Thursday, October 9, 2008

Batboat Rebuild: Day 14 September 27, 2008

Oh, boy. This is the day I took on the severely damaged stern and the splash well. Holy bail buckets! Look at all the holes!

This was in poor condition. Some of the holes were probably for fittings of some sort, some were drilled in by a previous owner, but the biggest one, which looks like a devilish grin, was where the incredible force of the motor pushed through the rotted hull.
He's the only one who was laughing.
I "kind of" had this all figured and plunged head first into it.

The first task was to rebuild the fiberglassing of the hull which I unfortunately removed most of.

My first experience with a grinder was weeks before when I was removing the original transom and cleaning up the stern area. The 60 grit flap wheel removes fiberglass and whatever it attached to very quickly. When I was finished more than 75% of the original fiberglass was gone leaving mostly gelcoat.

Grinder divots
The guys at the forum almost flipped when I showed them this. However, as with all other fiberglass repairs it is an easy fix.

All I need to do is rebuild the transom starting with one layer of 1.5 oz chopped mat to fill in and smooth out the holes and gouges I made. This is followed by a layer of 1708 biaxial cloth, and another, followed by the plywood transom. This not only fixes all the damage but also creates a transom many, many times more stronger than when the boat left the factory.

I didn't think that I had all the polyester resin needed to complete the job so I focused just n glassing in the 1.5 chopped strand mat cloth. 1708 biaxial soaks up a great deal of resin and I had little more than a gallon on hand. The weather was getting cooler and needed to plug up all the leak points in order to see if the boat floats in the river before it got too frigid.

All the remaining metal fasteners and screws were located and quickly drilled or ground out. The big smile area was actually forced in and some of the fiberglass around it was cracked and permanently dented inward. The cutter wheel got it all out so I could lay the glass cloth in flat.

Before I stared on that I took all the stainless screws out of the laminated transom ply and drilled new holes where filled in with cut dowels. The area was cleaned up with a rag and Acetone.

This was a big job I was doing today so I got everything ready and in place and mixed up a quart of polyester resin.

I glopped resin into the peg holes and hammered the pegs in, filled in the lamination gap with resin, and made sure it was completely filled then moved on to the fiberglassing the Batboat.
For this I mixed a lot of cabosil into the resin to make it thick and slathered it on the fiberglassing area and a little beyond. It ran down a bit so I painted it back up with the brush and made sure I had a thick layer of resin before I put in the glass cloth.

The glass cloth fit in perfect with room around the edges to nicely stuff into the corners. I had to work fast so I worked out the air bubbles with my long fiberglass roller and saturated the cloth with more resin and rolled some more air pockets until the cloth was completely transparent.

Immediately after
After tabbing the excess around the edges and making sure all was even and there was no air pockets anywhere I painted on another coat then turned to the transom wood with the remaining resin and gave it another layer. The rest was applied to the nearby stringers. By the time I was done I had a perfect starting hull repair and a couple of extra coats of resin on the structural wood members.

Here's the transom from the outside. All damage is 100% sealed and water proofed.

The motor seats on the transom and clamped to the splash well of this Batboat. Since the original transom wood was rotted the entire rear of the boat was badly damaged. The splash well received a few large stress cracks that a previous owner filled in with caulk.

All the damage and filler needed to be completely removed so I could fix the fiberglass. An easy job but dusty.

The 60 grit flapper wheel quickly and easily removed the gunky caulk and areas surrounding the cracked fiberglass.

By the time I finished with the splash well, the fiberglass had beautifully set in the boat.

The extra glass cloth around the edges made no difference in the fit of the transom ply.

The evenings were beginning to get a little more cooler and darker. Soon I be forced to stop work on the Batboat. Fiberglass resin will not set properly in temperatures below 60 - 65 degrees. If it weren't for that the work would continue until snowfall.
Before and After


StefRobrts said...

I'm so glad you posted this step by step, this is exactly the same work that I am going to be doing to my boat in the next few weeks. It's great to see how someone else did it. makes it a lot clearer in my mind about what I have to do.

Darren Nemeth said...

I am glad you are getting something out of this blog. I am ordering the polyester resin tonight. Work will begin when it arrives next week.