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PostPosted: July 14th, 2005, 5:15 pm 
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Joined: April 24th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
material should I use?

I'm replacing the gunnels on my brother's fibreglass boat and I was wondering what the standard is for screws and other fasteners in this application. Are there special "marine grade" screws available?

Also, I had previously replaced the front and rear decking material that had rotted away with some thin plywood we had on hand. That has also rotted. What materials would be appropriate to replace this? I'm thinking of something a) cheap b) light c) durable. The decking encloses some styrofoam noodles that act as flotation. The previous decking obviously was not waterproof as when I removed it, it was wet on the inside. I'm thinking, rather than trying to waterproof the enclosure, I'd be better off with some system to allow water out once it has got in there.


There are a few dings in the gelcoat on the bow and I'd like to fill them in and try to wax and polish up the hull. So, how to fix the gelcoat and is there a special wax for this application?

Cheers,

Jim


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2005, 8:05 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
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I'm replacing the gunnels on my brother's fibreglass boat and I was wondering what the standard is for screws and other fasteners in this application. Are there special "marine grade" screws available?


Stainless steel or silicon bronze... I prefer SS for strength but SB might be preferred for appearances. Don't use brass, they'll bend and break easily.


Quote:
Also, I had previously replaced the front and rear decking material that had rotted away with some thin plywood we had on hand. That has also rotted. What materials would be appropriate to replace this? I'm thinking of something a) cheap b) light c) durable.


If plywood was OK previously, marine grade plywood might be acceptable... it costs but the shop could give you the scrap left over from cutting pieces to size. Mahogany is nice, cut to fit, epoxy in and apply three coats of marine varnish to waterproof.


Quote:
I'm thinking, rather than trying to waterproof the enclosure, I'd be better off with some system to allow water out once it has got in there.


Waterproof the wood with epoxy and/or varnish, and allow water to escape through drainage holes. A hole drilled out at the lowest spot when the canoe's turned upside down should allow for this. Also add a hatch and removable cover, and plug the drainage hole with something to keep the enclosure airtight when it needs to be.


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how to fix the gelcoat


There are color-matched repair kits available from manufacturers and marine shops... or sand and fill with epoxy plus filler if the paint's available.

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PostPosted: July 15th, 2005, 9:00 am 
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Frozen Tripper is absolutely right that the standard would be stainless steel or silicon bronze. These are pricey so if cost is an issue you can pick up generic screws off the shelf at Canadian Tire (or equivalent) and they will still last for at least 10 years (assuming freshwater, not salt). Yes they will rust, though this can be slowed down a lot if you varnish overtop of them.

Similarly for replacing the decks - marine plywood such as an Okoume plywood would be the 'right' choice if you are going to use plywood again, but I think it was about $80 for 4X8 sheet of 1/4" last time I bought one which was just over 4 years ago. I could be low on that price. As an alternative applying 3 coats of spar varnish to all sides of a 'regular' piece of plywood will also give you many years of durability.

So perhaps the question is what grade is the canoe?

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PostPosted: July 15th, 2005, 9:56 am 
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Joined: April 24th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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So perhaps the question is what grade is the canoe?

[/quote]
Well, it is not a bad canoe. Custom built for him in 1977 by a guy in Winnipeg. Bob Bridgeport, or Bill B something. I think I will go the Canadian Tire generic route for the screws and try to pick up some thin plywood scraps and varnish them for the decking.

Is there a special wax I should use on the hull or would auto wax be ok?

Cheers,

Jim

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PostPosted: July 18th, 2005, 11:03 am 
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You might also find some pieces of nicer wood as you dont need much for decking; perhaps there is a woodworker near you with a scrap pile.

Maple , beech, paduk, mahogany, black walnut all look nice. Your can scupper the edges against the inwale so water drains out. Its a big help to have six scuppers instead of one little hole.

More important to try and get your hull surface as smooth as possible. Wax actually slows a smooth hull down. However it may make the boat look nicer and make you feel better!
McGuires is my choice. I dont use it on my speed boats just my pretty boats. It does make removing pond scum easier when you wash your boat. For lots of people though washing a tripping boat may be a wacky idea..


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PostPosted: July 18th, 2005, 11:39 am 
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I agree with Kim, You can put some pretty expensive wood on for decks and still end up with less than $20 if you can run a saw, a file, and some sand paper. I bought Zebra wood for some planned decks on a canoe that I had planned to replace the vinyl gunwales and decks. The cost for both decks was $25. Drop past a local lumber yard, or a wood workers supply store. They have lots of wood perfect for the task that costs only a few dollars.... surely less than buying any sheet of plywood, and guaranteed to look nicer and last longer...

As to screws.. I agree that SS is probably the best... but I have brass screws on one of my boats and there is no problem with them. Once they are all screwed in you have to pound pretty hard on the rails to start breaking screws...You are more likely to break the rails at the screwhole or pull the screws through the top of the fiberglass than start breaking screws...

PK


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