When Is It Time To Throw In The Towel?

Get as much as you can through the port, that will depend on the size of your arm/forearm as to whether you can get in past the elbow! The bulk of the yellow foam you are wanting to get out will be right there in the stern, maybe a 2-3 foot diameter blob. A

As you are doing, leave the white foam block in place.

The hull vent should be high on the forward cockpit wall, about 1/8th inch diameter. Just above the AMF Alcort sticker if you still have it. (Someone else's photo below, not ours, but a good one)

View attachment 55389
Thanks Kent. So, from your experience, you don't see a need to split the deck from the hull? The preferred method would be thru the hole, correct? If I keep at it, and my arms can reach it, I'll be able to get it all, or most of it, out?

Thanks.

:D
 
If you can get to open air on either side of the center block, that is the bulk of the stern blob. Then you can switch to the forced warm air method and patience to dry the remainder.

We split seams because we have the methods, materials and tools to reseal the seam and it is faster in the long run. Way more intrusive and labor intensive. 40-50 clamps are required when resealing the hull, fiberglass work, and dealing with expanding foam.

viper audrey foam.JPG
 
My advice: don’t split the seam! You’re almost there with the wet foam scooping. Use a garden trowel or a small hand tool to reach a little farther forward on both sides and you will break through to open space very soon. Keep the yellow stuff around the white blocks, even if it’s wet, as that holds the blocks in place. Once you’ve tunneled through to allow air circulation the fan will make a big difference. But yes, it takes time. Three weeks will show improvement, and initial weight loss should be impressive, but as others have said it will be three months before you’re at fighting weight. In the meantime you’ve got plenty of other work to do! You’ll need a big backer on that rectangular cutout on the bottom, plus that small hole on the deck at the stern, and still not sure why someone cut a hole behind the mast tube?? You’ve got plenty of ventilation now!
I’d fix all holes except the ports, add your port cover to the stern, then do a simple leak test (NOT the way the previous owner did it!) and you’ll probably find some other leaks that need attention. Once you take care of those things- plus refinish rudder and daggerboard- check your weight and you might be ready for sailing! All worth the time and effort, especially since the boat was free. That first sail will feel great!
 
UPDATE: I was able to get all of the yellow foam out of the rear. I noticed that the first 1/2 inch of foam, closest to the opening, was dry. But immediately beyond was still thoroughly soaked.

I filled 4 shopping bags with the wet stuff. I actually developed and technique about a 1/4 of the way into the process. I stopped using a tool to cut and just dug in to the foam with my finger-tips and was able to pull out larger chunks.

While at it, I kept hearing @signal charlie 's words, "get to open air on either side of the center block" - and that's exactly what I did. I've posted some pics but they don't really show the true beauty of the completed task. It's tough to get a good pic because of the angle and other factors.

The boat is a little lighter but it's still stupid heavy. Thanks all for the support, suggestions and encouragement.

What's next?

3vkYm7tcVo0ItQt9EzncBaO1UeM83ntgKM8WiKW8z8O9VArK3gx3TpBWZVthoCBb3ObItc_e3QPImmaln-0gbxw54oCr3hUmJqKyRmBEBampSvTSYZKZIr_OWGjEl5cdzqXsL5YOgyCPpFTdRVjufOE1lnoFgDmTA922hx63rFMsH6vS65KizqbM56CQB53abWxsXfXrdOXPGDVGfW1THgzRfN22v9AKy5g9eCh95doC07pzSuPjlRacjfiFZtuNLE_Ve_g6ve4RkMZaXC4h1x6Vw_OwYbvyutZznTPLaYuCKHUVu4N9PkCp8W4yYvG2oeoYQaTaBUu82lSxt9jxSZcEzmJTVG9jij1yW5Z_-HlnQrR2uvATYSpsU_NbfHqi04B2iC2bP9ffHASWVpmLous_zaryS2QgBoIrPCg8ZO7MkTVzjMvFun9v7n1e696vFpHm1G8FASACtPEQlETfJeM1L0gu4RVvDFFFBvkeXzXl9ODQoRZ2wliXS9jnOFUWm56LMCgpbXTruEWjah_dMdl1N-ubzYy-GAKQvVVCCftPXPPFrOjuM5B4a6C6tJG6N6-cjZsgs4aLh40SlDYQFOVqB0oNJM9b6UHyXinMOZdWKut7A64H9k0ozkympqq1k1LbOEj-ja-Y6mK4dZtbss09AY5Byyatq7nj_2-1Xl15jjWi6Wy3SmKWbTQKKCBNZT-jTtyR5X_vJbbhY01eze_eN9qdylfvuWZU5ruO1PzNQWYPlSo3jioKYZxUY48GkuZLbbLMf9SIiViUCEUuWgGGnqGNCutUy8xb13qNl7_FqRnZbsdZr0qXrSKHKD2EH3kcAYJQHM5ZeNx0SmLl-TcwC_XmiCTU0zu7EE7aRvnK_vV3-KlJy41R3EqP_sVo6mIkjajqwbhff8vpxvcmVsPmAtDaJJB5aM48KdyeX9UNvg=w153-h204-no

Not quite done yet when this was taken.

VEhJ3P7gfcbEAFPr28ig0Q9jJ80q4Quc1pyxj9zfyg61qcJWAiFWHJ9uIp6Cm7qKvjn6s3gu0vHLdiNxWBfyV1jfktWO4mTJj4z6JXdvShGz19wLZkua9w_hjXDsmOwGA9YVAAG2gFkynQbKtergM2gB49txA25SuGD0r7xecCOOJuuQqRUYGtJr6ZcR573-3Ry852yQ6VQUpZ5du7KJ5xiOr669Dd0YAJLKQ5jvHwR49cS0ewhUQNFLZl7Dswn9OACX4HZZLpjt2zOtkJZR2LWCaSwnQTwQHQrB_dZxAqhw12lLmbG6XMiITZAIgjqOQx_zlydILq3YxQ-lxqE6ai2qoIzTknd6xs4XNrlr9bAoJE5mFXsVP1dTdyygKiePLpyLiFJfj-iavlUm9agTNnb-XLCNQJLFz2jehig6f4RCNUdPrph8RzQ2kTd-jc21YT1kKjmHYZJ241R-Q8itfbDxrrYFhYnQJVUY-CdpjoI_6V_1m-elbGBF6dF9FZg0C_lFvr4tUdRNCT_rX8xZrCBf2WEZZQmWFl31EftWy3p0s8MSQLqxSSZHs72sFytPFzZpGZ-HBMRBUVnxSK6B1Kec6OBHpyZYuKBo8REmgDgvIojRfoWaFBrTE0ZnuCdIC9TYu2IskTZZ9_FM2uy0iTv6FoIl4tTA76CEi0UoXWNwZp5HhHDJo4cVMpLzpURs_B10Dt9KdedI3P0BaxNsQFTSPn2pLMa5bnSGcUydpaZR3VeXNitbN5Ch_v_wcfX_OuCeETxreUBv6ZZE48_ngDB5mv-H9gv7FdnOP2yp_c74RfodG1YAaRtb_g0kHolA05UQcGHU2UcsdIPonxdEK9kXnhtMqAdeP4tcVkcxH0wYcy6H-jbcMF2zf2j-ZCEjx4oj9GFW340aEKc2NOcC4xS_lR90CECIAWSlMqMkeZfTCA=w1149-h861-s-no

Getting there.

9lgLph0atIcbgTbE1A56q0pJ2OeSj4RNPrriDhMsFFdpVqiRQMFegkCa2jRGtxc6jDA1NoDzjhSbYukZY3ZBHqzxQ_pZSNvf23LXEKt5k8aKSUNy_ufqHsTClPOWl_qsaTk9ccXmWODI7PPli6IUlswTHteBgXnDE0NePDon1pcLB4SbsM4BieUpvsPL9i8XfROiHieErLYgwrmM5_Wi6yHQK1WQ6G0WFT0wHB_Cj-OyxoW0gZzgz4mREpaTE7L3bx425AfYHUHILt5JS7CKBSLYPn-9JI_A7p4Dm489IaGDkaCSWUfRXb8Xx5DsqnYPenBbJOvwhPMtV7b4KoLrXI_XMZc7-Ybu1BT8fS3xByVUR7QwUEbMqPECtAEtgA0zFcn1fMVVeQgRD06PjQuHfBkQEvOBo9HjMKqdww3_x-LFofuQUN0hmtYPKDwKUK-ZxGVGHRADAcAbSigTtLkrLewJ_EC5849MUx6mxU7UcUjYqk1ogP3ORqXkVEJgRMYyZp5ShPX_gG6UtD7pRfDMPWZhDupgx2GhjwwiE3AwcDOylET2Qk7brbSpM6pUHKcA40D4_MBHKzXcGvFK5CkJR8rI9bGflVsiPSc771fqd8tscmpXwAZ90TxE0nayKQZ87aqc4kLeREz6iFYWVmHFsIv8f3tMHDZS1sRrjygXBNwiLx9TyNG1wM4xpI4Uzu9sI1Ejoff1zjlRji9IsB9sHfx3RKQ37m9zykXfevBd3eSG9KCdSXqaLR5tAlQLWKEhMAgZgoLic8cYZyzRZmX36byoFG3VbPtr0VoLAt9cRZpJarHk0WBNgO77nKNirNOSiwgzeThbRhC2UaxgDewcM_iZmbVbuhNCZudOVFp2CiVmPurEsO9xlX6FnA1s8qS3rZoiHdZgm7VxOw6R4FIskoJL8Gjg94xMkjipgkVBWFkJgA=w1149-h861-s-no


Closer.

ve6SYsaBggY1bKKahQsoBumcjEzBjRpL5NhzKhvlvNo9uToQbl-Ws8zcRQVHkIanNCoFbrOOEz2cta1TM7ZshtWRY1-DphFZ9ZlI_weH8cTlm85uzRNpEKk5Nvb42XVv799rAveNeNvP2edE21FlfhyGUE0q_UfstMX6a1opAjTkqSIL1ZEUEGfnmGpV63ln-TGTLF0r0sE7Imnn_ng7gmZ-LhcvtgZpPa18iTNrgB8OcmnR1E-K_u8BAjBpl3VleontQRrCy8r0x6IqOUs-QSW0PkeeUDZQHoshV5zvObCdz9jJlNmdMhLS4un-9Y1ZB5fI5J2gTAVBFviTSLuvp5CKNJRCd_uO-HFlYf7kDFDJ1gVmZI24KCWUCVN1CvU1rVn5gk-9pdIYx4MTkp1Y0jqTH4vFtY2oHdVr8dx8M63lBghAGkGGKmS6SAPp22po4JZ9OBQ-qh9UsN92IGu0hvpbMP7boR2h96Ku17W0aeEopKUfOJNN6cnh3ABk1T1uCQvK6FuIEoJFJ8hutOnOgv7x2c0GMFwxtmxKfkfSiWBS1bSju_f43Dfnu6w-wY9y-dO_PtwV9EgltSTc5QaYNVvAQM5q2QpAaXulg7-oUdcdyoZnADSgCpMGqO14Tulbr7T7ZHIHC7hgrDHRVxLg0zyQMPTavID2pdd-lVF-PUw9BDIGMuOGC5FZ2eRMKY_JbClGKj-pHgeoduSUknPCedk-1a0azwRtrbtbVJyECr3-PeiAKl1bv_1EruSnUoo_CFrqLxkKeBJL67UVgj--pbeh5xPtqE73HbF39y_x87TPGwuCdv-VWDvS4cF1ySFPXmBCKB5FoVlsHhR5vtrhRFCP_HA4ggFmLtfis8rwbglGZOCHiX_m4XHIY39x9x0rU2oZa_zEPVMDiyUpuxxw0rj3eI-3ZlhwRC6KlvdHbEcVZQ=w154-h204-no


Got it all out.
 
Cut open some black trash bags, turn the boat upside-down into a sunny spot, tape the black trash bags (or the larger "contractor" bags) to the bottom, put a fan over the middle cutout, and exhaust the remaining moist air through both ports. (Much more efficient).

Attach a 100' extension cord ($30) if necessary:


Fans are low current, so you can string several 25' cords together without concern.
 
Just be happy it is not quite so rough as this one. She’s a real beauty!
 

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Here's a suggestion for replacing fiberglass battens with something better. Over a plastic sheet, stretch and tape the tip-ends of three inch (by ~18") sections of fiberglass tape (or cloth) alongside your cuts.

Pre-cut the four cloth sections. Apply resin to the cloth, add another layer of cloth and resin. Remove bubbles.

Let it cure and cut off the non-impregnated tips. With your grinder, roughen the upper side (the upside), coat with resin, and clamp where the batten was to go. It will approximate the curve of the repair, be stronger than any batten, and gain a beginner some experience using resin, cloth/tape, and a brush/roller.

Regular "Great Stuff" is white. Black "Pond and Stone" is designed to construct outdoor garden ponds. For days, I've pressed leftover "Pond and Stone" foam under water, with absolutely no increase in moisture content or weight. Cup-shaped scraps will "bead" water.

@LVW > I think I've come to the point of starting to prepare for some fiberglass work (which I've never done but I'm confident none-the-less). So, fabricating some battens (or under-side support) will come first - and I'm excited to utilize the process you detailed above. You linked me to a nice fiberglass repair kit at Wholesalemarine - with tax and shipping it comes to over $30 bucks.

I can buy this combo (pic below) at my local Home Depot for just over $40 and get like, 900 times more product. In your opinion, is this the way I should go? The resin comes with hardener, I checked -- I have crappy brushes and stirrers etc - what else might I need that's missing if I go the HD route?

@signal charlie > I've heard you mention "thickened resin" several times. Is that something that is purchased or created from normal resin and if so, how is it done? Also, is resin and epoxy the same thing? I hear them mentioned seemingly in the same context, but don't know what the difference is.

TIA ALL!


1681654889449.png
 
@LVW You linked me to a nice fiberglass repair kit at Wholesalemarine - with tax and shipping it comes to over $30 bucks.

I can buy this combo (pic below) at my local Home Depot for just over $40 and get like, 900 times more product. In your opinion, is this the way I should go? The resin comes with hardener, I checked -- I have crappy brushes and stirrers etc - what else might I need that's missing if I go the HD route?

@signal charlie > I've heard you mention "thickened resin" several times. Is that something that is purchased or created from normal resin and if so, how is it done? Also, is resin and epoxy the same thing? I hear them mentioned seemingly in the same context, but don't know what the difference is.

TIA ALL!


View attachment 55460
 
Epoxy as a resin is an expensive approach. Because I bought a gallon of epoxy years ago, I haven't used polyester resins for 60 years! Think of your purchase of epoxy resin as an inflation-fighter! :cool:

Polyester, used as a patch, as the advantage of being relatively easy to remove. It appears Bondo has branched out into polyester repairs after decades of cheap fixes for rusty fenders. Maybe it won't stink up your workplace, as polyester will do.

As to roughening the surface, I figure the further from smooth you get, the better. YMMV. Still, I'd take the effort to use rubbing alcohol as a final prepping action. It'll dry quickly, and remove the oils that affect the adhesion of resin and paint.

In brushes, you'll want at least one brush with stiff bristles. That's for "stabbing" resin into the inevitable air bubbles and small air pockets. To be as strong as possible and eliminate slow water leaks, all resins have to fully "impregnate" the cloth/tape you use. Since you already have a large number of brushes, I'd take your smallest brush and cut the bristles down to half an inch. (But "flux" brushes are "throwaways" and are cheap).

Rollers are available to efficiently remove bubbles, but even the plastic rollers are costly. The metal roller can be re-used, but so far, we're only talking one small repair.

The thickened resin product THIXO has the viscosity of putty, and ready to apply using a caulking gun. (~$24).
 
Last edited:
"@signal charlie > I've heard you mention "thickened resin" several times. Is that something that is purchased or created from normal resin and if so, how is it done? Also, is resin and epoxy the same thing? I hear them mentioned seemingly in the same context, but don't know what the difference is."

Resin can either be of the polyester or epoxy version. The Sunfish is built using polyester resin, the main drawback I've heard about polyester is that it smells bad. Epoxy resin has been an alternative choice for decades, it has a few different properties that factor into repairs, some insurance companies require epoxy resin to be used for repairs. West System is the most popular brand of epoxy system.

Resins have different hardeners that affect workability and cure times, based on the local temps for when it being mixed.

Either polyester or epoxy based Resin/Hardener can be thickened with a variety of products for structural or fairing applications, and the resin manufacturer usually has a chart to help select the correct thickener. Each resin brand has its own special blends of thickened agents that range from hard to soft as far as sanding goes. We like thickened resins because they do not run, but it takes a little extra time to wet out fiberglass cloth if using a thickened resin.

If you decide to thicken you'll want a structural filler for the repair. We use thickened resin and build up a repair until it is a little shallow of the rest of the hull, then we use an epoxy based fairing compound to ge things fair and smooth. IF you plan to gelcoat over epoxy, you need to apply a primer over the epoxy, as gelcoat does not like direct contact with epoxy.

Keep in mind the primary goals, a mostly leakproof hull to get out sailing.

DF523551-8D82-40C7-85BE-9B6603A1D7FD.jpeg
 
Hi Any,

Yes, it's about 20 minutes away. 4 nice launch areas within 5 minutes of our place, 2 have ramps and the other 2 are kayak launches.
 
I'm still here. :D

It's been raining a LOT here in the NE, so the drying process continues at the mercy of the weather. I'm gonna weigh the boat again next chance I have.

Came in here proclaim that I ordered the aforementioned resin/epoxy and fiberglass cloth. :D

Upon closer look, the exact 2 items I posted above were available from Home Depot in a kit and although not available at my local stores, delivery to my doorstep was free. So, I saved about $6 bucks, got free delivery and got a nifty little spreader to boot (which I'll likely never use). Total, $34.51 - with tax was $36.80 - this should last me a pretty long time.

First thing I'll do is fabricate those battans using the protocol suggested by @LVW -- thanks ALL. I shall return.

1683141936352.png
 
Weighed it yesterday, 175 lbs - getting there! (Last weigh-in was 245 I think)

Question: I had a little time so I decided to start in on some of those bad repairs. On this one, because the crack clear through, do I need to cut-out that piece and fiberglass from the inside as well then use the battans method to install it back?

20230506_120705.jpg
 
Yes, the crack needs to go away and the milky white crushed fiberglass around the edge of the crack, 1/4 - 3/8 inch or so. All of that is damaged and won't take resin. The rest of the fiberglass in the photo looks to be in good structural shape.

We use the Blind Hole patch method that was put out by the manufacturer years ago, it works great. When Hurricane Sally smashed WAVE's bow in 2020, we found the patch we had done still intact, it held because it was double they layer of fiberglass plus resin soaked cardboard, while the rest of the starboard bow was pulverized!

RM 4 Blind Hole Patch copy.jpeg


If the hole is odd shaped the patch can be folded like a taco to slip inside, then manipulate it with a stick or finger to get it flat against the inside of the hull.

chine backer.jpg


 
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Yes, the crack needs to go away and the milky white crushed fiberglass around the edge of the crack, 1/4 - 3/8 inch or so. All of that is damaged and won't take resin. The rest of the fiberglass in the photo looks to be in good structural shape.

We use the Blind Hole patch method that was put out by the manufacturer years ago, it works great. When Hurricane Sally smashed WAVE's bow in 2020, we found the patch we had done still intact, it held because it was double they layer of fiberglass plus resin soaked cardboard, while the rest of the starboard bow was pulverized!

View attachment 55727

If the hole is odd shaped the patch can be folded like a taco to slip inside, then manipulate it with a stick or finger to get it flat against the inside of the hull.

View attachment 55728

Thanks for that, Kent. Although I have no experience doing fiberglass repairs, I feel confident that I can do this competently. I've done this blind patch process with dry-wall and spackle many times so I'm familiar with the dynamic, at minimum.

The fiberglass kit will arrive sometime today, so I'm excited to get started working with it.

I'll keep you posted.

Thank you!!!

:D
 
Fiberglass kit arrived - so, first, I made some amateur battans for future use, came out pretty good (i think?).

20230509_142557.jpg


Next, I took care of one of the several ill-repaired cracks in the hull using the blind hole patch method suggested by @signal charlie - again, pretty happy with the results. But instead of cardboard, I used a piece of the homemade battan I had created earlier. I thought (possibly erroneously) that the cardboard will eventually breakdown and drop it's crap into the hull. The battan seemed to work great, pull up nicely and really plugged the crack.

Now, I'm a virgin/beginner at fiber-glassing, so I don't know squat - was the battan okay to use? Any reason why I shouldn't have?

20230509_183422.jpg
20230509_192130.jpg


Criticisms, suggestions, experiences and encouragement are all welcomed. :D

Thanks!!


:D:D
 
That all looks great!

The only things that matter for a backer patch is that it can fit through the hole and then be stiff enough to pull snug against the inside face of the hull.

On some chine repairs we mold a backer patch using the opposite side or similar shaped boat part as a template.

backer patch curved.jpeg


We did a variety of repairs on the 1968 ALCORT Sunfish named MERCI, more info on our blog or by searching this Forum for MERCI.

What type resin did you go with?
 
That all looks great!

The only things that matter for a backer patch is that it can fit through the hole and then be stiff enough to pull snug against the inside face of the hull.

On some chine repairs we mold a backer patch using the opposite side or similar shaped boat part as a template.

View attachment 55767

We did a variety of repairs on the 1968 ALCORT Sunfish named MERCI, more info on our blog or by searching this Forum for MERCI.

What type resin did you go with?
Thanks Kent! I used the Bondo brand Fiberglass Repair Kit available from Home Depot - I left a pic and description above (post #89). It worked really well and is thicker than I expected. Is thickness of resin even a "thing" or is it all pretty much the same?

I've learned here that there are situations where it's needed it to be much thicker (that's what she said). So, I have my eye on that silica powder you suggested for thickening when I get to those spots where it will be required. But, I have since learned of this stuff as well, from a "non-boat guy" who made a few repairs with just this it, no cloth, no resin? What's the consensus? Ever use it?

3RAT1_AS01



@signal charlie > re your pic, the template is cool but I gotta ask - if the piece is already cut out, why not just make the repair from the inside and use the batten (shoreline?) method to reinstall?

@beldar boathead > thank you, sir. Spelling and grammer is actually one of my pet peeves because I've always been so bad at it. BattEn is a new word to me in this context, so I won't make that mistake again. Thanks!


:D
:cool::D
 
The bondo glass is more for rough filling and already has short strands of fiberglass in it. It may be hard to smooth to factory finish and won't reliably patch holes larger than a dime.
Don't thicken your resin...some brands may slightly very...with temps possibly contributing.
You're on the right track. ..as it is similar to drywall. You wouldn't patch a larger 2inch hole with just mud...but probably mud over tape. Dents and divets. ..yeppers
 
Everything mixmkr says +1 (with a few variations)

So reading up on bondo it uses polyester resin, which is what the Sunfish folks used. Epoxy resin is another more expensive option. There are pros to each, and a few cons, smell (poly) vs price (epoxy). We trend towards epoxy because many coating systems (paint, fairing compound, primer, etc...) are epoxy based. Polyester is preferred if gelcoat is planned, as gelcoat doesn't like epoxy...but gelcoat doesn't mind a primer over epoxy.

We have avoided Bondo fairing/putty as it is not as hydrophobic as marine grade products, the basic inexpensive Bondo putty can absorb water over a long period of time. Modern day Bondo has a mix formulated for marine use I believe.

As for thickened resin (Poly or epoxy) we find it handy to avoid having resin running everywhere, and to start filling gaps. By "thickened" we mean adding a structural or fairing filler to the resin/hardener mixture, depending on what steps are involved in the build/repair. We do a lot of wood boats and epoxy systems work well with filling gaps, adding strength to a joint and being agreeable to wood expansion/contraction.

I's say due your own due diligence on the BONDO GLASS as to how agreeable it is to the marine environment. Maybe someone in the Forum knows, we don't because we've never used it. It's usually only an issue with Bondo for someone who leaves their boat in the water for weeks/months at a time.

As for the template, at the time we weren't sure if we were going to repair and reinstall the damaged part or build up a new piece, in which case we needed a full backer piece instead of just perimeter battens.

As you get into other repairs, mixmkr has some novel ideas on cutting out a port to access the repair area, then reinstalling the cutout piece using batten backers. That leaves you with a small thin circle of resin, saw blade wide, to gelcoat or paint. Vs other more invasive procedures.

Grammar, not grammer...
 
I've used Bondo in automotive applications. Don't apply on wrinkled metal where the wrinkles are greater than 1/8-inch, and be sure to paint over any exposed Bondo that is present on either side of the metal surface.

After perusing several boating forums, Bondo products generally get short shrift; however, with 29 products listed at Amazon, you just pick the correct application..

The consensus at boating forums is that Bondo is FAST and is CHEAP! That Bondo may not last long is up to you...
 
Now at 155 lbs. -- makes a huge difference, I can move the boat around much easier now. Not sure it's gonna get much better than that, so I'm ready to fix/seal this thing up and leak test it.

I repaired the last hull crack yesterday, again using the "blind hole patch" method and again used my home-made batten instead of cardboard, which works great as they're flexible and bend to the needed contours. Not sure why everyone isn't using that protocol?

Anyway, it came out great - thanks EVERYONE for all the guidance! I could never have come this far with you guys!

So, I'm moving on to the deck in anticipation of performing a leak test as ASAP. First up is this coaming or splash guard, which came with a really bad repair attempt, is broken into 2 or 3 pieces and is not fully secured to the deck.

Is this repairable or do I need to replace it? (I'd rather repair it because I don't wanna spend money on this boat until I know it'll "float.") Take it off to fix? Leave it on? Replace the missing fasteners with what? I have aluminium pop-rivots, is that suitable here? So many questions. TIA!

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You can repair the coaming, essentially the same method but grind out a little depression, then fiberglass, fair, sand and paint. It will be easier if you take it off, plus you can see what is going on with the hodgepodge of incorrect fasteners.

Your coaming would have had either stainless machine screws into anchor nuts riveted to the deck (rivnuts) or 3/16th inch diameter closed end aluminum rivets. You'll need to post more pics of all the rivets or do some exploring. It looks like someone used a plastic anchor which works, but creates a leak prone area.
 
I think sometimes the repairs are too over the top.

The fundiamental issue I have with the shoreline repair is the lack of feathering back and no mention of proper sanding of part for adhesion.

I have found a few failures of sunfish repairs due to not prepping so the adhesive has something to stick to on the surface. Epoxy and poly resin need a properly ruffed up surface so it molecules can grab onto something. So the slats and the backside of the fiberglass should be sanded. The grit is technically dependent on the type of adhesive. But 80 grit seems common.

The use of a dremel barrel sander would not be my choice at all. You need to feather the edge down so you can lay in glass. The barrel sander is slow and does not remove enough material. Yes, I have worked with one and its ok for small spots, but not that long. I have have a orbital sander that works wonders with fiberglass prep and other stuff.

Personally I have predrilled holes for small sheet metal screws. Put larger holes on the hull so you can pull the edges up tight. Pop rivets are too big and wont do a hard enough pull up. I would have used like 20-30 screws on the repair in the video to pull it up tight along the edges.

For the hole I saw your boat has I would make a fiberglass backer on a flat sheet of anything that has wax on it. Make it like 4 layers thick. Then screw it in place. I would taper back 2" around the hole and either taper the edge of the piece you took out or just lay in new glass. If you are putting the piece back in place I would first put down a layer of mat as that increases adhesion by filling voids. If you put the old piece back in I would sand after it is glued in place to get a good feather then lay glass on top.

You should NOT use regular automotive bondo for filling. They make a bondo that does not have the moistue absorbing powder in it for marine use.

Marine Tex is expensive and when cured is hard as a rock. That means it does not flex when the rest of the glass will flex with use and just temp changes. Also Marine Tex discolors with UV light. It also needs to be put on a surface with a proper sanding. I have peeled off poorly adhered marine tex which was not sealing like the owners thought it would. Marine Tex has it place in hull repair, but people use it too much and in the wrong way.

For a sunfish I think the average person would be better off with regular polyester and gel coat. Gets some stuff to thicking the gel coat and a color kit to add a dab of black for an attempt at color matching. My recommendations are because I have seen many poor repairs at this point. I have had to undo a number of those poor repairs to fix the boats.

Keep in mind there are many ways of getting an effective repair.
The biggest errors are from improper sanding and feathering, Marine Tex where it should not be, the wrong fillers, too much resin and not enough glass.
I dont like paint because most people cant get paint right. Poorly laid out gel coat on a properly sanded surface with protect better then paint.
 
Good progress on the boat!

For those out there happily using polyester resin systems, how about some photos of the resin, hardener and thickening agents that you use. Also the different types of cloth, mat and woven roving in your stash?

Next we'll pester you about gelcoat, and how you get a good looking finish without thousands of dollars of equipment and years of experience.
 
You can repair the coaming, essentially the same method but grind out a little depression, then fiberglass, fair, sand and paint. It will be easier if you take it off, plus you can see what is going on with the hodgepodge of incorrect fasteners.

Your coaming would have had either stainless machine screws into anchor nuts riveted to the deck (rivnuts) or 3/16th inch diameter closed end aluminum rivets. You'll need to post more pics of all the rivets or do some exploring. It looks like someone used a plastic anchor which works, but creates a leak prone area.

Thanks! So, how far beyond the break should the new cloth go? Does it need a lot of distance to "splint" the break and for extra support in that area?

:) Thanks again!!
 
Some folks use 8:1 taper or 12:1 taper as guidance, so if the coaming is 1/4 inch thick, we'd go out about 2 inches either side minimum. The coaming is not structural, it's there to divert water away from the cockpit. We'd grind off the broken and crushed bits of fiberglass, then start a taper. We'd go ahead and use a structural filler in our resin and wet out 4-6 layers of 4 oz fiberglass tape in successively smaller pieces to fill in the valleys that the grinding formed, leaving the fiberglass/resin just a little shy of flush. Dry. Sand. The use fairing compound to get the repair flush, prime and paint.

Another option is to grind out and taper the aft face. Then just clean up the forward face for a "backer patch." When it's all smooth and one color no one will notice the forward face/underside.

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Once at sea all of the extensive repairs are not noticeable.

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Here are the criteria we use for repirs:

1. Galloping Horse (GH):
The Skipper's criteria is "Would you notice it from a galloping horse?" She got this valuable tip from her Grandma. It may be self explanatory, but imagine if you rode by the boat on a galloping (sea)horse, would the repair in question be noticeable? If not, then continue on. If so, review the following additional criteria before making a decision.

2. Great Spirit (GS):
So maybe you did notice it when you galloped by. My Native American criteria is that only the Great Spirit can make something perfect, so it is best to leave small mistakes in the work as tribute. Plus if your boat gets stolen and recovered by the authorities, you'll be able to point out all the mistakes you made to authorities as proof of buildership. That is of course, unless they point all of them out to you first.

Which leads to our last, final and "ultimate authority" criteria, which shall be the tie breaker if you are stuck after applying the Galloping Horse and/or Great Spirit decision criteria...

3: If They Don't Like It... (ITDLI):
If They Don't Like It (ITDLI)...Capn Jack always says that if someone looks at your finished boat and says they don't like it, then they don't get to go on the boat :)

The ITDLI criteria is helpful for decisions for items that you may not even have had a hand in, for example, the design of our Drascombe Lugger jib furler. We were rigging the Lugger on the ramp one day and some landlubber walked up and said "Roller reefing on that boat is asinine." Skipper abandoned her duties as PIO and walked away. I ignored him. We assigned the ITDLI criteria to the Ramp Ranger and from that point there was no concern about offering to take him sailing.

So we hope these tips become helpful tools in your tool box, they have saved us hours of moaning chair time.
 

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