Next Step: Major Cockpit Crack Repair

Thread starter #1
16D3C616-D249-493B-AEBB-9B6EC13CD3E9.jpeg
I’m thinking this crack, which extends almost the length of the cockpit, will need a blind patch from the inside of the hull. Previous owner attempted to repair with what looks like Marine Tex but that was obviously unsuccessful. I’ve also got a hole on the keel. The hole in the keel will be cleaned up, filed, etc, then I can easily install a backer. The cockpit crack is tougher. Do I have to make it bigger to get a patch behind it? Or cut out hole in the keel (Shoreline method) and access bottom of cockpit that way? Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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Thread starter #2
I'm surprised I haven't seen other pics of this same damage. The boat was stored right side up on a trailer in CT. The cockpit became an ice cube. I did find this good advice from Webfoot1 (July 9, 2017). Thanks, Webfoot1!

"If the damage is on the tub flange check and
see if the flange has not separated from the deck. It might give you
a option of wedging the deck-tub seam open a little to slide a patch
in. These type of repairs are where you put the problem in you mind
and let it rattle around for a few days."
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#3
What I did with my Porpoise II, was to lay a 4-inch length of fiberglass tape over a cockpit crack, and brush an minimal layer of epoxy over it. The tape was left with a coarse (but even) surface to reduce slip-and-fall scenarios. (But watertight—allowed the red color to come through—and gave good strength to the cockpit floor).

The Porpoise wasn't going to win any boat-show prizes anyway!

,
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#4
I like L&VW's suggestion, esp with ref to the non-skid. I would probably put a nice thick bead of thickened epoxy into the crack first to help tie it together.

Then go sailing.

Cheers
Kent
 
Thread starter #5
Excellent. I am going to wait until the boat has lost more weight before sealing it up- that cockpit crack is my ventilation right now! But I’m jazzed about the expert advice from each of you. Here’s how things look, and the stern flotation blocks and foam feel completely dry already! Another bonus is the DePersia bailer opens and closes freely. (not that I plan to open it much!)
 

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#6
Looks good. Put the electrical cords aside and press on some pf that expanding foam with your thumb or a putty knife, see if any water squeezes out.

Thanks for the pictures!

Cheers
Kent and Skipper
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#7
Excellent. I am going to wait until the boat has lost more weight before sealing it up- that cockpit crack is my ventilation right now! But I’m jazzed about the expert advice from each of you. Here’s how things look, and the stern flotation blocks and foam feel completely dry already! Another bonus is the DePersia bailer opens and closes freely. (not that I plan to open it much!)
When you do open that De Persia, plan on lubricating it. :cool:

As SC suggests, water is going to take some time to "migrate" out of the foam. :(

Having decided to replace the yellow foam of the aforementioned Porpoise II, I pulled it all out by hand. :mad:The feeling was, of pulling out soggy sponges! :eek:



.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#8
Repeated topic...speaking of replacement foam, anyone use the "great stuff" in a can? I let some cure and set it in water. Seems if you don't break the cured surface skin, it won't soak up water....and even so seems pretty water repellent. The manf says it's closed cell on their website. I imagine if it sat in water for a lengthy time it might. With that in mind I used it in my Puffer, whose blocks had come loose. It has a transom drain too for errant water.. so I figured, what the heck.
 
Thread starter #9
Looks good. Put the electrical cords aside and press on some pf that expanding foam with your thumb or a putty knife, see if any water squeezes out.

Thanks for the pictures!

Cheers
Kent and Skipper
I used my 12” screwdriver to reach into the yellow foam to squeeze and spear it a few times. It is not soaked- no water squeezes out- but it isn’t entirely dry. My Scorpion is next to it in the garage and feels light as a feather in comparison. I’ll let time work on it while I work on the other issues.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#10
Well if the hole in the keel is under the tub the answer is easy. Use the Shore Line method to remove
the section of the keel. This gives you access to the bottom of the tub. I've done it many times and
it works just dandy. You get to reinforce the inside of the keel and bottom of the tub to any ridiculous
amount of strength you want. The keel area from the rear of the centerboard trunk to the back of the tub
always takes a beating which is where holes will be found 80% of the time. Think of it as making a
reinforced skid plate.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#11
mixmkr we have used Great Stuff in small applications, to tack a block into place and to adhere the cockpit tub back to the hull. Most Sunfish have8 blobs per side of foam under the cockpit to stick it to the hull, a spot where we often see stress cracks in the gel coat. Like you, we figure that using it in a few small areas and keeping the hull dry will work out.


Cheers
Kent and Skipper
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#12
Webfoot1:
I don't remember your response when I announced my intention to remove a good 5-feet of the keel of my Sunfish-racer #2—then, to use the Shore Line method to reinforce it. The existing damage could be taped over, but I'd planned to use shallow, parallel, cuts with a Skil circular saw, to remove a much bigger piece. :eek: (But went sailing instead). :oops:

Still a good idea?

Breeze Bender:
Your photo of the keel doesn't have an apparent correlation to bow or stern.

Would it be correct to say, the hole is angled to port? :cool:

For extra points:

How did I suspect this? ;)
 

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Webfoot1

Active Member
#13
The original idea of the Shore Line method was to retain the original shape of the
keel. They built up on the inside of the keel, replaced and ground and filled on the damage.
I do it a little differently by removing the gel coast from removed section. After applying
three layers of cloth and mat inside the keel I replace the keel and apply three layers
of cloth and mat over the entire outside of the keel extending about a inch onto the
hull. It's overkill for sure but it's one solid repair. The keel may break somewhere else
but my fix is bullet proof. If you went with a repair for a much larger area I would
stick to the original method so you only have strips to fill and sand/paint and not
a huge section without gelcoat to deal with.

Use a Dremel with a cutting wheel because it give you the most control.
The fiberglass cuts like butter plus you want the
thin cutting wheel the Dremel provides. My Dremel is my most usefull tool.
My least useful is a oversize Dremel call a Rotozip, also called a mistake purchase!
 
Thread starter #14
Here’s another pic for better perspective: The hole in the keel is between the daggerboard trunk and the cockpit drain. I would say it’s more toward the starboard side. I was thinking I could clean up the area and inject thickened epoxy into the hole to seal it to the cockpit tub, plus the epoxy from the other side injected into the crack in the cockpit. Then layer fiberglass patch over hole in keel. Now I’m not sure if I need to cut out a big section of the keel (Shoreline) to do the job properly.
N
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#15
Here’s another pic for better perspective: The hole in the keel is between the daggerboard trunk and the cockpit drain. I would say it’s more toward the starboard side. I was thinking I could clean up the area and inject thickened epoxy into the hole to seal it to the cockpit tub, plus the epoxy from the other side injected into the crack in the cockpit. Then layer fiberglass patch over hole in keel. Now I’m not sure if I need to cut out a big section of the keel (Shoreline) to do the job properly.
With a 50% chance, I got it wrong. :oops: Oh well...:rolleyes:

The original idea of the Shore Line method was to retain the original shape of the keel. They built up on the inside of the keel, replaced and ground and filled on the damage. I do it a little differently by removing the gel coast from removed section. After applying three layers of cloth and mat inside the keel I replace the keel and apply three layers of cloth and mat over the entire outside of the keel extending about a inch onto the
hull. It's overkill for sure but it's one solid repair. The keel may break somewhere else but my fix is bullet proof. If you went with a repair for a much larger area I would stick to the original method so you only have strips to fill and sand/paint and not
a huge section without gelcoat to deal with.

Use a Dremel with a cutting wheel because it give you the most control.
The fiberglass cuts like butter plus you want the thin cutting wheel the Dremel provides. My Dremel is my most useful tool.
My least useful is a oversize Dremel call a Rotozip, also called a mistake purchase!
1) Is that the brown Dremel cutting wheel that uses abrasives, or the aftermarket steel wheel that has threatening teeth? :eek:
2) I've never had one, but isn't the Rotozip especially handy for cutting inspection ports?

>
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#16
Going to need to fiberglass the tub one way or another or it will
just crack again. Many Sunfish have a fiberglass patch on the floor
of the tub. It turns into a brown Band-aid with time. For me it's much
easier to just do the inside bottom of the tub with the Shoreline
Method and be done with it, no sanding painting the tub etc.

The tub and hull were connected with foam blobs. I would try to
keep this semi-flexible connection rather than a rigid epoxy one.
I've had boats where the epoxy resin from the factory dripped down
the tub in spikes and punched holes in the hull. You can see this
sometimes with four small holes in the hull under the tub.

Use the abrasive cutting wheel with the Dremel. You will not get
any resistance.

I get a much more orderly cut with a Saber Saw then the Rotozip.
If I had a VARIAC I could slow it down to there would be some resistance,
as it is my cuts look like it was done by a drunken sailor. The VARIAC
is one of those must have tools for using a wood router, analog guitar
pedals, foam cutting and just becoming a master of wall voltage.

My neighbor use to work with the guy that invented the Rotozip. It
was for cutting drywall electrical box holes. He sold the patent and
retired. Then the people marketing the Rotozip started marketing
all sorts of attachments for it and the original purpose kind of got
lost.
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#17
...look like it was done by a drunken sailor.
Hey, I'm a drunken sailor!!! LOL... but only when actually sailing, I normally limit myself to a couple beers when working on boat hulls, since alcohol & power tools don't mix that well. I learned that lesson long ago when I practically cut off my finger while cutting wood with a table saw... I was just drunk enough to think, "I can get that scrap outta the way without using a push stick!!!" Damned scrap yanked my hand right toward the blade and I wound up with a canal in one fingertip... it was weird, the blood didn't start flowing for a second or two, and I had a perfectly square canal cut in my finger, LOL. To this day, that finger is shorter than its counterpart on the other hand, a good reminder to leave the heavy drinking until AFTER the work is done, yeah??? I think about that incident now and then; had I not been blessed with fast reflexes, I probably would've had my hand lopped off that day... and I've used a push stick religiously ever since, LOL. :rolleyes:
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#18
My brother did the exact same thing and lost the end of his finger. I
always try to project ahead and think, "I want to go inside and watch
TV, not spend the next 24 hours in the hospital. My father used to own
a radial arm saw got rid if it, I think it scared both of us. The other tool
that can be really dangerous is your simple grinding wheel. A off balance
or cracked wheel can explode with face shattering results. Look up some
Bing images and you get a real horror show.
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#19
HaHa, I copy the part about watching TV instead of going to the hospital... even with a huge cable TV bill, it's cheaper than the ER, LOL. Good thing, getting rid of the saw if you weren't comfortable with it, power tool injuries are no joke. I'm not giving up my drill, which is a very useful tool, but I once drilled partway into my hand which was underneath the target area... just long enough to figure out that it HURT. I reckon that's why those drug cartel goons use drills to torture people, I'd probably go the traditional route and stick to torch and pliers, LOL. Just kidding, but I will say this: all the worst injuries I've received in my lifetime, I did them to MYSELF. Whether I was skateboarding, climbing a crag or boulder beyond my ability, riding a dirt bike insanely fast while inebriated, sawing off or drilling body parts, etc., etc. Just an observation I've made, now that I have permanent injuries with certain joints & whatnot functioning at less than 100%, LOL. Meh, this happens as one gets older, reminds me of that guy in the Cup Races who said that the perfectly-designed IACC boat would fall apart as it crossed the finish line... I'm dating myself with the IACC reference, LOL. Besides, the nanosecond I'm dead, I won't care if this old body falls apart, I've had my use out of it and then some, so no worries... :cool:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#20
Going to need to fiberglass the tub one way or another or it will
just crack again. Many Sunfish have a fiberglass patch on the floor
of the tub. It turns into a brown Band-aid with time
. For me it's much
easier to just do the inside bottom of the tub with the Shoreline
Method and be done with it, no sanding painting the tub etc.
Wouldn't that be the case using polyester resin, rather than epoxy resin? :oops:
 
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