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Old 20 August 2011, 18:31   #51
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Looks like yours may not have de-laminated quite as much as mine (guess mine is a bit older). When you did the repair did you attempt to get any resin inbetween the gaps in the plywood?

Am trying to work out the best way to fix this. The water seems to have gone into the wood approx 2cm all the way round. I could dig all the wet stuff out and fill with glass fibre paste but I'd then need to add support beams underneath as it looks like it's only gellcoat on the bottom surface rather than fibreglass & resin. Alternatively I could try and get the wood to dry out and then inject resin into the gaps and clamp it. Am tempted to drill out the screw holes, fill with paste and re-drill anyway (or use bolts) as the wood is soggy where the screws go through due to lack of sealant.

I can't fit a hatch any bigger than is already there I don't think (unless I offset it or changed the way it opened). The lid is already constrained a bit by the starboard tube .

Not to hyjack this thread but if anyone has any suggestions please shout!
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Old 20 August 2011, 18:45   #52
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Interestingly, the usually vocal RC supporter(s) have been somewhat quiet during their 'hour of need'.
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Old 21 August 2011, 02:32   #53
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Originally Posted by Mollers View Post
Interestingly, the usually vocal RC supporter(s) have been somewhat quiet during their 'hour of need'.
They're probably busy checking their hatch installations
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Old 21 August 2011, 03:05   #54
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Originally Posted by al40 View Post
Looks like yours may not have de-laminated quite as much as mine (guess mine is a bit older). When you did the repair did you attempt to get any resin inbetween the gaps in the plywood?

Am trying to work out the best way to fix this. The water seems to have gone into the wood approx 2cm all the way round. I could dig all the wet stuff out and fill with glass fibre paste but I'd then need to add support beams underneath as it looks like it's only gellcoat on the bottom surface rather than fibreglass & resin. Alternatively I could try and get the wood to dry out and then inject resin into the gaps and clamp it. Am tempted to drill out the screw holes, fill with paste and re-drill anyway (or use bolts) as the wood is soggy where the screws go through due to lack of sealant.

I can't fit a hatch any bigger than is already there I don't think (unless I offset it or changed the way it opened). The lid is already constrained a bit by the starboard tube .

Not to hyjack this thread but if anyone has any suggestions please shout!
Hi Al, firstly I would say the best people to advise on repair ought to be Ribcraft. If your boat is less than 5 years old & not been used commercially, it should still be under warranty. Even if it's out of warranty, I would have thought hat they would offer some sort of assistance as IMHO we are looking at a major manufacturing defect. Failing that, this is how I did mine:-
  • 1,I "pumped" out the water by repeatedly applying & releasing "G" clamps around the soggy wood, mopping it up as it appeared on the raw edge
  • 2,Let it dry, under cover for as long as poss.
  • 3,apply west epoxy to the wood & work well in, apply "G" clamps again. this squeezes most of the resin out, but hopefully works it into the wood at the same time. Remove the clamps & let the resin go off
  • Mix up more resin & add coloidal silica to thicken it, work the thicker resin into the wood & apply GENTLE pressure with the clamps, just enough to close the gaps but not enough to squeeze the resin out. Let it go off & refit the hatch. I didn't use silicone to re-seal the hatch, I used a poly-butyl rubber sealant that sticks like sh1t & cures to a soft rubber.
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Old 21 August 2011, 03:08   #55
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Al,

You don't need a full cover to dry out the boat - probably would not help to dry it out. You would be better just covering over bow with a tarp to keep the rain off and let the air circulate. If its salt water it is going to take a long while to dry.

I dont think its a real problem if the sealant is into the antislip surface- as long as its smooth and there is tons of sealant so that all the space is filled (I would use a stiff brush and stibble (?) the sealant into the deck right around before the frame is laid in. Mask off a bit larger than the frame and then wipe off all the excess with rags and white spirit (tooth brush also useful). Messy job but then you'll know its done right. Grinding anti slip off will just weaken the gel (would would want to carefully sand down any particular high spots).

I would also drill out the screw holes a few mm bigger than required (more if wet). Put tape across the bottom, fill them with resin and them drill them through and then use bolts. I always fill the hole with sealant and also coat the bolts as they go in to be completely sure.
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Old 21 August 2011, 08:46   #56
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Thanks for the replies Richard and Pikey Dave

I'll try and work out how far into the wood the problem has gone - I estimated 2cm yesterday and if it's dry at that point I guess the resin filling will be OK. Wood seems to be soft at the outside edge but hardens up pretty quickly (I tried to gouge some out but it wasn't that easy)

I did have a tarp which I was going to tie over the bow yesterday to allow the wood to dry out but then discovered it had some holes in it Ended up just putting the hatch back in so it doesn't get any worse.

For the sealent I always like to see the stuff squishing out all edges so there is no ambiguity! I have found that baby wipes make an excellent cleaner for removing excess SikaFlex but yes, stibbling it into the deck is a good idea. Had intended to wire brush it, clean with solvent then apply sealant.

I suspect that most of the water will be fresh. Given that the boat gets well washed down after use and lives outside, the amount of salt water is proabbly pretty small. I don't stuff the bow into waves that often


In terms of Ribcraft replying - I have left at least 3 emails and 2 voicemail messages this year about various things and haven't heard a peep out of them but will email tomorrow anyway.... Boat is under 5 years old so is still under warranty but it would cost a huge amount (time and fuel) to tow the boat from Glasgow to them for repair. I would like to think that they could authorise a local repair shop to fix it or come up with another solution.

Thanks
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Old 21 August 2011, 12:57   #57
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Been thinking a bit more about this repair. Do you think it would be possible to dry the wood with a heat gun so that it could be done in a day?

I could wash the wood thorougly with fresh water to get rid of any salt, G-Clamp it to remove all the excess water and then gently heat gun it till dry (may take an hour or so but if the wood is gently warmed it should dry quite well). Could even put a small fan heater in the anhor well to warm everything up from below.

In terms of the Epoxy, I guess the aim is to stablise everything, re bond the de-laminated ply and fill and gaps. If I added some filler or structural material to the mix like microspheres or microfibres and syringed that into the gaps then lightly G-Clamped it back to the original position do you think that would suffice (ie a single step process)? Am a total novice when it comes to resin technology and GRP repair so sorry if any of that sounds dumb!

Part of the reason I'm trying to do it in a day is just because the weather is so bad at the moment. If I let it dry naturally (with a cover), finding 2 weekends reasonably close together when it's dry and I'm available to go to the boat is not easy.

Thanks guys.
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Old 21 August 2011, 13:01   #58
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You'll never get all the salt out.
Years ago in PBO they was an article on a Bertram, the lad had to pressure wash the bare wood to get the salt out so the hull would dry.
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Old 21 August 2011, 13:17   #59
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I do have a pressure washer but I'm 95% sure it will be mainly fresh water that will have got down there!

Really useful table at west systems website in terms of what fillers to use for what application. See WEST SYSTEM | Filler Selection Guide

Looks like either Silica or Microfibres (if they are small enough) are ideal!
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Old 21 August 2011, 13:35   #60
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If it is mostly getting in there by seeping in from rainfall, condensation etc then I agree there's more likely to be fresh water than sea water. Unless the boat has been swamped or you regularly like green ones over the bow, most of the water landing inside a boat stored outside is going to be fresh

Not sure how big a space you have to work with but an infra-red heat bulb might be a good way to warm the deck gently from below?
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