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Deck/Hull separation repair

David H

New Member
I just discovered my old, 1975 Laser hull, has about a 3 foot deck/hull
separation. A boat shop did a repair in that area a few years ago
and maybe they used a poly resin.
My thought is to clean out the area and use epoxy resin with a slow
enought setup time to allow someone who doesn't have a lot of
experience in this time to get the resin on (with natural fiber brush).
Clamp it up and should be good to go? Any hints, how much resin
I might need, mixing hints... thx



You should search "hull deck repair" on the Laser sailing forum, as there won't be much on the rules forum. (Janet, want to move this?)

I'll add a few ideas, to what I expect you'll find there.

Is the foam filler really loose, falling out, or just a faint crack? I prefer to dremel out the crack area, with the boat hanging over my head, so the chips fall out (not into the joint)

I use WEST, with a little filler to thicken it. There will be plenty of time to play with it. I also use WEST plastic syringes to insert the WEST.

But, first, I grind out any loose foam, and dremel a slot to hold some new WEST. Then I put plastic packing tape on the gelcoat sides of the h/d joint, letting it stick up a 1/4" or so. This keeps the epoxy where you want it, and can be peeled off easily after it hardens. Also, if you spill some on the gelcoat, it can be knifed off the gelcoat pretty easily.

If the joint is really loose, you can be in danger of your filler running into the hull, instead of filling the joint. I tip the hull about 45+ degrees, with the target joint down (below the hull). Then gravity helps fill where you want, the round part where the deck and hull meet.

Using the syringe, I squirt between the tapes, let the epoxy run in, refill, and repeat. If it seems to never stop running in, then stop, and let it harden for 2-3 hours, then try refilling again. Once you have done the tilted fill, you should be able to lay the boat flat again, to fill the joint up to the original finish level. This could take a few fills due to shrinkage.

Peel the tapes, and sand the excess back down with 60 grit on a block. And look for other areas that need attention along the joint.

Al Russell 182797


Super Opinionated and Always Correct
Just in case Al didn't make it obvious enough...

If you leave a nice coat of dirt on a surface of object A and then try to glue it to another object B you will succeed....

You will glue the dirt that was sitting on A to the new object B.

The re sealing of your gunwale will only work as well as your preparation allows.

The age of your boat means the plastic is VERY hard and virtually NOTHING will really stick well to it.
You must make lots of surface roughness so the bonding agent will have something physical to grab.
I am not a fan of the Dremel tool as the last tool used to prepare the surface. Dremel cutters leave nice slick surfaces. The surface may be wavy but it is slick as far as the bonding agent is concerned.

I like to slide some 36 grit sandpaper back and forth in the slot before blowing out all that dust and attempting to get a decent bond.

You can get 3M Green Corps self stick sanding discs in most auromotive parts shops and even at WalMart. The $4 for a two disc pack is well worth the added liklihood your bond will adhere..
be careful not to sand through and pay attention to your finger tips as well. 15 minutes of sanding holding good 36 grit will eat through your skin.

David H

New Member
Thanks for the great replies on this. The hull separation
is long enough to allow my whole hand to slide between
the hull and deck.
I am looking at West System 105 resin with a 206 slow hardner.
and high density filler. I need to mix enough epoxy to glue the
whole 3 foot lenght at once before clamping. The quart size
of resin should be more than enought? Their repair kit comes in 6 separate repair packs
so I think I'd run out the pot time mixing enough of those? It would
be cheaper though. I totalled the resin, hardner, filler, pumps,
brushes, mixing sticks, mixing pot, plastic spreader and gloves
at about $76. I am glad to hear I don't really need a Dremel tool as I don't have one. Good thing I have some club Laser hulls available to use
while I try to do this correctly.