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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2010, 11:08 am 
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My 14' fiberglass 'beater' sustained some damage over the winter,

The keel seems to have been broken as though something has fallen across it (curious, it being up on saw-horses out of the way with no signs of debris.... damn sasquatches...)

That said, there's a small break/puncture that is allowing water into the boat.

I've not done a lot of fiberglass work before... but I use west-system all the time.

I'm wondering if I should start with just epoxy and see how that will hold, or if I should go right away to putting a new patch of glass on.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Photo's added for clarity.


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2010, 3:47 pm 
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Start inside, and sand off anything that does not look like cloth and resin. If you have Kevlar, that is a better "inside" cloth. Bias-cut (45 degrees fiber angle to line of cutting) at least three concentric patches, with the smallest at least 1" away from the damaged area. The larger patches should grow by at least 3/4" radius over the smallest. Because there is a depression at the keel line, pre-plan how to get the cloth to lie properly in the depression. Bias cutting makes this easier. You may need to "pull" the bias cut patches somewhat to get them to lie flat easier.

Mix your resin, and lay down and wet out the LARGEST patch first. Probably you can get the next largest to wet out well by just placing it on top of the first patch. Mix another batch of resin if you need to, and apply the smallest patch. Put a piece of food wrap over the patches, and then a piece of FLEXIBLE foam (such as you might find in an upholstered chair), and then some sort of moderately heavy object like an old book. This will help push the patches down against the hull. Allow to harden. Don't worry if it isn't pretty.

Now you will need a similar patch outside, but use glass, not Kevlar. Three layers will be OK, largest layer first, and so on down to the smallest. Let me know if you have questions.


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2010, 4:44 pm 
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ezwater wrote:
Start inside, and sand off anything that does not look like cloth and resin. If you have Kevlar, that is a better "inside" cloth. Bias-cut (45 degrees fiber angle to line of cutting) at least three concentric patches, with the smallest at least 1" away from the damaged area.

Now you will need a similar patch outside, but use glass, not Kevlar. Three layers will be OK, largest layer first, and so on down to the smallest. Let me know if you have questions.



Sounds reasonable enough to me, how far into each side should I sand it? just enough to give the epoxy tooth? or is the idea to thin the patch area to reduce the finished height?

Also, since the cracked area has fiber/broken peices sticking up, should I remove any of that? ie grind out anything not sitting flat?

Any specific type of cloth? Also - any suggestions on how to finish it so I have no issues with UV causing the epoxy to degrade? (any links to suggested reading would be welcome)

This doesn't need to be a 'pretty' fix, it does need to be a durable one though.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2010, 6:52 pm 
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The keel seems to have been broken as though something has fallen across it...


The keel probably added stiffness to the hull along the keel line. Does the damaged area feel softer now, so that pressing on it from the outside and inside makes it flex more easily than other areas along the keel line?

It might be possible to restore stiffness from the inside only by filling in the groove that creates the keel... after sanding out the paint to the cloth layer, fill in the groove in the area of the break with epoxy and some kind of strong filling agent like chopped glass fibers. It might be necessary to allow the epoxy to thicken slightly to prevent it from running out of the area. Allow to harden and sand smooth flush with the rest of the hull, then apply several layers of glass or kevlar over that.

After the epoxy is cured hard, try pressing on that area of the hull again... it may be stiff enough and strong enough so that the outside won't need any more glass to maintain hull integrity and the outside surface can be filled with epoxy and sanded smooth.

If the hull is still soft when pressing down on it (as when someone steps on that area), then more layers of glass on the outside will be needed to prevent too much flexing.

Use paint to keep UV from breaking down the epoxy and kevlar... good luck.

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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2010, 8:02 pm 
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frozentripper wrote:
Quote:
The keel seems to have been broken as though something has fallen across it...


It might be possible to restore stiffness from the inside only by filling in the groove that creates the keel... after sanding out the paint to the cloth layer, fill in the groove in the area of the break with epoxy and some kind of strong filling agent like chopped glass fibers. It might be necessary to allow the epoxy to thicken slightly to prevent it from running out of the area. Allow to harden and sand smooth flush with the rest of the hull, then apply several layers of glass or kevlar over that.


I'm thinking that might be a better way to start, Now I just need to find a source for a small amount of fiberglass....

I'm planning on doing this over the Easter weekend weather permitting, I'll either bring the epoxy up with me, or bring the canoe down to the shop.

I'll let y'all know how I make out with it.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2010, 7:41 am 
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Forrestd - Any chance you're near Waterloo? I should have some scraps of fibreglass in the garage that would be plenty big enough for your patch.

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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2010, 4:16 pm 
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I'm in mississauga, and dont often get out that way, thanks for the kind offer though!


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2010, 10:28 pm 
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So, I took a better look at the boat, and I figured out what it was that broke the keel, it appears that becuase the boat was left out on sawhorses by the water, the beavers decided it needed a tree dropped across it, and then kindly cleaned up after themselves leaving naught but chips and a stump. *doh*

So of course I picked the hottest day this spring so far (it was 27c so sayeth the digital thermometer) donned my ty-vek, respirator, angle grinder in tow, I ground. It was an epic flurry of dust. I started on the inside and dealt with it there, then moved to the gel-coat on the outside...

Oddly, I should have known that the dust coming off that canoe would have been much lighter in colour. Much to my chagrin, when my 2 year old nephew saw me from the window, his first comment was 'papa smurf!'

After a good bit of love from the shopvac, and shoprags and tack-cloth, the fiberglass went on without a hitch, and the 205/105 hardner/resin set up damn fast in the warm weather.

Once I get back up there I'll let you know how well its cured, but for now it seems to have resolved the problem.

Thanks for the tips.


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