Fixing Cracks

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Fixing Cracks

Postby MinneapolisDaysailer » Mon May 20, 2019 4:54 pm

I want to do a few quick repairs to my boat before putting it in the water for the summer and hope that I can get a little guidance here, or at least prevent myself from doing something stupid. First, I want to Install inspection ports in the seats to remove and replace old foam. And then fix a few cracks that have developed at the back of the cockpit. Based on research on this forum and YouTube I am pretty sure I know what to do for the inspection ports. I do however have questions about the cracks.

My initial plan with the cracks was to use my dremel tool to grind out and open the crack up a little more, creating a bevel in the surface, maybe a half inch to one inch wide. Then using epoxy and fiberglass sheeting create some patches to layer into the cracks, sand and paint. For now I will just paint over the epoxy to give it UV protection with the hope of repainting the interior and topsides of the boat before next sailing season.

Alternatively, it has been suggested to me that I clean the cracks up with a utility knife and use 3M 5200 to glue the cracks.

I would be interested in hearing what you guys have to say about either of these options.

Nate
Attachments
crack2.jpg
crack2.jpg (39.3 KiB) Viewed 1640 times
crack1.jpg
crack1.jpg (43.18 KiB) Viewed 1640 times
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby tomodda » Mon May 20, 2019 10:11 pm

I'm assuming it's not structural, these cracks don't look very deep in your photos. If it's just surface, then I'd go with my favorite overpriced fix-it tube: MagicEzy 9 Second Chip Fix. Ridiculous price, but it works great. Three tips if you do get it:

You don't need a lot, which is good cuz the tube is tiny, tiny.

Lightly sand the area, put down the goop, smooth it with a real spatula, not the tube.

Set it with a hair dryer on low. Really does only take 9seconds, but with hair dryer, otherwise it doesn't set at all. Lightly sand afterwards and you're done!

21 bucks, fix it, go sailing. Of course, if the crack is structural, then it's a whole different ballgame. Go with your option 1, lay some glass cloth (or biaxial tape) down to strengthen. How do you know if it's structural? Me, I'd just try flexing it.. Press on one side of the crack, does it move relative to other side?

Looking forward to reading saner opinions than mine....

Good luck!

Tom
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby MinneapolisDaysailer » Mon May 20, 2019 10:31 pm

Tomodda,,

Thanks for the response. The cracks pictured in the previous post are both under tension. The two pictures attached to this post are of the same crack, one under tension, one not. These pics were taken while sailing.
Attachments
crack without tension.jpg
crack without tension
crack without tension.jpg (135.39 KiB) Viewed 1628 times
crack with tension.jpg
crack with tension
crack with tension.jpg (134.16 KiB) Viewed 1628 times
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby GreenLake » Mon May 20, 2019 10:50 pm

I haven't come across that magic elixir. If looks aren't an option you can use Marine Tex epoxy paste. That's what my boating friends use for quick repairs of larger defects in the gel coat (on any size boat). That one should be relatively easy to get hold of.

If the crack is limited to the gel coat: gently widening it and then applying fresh gel coat in the crack would work. If not noted otherwise on the package, you will need to tape over the gel coat or the air will not let it cure. That's a good option if you can source gel coat (marine store).

If the cracks are structural, and it looks like they might be because that woodwork of yours looks like it's partially missing or otherwise not supporting the deck anymore, then you need to strengthen the affected area. (Might be a good idea, anyway). There's nothing that says that you have to do that from above/outside. You might lay up an L or even T shaped piece on your workbench (three, four layers) and then let it harden some, but, before full cure, glue it with epoxy to the underside of the deck - sand there first.

Alternative, lay it up on a sheet of plastic and apply it while wet - the former may be easier if you can get a stiff piece to conform - the latter may need creative solutions to support it while it cures, but would be easier to apply into the angle at the edge of the deck. In either case, inside needs to be sanded well.

If you find that part of the problem is that your transom deck is not longer supported, see whether you have room to add a hollow stringer, perhaps a pvc tube wrapped in glass and pressed into the deck corner from underneath while the layup is wet. That should stiffen up things.

If you do gelcoat on the outside, epoxy from the inside, you will have the benefit of making it easier to paint the epoxy without having to paint the entire deck.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby MinneapolisDaysailer » Mon May 20, 2019 11:07 pm

GreenLake,

Thanks for the response. That is definitely some sad looking woodwork. I have actually removed the woodwork so that I can sand it and stain it. One thing with my boat, is it never had the woodwork going across the back of the cockpit (when I purchased it), and as you can see the side pieces do not go all the way to the corner. I guess it didn't occur to me that the woodwork was supporting the deck. I plan to add the piece of trim across the back of the cockpit and fix the side woodwork (but might just replace the side pieces as well). The wood going from the seats to the centerboard trunk is also getting replaced.

A previous owner did add some support to this area of the boat. I will get a picture of it tomorrow evening.

Nate
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby tomodda » Tue May 21, 2019 12:08 am

Nate: Yeah, those cracks are deep, forget my Magic 9 second tube. Good stuff, but for surface dents only. You need to strengthen and re-enforce the area, GL has some great suggestions. And yes, the coamings (wood bits) in the DS1 are structural, that's why the bylaws don't let you remove them and remain class-legal. Talk with Rudy about how you can replace them. If you want to build something yourself, I'll be happy to draw up a template of my "back piece," since that's what you are missing. PM me.

Tom
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby GreenLake » Tue May 21, 2019 1:29 am

I'm not sure Rudy (at D&R Marine) supplies coamings. He does supply nearly every other original part.

The way the woodwork is done on the DS1 is that the deck has an L edge, inside which there's a piece of wood very loosely glassed in. Following wooden boat construction terminology, these would be called "carlins". The coamings screw into these.

Now, the issue with the carlins is that the wood is unprotected, even if not directly exposed to sun / water all the time. It's typical for them to develop a bit of dry rot. Some people have replaced them, some have tried to at least locally reinforce them with penetrating epoxy (SystemThree RotFix, for example) so that at least the screw holes are able to hold the screws for the coamings. (After applying some borax solution to delay further dry rot).

I'm in the latter camp; mine are still hanging on by a thread, so that wholesale replacement didn't appeal (the structural loads can effectively be handled by the coamings, as long as the carlins act as "backing plates" for the screws).

After refinishing your coamings, you might mount them with a bit of closed-cell foam between deck & coaming. That will keep water splashing on deck out of the cockpit, but also away from a narrow gap in which it could be trapped.

Where you have the split L edge, I you could glue a strong piece of wood from the inside (with epoxy) if there's room. (Instead of the hollow PVC pipe I had suggested). That would give you something to screw the missing aft coaming into. (But seal the wood on all 6 sides with epoxy and seal the insides of all screw holes).

PS: forgot to add to my previous post that almost all suggestions to use 3M 5200 should be disregarded on principle. There's usually a better way :)
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby tomodda » Tue May 21, 2019 11:10 am

GL:

You have more experience than I, so question: what about filling the cracks with epoxy+micro-balloons or any other appropriate epoxy thickener? In other words, can MinnDaySailer avoid dremeling out his cracks, instead just fill them with good thickened epoxy and then do some re-enforcement underneath, per your suggestion?

And yes, come to think of it, Rudy doesn't have coamings. I saw a post where you can buy Rhodes 19 coamings and cut them down, but that is ridiculously expensive. Better to just source some mahagony planks and DIY.

@MinnDaySailer:

For new coamings, you can probably cut it out with a circular saw or table saw, but ideally, you'll want to use a good router to cut the curves. If woodworking isn't your thing, or you dont have the tools, look around for a furniture maker or repair shop and see if they'll do it. I got hooked up to an awesome furniture guy by my local fru-fru home decoration shop (I bought a couch there). He's done great work for me over the years, including the new seats in my DS - the routering skills needed were well beyond my ability so I gave him a template and some $$. Everyone happy. As this may be beyond what you want to deal with right before sailing season, a straight 1x plank across the back and then another two re-enforcing the "lip" of the "L" should do the trick. Won't be pretty, wont be long-lasting, but let's go sailing! Since this would just be temporary, use a softwood, just beware of knots.

All the best,

Tom
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby GreenLake » Tue May 21, 2019 12:31 pm

The "pattern" for the rear coaming is (relatively) simple. Looks like a constant width plank on a slight curve (following the deck). With ends vertical, no overhangs like the side coamings (those overhangs seem lost on the photos).

Edges are trimmed to half-round profile on both top and bottom. A router would be the best tool for that, indeed.

To properly fill cracks, you want to widen them a bit (V shape). That's different from grinding a shallow 12:1 which is used to place new laminate (and despite the shallow angle, would go quite deep into the laminate).

What you fill a crack with depends a bit. Gelcoat would be a like-for-like repair and properly color matched can be "invisible". I've used 3M High Strength Filler in places where looks don't matter (it's green) or for gaps in edges (center board). It's strong. If you just need to fill a defect before painting, an epoxy fairing compound would be a good choice. (Same as your micro balloons, but pre-mixed. And for quick&dirty but strong, you can use Marine Tex (epoxy paste).

For the long crack in the laminate of the L lip of the rear deck, you could start by gluing that together with a non-sagging epoxy glue (like GelMagic) . That would probably not be strong enough for actual use, but should help hold things in place while you reinforce from behind. For that use, even "gluing" with epoxy paste might do the trick.

Based on the pictures, there's no good alternative to widening the top of the deck part of the crack. If that part also goes through the laminate, it could be glued shut as well in preparation for backing work below.

There are a number of options, and only @MinnDaySailer can tell what fits the intended outcome and/or actual conditions.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby MinneapolisDaysailer » Tue May 21, 2019 6:10 pm

If I am understanding correctly, the most appropriate way to fix the crack is to glue-up an "L" shaped support piece that will help support the back corners of the cockpit. This piece can be glued underneath the deck and then I will create a "V" where the crack is and fill with gelcoat?

Looking at West Marine they do have a Gelcoat patching kit. I assume this would work for the cracks I am dealing with.
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-mar ... ecordNum=1

I do have some marine grade plywood in both 3/8 and 1/4 inch thickness (not the fancy okume kind, but lower end marine grade plywood). Would it help if I cut an "L" from the marine grade plywood, glassed that piece and then used thickened epoxy (I also have West Systems thickener) to glue the "L" underneath the deck?

Here are some additional pics of the boat. For the coamings there is a piece of wood backing them on the sides which seems to be in okay shape. All of my screws were holding very well when I removed the coamings. If I am replacing the existing coamings and adding a new one across the back it sounds like mahogany is the way to go? Locally it seems like I can source mahogany, I was looking for teak but that seems more difficult to find.

You will also notice that it looks like wood has been added from under the deck to the seat. I am guessing to have my new "L" glued under the deck I will need to remove that piece.
Attachments
crack underside.jpg
crack underside.jpg (94.22 KiB) Viewed 1590 times
additional support.jpg
additional support.jpg (57.88 KiB) Viewed 1590 times
backside of woodwork.jpg
backside of woodwork.jpg (60.98 KiB) Viewed 1590 times
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby tomodda » Tue May 21, 2019 11:27 pm

Can't answer you on the L bracket, hope GreenLake can. As for the comings, methinks mahogany is perfectly adequate. However, try advantagelumber.com for teak. Shippinglong pieces of wood may shock you, but they have good stuff.
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby GreenLake » Wed May 22, 2019 2:09 am

My boat had coamings that sanded "pink" - assuming mahogany.

For the kind of support "cheap" plywood is fine - sealed all 6 sides in neat epoxy and all holes individually sealed to keep out moisture.

That goofy support post was added there because without it, the deck is probably sagging. There are supposed to be a set of 3-4 triangular brackets underneath each of the side decks. I don't see those in your photo of the carlin. (On my boat they look like those wooden book shelf supports and go into the corner formed by deck and hull)

I say "supposed to" because mine look original, but you never know. Clearly some support is beneficial (even after restoring the strength of the deck laminate). If your boat predates the addition of those little supports or if they got lost, then you may want to add that "support post" back after you've done your repair.

That patch kit looks like it would work. Inclusion of "mylar film" indicates that it's not the air curing kind, so needs to be covered to set properly - mylar will make a nice smooth surface.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby GreenLake » Wed May 22, 2019 2:57 pm

Correction: my memory is playing tricks on me. There is only one set of such supports at the forward end of the seats and clearly visible in your photo if scrolled. Nevertheless, the builder felt that some support of these decks was needed. With them weakened by damage, as in your case, some extra bracket/post in that location may not be amiss.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby jalmeida51 » Wed May 22, 2019 5:22 pm

The previous owner of Daysailer1 built by Rebel (1981 ) Put in 5 supports under each side deck. He gassed them in and he used 1/2" marine grade plywood. He also made coamings, these were made of 5/8" mahogany. He claims the side deck had a lot of flexing when sitting on the rail. He was afraid the flexing would lead to cracks where the side deck connects to the rear and forward deck. He also put a coaming of 5/8 mahogany to stiffen up the rear deck. I don't know if this was over kill but side decks and rear deck have no flexing. No Cracks
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Re: Fixing Cracks

Postby GreenLake » Wed May 22, 2019 5:36 pm

Five are probably overkill, but owners are in different weight classes :), so for some, more support is better. . .
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