Shark bite in bow...help!

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by dougd, Sep 12, 2016.

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  1. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    Sailflow said it in the fewest words. Keep it simple! This repair is level 3. Trying to mold and get all the edges of the new bow line up with edges of the hull is like level 9 difficulty. You're working with really thin stuff and there's no guarantee the cuts will line up exactly. This dog ain't going to bite you if you don't try to make him jump through a flaming hoop!
     
  2. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a quick fix, if dougd plans to practice fiberglass repair skills, and then to sell this Sunfish. While this repair could be dismissed as "minor", the bow takes a beating on most sailboats. (Even those with reverse!) :confused: Ask me how I know! :oops:

    If dougd plans to keep this Sunfish, starting to patch from the inside with narrow strips, and lay-up several layers with epoxy—then add micro-balloons to the outside epoxied layers—would make this bow indestructible. :cool: A similar "hit" to the bow would damage the hull somewhere else!

    On another epoxy topic, now that I have a fresh half-pint left over from my keel repair (and "spring"), I'm wondering about the half-gallon of leftover West Systems epoxy that's been sitting elsewhere for several years. (And since then, the price has more than doubled :(). A friend says it'll still be good, just heat it to evaporate any water that has collected through condensation. What say you?
     
  3. Sailflow

    Sailflow Member

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    This was a minor repair.

    Also, my repair work is not a "quick fix" it would take a similar hit and when paint or gelcoated, you could not tell the difference.
     
  4. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    What I was trying do was give dougd a easy fix by going on the inside and not having to try to level/hide a three layer patch that sits above the surface on the outside of the damaged area. Repairs are generally make on the inside if possible and dougd went the extra mile by popping the deck so now he can take advantage and add extra reinforcement the factory did not due to cost. What Sailflow is also correct, you can make a repair from the outside and with beveling back of the fiberglass and using filler make a strong invisible repair. Given the location and nature of this repair I believe it's easier for a beginner to lay-up on the inside, encapsulate the damage with a layer on the outside and use filler to reshape. Sunfish are non mission critical so we can make repairs in a lot of different ways.

    I'd contact West Systems and see what they say about shelf life. Since its a two part system I'd think it could sit years with no problem. I'd worry more about heat causing a deterioration in the compound rather than anything else.
     
  5. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    West System will last a looong time. You'll know immediately if it is not usable. It might thicken a bit and change color, but some heat will thin it out.
     
  6. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    If it has thickened, is there a solvent that could be added to make it useable? Would a big dose of fresh epoxy work?

    Now that dougd has "popped the hood", what grade of sandpaper is recommended for roughing-up the coarse roving cloth within? Sandblasting would be my choice on such a coarse weave—especially, as I have the equipment—but sandblasting is messy. :(

    I photographed a side shot of my spare Sunfish bow for finishing-up a good profile. As soon as I find it :confused: I'll post it here.
     
  7. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    No solvent, heat like I mentioned

    60 or 80 grit well sanded and clean iz fine. Just scuff it up good. Less worries if using west since it bonds well. Clean and dry iz the goal....wipe with acetone
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  8. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Two thoughts:

    1) I happen to have a large roll of "rescued" 4-inch wide fiberglass cloth tape. I'd layer it up heavily at the top, and fan it out about 20" back into the hull. Add two layers to the keel. 'Be easier than cutting cloth.

    2) There's going to be a lot of expensive "filler" needed at the very tip of this bow restoration. What do you think of using some relatively non-compressible "formable" substance like wood or Bondo?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  9. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    Just use wax paper and shirt stock cardboard to form a curved backer on the
    outside of the bow. Should come out close to the original shape.
     
  10. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    Go out to the woodshed and be prepared to be whipped!! :-D
     
  11. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    Short strand filler like Dyna-Glass would be good for areas
    subject to impact. Should double your filler strength.
     
  12. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    (!) I never thought to mix Dyna-Glass with Bondo.

    ;)
     
  13. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    Not mix with Bondo, just Dyna-Glass by itself.
     
  14. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    A body shop video contrasted Dyna-Glass to Bondo—Dyna-Glass being better—more flexible, less tendency to crack at seams. :)

    Dougd should be advised to start collecting clamps to close up the deck. (Last) Was it a pic at the site at my2fish that showed 40 or 50 hand-clamps attached during a radical deck reattachment? :eek: Screw-type clamps can be used with 1x2s to clamp the longer stretches. Closing up the deck should be done with equal pressures simultaneously on each side. Amiright?
     

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  15. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    Used small spring clamps found at hardware store. Sell for about $1.25 each. I now have a tool box full of 3 dozen clamps for what ever
    project comes my way.

    Strips of cloth mat wetted with epoxy are laid along the joint before clamping everything together. Everything clamped and glued in one
    session. Clamps need to be spaced together as close together as economically possible.
     
  16. mixmkr

    mixmkr Active Member

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    Before I finish whipping you for your Bondo remarks, here on a boating forum.... although Bondo "tries" to advertise itself as being waterproof... Good luck. It'll absorb water and do things, making you wished you'd never ever heard of the stuff.
    The "kitty hair" or other "NAPA" fillers are ok... but marine stuff is more expensive for a reason!!! (because it is!)
     
  17. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Bondo
    has such a bad reputation, even among body shops, I've been using it as a joke here. ;)

    I have had good luck with the red "glazing/spot putty"—used prior to spray-painting automobiles—on my (two) Sunfish that ARE painted.

    Without a garage or other enclosure, my Sunfish painting is only by brush (and True-Value's equivalent of Rustoleum). While that Rustoleum finish is not very durable—even suffering when dragged across wet grass—I do have a lot of brushes. ;)
     
  18. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    With such a strong repair, is it really necessary to add mat to re-seal the deck?

    With added mat, will the trim still fit OK? :confused:

    Say, it's been a while since we heard from dougd. :(

    Would you change "our" advice to peeling the deck, and repairing from inside? That mold idea came from a years-back thread, and I'm thinking it's laborious, and too difficult to match-up. :oops:

    Peeling the deck, then cutting off the nose is a lot of work as well, but the job can then be moved off the trailer, and moved indoors. :cool:
     
  19. dougd

    dougd New Member

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    Sorry - didn't mean to go dark! Work and family calls. I plan on hitting up Ace hardware this weekend and getting started.
     

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