Boat Repair and Maintenance
|Quotes of the Sea...
"Look at that sea, girls — all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds." Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery From: Anne of Green Gables
click photos to enlarge
Window Gasket Repair
Rebuilding the windows on my Aquarius (Anastasia III) 23-foot was a project that I slated for a winter season here in Minnesota. The process requires many hours of cleaning, polishing, re-cleaning, priming, caulking, taping, clamping, more caulking, etc. As a result of the process I used, the old windows look new and have never leaked, even when pressure-washed. I have spoken with others who have tried restoration in various ways, including removing their deadlights and replacing them with Lexan, but I have not seen that they have had the positive outcome I have had with this process.
(In prior years, my solution to restoring windows was to use 3M Clear Electrical Tape. This sealed the deadlights and looked nearly undetectable until you got up close.)
Here are the steps I use for complete window restoration:
1) Completely remove the anodized coating on the deadlight frames and polish them. For removal use 3M Stripper Pads and 220 Grit Wet 'n Dry. For polishing, use Mother's aluminum mag wheel polish.
2) Polish the original deadlights using Mequiras PlastX, first by hand, then with an automatic buffer/polisher.
3) Throw out the original gaskets and use SikaCleaner 226, SikaPrimer 209 and Sikaflex 295UV Caulk. Be sure to use 3M or equivalent blue painter's tape as a masking so that any residual caulk doesn't adhere to other surface areas.
4) Hold the original windows against the inner frame with sheet rock clamps. As shown in the photograph, use 1/8” foamcore (available in art supply stores) to make sure the Plexiglass is tightly applied against the inner frame grooves.
5) Reassemble the parts putting all screws in partially (just enough so that the caulk begins to leak out from underneath the frames). When the caulk is cured, tighten them snugly so the caulk bulges out slightly.
Building a Fuel Locker
How to build your own fuel locker
More to come soon.
Space saver. More to come soon.
Mounting a Solar Panel
Mounting a Solar Panel
More to come soon!
Replacing Rotted Deck Core
An Easy Repair with a Solid Result—
Working to replace the rotted deck core on the cabin top of my Aquarius (Anastasia III) 23-foot was not difficult, as it may seem. I used balsa, however some prefer to use a foam material such as Divinycell. While the choice is yours, be sure not to use a Fiberglass-soaked insulation.
1) Using a Skill saw, cut out the section you want to re-core making sure to only cut through the first layer of Fiberglass. Remove the Fiberglass in one piece. (If the core is well-rotted it will pop off easily.) (See Image A above)
2) Scrape the rotted core material off of the surface of the inner Fiberglass. I use a 1” wood chisel to scrape down to the inner layer. (See Image B above)
3) Build a support structure inside of the boat that will jack up the lower layer of the Fiberglass. To do this, cut a piece of 3/16” luan plywood to fit the cut area. Be sure to check and apply the proper contour for the cabin deck before any coring material is bedded. To support the cabin roof I used what ever pieces of wood I could find. The photo is not of my boat (sorry) but, you get the idea. Bottom line is the support has to be stout since you'll be adding weight to it in later steps.
4) I used a belt sander to clean off the old core down to the Fiberglass. Make sure you clean the surface - generally one can get by with a mild detergent and a rinsing, but in my case I didn't want to get the remaining core wet so I used acetone.
5) When your surface is prepped, use L04-0432 sheeting, 1/2” balsa core, 24” x 48” (8 sq. feet). (This can be purchased from http://www.fiberglasssupply.com) Cut to fit using the piece you have removed as a template.
6) Use West System epoxy – slightly thickened with 403 microfibers to fill gaps – to coat both the balsa and lower layer of Fiberglass. Set in place, sliding it around a little to ensure good contact. I used sand bags to evenly distributed to maintain good contact between the balsa and inner Fiberglass layer. (See Image C above)
7) When the balsa has cured, fill the edges with epoxy to soak into the “dried-out” coring not removed. After this, fill the gap with thickened epoxy.
8) When the gap has cured (it may not be completely filled/level), place the cut piece (prepared like the bottom layer) on the top, also coating the balsa and Fiberglass pieces with thickened epoxy. This layer should be weighted with sand bags to ensure a solid contact to the balsa core.
9) When the top has cured, fill the gap with thickened epoxy until it is level with the existing cabin top. (you may need to add some 407 Fairing filler to make the area smooth and clean looking). (See Image D above)
10) Sand the seams and repaint the top. I used American Safety AS-175 non-skid epoxy coating. This coating is highly recommended and is shown on the foredeck in the photograph below.
NOTE: I attempted to use the drill a zillion holes and fill the core with resin... it kind of worked, but if it weren't for the fact I got a lot of free resin - I would never recommend a large repair be made by the "hole" method. For very small areas, yes.