Afraid to Look

Thread starter #1
My neighbor just sent me these pictures. My 1950's wooden Sailfish is under that boat cover. My Minifish is just behind it, now on the ground. It doesn't look good. I won't get to the cottage til Friday to assess the damages, but I'm bracing myself.
image.jpg image.jpg
 
Thread starter #5
Ya, it hurts. I had to check it out, so drove up yesterday. There may be hope. Sure enough, there's a 4" hole through the deck. I MAY be able to put in an inspection port there, rather than try to repair the wood with epoxy/fiberglass. The limb was way too heavy for me to even budge it, so I couldn't get the full picture. I'm wondering if the impact of the weight has damaged the internal structure. Once the tree man does his work I'll bring the Sailfish home for rehab.
As if I didn't have enough boat projects...
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#7
Ya, it hurts. I had to check it out, so drove up yesterday. There may be hope. Sure enough, there's a 4" hole through the deck. I MAY be able to put in an inspection port there, rather than try to repair the wood with epoxy/fiberglass. The limb was way too heavy for me to even budge it, so I couldn't get the full picture. I'm wondering if the impact of the weight has damaged the internal structure. Once the tree man does his work I'll bring the Sailfish home for rehab.
As if I didn't have enough boat projects...
If it punched through between the frames you should be okay. If it did get a frame you can probably repair it through the hole.

Good luck!
 
Thread starter #9
The tree has been removed, the boat is home and the damage to the deck is significant. Worse is the hole through the bottom of the hull, which I didn't see earlier. I'm told (here) it can be fixed and I've searched for plywood boat repair info. I know nothing about scarfing. I have a jigsaw and can carefully cut away the damaged areas for square or rectangular patches. After that I'm lost. I think I just missed damaging the interior framing. I know I'll need to use epoxy, but don't know how to go about attaching the patch. I'm much more comfortable with fiberglass and Marine Tex, which might go over the marine ply patch for strengthening?
I want to save the boat IF I can do the work. It would break my heart to cut it up, but I don't think it's worth hiring a professional as the boat isn't worth more than $500 and I could probably sell the parts for that. It has a perfect sail and spruce spars.
Simple steps for repair after cutting out damaged areas would be very helpful. I do have a fiberglass Sailfish hull that is scrap. Could I put in fiberglass patches instead of wood?



image.jpg image.jpg
 
#10
Man, that looks bad, but not impossible to fix.
My dad is a semi-retired woodworker. Next time I talk to him I'll ask him if he has any suggestions.
 
#11
The weakest joint possible is just butting the wood together with 90 deg cuts.

Where the ply will be stressed, it needs steeply beveled cuts to increase the glue bond area.

See picture on page 12 (6-12) http://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...raft/amt_airframe_handbook/media/ama_ch06.pdf
I'd choose this basic method, glue laminating thin ply to the inside, just along the inner joint line, pulling it in with screws through an outside plate that will be removed. (use saran wrap or similar as a separation material to prevent seeping glue from bonding the outer plate to the hull)

Its a bit annoying figuring the cuts to do this for a rectangular patch to drop in... Cut slightly oversize and sand to fit. You CAN NOT get the bevel right by hand sanding without a fixture to guide your sanding block.

Alternatively you can step the cuts or do the simple 90 deg cut and patch, then make saw cuts at 90 deg to the joints, crossing the joints and insert "fingers" to change it from one straight line to many interlocking joints. I use the "finger" method for patching wing skins on RC models with excellent results.

Good tight fitting pieces, epoxied in place can result in the hull being as strong after the repair as before with very little added weight.

************

Then there's the "step back and punt" method... Replace the entire damaged skin sections at the seams.

You could even dismantle the entire hull and reproduce it in new wood.

***********

Yes, you can fiberglass patch it... but it will be very noticeable.
The whole purpose of the repair is to save a classic hull and make it not only seaworthy, but to have it look good again. I wouldn't even consider this repair method.

And yes... repairing it right would cost about double what the hull is worth if you had a pro do it. But with a classic/vintage boat most of what you do to keep it in good condition ends up costing more than the hull is worth.
 
Thread starter #12
Thanks, fhhuber, for your detailed response. I don't think I can do it. This repair is just too much for me. Not taking the saw to it yet... Maybe I'll feel more confident later.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#13
First, I'd prepare a hole for the previously-mentioned inspection port in the deck, but don't install it yet. (You need a large hole for weighting the glue repair to follow). I've worked with wood, but am not an :oops: expert :confused:.

To repair the bottom, I'd cut an oval hole, to include removing all the damaged wood. You're using this as a template, so try to keep it in one piece. Use the hole as a template to cut a new backup piece about 1" larger all the way around. Using resorcinol glue, glue the backup piece in place. Use the cutout piece as a template for new plywood. sand and file so it's a close fit. (Over-fill the gaps with sawdust-and-glue putty). When the glue dries—if you have an air compressor—see if you can locate an automotive straight-line-sander ($40 New dual piston Straight Line Air Sander board tool), or glue the 17" straight-line sandpaper to a board. Sand to smoothness. If you want to go really fancy, cut out an oval hole in the backup board—then you can use clamps. :cool: Or weight it from above, through the roughed-in inspection port.

Paint, go sailing! :) We're all "Breeze-Benders" here...
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
That can be fixed, and with just your jigsaw. It looks like it missed the frame, so you are just plugging the holes. No need to scarf. The strength of the boat is in the frames and the ply where it is nailed. You could cut the rest of it mostly away and still have the strength (like lightening holes in aircraft spars) but then you'd leak.

We are repairing an 1880s rowboat, it went through several hurricanes, so a hole punched by a tree "just needs a little caulk." Check out our blog for some ideas: http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/2016/01/barabshela-river-skiff-of-captain-john.html

You'll need 1/4 inch marine ply, A/B is fine, it's okay if it has plugs as you'll be painting anyway. Trim the holes like light and variable winds suggested. Put an oversize backer section for the bottom in through the top, you could cut in in two if needed to fit it inside as it will be covered by the hull patch and sealed up woth epoxy. I HIGHLY recommend that you use Pettit Flexpoxy, it dispenses and mixes easily and is already thickened. It can also be sanded and painted and will hold fasteners. If you can't get it local, order some from Jamestown Distributors. Then glue the replacement deck plug in place. Fair/sand/prime/paint. Use the oval cutout trick on the top deck, that will work slick. I'd stick with wood as it is easier to work with vs fiberglass. When you are done paint a Sailfish logo over that area as a reminder of the repair.

Don't cut it up! Bring it down to Pensacola and I'll fix it :) Or give me a call at (850) 449-4841 if you have questions.

Cheers
Kent
 

JohnCT

Active Member
#16
Seeing as you are about 15 minutes from me, and my function in life is take big pieces of wood and make them smaller, I could help you fix those holes quite easily.

You will need scarf joints, they can be cut by hand, but you need a plane, not a sander.

A little wood glue and paint and you will be good to go.

Then you know a new skill and you can teach someone else.
 
Thread starter #20
Well, since bringing the Sailfish home this spring I've restored and sold two Sunfish and a Hobie Holder. I've finished restoring and am currently selling a Phantom/Sunfish hybrid (changed gudgeon and added new style Sunfish rudder to Phantom hull), an Opti, a Force 5 and an Eli Scout sailing dinghy. Next project is another Sunfish and I've got three Minifish- will sell one. I love those little boats! I've got another old wooden Sailfish hull tucked in the garage, too.
And that's not all! I'm selling my beautiful, mint condition fiberglass Sailfish. It is all original, 1967, green deck with green and white sail. I brought it home from the lake this past Sunday.
That's the long answer. The short answer is that nothing has happened to my formerly beautiful wooden Sailfish since it was punctured twice by a tree limb. (that's me sailing it in my profile pic) It is sitting on a trailer in the back 40. It is covered. Too many other projects have taken precedence and this one may be too big for me. When (if?) I do get the nerve to uncover it again I will certainly refer back to the sound repair advice given here.
 
Top