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Old 17 September 2015, 20:25   #1
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Zodiac Futura MKIIC - Transom Rebuild

Just picked up a neglected Zodiac Futura MKIIC. I think I even have all the pieces! Though, I wish I had a second seat.

The transom is falling out, and I just got in from the garage where I pulled it off completely. My issue is that only some transom seam joints are bad, and then only part the those seams. The top patches are almost all removable. The vertical patches are all free of the transom, but factory tight to the tube, and only partially tight to the filler wedge. The transom is damp but solid.

The boat has had at least two transom fixes done to it. One by professionals apparently, but I can't tell. The last fix was done with what looks like rubber cement, one thick layer. So that just rubs off. <grin>

Any tricks to trying to glue up those tight spaces where those wedges transition from factory tight glue to loose and free?

I think I ran across one video that mentioned using G-Flex epoxy to glue the boat fabric to wood. Should I be gluing in all the PVC to PVC with a PVC glue and then the transom with Epoxy? Right now I can't imagine how I would get the transom into place once everything but the top patches are glued into the boat properly if I used a PVC glue. Doesn't that become an almost permanent bond as soon as the two glue surfaces touch? How I would slide both sides of the transom into those joints before it would bite is beyond me.

The one thread here that shows a MKII transom replacement where the flanges are first glued to the plywood and then the whole thing attached to the tubes looks like it would be easy. My case is the opposite. I can't take all the flanges off and need to get the transom into them, once they are solid again.

Just a zodiac noob looking for some advice.

Marvout
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Old 17 September 2015, 22:21   #2
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I recently sold a boat (1998 Zodiac Futura MKII) in just a bit better shape than what you bought. I contemplated fixing it before giving up - with two little kids I just don't have the time.

From what I read on the Polymarine site you are supposed to use one-part Polymarine glue to prime the wood and then PVC glue to glue the PVC fabric to the transom. The local Zodiac dealer said they just use PVC glue (he also said Polymarine glue was no good...) Everybody says that cleaning off all the old glue residue is key.

Best of luck with your project!
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Old 18 September 2015, 08:58   #3
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To be done properly, all surfaces must be unglued with a heatgun, then all of the glue must be stripped with methylene chloride and a scraper. After removing the old adhesive, all surfaces must be scrubbed with MEK to degrease and clean.

Then, assembly should be done with PVC adhesive. I recommend getting a can of Z7096 from a Zodiac dealer. It is 800cc worth of adhesive and is more than enough to complete the job.

All glue work must take place below 65% RH, 60-75F temperature.
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Old 18 September 2015, 14:52   #4
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Thanks for the info. I'm very interested in doing it properly.

I gave the heat gun a bit of a try and found it seemed to weaken the glued side layer of the fabric more than the glue joint itself. I would heat it and gently pull on the fabric, but the fabric i was pulling would start to part before the glue would let it go. Is there a trick to using the heat gun?
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Old 18 September 2015, 15:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvout View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm very interested in doing it properly.

I gave the heat gun a bit of a try and found it seemed to weaken the glued side layer of the fabric more than the glue joint itself. I would heat it and gently pull on the fabric, but the fabric i was pulling would start to part before the glue would let it go. Is there a trick to using the heat gun?
Easy guide to heatgunning:
If it melts, you've gone too far
If it smokes, you've gone too far

Ideally, you need it at the point where you'll scald yourself if you touch the heated material for more than a second or two. You want grab the material edge with some pliers rather than your hand so you don't injure yourself. Do not pull the material free farther than you've heated, or you risk tearing the pvc off of the polyester fabric base.
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Old 18 September 2015, 15:48   #6
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I'll try a bit more heat then... No smoke or melting yet. <grin>

Is Stabond acceptable? It is the only PVC glue I can get locally. The Zodiac stuff would have to be ordered online.
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Old 19 September 2015, 07:27   #7
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I'll try a bit more heat then... No smoke or melting yet. <grin>

Is Stabond acceptable? It is the only PVC glue I can get locally. The Zodiac stuff would have to be ordered online.

It will probably be okay, but in my experience, the Zodiac OEM adhesives offer the best bond longevity.

Just keep in mind that prep is 90% of the job... Just like painting.
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Old 22 September 2015, 08:40   #8
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I gave the heat gun another try. That simply doesn't work. If I warm the area to any amount, it just softens the inside layer of the outside fabric and causes the fabric to separate instead of the glue. And, the heat, together with the pulling, causes the fabric to get stretched. So, that's out. I guess I'll have to work on doing this with the pieces half attached. This is going to be tough.
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Old 22 September 2015, 09:46   #9
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Originally Posted by Marvout View Post
I gave the heat gun another try. That simply doesn't work. If I warm the area to any amount, it just softens the inside layer of the outside fabric and causes the fabric to separate instead of the glue. And, the heat, together with the pulling, causes the fabric to get stretched. So, that's out. I guess I'll have to work on doing this with the pieces half attached. This is going to be tough.
Are you allowing time for the heat to soak through the material to the glue? The objective is to heat through the material to the glue to weaken the bond strength. Tearing and stretching means the bond is not releasing. Either the bond is very new, or you are working too quickly.
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