Jello mold

I haven’t posted much lately, but trust me, I’ve been busy working on the boat every chance I get.  The big project looming over my head of course, has been how to rebuild the raised coamings around the cockpit.

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Back when I uncovered all that rotten wood buried underneath our primary winches I could only imagine how much work it was actually going to involve, and maybe I’m over thinking it a bit, but I’ve never worked with fiberglass to this extent and I just want it to be right when all’s said and done.  It is, after all, a structural extension of the cockpit, and things like winches and cleats need to be securely bolted to it.  Since the process for getting up to this point in the repair was a long and tedious one I will attempt to spare you the boredom of reading through a lengthy explanation of what I did, and get on with the pictures and a short description of what you’re looking at in each one.

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I used styrofoam blocks covered in plastic film to form new scupper drains. Two layers each, glass mat and woven cloth wetted out in West 105/205 epoxy.  Scuppers were epoxied in place flush with the cockpit and side decks, and covered with additional layers of mat, cloth, and resin for extra strength.

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Built in place plywood forms to shape the curved and straight sides of the coaming extensions which were then removed and transported to the workshop for fiberglassing.

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The forms were lined with plastic film to prevent the fiberglass/resin mixture sticking, and then three alternating layers each of glass mat and cloth laid up inside the forms.  West 105 resin, and either 205 fast cure or 206 slow cure catalyst depending on daily temperatures,and how quickly I was able to work.

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Finally, a whole lot of sanding and fairing with thickened epoxy.  I used 405 filleting blend for a little additional strength on top of the glass, and you can actually feel it getting stiffer with each thin layer.  The next step is to install some salvaged mahogany blocking inside, underneath key structural areas such as where the winches are through-bolted into the coamings.  Once I get the coaming extensions trimmed down to fit and get them glassed onto the boat with strips of cloth, I’ll do my final filling and fairing with 410 Microlight.

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2 comments

  1. Wow! So how much research time did it take to figure all this out??

    Nice work my man!

  2. Thanks Scotty, it’s been a serious learning experience man. Many a night up late researching fiberglass & epoxy sailboat repair, and what I couldn’t find on the internet, I pretty much figured out through trial & error as I went along.

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