Thursday, October 8, 2009

Batboat Rebuild: Day 43 August 11th, 2009

I worked 7 hours with breaks here and there for lunch and water. It was extremely hot out and I worked in the direct sun in shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt.

Not much of a pop drinker but I managed to buy several bottles of John McCain Cola months ago. Made of cane sugar it was probably good to drink before starting because of the sugar and caffeine content. It tasted good, too!

Today I fiberglassed the first ply of deck to the hull, installed the below-deck flotation and bedded in the middle ply.

I wanted to move out of my house badly because of bad neighbors and the Batboat was going to be my U-haul, therefore, I was working on it constantly throughout August. Had to get the deck in and dust cleaned out before my stuff could go in!

The first job for the day was to fiberglass the deck, something I never did before. My first time at it.

The deck surface was cleaned by grinding down the excess PL Adhesive over the screws and sanding the surface of the ply with 40 grit paper. The dust was blown out and then cleaned up with acetone in a rag.

The fiberglassing turned out to be a mess. I screwed up. A matching 60 inch by 20 inch section of 1.5 chopped strand mat and 6 oz. Hexel woven was cut. The mat went on first and the Hexel followed. I got so many bubbles in the 6 oz. Hexel because my hand was fiberglassed into my glove. I could not reposition the 6oz cloth on top of the mat until I got my hand out. By then it was almost too late. I did the best I could but have lots of grinding and patching to do later. :(

This fiberglassing waterproofs the deck plywood and bonds it to the hull by running the cloth up the sides.

The 1.5 oz chopped strand mat bonds to the plywood and the 6 oz. Hexel woven goes on top to create a smooth surface and for strength.

A minimum of 8 oz. of fiberglass cloth is recommended for decks. I came up .5 oz shy but this is not a deck where there will be any foot traffic.

Looking at some scraps of the original deck, it looks like Glastron originally used one layer of woven and put a vinyl floor on top. (!!!)

Here is another attempt at 20 inches of cloth. I rolled this on with a few inches overlap on the first layup.

This turned out much better.

I fiberglassed up to near the cross brace screws. After the middle ply is in, the fiberglass will overlap the previous work by several inches plus over the seam in the deck.


It is a good idea to have some kind of floatation under the deck in case something happens out on the water. I went the swimming pool "Fun Noodles" route.

This is closed cell foam, the type used in jet fighter wings, will not disintegrate unless in UV rays, are very buoyant, and cheap!

Got 15 of them last year at WalMart's end of season price drop at $1.50 each. Most stores have them marked down at the end of every summer.

Remember to tear off the tags. They can be moisture and mold traps under the deck!

These are easy to tear into sections and down the middle using only your hands.

The round shape of the foam will not trap water if it ever got under the deck. It will just flow out to the bilge.

Only 14 out of 15 would fit under the deck. My niece and nephew got the one left over.

There is now more foam under the deck than what the factory put in back in 1969 and it cost me only $22.50.

My Batboat is an outboard so there are no worries about the foam being ruined by gas leaks from an under deck tank.

Again, this is closed cell foam and won't soak in water unless exposed to lots of UV rays.

I bonded and screwed the middle section in just like I did to the other the day before and vacuum cleaned up.

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