We went back and did a little more work. We sanded all of the uneven areas out of the epoxy. Wow, did we put it on thick. Once it was smooth, we did add 12 oz glass about 8 inches wide along the edges where the plywood meets the hull, and then another layer of 6 oz glass over the entire floor again, this time using a squeegy. That went a lot better . Used about 1/4 the epoxy. Looks very nice.
Here's my question:
We used a LOT of epoxy on this floor redo. The plywood is encased in more than enough epoxy, and the bilge is basically built out of PB as I tripled the size of the original bilge. I can't see how it isn't water tight. In stock form, the bilge area had holes to communicate with the area under the floor, between the stringers. I can't bring myself to drill those holes. I am going to install a good bilge pump.
Do I need (should I drill) those holes? Can't I leave it "water tight" until I suspect water has gotten under the floor?
Going back a few years here when I rebuilt my Shell Lake Executive. The bilge was "water tight" from the factory and it was chambered for floatation. Worked for 40+ years so I wouldn't be too concerned. Here you can see how I checked under the deck. I could see where the stringers and cross bracing was just by the wear marks above. The first picture is where I stuck my camera into one of the holes looking forward to the bow and you can see skanky water sitting in the bilge. Even though the underside of the deck was not glassed it was still strong and solid. Those are 4" holes in case you're wondering. I saved the plugs and used them for replacing. Put some bracing under the edges of the holes, replaced the plugs and then glassed them over with several layers of mat. After the boat was finished I installed a 6" inspection hole, plastic with a screw on lid.
This mostly comes from my experience with wooden boats, but I don't believe in leaving compartments completely sealed and inaccessible. There's a certain amount of moisture present in the air in the compartment that will cycle between gas and liquid (and solid, depending on your local weather). Temperature changes cause the air to expand and contract, creating pressure changes that can cause water to migrate through otherwise watertight material.
If it were me (and it isn't) I would have a small vent somewhere with the outlet high above the waterline, an inspection hatch above the lowest point of the hull (where water will collect) and an actual drain plug if possible. Belt and suspenders!
Well, I have to say that went a lot easier than I thought it might. Alaina and I were able to flip the hull on our own with no issues at all. I have a very solid rolling workbench that fits perfectly under the hull and makes it super easy to roll around. It is at the perfect height to work on the hull body work.
Now that the boat is flipped, we want to dig in and move along right away. I had gotten some advice long ago about fixing the keel while it was on the trailer by applying PB and reshaping. Is that the best way to do this now that it is in better positioning for repair?
I assume we need to grind out the previous repairs and fill them the same way?
I have quite a bit of experience with body work on steel and aluminum, but this is our first attempt at making a fiberglass hull look new again. I assume I can not use the same filler that I use for body work on cars. An favorites that I should look at for that kind of product?
My plan is to epoxy prime the hull once the repairs are done. Then sanding primer a few times until we are happy, and then seal with epoxy again before painting.
I will need to do this sanding to my Keel too and not sure what condition I will find it in. Did you have rotten wood that needed removed? Did you fill what looks like large opening from missing wood with Peanut butter with fiber fillers or ??? Can I assume if a person only has small areas to fill in where rotten wood is removed, it can be ok? At what percent of rotting wood would warrant cutting out the entire keel wood and replacing and re-glassing. Yours looks great. Hope mine does not have rot.
There was no wood on my keel. I know the pictures make it look like rotten wood, but it was really just dirty worn out fiberglass. We ground down the ugly areas (I didn't show those pictures) before we started the repair. I used the West System Epoxy with the 403 filler as it is their highest strength filler. The finished area was not really that deep, and I had spoken with their rep as to what to use, so that's how we did it!
This stuff is amazing, and you can hit it hard with a hammer...it's not going any where.
Once you grind down the keel to fresh clean glass, brush straight epoxy (no filler) on the area, wipe off the excess, and then apply the peaneu butter using the 403. Shape it close, come back the next day, and start sanding. The 403 is certainly hard to sand, but the nice part is it really lets you take your time with shaping. I am very confident in this repair. I can't wait to get some paint on it!
Thank you for that great information! I already have that West System Epoxy and also the 403 filler. Like you said - more sanding, but tougher in the end and I will just try to be more careful with initial shaping. That was just the information I needed. Your looks great. I hope to get back in gear this fall. Life has a way of throwing distractions at every turn. I suppose that is why finishing a project and using it is so rewarding! I am doing my boat for my grandkids (and me too of course)
Slowly making progress. Have been sanding/fairing the hull getting ready to prime and paint it.
In the meantime, we were lucky enough to have found a duplicate boat. It is the same year and color as Alaina's project boat. We made a 6 hour round trip to get it, and really we were just after the seats and the windshield. The windshield in Alaina's boat is shot, and the frame has a dent in it. The "new" one will polish up well.
We now have 7 good seats, and will pick the best 4 to put back in her boat. We are going to "paint" them with the SEM marine vinyl paint and see how they look.
Now here is the big question:
If you've read this whole thread, you know that the deck on her project boat is blistering. I've been told there is no way to stop that, but just drill them out, patch the blemishes, and hope for the best.
The duplicate boat we just picked up has no blistering.
Should I use the deck off of the second boat?
I don't look forward to removing it, but it's just one weekend of my life...
Like your progress. It helps me keep rolling. I sanded outside and hope to do a bit more before the weather gets down to freezing. At least I don't sweat as much and can work a bit longer with no mosquitos!...they seem to not like cold...though a few bees seem to get pretty aggressive this time of year up here. I missed my opportunity to do my project 6 years ago before my son grew up and had kids. Now my motivation is to get it on the water for the grandkids. Keep the pictures and progress coming. It helps for me to be a few steps behind you so I can see learn. Thanks!
Not to get all philosophical on here, but you bring up a great point...
At 44, I am really getting some perspective in life as to the limited time we have to do the things we love. My dad worked his whole life, was able to retire at 64, and while he has enjoyed pursuing the build of his dream workshop, restoring a 100 year old farm house with my mom, he is limited physically in his abilities. Bad knees, bad back, ankles, etc from his years of hard work.
When my oldest daughter was born (the first grandkid) all the dreams began for my parents.
He was going to have his workshop all set up and teach each grandkid how to build something.
They were going to have a little hobby farm for the kids to enjoy.
He was going to restore old John Deere tractors for/with the grandkids.
You get this idea, and the list is long.
They missed so many things they wanted to to do with their grandkids. Now my daughter is in the last year of college (though only 19) and the rest of the grandkids will be off to college in the next year or two. Time just flies.
So for this project, we have to keep moving forward. We are minutes away in the big picture of my baby graduating high school and heading off to college. I will never have this time again.
We have been shopping for a lake cottage the last couple of months, and that has put off shop time. We may purchase something in the next few months so that next summer we can enjoy the finished Larson and make some great memories.
Don't wait for tomorrow. None of us are getting any younger:)
As for learning from our efforts, be careful. We are making this up as we go
We read a lot, and hopefully are doing the right things. Having paint on will inspire both of us. Assembly is the fun part!
Totally agree. My grandpa passed 2 years after retirement at 67 when I was 9. He built 4 boats with my Dad. My dad shared all if his techniques and tools so that I could build a boat in wood shop in high school and finished it at home with some of my grandpa's tools...my Dad helped me get that connection. I wanted to do the same with my son (and I know in middle school, he was excited with he thought).
Life got complicated and beyond our control, so the window was missed.
My own father passed at 61 when my son was 3...so grandma took the kids fishing and snowmobiling...and I at least got to work on snowmobiles with my son in middle school...but missed the boat thing.
I am 55 now, so can't let time pass too fast. I at least want to get it done right and dedicate it to my grandkids so that even if I pass, the kids and grandkids know it was built so they could make lifetime memories. Though I enjoy snowmobiling and boating, the core reason for me is to spend time with family and friends and make memories teaching/learning skills/experiencing/teaching patience/having fun and laughing.
Good point...that "Cat's in the Cradle" song can easily hit home. Hope your plan keeps rolling forward - you have got a handle on the big picture. Times with my Grandpa, Dad, kids and grandkids are priceless to me!
Well, at least we are making progress on one project...we bought a lake home! We looked at at least 30 homes, and in the end fell in love with the lake. I have never seen such clear water. When we took a boat ride the churn from the prop looked like we were in a pool!
It's a relatively shallow lake (5-8 feet) and all sand. 290 acres, and an 80 foot dock! Lots of space to dock a few boats!!
Now that we've got that locked down (we close on 12-9-16) we are back to the Larson. Primed, and 4 coats of high-build sanding primer. Most of that is sanded off now:)
We have a little icing to put on, and then will high build a few more coats. Hopefully the paint is done within the next 10 days (two colors on each section, so it will take a little longer.)
Now we are shopping for a lift with a canopy for the Larson so she can stay in the lake all summer. We will get a red, white, and blue canopy to match the color scheme of her boat. It will be a landmark on the lake!!
Great progress and looks so nice. The most progress I made was to buy supplies today...gotta keep finding ways to remove any obstacles and get on my project. your pictures are of great help to me (so I can follow your lead). Cannot wait to see yours rigged and ready...that first test run will be one proud day for sure. That model of boat and hull design looks so well built (strong)!
Well, we are done painting, at least the big stuff. I think the only thing left is the steering wheel, but even if that has to wait until spring, we are ok. Got the stripes done today. Bring on the cold.
Looks very nice. What primer and paint did you use? How did you mix your paint (thinned? hardener?). Did you roll and tip, or spray? Did you paint while previous coat was tacky or did you let try and sand finer and finer sandpaper grit between coats? Sorry for all of the questions, but your results warrant copying the method.
I likely will have to practice both gelcoat process and paint process to see if I can handle either based on my skill development.
I used PPG epoxy primer, them high build sanding primer (multiple coats) sanded to 400. Then a thinned coat of the epoxy primer used as my first coat of paint. We did 5 coats of the white on the hull, 4 coats of the blue on the deck. We used Nason paint with hardener. I'd have to look at the brand of the thinner, but it was very expensive. No sanding between coats. Wait for them to tack and then spray again. Not one run. This is some good paint.
We will wet sand and polish and it will look even better!
And everything was sprayed in the driveway on tarps inside a canvas "tent" to contain overspray.
Spraying is really not hard to do. Get a decent gun, and buy good paint!
Well, life never turns out how you plan. Shortly after my last post I ended up with an emergency surgery. What I thought was a reaction to a flu shot turned out to be a ruptured appendix. I sat on it for a week before I went in, which was not a good idea. Ended up in surgery for over 4 hours with two surgeons. Spent a week in the hospital on IV antibiotics before coming home. Missed Thanksgiving, and all of the Fall to Winter work I usually do, so I've been playing catch up. I was on a couple of months' restrictions, so we are just getting back into the swing of things now. The seats should go out next week to get redone, and the trailer is at the powder coater now. We are wetsanding the deck now, and the hull to follow. We are making progress once again.
Oh, and we were playing cards with our new lake home neighbors, getting to know each other, and we started talking about the Larson project. Boy did he light up...turns out his dad bought the same boat, right down to the year, and he grew up using it with his family. He only got rid of it about 10 years ago. He is so excited to see this one done and on the lake again!
Sorry to hear of your rough setback...but glad you are recovering and getting back in the grove with your family and project! Now you will love the finished project even more! Take care. I have learned a lot from your project and looking forward to its completion.
Spent quite a bit of time wet sanding tonight. Not a fun job, but really necessary to get a nice final finish. Plenty more to go.
For the seats, the upholstery plans keep falling through. We decided to go with a white seat since it is almost impossible to match the blue paint, and will use red piping. I found a guy on CL who wanted to trade my SeeRay project to redo the seats, but I think he is changing his mind. I went to a guy I've used in the past and he wanted over $2200 to do the 4 seats. Way over budget.
So, we are going to try using the SEM products. Look forward to those pictures when we get that done...
For now, check these out.
To make the sanding a little easier use a firm soft rubber sanding block instead of your fingers and hand alone. I sometimes use an old piece of foam rubber with the 2000 grit. That way you get a more even finish. I also use an old spray bottle to keep the area wet. Just my 2 cents.
I still have some more sanding to do on a Shell Lake but I'm always afraid of rubbing through to primer
Yup, we have a variety of foam blocks that we choose from for the flat surfaces, but I've always preferred flat paper under fingers for inside and outside corners. I've never sanded through to primer using that method. The blocks are great for the flat areas, and we do use them there. And we've got spray bottles too...though we have been found to get distracted with water fights:)
It's tiring and you have to stay vigilant as you sand so you know where you are on depth. I sand until there are just a few shiny (low) spots left and then go to the buffer. That method has worked well for me to avoid burning through.