other than they're meant to float, but am enjoying your posts.

    No idea about the elephant, but I've got one of them, I never knew exactly what it was called - I just referred (mentally) to it as 'that major bastard file'. I think I bought it in Wickes.


    Loving the thread Yambo - MORE!!
    Last edited by RiceBurner; 06-11-19 at 16:17.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    With the first coat of barrier coat dry we flipped the boat this morning and I set to cutting and shaping the inwales. These don't have to be perfect (I don't have long enough left to live to make them perfect ) but as long as they are firmly secured to the inside top edge of the hull they'll be fine. I'm putting these in to add a lot of strength to the hull which is fairly weak and flexible. It'll add weight of course but that shouldn't be too much of an issue. I cut them so that they would fit underneath the quarter knees at the stern but will finish butting up to the breast hook in the bow. I could probably have got them to fit under the breast hook but to do so would probably be a 2 man job and getting the angle right under the breast hook would be a pain. Working alone, I bottled it.

    With the two pieces cut to length I did a dry fit and left them in situ for an hour - it's a nice warm sunny day and the ambient heat may help the bend in the wood to stay in.





    I used the hour to get all the bits together for gluing them in and had a cup of tea. Fitting both sides in the same operation is the ideal way to do it as just doing one side could distort the boat. These bits of spruce are about 12 mm thick and exert a fair bit of pressure when bent into the shape of the hull. I also wanted the glue to set up evenly. Glue for this fitting is epoxy thickened with fibreglass microfibres. The polyester resin has been taking ages to harden properly and I trust epoxy to set up fully in 24 hours.

    I made up 75 ml of epoxy and used some of that to coat the breast hook and the quarter knees first then slapped a coat onto the lengths of wood. This will soak in a bit and will make a better bond when the thickened stuff sits against it. With the remaining epoxy I mixed in the microfibres and slapped that on the port side inwale and didn't have enough for the starboard side. A quick mix up of a second batch and soon both planks were coated. I fitted them the same way as during the dry fit and just added more clamps. A quick clean up of any glue that had squeezed out of the bottom - I just stick it in on the top edge where it looks like it's needed and it's all done.



    The next stage will be to stick some 10 mm screws along the length of each inwale to give them a bit of extra security. The epoxy should set up OK against the polyester of the hull but you never know. I'll then plane the top edge of the wood level with the hull, fit a couple of mounting blocks for the thole pins (for securing oars to) and shape and fit a gunwale.This picture is very similar to the original thole pins that were fitted although they were wood:



    I'm going to fit smaller, stainless steel units as they're a lot smarter and don't break as easily. Personally I prefer rowlocks and have 2 sets of very nice bronze ones for Panana. I think it's the only boat in this area with rowlocks.

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    Default Re: Boat Shed Thread.

    That's a lot of clamps. Do you have the local concession on them?

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