First, you can ignore the above picture - for some reason he is trying to scare you - as said before, it is a pretty easy fix. Here is some help - go to the punctures/fractures section at this link Sunfish Sailboat Repar Notes Note there is one critical step missing - between 4 and 5 it needs to say "push this in thru the hole, then pull back tight." Here is what you are trying to do:
Not to be confusing, but what do you think the rest of the boat is made of? Of course Poly resin is just fine. The resin basically has no strength to it anyway. It's the fiberglass cloth, the type and way the strands are oriented, that really are the lions share of what makes the repair strong. West Systems has other advantages for sure. And you have to know Rustoleum is far superior to Krylon!! Actually gelcoat doesn't stick nearly as well to West System epoxy as it does polyester...........Polyester resin really does not cut it for this type of heavy repair.
Once you are done, sand it smooth and use a can of Krylon to paint it white. .....
As an FYI to all potential boat repairers, West or other marine epoxies are widely preferred to polyester for repairs. For mass production polyester has a cost advantage, but for repairs epoxy becomes affordable. 'Nuff said!!Not to be confusing, but what do you think the rest of the boat is made of? Of course Poly resin is just fine. The resin basically has no strength to it anyway. /
Listen to this man! He knows what hes talking about.! Here is another example of what he's trying to explain. (Pictures are always better).First, you can ignore the above picture - for some reason he is trying to scare you - as said before, it is a pretty easy fix. Here is some help - go to the punctures/fractures section at this link Sunfish Sailboat Repar Notes Note there is one critical step missing - between 4 and 5 it needs to say "push this in thru the hole, then pull back tight." Here is what you are trying to do:
1) grinding away the loose glass is important - you need to get to solid parts of the boat for a good repair
2) you will grind the edges around the hole to give a 1.5 to 2 inch lip and it should be VERY thin right next to the hole, tapering over that 2 inches to full thickness.
3) the cardboard with the wire you are pushing into the boat forms the backer, so when you pull the wire tight, the cardboard presses the saturated glass up against the inside of the hole.
4) once the glass in 3 is cured, you will then cut layers of glass starting from small to up to the full size of the hole plus the lip you ground. You will soak the glass in resin,, and put the small piece on, then the next larger size until you have all the pieces on there. You will do all these at once and let them cure.
The instructions at the link mention using mat or roving. Those are coarser grades of fiberglass cloth. Regular cloth should work, but either mat or roving are probably better for the internal repair. One or the other should be fine - you do not need both . For the repair in step 4, use regular fiberglass cloth. Regarding the resin, pay the extra for West system resin (you can get it at West Marine or by mail - West marine and west resin are different companies. Someone just posted recently where to get it by mail cheaper - use the search box to find it.) Polyester resin really does not cut it for this type of heavy repair.
Once you are done, sand it smooth and use a can of Krylon to paint it white. If this sounds complicated, it really isn't.
That was a great video Whitecap. Thanks.Here is also a youtube which shows it all! (From west system - its long, but answers tons of questions!)
As some of the guys said above, instead of using a flat backing plate made from a flat surface (like in the video), you will make your backing plate from the shape of the undamaged bow (the area of the bow that is just below the damage). Tape some plastic sheeting or Saran Wrap to the good part of the bow, then lay epoxy and fiberglass over it, let it dry, remove it from the bow - now you have a 2 dimensional backing plate that will fit perfectly in the hole of the damaged area (because it's a copy of the existing bow).Thanks, Whitecap. I think I am starting to understand the process and what may be involved. I have been reading up on fiberglass repair. I am concerned about the blind technique using a backer and wire/string due to the location of the damage. Most of the examples I have seen, involve a relatively flat section of hull, whereas my damage is in a section of the bow that is curved in two dimensions. I'm also unsure about the top of the repair where it seems to be cracked all the way up to the rail. Additional considerations are the type of resin to apply - differences of opinion evident even in this thread. If I try to get at it from the inside, is it better to use a port up front, or to attempt to peel back the deck (note this was * I think * originally a joke, but seems to be a serious contender). Webfoot1, I appreciate the tips on removing the rail. I will start on that now while I consider my options moving forward.
That's been "the word" here on the later Sunfish. If there's been saltwater use, check it for corrosion, as you could certainly continue to use it. See if the screws back out without breaking off. I'd go up one screw size—in stainless steel of course.The trim is off. Seam looked OK except for one spot port side up near the bow handle. Looked to be a small split that I could press closed with finger pressure. I also snapped some pictures through the bow hole of the interior. The bow handle backing block looks metal to me. Is that expected?
A Sunfish that is very damp inside? Never happens!Well, we're in it now! I split the deck. Starboard side went great, port side not so much. It started splitting too high, into the deck layer. I had to saw down a bit to correct. Very damp inside. The yellow foam is saturated.
That is very interesting. Because when I opened up the deck from the hull at the bow to do some repairs on my Sunfish, I found the exact same "snake skin" loop of glass. I thought it was some kind of half assed job from the previous owner but now I'm thinking otherwise. Anyone know what this loop of glass if for?The "snake skin" looks and feels deliberate. Possibly some kind of handle, maybe from the original manufacturing process?