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Purchase pending, question about repair of hull

shorefun

Member
So for $200 I am going to try some more advanced fiberglass work. I just took a look at this sunfish and it is a 2004 with the rolled fiberglass lip. It took some kind of side impact and about 8-10" on either side the hull seam has separated some.
I am sort of new to fiberglass, but have a good idea after watching videos. I also can do metal work for car restoration.

I am thinking grind all the 'repair' work off. See what is under it and grind it down to a feather. Make some sort of a backing then layer up a repair.
My real question is what to do with hull to deck seam that is separated. My quick look found the glue to be some sort of white stuff. I believe I will need to grind it out some then re-glue it just in that area. Lots of spring clamps later.

What should be used to glue the top to the bottom?
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
See what is under it and grind it down to a feather. Make some sort of a backing then layer up a repair.
My real question is what to do with hull to deck seam that is separated. My quick look found the glue to be some sort of white stuff. I believe I will need to grind it out some then re-glue it just in that area. Lots of spring clamps later.

What should be used to glue the top to the bottom?
Easy... :cool: Epoxy resin and some "mat" fiberglass material.

When I tried to grind it "down to a feather", the surface got real thin--then it collapsed into little quarter-inch squares! :(
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Epoxy or polyester resin. We preferred thickened epoxy that comes out of a cartridge and is mixed in mixing tube. Fast. Simple. Not cheap. THIXO or Flexpoxy. We dispense it into a syringe and then inject. You want the the resin thickened so that it just doesn't run back out of the seam. ANd don't clamp too tight, that will squeeze out the thickened epoxy.
 

shorefun

Member
The $50 sunfish with the Saitech cart and it just needed new lines, a tiller extension, and a drain was a much better deal even it is a 1988 vintage Sunfish. That got a lot of use this summer and was the reason I had my eyes out for another.

I have the boats home now and was able to take some pictures and get a better idea. I will post picts later.
From what I can tell the 2004 has very little use, but likely sat outside as the surface is all chalky. The rudder paint does not show much wear and the dagger board also does not look like it has a lot of time on it. I have moved the 2004 into my garage and put the other hull by the fence with duct tape over the holes to keep the critters out.
 

shorefun

Member
IMG_2110.JPG

These next 4 photos are from the 2004 hull. The guy had surf boards so he used the surf board glass to 'repair' the area.
IMG_2096.JPG
Here is the area with the deck/hull seam that is broken. It does not want to just go back together neatly. So I believe I am going to have to some how remove the adhesive that was used. Not sure if I am going to have to use a dremel sander or a carbide bit to clear away the existing adhesive. I was also thinking heating it some to see what it would do. My thoughts are I will need to grind out all the existing repair glass. Then feather my way back on the top and bottom. Then through the hole on top do the side repair inside then outside. Then do the top repair. Finish off with gluing the seam.
What does not show is the starboard forward deck area has several areas with cracked gel coat like something hit it. Some gel coat is missing along the edge and there was enough of a hit where the glue between the layers is broken. So some more area where I will need to remove glue and reglue.
IMG_2101.JPGIMG_2102.JPGIMG_2103.JPGIMG_2106.JPG



This is the 1980 hull is another story. Not sure what to do with it. The cleat was smashed down and is broken from the fiberglass. There were two 4" holes put in the deck, but I do not see why yet. The rear one has foam right under it, would that be normal? The combing is broken plus most of the rivets on the port side have been pulled through with larger holes where the rivets go. There is about a 2' section of the aluminum trim missing from the edge and there is some impact damage at the bow point. Honestly in the grand scheme of things this hull is much better then some I have seen being rebuilt by people. I only got a dagger board with this. No mast, sail, booms or rudder. I may use it as my first attempts at glass repair to gain experience.
IMG_2104.JPGIMG_2105.JPGIMG_2107.JPGIMG_2108.JPGIMG_2109.JPG

My goal is to end up with smooth gel coat that is hard to find the repair. Not sure how close I will get. My current understanding is all laminating resin and gel coat and some wax additive. I believe I should be using 1708 for structure and then matt for last 2 finish, just not sure about the weights. Then gel coat. I think I am going to need to get a DA electric sander I can attach a vacuum to, not sure which brand is best value. I think I need a 3 amp unit.

Will also need to get some of the right buffing/ cutting compound with wax for all the boats.

As far as sunfish parts, looks like I will need a new hiking strap, something is hard under it, a drain, and a tiller extension. That rubber flex coupling broke and the extension is missing.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Haha, good advice as usual, no waiting around for batteries to charge... unless that hand buys multiple batteries, but you're right, when there's a whole heap of sanding to be done, a corded sander on power is the ticket. Just gotta learn to flip the cord around, like a rodeo cowboy working a lariat, LOL. :confused:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
This summer, this forum reported a similar damage as your 2004 Sunfish...but I'm getting discombobulated with these repairs to two different Sunfish. :confused:

I think it would be helpful to start a "1980 Sunfish Repair" thread for your older Sunfish—a model of which I've owned six! :eek: (The best of which was the oldest Sunfish!) :rolleyes:

BTW: Are you on a budget? (We're good at spending your money!) ;)
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The DeWALT 20V brushless is too torquey for me, and the hand grip is a little too big with the battery, so my hand gets faster with that, But it is powerful. Lowes had a sale a few months back where you got a free battery with the DeWALT 20V brushless tools. The oscillating multi tool is nice, impact driver awesome.
 

shorefun

Member
I was curious and took my heat gun out and found once it got past some temp it kind of peeled easy. Lots of resin and a thin piece of fiber glass. The resin was thicker then the glass on each side.
 

Charles Howard

Active Member
Shorefun I would do your repair in sections. They would help with keeping the hull from twisting and would allow getting used to fiberglassing. I would do the hull then the deck then where they connect. Remove only what you need to to get to solid material. Then start layering in glass.
 

shorefun

Member
My thinking at this point is the hull needs to be fixed first. The lip is under the deck and it is more important to have a strong repair on the hull. I believe I will be able to do a better job at putting a layer on the backside of the hull. Then do the front side of the hull getting the curved lip shaped nice. Then I can work on the deck which appears to be a very thin fiberglass.

I bought the book The Fiberglass Repair Manual to see what it says. The information on the web is not consistent with how to repair glass and I can not find a solid answer about some concepts. I now believe it may not matter much. I think the biggest issue is following directions on how to prep the surfaces so the resin actually can adhere.

My problem is I want to make a real nice hard to tell I did a repair type repair. That means getting some stuff right he first time.
 
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