Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fiberglass Deck Repair

Rosebud had a hole punched in the deck from resting upside down on a roller. I wanted to experiment with repairing the damaged area with a backer plate:

From Sunfish Sailboat

I laid wax paper over the damaged area to trace the crack:

From Sunfish Sailboat

Next I taped the wax paper on a good deck so I could get the proper profile for the new patch:

From Sunfish Sailboat

I laid up 3 layers of fiberglass and cut a hole in the middle to allow space for the backer block under the deck. As it turns out this hole needed to be bigger, and that allowed access into the hull while I was working on the first phase:

From Sunfish Sailboat

Mixed up epoxy and hardener and troweled it into the fiberglass:

From Sunfish Sailboat

Once it dried I trimmed the edges and had this backer plate:

From Sunfish Sailboat

The next step is to mark spots on the patch to attach the strings or wire that will be used to pull the patch snug inside the hull while it dries, or while you put in screws to draw it tight. This is an example of the strings from another patch I did. For this deck repair the strings must line up with the crack so you can pull the backer plate tight:

From Sunfish Sailboat


Lots of things going on in this photo, ran out of hands for the camera. The deck has been sanded and broken fiberglass sanded away. The crack has been faired in anticipation of future epoxy repair. The inside of the deck was also sanded and epoxy was brushed on outer perimeter of the cracked area, because I want to epoxy the backer plate into position without glueing down the middle flap down. Why? because I am going to use sticks inside the hull to push the deck back into position while the backer plate dries, then remove the sticks and seal the rest of the flap. Epoxy was added to the top of the backer plate, but only to the outer perimeter, With the assistance of a helper I slid the backer plate into the hull while the helper maneuvered the strings into the right position. Before we did this, I numbered the strings with tape and marked the corresponding string position on the deck so we would know how to sort them out. Once backer plate was in I used two sticks to push up deck into proper profile. Then I added screws around the outside perimeter and let epoxy dry:

From Sunfish Sailboat

From Sunfish Sailboat

Once epoxy dried I removed sticks from inside then epoxied and screwed the flap:


From Sunfish Sailboat

I added filler to the epoxy and left to dry:

From Sunfish Sailboat

Removed the screws, sanded and added first layer of marine tex epoxy putty. This picture is after sanding the first layer of marine tex. if the gel coat was not 40 years old, we could gel coat and sand. The rest of the gel coat has issues though, so the deck will be painted:

From Sunfish Sailboat

After paint.

From Small Boat Restoration

Back in the water.

From Small Boat Restoration

1 comment:

  1. Very easy and effective repair process, thanks for giving important steps of Marine Fiberglass Repair with images.

    ReplyDelete