Album Index for Album 0032: T-Boned! (Hull repair project)

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53178 In the 15 years before I bought her, Red Wing had covered more miles and cruising grounds than most boats twice her size. She had been hard used, and it showed in a few places like this.

Looking down from the deck, it appears that about 2" of fiberglass was structurally damaged. Around the structurally damaged section, the fiberglass flexed under the impact, creating spider cracks in the gelcoat. The spider cracks radiate out 9" to either side of the impact area, but the fiberglass is sound.

The "quick and dirty" way to fix it would be to just slop some sealant on the cracks to prevent leaking, but that wouldn't be as strong as it was new. To do a proper repair, I need to grind out the damaged glass and replace it. If we ever took a hit like that again, I'd want her just as strong as before.

53025 Looking at it from the side (and from underneath, which you can't see in this shot), the damage extends 1/2" further than visible from above. I've marked in red felt tip the extent of the damage on the left. I pried a screw driver in there to check if there were any cracks further along the joint. Nope, it's strongly epoxied (?) together and that's the extent of the damage. Shouldn't be too hard to fix, even though the curves here will make it difficult to sand the new glass. It should be cosmetically fine -- as long as nobody pulls off the rubrail to look!

(PS, the newer P19's from International Marine have a totally differently designed hull and deck joint. The joint on my 1985 is flanged, the new ones overlap.)

51615 Partially finished grinding out the damaged glass. Now the hidden cracks are revealed.
60560 More grinding. I'll keep going until all damaged fiberglass is removed and the edges are bevelled out about 3" past the damaged area to either side. I ground off more glass and alot more gelcoat than you see here, but I didn't stop to take a picture.

Did you notice the puncture in the white rubrail hanging below the deck joint? Whatever hit Redwing was sharp and pointy enough to go right thru the 3/16" rub rail that covers the joint.

65707 I'm going to put 9 layers of glass on the top and 9 on the bottom, for a total of 18 layers. That'll be about 3/8" or thicker. The longest layer is about 7" long, and the shortest is about 2" long, to match the bevel I made to either side of the puncture. I'm going to use epoxy resin rather than polyester, because it forms a stronger mechanical bond to old laminate. Using epoxy means I might not be able to put gelcoat over it, but I don't care about that since it will be hidden under the rubrail.
54479 A shot after laying in 18 layers of glass and trimming them. The final topcoat of epoxy was tinted with white pigment. It'll all be covered by the rubrail, but it'll look better with a top layer of white, especially if somebody looks closely. And it provides some UV protection, even though very little sunlight can get at it.
54813 Another shot, edge on.
28584 A wider angle shot of the repaired area. Still need to touch up the red cove stripe.