Cosmetic chaos

So onto the job in hand. First thing was to prepare all the surfaces and fill where necessary. The top rear is close but not a prefect fit to the top front where the cut was made. Its hard to get a multidimensional surface to all line up after its been cut out, especially when it is under some loading, so some blending is needed and that is very tricky.
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About 5 hrs later after this, the transom is all protected and filled and sanded and its about ready for the first coat of primer. This will show up all imperfections and (of which there are many) and give me an idea of what I need to do with it now. To even get this far took two of us about 7hrs, but at least its beginning to get close. Trouble is I’m busy for the next few weekends so trying to get the final coat on may be a problem before mid April…

So this is how it stands now:

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Not bad when a few weeks ago it looked like this:
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Its beginning to look like a boat again.

So a little more spare time this week. I decided now was good enough to put the top half of the boat back on. Firstly I had to prep it by grinding away all the old material/wood on it. What I didn’t realise is Fletcher used quite a thick layer of built up fibreglass that all came off really easily and left me with a bit of a gap between the inner skin and the transom face. I’ll come onto that shortly however. I don’t have any pics of this, its not that interesting and very very messy.

Next was to replace the wood around the edge of the boat that had to be drilled to remove the top half.
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Then of course the holes could also be filled.
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After this had set the following day I was able to lift on the top half and see how it sat in place. After I was happy with that I secured it in place with wooden battens and screws. I also had to put a strap across the hull to pull it in a little to line it all up.

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Thankfully it sat now just as it did before.
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So with it now held in place I climbed aboard and glassed the two sections back together. This wasn’t too bad really. as well as joining the edges back into one section, I also glassed around the lower part of the engine well where it meets the transom. The reason for this was to enable me to fill the gap between the inner skin and transom without it just landing in the bottom of the hull. It also made the held everything in place really nicely.

So the next tricky bit was to fill in the gap in the transom to inner skin. This varied in thickness of around 4-8mm, and was previously filled with CSM and some kind of resin. I decided to do something essentially the same and used CSM fibreglass filler compound. I mixed it up into batches and then using a piece of wood started to force the material into the transom working from the bottom up ensuring to the best of my ability that I had not left any air pockets out. It seemed to work fine as I had the filler coming out of all the small holes in the transom.

So the end result was this:
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After it had all hardened I could then chop the transom. I measured the height and the old height was fine, so I just went off that.
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One strong transom…
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So after I had done this I gave everything a good clean down. This is now were I’m going to begin to prepare for the cosmetic finishing. I need to seal the top of the transom off but thats not a big job.
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Oh I should also say I’m going to paint this, not gel coat it. Paint for a boat that sits more out of water is fine, and its so much easier to repair, so earlier this week I went to the local automotive paint shop and found as close a match of paint as I could. What is surprising is how much the boats finish does actually vary. With that in mind I did a test. In this next pic is a paint test, in the middle of the picture is an area that has been brush painted for now just to see what the colour is like.
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And also in the middle of this one:
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So I didn’t think that is too bad. As you can see there are now holes etc that need repairing but all being well i can prepare this over the next few days and then all that just remains of this part of the project is filling sanding and painting.

More Progress!

Ok second attempt at this. Just spent an hour creating this post and I somehow managed to press back and delete it all :( teach me not to save it as I went along) so it will probably come across brief now.

Warning LOTS OF PICTURES!!

So the transom repair is done and this is how it went:

Thursday as predicted the weather was good, but after busy morning and a late start I got going early afternoon.

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Materials at hand. 5 litres of marine grade polyester and 6 litres of West systems Epoxy. This along with 5 sq meters of mat (two of CSM and 3 of Woven roving) and a large tub of West systems 406 Colloidal Silica “A thickening additive used to control the viscosity of the epoxy and prevent epoxy runoff in vertical and overhead joints. 406 is a very strong filler that creates a smooth mixture, ideal for general bonding and filleting.” This stuff sets seriously strong!

So the first job was to cut out a piece of CSM to the shape of the transom:
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Then I covered the transom with polyester resin, to give it a bit of protection. Ok – not as good as epoxy, but this is much more than it ever had before as built by Fletcher!
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The next step I don’t have any pics of as I didn’t want to ruin the camera with sticky hands – and time was short. I mixed about a litre of resin and then wetted in the cut CSM onto the back of the boat, then as quickly as I could I put in the wooden transom and secured it in place with screws from the outside of the boat pulling the transom against the boats skin.

After that was done, and panic over!! I could get on with the next stage. This was now using the West Systems Epoxy and also the 406 filler. This works by mixing the resin as normal, and adding 406 until you get the consistency of peanut butter. 406 is really strange stuff it weighs next to nothing and so will get everywhere if given the chance, anyway here is a pic with half the transom filled:
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One thing also to note is that the woven roving mat needs a contoured surface to adhere to properly. It doesn’t like right angle changes, so I made a radius edge on the filler using the hand end of a screwdriver. This worked a treat and made a radius of about 1cm.

So onto what got done today, the boat was moved into the garage as the weather was due to be bad, this was a bit tight, but managed it just!! I also had a helper my long suffering mate Si came along to give me a hand, which does make life a lot easier when working with resins that wait for no one.

So this next picture shows the other side now filled and also new fillers that were made for the stingers that run front to back along the boat, and were cut out to allow the old transom out.
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These were then glassed in place, and whilst myself and Si were feeling proud at our ‘manly’ achievements my OH arrived with some um no so manly lunch lol:
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Still cant beat some home made rainbow sponge coloured cupcakes hahaha

Anyway after that the real fun stuff started. Whilst I mixed some epoxy Si cut a load of 3 inch wide strips of woven roving strips to place along the entire edge of where the transom meets the boat skin. Woving roving applies much nicer in my opinion than chopped stand mat. It really surprised me as its the first time I’ve used it, but it looked great:
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After this was done, we repeated it again this time with 6 inch wide strips:
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All done:
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Next time for the the supports. These are much larger than Fletcher had in place. they will seriously stiffen up the back end. With this all done it should be very very strong. So the supports were put in place:
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Then in the same way all the gaps were filled with 406 filler and all edges radiused again. A three inch strip of woven roving was also applied around all the edges and then a layer of 6 inch around all the joins.

It was now ready for the final covering of roving:
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Finally all covered with expoxy:
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So that’s it for today. The transom is DONE! Sure there is lots of cosmetic work to sort out, and I need to put the top half back on, but the main structural part of the back of the boat is complete. I cant wait to see how it sets and see how strong it is. The fact I can’t even break one strand of roving with my hands, and there are thousands of them on the boat leads me to think this is going to take anything I can throw at it!!

Hope this update was interesting, its taken me ages and I had to do it twice. Worth it though I feel to show the progress! My aim is to have all this done ready for systems to be installed in a couple of weeks given the time.