Refurbishing a '76 Laser: And so it begins

Thread starter #1
A while ago I started this thread.... New here, refurbishing an old Laser ....and received a ton of great advice that gave me confidence to move ahead. Thank you again for your input!

I started by cutting a hole for a 6" inspection port (jigsaw with metal fine-tooth blade) and removing the donut. The donut looked complete when I opened the boat up, but I could see a vertical stress crack on the starboard side of the tube, and a thin area on the bow side so it was yet another affirmation for me to do the mast-step repair.

To remove the donut, I found the best results in using a drill (very slowly and carefully) to create pilot holes around its perimeter, then screwing in a long cup hook deep enough in to the donut to apply leverage to pop the section off.

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Once I get the area nice and dry, I'm going to starting glassing. I've read a bunch of very helpful threads on this and think I have what I need to know, but I do have one question: As you'll see from my pics, I have removed enough of the donut to remove the compound curves the donut would otherwise leave.

However, there is still some of the donut material left recessed in the well between the mast tube and the block underneath it. My questions are:

1) Do I need to remove the rest of the donut material in that well? or will the epoxy resin be able to bond with it ok?
2) Perhaps I should build up a fillet around the junction before I start laying fiber? if so, can I just use epoxy resin/hardener, or do I need to add anything to it (I've read about "filler" and "microballoons")...your thoughts?

I also started on some of the rigging bits. The tang on the boom had three broken rivets. Drilled them all out and installed four fresh ones.

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Will need to replace the gooseneck. Notice the stress crack (it's on both sides).
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More to come as I progress. Thanks in advance for any guidance on the questions above!
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#3
I was just thinking about the boom sleeve as well. Of course it would be a bummer to drill out the brand new rivets (what material are they?), but a stiffer boom would be nice, too...

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Rob Hair

Active Member
#4
I was thinking also that those new rivets look like they might be aluminum. If so, I don't think they will last. Harbor Freight sells a big rivet tool that will easily set SS rivets of the size used.

As to your questions, I don't think you will have any problems with what remains of the old donut. In the work I did to one of my old Lasers, the donut was in good shape and after careful cleaning, I just glassed over it without removing any of it. I haven't had any problem with the repair except that it looks pretty ugly. I have yet to have anyone look inside the port to critique the beauty of my work, though. :) You want to be sure that your new glass securely attaches the mast tube to the hull and strengthens the mast tube if it is badly worn. I'd be sure to put some kind of a disc (SS is available) into the mast tube to prevent wear.
 
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