Thursday, November 12, 2009

Batboat Rebuild: trailer and fiberglass cloth, November 11, 2009

Those following this blog know there are problems with the Batboat's trailer. I now suspect that at one point it was in a fender bender evidenced by the bent coupler and several small twists and dents in the frame.

Its getting too cold to do fiberglassing and woodwork outside so I will put the focus on making the trailer safe. It WILL be boring to most of you but I hope that those who are working on their own Batboat will find time saving information here.

On this day I took off the coupler and safety chains. The work lasted less than an hour.

The old chains were zinc plated and mostly rusted plus I never trusted their hook connectors. A new set enroute from are made of stainless steel and have better connectors.

Above is the coupler. It connects to the car's trailer hitch. The yellow lines represent the correct level position of the trailer. As you can see this thing is bent out of wack!

It was welded to the tongue (the forward beam tip of the trailer) in three spots and I freed it off with the grinder and a hand vice clamp.

Two spots were cut through...

... and the coupler was bent and twisted off.

The rest of the attached coupler and welding was smoothed out with a grinder flapper disc. I wacked the beam back into shape with a hammer and coated the bare metal with spray primer to help prevent rust.

I'll get a new coupler after the chains get here.

Sundown was arriving meaning it was time to cut the lawn before it became too dark. When I opened the shed there was a nice surprise waiting for me. The rolls of remaining 1.5 Chopped Strand Mat and 6 oz Hexel fiberglass cloth fell from where they were shelved, unrolled on the floor and absorbed at least a month's worth of rain water, mud and all were well spotted with mildew! Totally ruined!

I kept these rolls and all of the scraps for nothing. About 2 yards combined of uncut cloth and a bunch of odd pieces were worthless. Oh well, at least the really expensive stuff, the 1708 biaxial, seemed okay. I'll check for mildew tomorrow! (checked it and it's fine but moved to the dry basement now.)

Can't use this for fiberglassing because the dirt and mold will promote rot! >:(

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