Thursday, August 28, 2014

Determine Your Condition Before Proceeding

I heard back from Carsten's regarding fixing the boat. They suggested re-gel coating over the scratches to fill, and no, the rivets are not crucial at this point.

I assume this is because the top and bottom halves of the boat are bonded together somehow?

Anyhow - armed with that information, I have decided to break this project into two halves:
  1. The hull.
  2. The deck/cockpit.
I will completely finish the hull before flipping it over to overhaul the deck and cockpit.

Tonight, I started to determine the full condition of the hull of the Pintail.

The hull is in structurally sound condition, but:
  • There are several deep scratches that need to be patched.
  • The keel is worn down to the fiberglass on one end.
  • The rivets are all popped. 
  • Where the rivets have popped, the fiberglass is cracked and/or missing.
  • There is a gap between the deck and the hull.
  • There is crazing and spiderweb cracking all over the hull.
I started by simply washing the hull with some Dawn dish detergent, water and a scrub brush. It took several five gallon pails of water (no hose/pressure washer at the shack) and lots of elbow grease to get all of the accumulated muck out of the gap between deck and hull.

I then pulled out all of the rivets that remained in the outside lip of the deck. I kept thinking to myself "Do no harm." No sense in making more work for myself than I already have ahead of me.

I spent an inordinate amount of time before I started this little undertaking on various forums devoted to the repair and restoration of fiberglass boats.

I found great information on the following web sites:

Once the rivets were pulled, I wiped the hull down with acetone. I doubted that after 12 seasons of duck hunting that there was any mold release agent left in the gel coat, but I wanted to be thorough and give myself the best possible surface for the following repairs to adhere to. Then, everything got sanded with a 60 grit sanding sponge until the fiberglass was "cloudy and dull." You're not really removing a ton of material, just roughing up the surface at this point.

Once that was done, I washed and rinsed it again with the Dawn, then gave it a once over with an acetone soaked rag.

Time to strategize next steps over a beer!

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