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Hull Separation Repair

kevmuskoka

New Member
Hi there,

I obtained a laser for free that had some separation from the two halves - I've ordered from 3M 5200 that will hopefully work (my dad suggested simple construction adhesive... he doesn't do marine stuff... haha).

My question relates to how to clean up for best adhesion, I've attached some photos. It appears like the sides haven't had much repair done, but the front seems to have something in between the pieces. Looking at the sides, I thought I'd have to dig out old adhesive, but I feel that if I do that, the two parts won't line up correctly and it'll be worse. There is some dirt/dust, but I'm worried about trying too hard to separate the pieces to get in there.

Hopefully someone can help guide me in this journey.
 

Attachments

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Sorry but 5200 isn't going to do this job. You need to go in, clean everything out. For the larger separation you'll need to use fiberglass matting and resin. You may need to cut away some of the significantly compromised glass and then put the new glass/resin on. The smaller, cracked areas you should be able to pour west system into those areas once cleaned out. If the west system runs straight into the hull cavity you'll need to cut up small bits of fiberglass cloth, mix into the resin, (this is called "chip chop") and then use an applicator to squeeze it/push it into the cracks. This is not a hard job, it's just tedious and takes time. Most of the time is letting things cure and then sanding.
 

kevmuskoka

New Member
Sorry but 5200 isn't going to do this job. You need to go in, clean everything out. For the larger separation you'll need to use fiberglass matting and resin. You may need to cut away some of the significantly compromised glass and then put the new glass/resin on. The smaller, cracked areas you should be able to pour west system into those areas once cleaned out. If the west system runs straight into the hull cavity you'll need to cut up small bits of fiberglass cloth, mix into the resin, (this is called "chip chop") and then use an applicator to squeeze it/push it into the cracks. This is not a hard job, it's just tedious and takes time. Most of the time is letting things cure and then sanding.
Thanks for the reply, I've cancelled my order of 5200 ... LOL.

This may be out of my comfort level, I'm checking with some fiberglass repair places to see if they are interested and how much.
 

joe c

banned
Sorry but 5200 isn't going to do this job. You need to go in, clean everything out. For the larger separation you'll need to use fiberglass matting and resin. You may need to cut away some of the significantly compromised glass and then put the new glass/resin on. The smaller, cracked areas you should be able to pour west system into those areas once cleaned out. If the west system runs straight into the hull cavity you'll need to cut up small bits of fiberglass cloth, mix into the resin, (this is called "chip chop") and then use an applicator to squeeze it/push it into the cracks. This is not a hard job, it's just tedious and takes time. Most of the time is letting things cure and then sanding.
thicken the epoxy. dont put straightt west in. it will just drip through. run a multitool type tool with a blade in it in the seam as far around as you can go. clean eveything with acetone compressed air a vaccuum..... mix up the epoxy with the 406. use a syringe to squeeze the thickened epoxy into the seam. clamp it using pinch clqmps if you have to. the thickened epoxy wont run as much and you can basically mix it like a peanut butter consistency. use the syringes west has . fill the seam. itll settle. do it again. build the epoxy in the seam until it looks like a weld. tape the areas off you dont want the epoxy on. when it all cured....sand with a sanding block. use the syringes west sells. i dip them in acetone and squirt a bunch of acetone through them to clean in between applications. worked great on my boat. itll take 2 times maybe 3 in spots to get the gap sealed and the deck back attached.
 

Jan van Haarst

New Member
run a multitool type tool with a blade in it in the seam as far around as you can go.
A grout removal blade (thinner is better) works perfectly to remove the old bonding agent, and gives you a nice clean surface for the epoxy to bind to.
And don't be afraid to try, the worst that can happen is that you'll put a few more scratches in a free boat.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
thicken the epoxy. dont put straightt west in. it will just drip through. run a multitool type tool with a blade in it in the seam as far around as you can go. clean eveything with acetone compressed air a vaccuum..... mix up the epoxy with the 406. use a syringe to squeeze the thickened epoxy into the seam. clamp it using pinch clqmps if you have to. the thickened epoxy wont run as much and you can basically mix it like a peanut butter consistency. use the syringes west has . fill the seam. itll settle. do it again. build the epoxy in the seam until it looks like a weld. tape the areas off you dont want the epoxy on. when it all cured....sand with a sanding block. use the syringes west sells. i dip them in acetone and squirt a bunch of acetone through them to clean in between applications. worked great on my boat. itll take 2 times maybe 3 in spots to get the gap sealed and the deck back attached.
Thanks! I forgot to mention the density fillers to ad...
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply, I've cancelled my order of 5200 ... LOL.

This may be out of my comfort level, I'm checking with some fiberglass repair places to see if they are interested and how much.
There's a saying about "free" boats. If this is outside your comfort zone then you may want to save your bones for a boat for sale. I'd be surprised if a glass person would touch this for less than $500.00. It's not about the material. It's all labor and time. Worth checking out though.
 

mtoms

Member
Through trial and error working on many boats over the years, here is what I found works best for this repair:
1) No material needs to be removed - any removed material decreases the likelihood that you will get an effective bond. It looks like you already have the boat inside. Keep it inside and, if you can, run a blower or through an inspection port to get the inside of the boat as dry as possible

2) Per the comment above re the length of the split, a Laser, or any boat, retains its inherent structural integrity as long as the tube, which is roughly what a hull is, is not compromised. In the case of a Laser, because of some of the particular structural factors, you can, in my experience, work with as much of the split at a time as is split. The Laser hull, because of the integral nature of the deck-to-hull bonding at five key points, in addition to the gunnel bonding- i) bow ii) mast step iii) daggerboard trunk iv) aft end of the cockpit/drain plug and v) stern - will not lose its structural integrity, if the hull is properly supported while you are working on it. Proper supports are sawhorses placed at the aft end of the cockpit and near the mast step. To be cautious, you can put another saw horse at the forward end of the daggerboard slot, which likely take some shimming to get it to carry load. Make sure there are no single-point loads where the deck rests on the sawhorses - use a split pool noodle to distribute the load evenly along the saw horse and make sure there is no wobble once the boat is on the sawhorses.

3) Use a shop vac to get any foreign matter out of the split, but don't be too aggressive, as you don't want to remove hull material.

4) With tape, mount a vacuum, with a partial covering of the stern drainhole, so that you can draw a low vacuum on the hull. You can deform the hull with too much vacuum, particularly if it too warm or too cold, so just enough to draw air in on the splits. Test, but do not leave the vacuum on for the next step.

5) On a day when you know you will not have temperatures either too cold or too hot, i.e. 70F, begin by using an artists thin paintbrush or a pipe cleaner, to wet both of the interior surfaces of the split, hull and deck, with enough water to clearly moisten both surfaces. They should be wet, but not soaked. This dampening is critical to the successful bonding of the glue to be used in the next step.

6) Apply a bead of Gorilla Glue, the original brown stuff, to the entire length of the split, with enough to fill the split. Turn on the vacuum for a quick blast of suction to pull the Gorilla Glue into the split. Reapply another bead of glue to replace what was pulled into the split. Make sure the bead does not overflow the top of the split, but is close. Carefully insert a putty knife on either end of the split to get to good bonding, if there is any, and apply glue in the gap opened up by inserting the putty knife. If you apply too much glue, use a quick burst of suction to get it in the split and reapply glue, as needed. Wipe off any excess glue with a wet rag before moving to the next step

7) Using your previously assembled clamps, wooden one inch battens/paint stirrers/yardsticks and wax paper, cover the split area with wax paper, then a wooden batten on each side of the split, then a clamp every 6 inches. Tighten the clamps from forward to aft and then go back and tighten them more.

8) Let the boat sit for 24 hours.

9) Remove the clamps, battens and wax paper. Shave off any excess Gorilla glue with a straight edge razor or knife, being careful to not scratch the gelcoat.

10) Reverse your vacuum and blow a slight amount of positive air pressure into the hull. Apply soapy water to the split and see if you have any leaks remaining. If there are any, repeat steps 5-8 until there are no more leaks.

11) Go sailing and have fun. In my experience, you will not have to touch a Laser repaired this way ever again - Gorilla Glue is a waterproof, flexible, solid bonding agent that, absent too much UV light, will do the job.
 

mtoms

Member
And after looking at your pics num 2 & 3, you may need to do some fiberglass buildup on the hull portion in that section, so there is something for the deck to bond to.
 

joe c

banned
Through trial and error working on many boats over the years, here is what I found works best for this repair:
1) No material needs to be removed - any removed material decreases the likelihood that you will get an effective bond. It looks like you already have the boat inside. Keep it inside and, if you can, run a blower or through an inspection port to get the inside of the boat as dry as possible

2) Per the comment above re the length of the split, a Laser, or any boat, retains its inherent structural integrity as long as the tube, which is roughly what a hull is, is not compromised. In the case of a Laser, because of some of the particular structural factors, you can, in my experience, work with as much of the split at a time as is split. The Laser hull, because of the integral nature of the deck-to-hull bonding at five key points, in addition to the gunnel bonding- i) bow ii) mast step iii) daggerboard trunk iv) aft end of the cockpit/drain plug and v) stern - will not lose its structural integrity, if the hull is properly supported while you are working on it. Proper supports are sawhorses placed at the aft end of the cockpit and near the mast step. To be cautious, you can put another saw horse at the forward end of the daggerboard slot, which likely take some shimming to get it to carry load. Make sure there are no single-point loads where the deck rests on the sawhorses - use a split pool noodle to distribute the load evenly along the saw horse and make sure there is no wobble once the boat is on the sawhorses.

3) Use a shop vac to get any foreign matter out of the split, but don't be too aggressive, as you don't want to remove hull material.

4) With tape, mount a vacuum, with a partial covering of the stern drainhole, so that you can draw a low vacuum on the hull. You can deform the hull with too much vacuum, particularly if it too warm or too cold, so just enough to draw air in on the splits. Test, but do not leave the vacuum on for the next step.

5) On a day when you know you will not have temperatures either too cold or too hot, i.e. 70F, begin by using an artists thin paintbrush or a pipe cleaner, to wet both of the interior surfaces of the split, hull and deck, with enough water to clearly moisten both surfaces. They should be wet, but not soaked. This dampening is critical to the successful bonding of the glue to be used in the next step.

6) Apply a bead of Gorilla Glue, the original brown stuff, to the entire length of the split, with enough to fill the split. Turn on the vacuum for a quick blast of suction to pull the Gorilla Glue into the split. Reapply another bead of glue to replace what was pulled into the split. Make sure the bead does not overflow the top of the split, but is close. Carefully insert a putty knife on either end of the split to get to good bonding, if there is any, and apply glue in the gap opened up by inserting the putty knife. If you apply too much glue, use a quick burst of suction to get it in the split and reapply glue, as needed. Wipe off any excess glue with a wet rag before moving to the next step

7) Using your previously assembled clamps, wooden one inch battens/paint stirrers/yardsticks and wax paper, cover the split area with wax paper, then a wooden batten on each side of the split, then a clamp every 6 inches. Tighten the clamps from forward to aft and then go back and tighten them more.

8) Let the boat sit for 24 hours.

9) Remove the clamps, battens and wax paper. Shave off any excess Gorilla glue with a straight edge razor or knife, being careful to not scratch the gelcoat.

10) Reverse your vacuum and blow a slight amount of positive air pressure into the hull. Apply soapy water to the split and see if you have any leaks remaining. If there are any, repeat steps 5-8 until there are no more leaks.

11) Go sailing and have fun. In my experience, you will not have to touch a Laser repaired this way ever again - Gorilla Glue is a waterproof, flexible, solid bonding agent that, absent too much UV light, will do the job.
Most of the shit i cut out of the seam of my boat was gorilla glue. Whats great about it is its really really easy to remove with a multi tool when it leaks.Thinking back on it...i only clamped the seam at the bailer. When i epoxied the hull seam, i flipped the boat upside down taped the area i wanted to keep epoxy off of. then did about 3 rounds of injecting thickened epoxy into the seam. it was thick enough it didnt run in. The tape on the inside of the flange is from where i filled holes where someone had the great idea to rivet it back together. i used enough epoxy that it looked like it was welded together. then used a block with 120 paper to smooth it back flush.Use marine grade adhesives. Or flex tape comes in white and clear. **eyeroll* :)
 

Attachments

mtoms

Member
Since 2005, 150 problem-free used Lasers sold. I stand by my work, as described above. The reason Gorilla glue works, when applied as above, is that, unlike epoxy or resin, it expands to fill the voids, which avoids the inevitable air pockets the epoxy/resin method leaves. Yes, you can successfully repair a boat in the manner you describe, but it will be heavier, cost more, take longer and be no better in long-term performance.
 

joe c

banned
total boat flex epox. you can get it from jamestown distributers in rhode island. or if you choose to not take anyones advice here, they have tech people you can get on the phone during business hours who have seen almost every situation you can imagine and they will recommend a product. they are really helpful. call them. its a lot easier to get advice from the person selling you the product, whos used it, trained on it, and knows its limitations, than the peanut gallery on a forum. admittedly the resin might be a bit brittle for the seaming but i consulted a professional about options before making my final decision. i personally found it very easy to work with in that situation, easy to see porosity, and using a few psi of air, i had zero leaks when done. based on 30 years of using west, i have high confidence this will be a permanent repair. use a tool to gently open the seam if you need to while injecting the epoxy. i found using the syringes west sells worked really nicely, even though i dont like buying them, over the medical grade ones i use for wood stuff. plenty of pressure to get it into the gap with a decent sized orifice. like i mentioned above, for marine work i like to use products specifically designed for the application. Maybe its because im an idiot. Maybe its because my customers expect me to use the right material for the job on their boats and i see no reason not to on my own.

if youre worried about weight...take a dump before heading out.


ymmv

good luck. its not that difficult of a repair. have fun.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Since 2005, 150 problem-free used Lasers sold. I stand by my work, as described above. The reason Gorilla glue works, when applied as above, is that, unlike epoxy or resin, it expands to fill the voids, which avoids the inevitable air pockets the epoxy/resin method leaves. Yes, you can successfully repair a boat in the manner you describe, but it will be heavier, cost more, take longer and be no better in long-term performance.
Judging by the pictures - the current boat in question on this thread has much more significant issues than that of the blue hull boat you shared pics of. He may be able to us the gorilla glue in a few of the areas, but there's no hope in hell the reverse vacuum is gonna work on this yellow hull until he's done quite a bit of glass work.
 

joe c

banned
Judging by the pictures - the current boat in question on this thread has much more significant issues than that of the blue hull boat you shared pics of. He may be able to us the gorilla glue in a few of the areas, but there's no hope in hell the reverse vacuum is gonna work on this yellow hull until he's done quite a bit of glass work.
the blue boat is mine. i think some of his photos are a bit deceiving maybe just because they are so close. better photos would be helpful. i had separation very similar to that on mine. especially at the bow. the phenolic had delaminated too. in places just like that. maybe my hull was cleaner in the pics. that was after a day of compounding and cleaning. and it still needs another day with the buffer! its not all that nice. it is a 42 year old boat after all. :) i really think the standards are so cheap and easy to come by, its worth just picking up one for spares. i get wanting to fix stuff. or liking a specific color of hull, but spend the time rigging and sailing if you can. i went through the trouble to fix the seam only to discover the bailer seam was leaking. so i fixed that. then found leaks in the cockpit where someone used sheetrock screws to hold stuff to the deck previously. people do really dumb things to boats!
 

663

Member
5200 actually works much better than thickened epoxy. Epoxy will alway just pop apart, waisting a lot of time and money. Use a sheet rock saw to cut out as much of the filler that was used to build the boat.
 

joe c

banned
5200 actually works much better than thickened epoxy. Epoxy will alway just pop apart, waisting a lot of time and money. Use a sheet rock saw to cut out as much of the filler that was used to build the boat.
i actually had this exact conversation with my composites guy and he first said to use the 5200 for flexibility. but then when i told him i had the epoxy etc he said it would work just fine too. ive done the entire season out once a week and check it pretty regularly. so far so good. and weve been in out gusting to 25 and had the entire nose though rollers up to the mast. up on plane a few times. its been taking a pretty decent beating and still good. so far lots off bouncing and twisting. but id say if i was going to try anything different....it try the 5200. or call jamestown. :)
 
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