Peterbilt359 wrote: Nice work on your boat! Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but, when you show the pics of the top of the boat separated from the bottom hull.... is the boat (and other glassics) designed to come apart this way, or did you cut it apart to make the work easier on the hull? If so, how did you re-attach the two and regain the original solidness of the boat?
That is not an ignorant question at all. Every glass boat that I've worked on that had a topside had a seam where the two parts were married. I can't imagine how anyone could cast a complete boat otherwise.
If you remove the rub rail that's along the side you'll find that the rail is attached by screws or rivets depending on make or model. If there is a rubber center with chrome edges you can pull that rubber off. If it is rubber or plastic it helps to warm it up a little with a heat gun or hair dryer and then you can pull it right off. Once the rail is removed there will be more screws or rivets. Most of the time the screws will be rusted/corroded and nearly impossible to remove. Drill the out or break them off 'cuz you won't use them again anyway. Some boats will also have some type of caulk between the two parts but it's usually so dry and brittle it will fall apart. Now the tricky part of "popping the top". Small boats sometimes can be loosened right up, others you might have to put a small tire jack inside the hull to help lift the top off. Once you have it separated you need to make sure it's really braced good so it doesn't break in two. Those tops are fragile when not supported by the hull. Also before you remove the top section take measurements of the width, the hull will expand as soon as the top is removed. I usually will screw some 2x2's between the two edges so it holds it's shape.
When putting the two pieces together again I will first put a bead of 3m5200 or some construction adhesive, lower the top back onto the hull and be sure that it is mated back completely. Put new screws or rivets to hold the two parts together and you're good to go. On some boats I've found that the ones that are held together with screws will have a wood backing strip to hold the scresw, Usually it will have to be replaced with a new 1x2 furring strip. The ones that are held together with rivets will not have that strip. I have pictures somewhere, if I can find 'em I'll post.
Great info.... thanks for an awesome explanation!! One more question - when you plan on removing a floor to repair the structure underneath, do you just cut the top layer of the floor near the edge where it meets the sides of the hull ,leaving maybe an inch or so of material all the way around? Use a die grinder, recip saw, or????
You nailed it. Yes leave the inch to glass to when putting in your new floor. I used both a recip say and a 4" cutoff. The cutoff kicks up lots of dust so wear a face mask and goggles and if glass makes you itch put on long sleeves. Some people spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly on their face etc so the glass will wash off easier.
I might add that the floor is a structural part of the hull that keeps it in shape so let the boat remain on the trailer or put inside bracing to hold the shape.
Thanks for all the great info! Getting ready to start on mine soon, maybe this weekend. Rooted around inside the boat this evening and makes more sense looking at the floor and inside the hull. I think it won't be too awful damn bad...... interestingly, my boat is one piece hull, looks like the hardtop is riveted onto the gunwales, though.