Laser goes flying!

Thread starter #1
Hi folks,
My 70's era laser got caught by a microburst and flew or tumbled about 100 feet into a stone wall. Deck ended up at 90 degrees to the hull. I'm hoping to put all back together next spring. I can see that the plywood parts that were glassed in need to be replaced since they are all rotten. There has been water inside there either from a bad cockpit drain or mast step. The material that previously held all together was very brittle so I've cleaned that off around the joint and mast step but would expect to make those nice and clean before proceeding. I think redoing the backing to the rudder mount, cockpit brace etc should be straightforward glassing but I'm clueless about what to "glue" the deck to the hull with. Any pointers on this and the whole process would be appreciated IMG_3777.JPG
 

torrid

Just sailing
#2
So have the deck and the hull completely separate? That look like a LOT of work to get sailing again.

Could you find another hull somewhere else, maybe one that is missing a few pieces? You have everything else. I think that would be a better use of your time.
 
#3
A daunting task, but it can be done... might be best to separate deck from hull entirely before tackling the job, hard to tell from one photo. And if you're gonna wait till spring to do the work, here's another tip: use multiple clamps along that rollover joint on the starboard side to keep the hull & deck in their approximate original shape for the next few months, otherwise you'll be dealing with hull deformation as well. Granted, there isn't that much intense sunshine in your neck of the woods this time of year (and solar abuse is a major factor in hull deformation), but keeping the boat under cover is always a good idea. I'd store the boat topside down with pool noodles for support round the edges, maybe some cardboard under the center, letting the hull rest in place atop the inverted deck with regard to the rollover joint. If you're strapped for storage space, you might be able to store the boat up on her port rail in a simple wooden cradle, as long as the starboard side is clamped. The idea is to keep the hull and deck repair as simple & straightforward as possible, and not allow hull deformation to become a factor... once that happens, the task becomes much more difficult, believe me. :confused:

As for mating the deck & hull, well, I'm old school and I like epoxy resin, but you can also use a powerful adhesive, 3M brand or whatever else is out there nowadays... Google is your friend in this respect, I've fallen behind the times. Either way, you'll have to thoroughly dry, sand & clean up all mated surfaces. Don't forget an acetone bath prior to the final mating work. If you have a good cradle, you can set the deck down onto the hull when mating; no cradle and I'd probably use pool noodles & whatnot to support the inverted deck as I set the inverted hull down into the rollover joint, relying upon gravity & clamping if necessary. If you're only sailing on a recreational basis and you're not sweating how the boat may appear to some racing officials, you can add stainless steel fasteners with washers & nylon lock nuts for strength, or you can add aluminum strips bolted down with S/S fasteners in strategic locations round the rails directly along the rollover joint. Just tossing some ideas your way, not all here will agree. I'm merely saying that you can salvage that old Laser and sail her again, if you're willing to do the work, though she may have a FrankenBoat look about her, LOL. :eek:

Oh, yeah, those backing blocks can be replaced before mating deck & hull, or done later through inspection ports. Mast step work to be completed through inspection ports, though you can prep some of that work prior to mating deck & hull, especially if deck & hull are separated. Gravity is your friend when working on mast steps through inspection ports. If you're working on the upper end of the step tube where it meets the deck, all internal work should be done with the boat flipped on padded sawhorses or whatever other means of support you have---internal work on the lower end of the step, the hull should rest upright in some sort of cradle or makeshift cradle, aye? You want the resin to fully impregnate the glass matt or cloth you use, and you want the target work area wetted up well with a brush before you ever start laying in glass cloth strips, doctored circles, whatever. If you don't use gravity to your advantage in this process, the resin will drain from the area where you need it most, so always keep gravity on your side in glasswork. Disposable latex gloves come in handy whenever you're doing this sort of work, and so do sandpaper, extra rags, acetone, throwaway brushes, requisite tools like files, scrapers, razor knives, etc. :cool:

SO, TO RECAP THIS HUMBLE ADVICE:

1) STORE THE BOAT PROPERLY UNTIL YOU EFFECT ALL REPAIRS.

2) CHOOSE RESIN OR ADHESIVE AS YOUR "GLUE" FOR MATING HULL & DECK.

3) KNOCK OUT WHATEVER INTERNAL WORK YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN.

4) PREP THE HULL & DECK FOR MATING, AND CHOOSE THE BEST ORIENTATION FOR YOUR SPECIFIC WORK AREA: HULL UP OR HULL DOWN.

5) ONCE THE CRITICAL MATING WORK IS DONE, FINISH THE REST OF THE ROLLOVER JOINT WORK, ADDING SUPPORT (FASTENERS AND/OR STRIPS) IF YOU WISH.

6) FINISH THE BACKING BLOCK WORK IF NECESSARY & GET THAT INTERNAL MAST STEP WORK DONE RIGHT. WETTED GLASS ROPE WORKS PRETTY WELL FOR BEEFING UP EITHER END OF THE STEP TUBE, WRAP THE TUBE AT EACH END, RIGHT IN THE CORNER OF THE COMPOUND CURVE, THEN ALTERNATELY ADD MATT & CLOTH CUT TO SPEC. DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALL AT ONCE, THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF GLASSWORK.

7) DO YOUR BEST TO FULLY WET ALL TARGET WORK SURFACES WITH RESIN, AND DO YOUR BEST TO ELIMINATE ALL AIR BUBBLES, AS THEY CREATE WEAKNESS. LATEX-GLOVED HANDS WORK WELL FOR SMOOTHING OUT OR SHAPING GLASSWORK, SWAP OUT GLOVES AS NEEDED.

8) TARP OR CARDBOARD UNDER THE BOAT COMES IN HANDY FOR CATCHING DRIPS & TOSSING USED RAGS, GLOVES, BRUSHES, ETC., PROBABLY SHOULD'VE MENTIONED THIS EARLIER, LOL.

9) ONCE YOU'VE BROUGHT THE FRANKENBOAT BACK TO LIFE, GET OUT THERE AND PUT 'ER TO GOOD USE... AND DON'T FORGET THE BEER!!! :rolleyes:
 
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Thread starter #4
Hi and thanks for the replies. I think laser hulls might be scarce. Mostly complete kits out there. So at the moment she is stored deck down bound up with rope to keep the edges together. Amazing how floppy the parts are individually! One thing among many thoughts that occur, this boat has no inspection port. Is it feasible to get a good mast step while mating the edges all in one go? That must have been how it was built. Looks like it was glued with a big fat donut of some putty like adhesive. Thanks again for the replies!
 
#5
Inspection ports are easy to install, and they'll help air out the hull while the boat is in storage... even in storage, condensation can occur. My Laser and my Minifish each had two inspection ports... the kind with the clear covers are cool because you can see right through 'em, making it easier to determine if the hull is shipping water. :confused:
 
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