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Old 03-10-2010, 19:21   #1
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Fiberglass and Mast Boot Question

Hello. i bought a 1979 pearson 32 and it has a damaged bow. the anchor roller seemed to hit something and tore up the bow deck fiberglass. i can post a picture later but basically it looks like a triangular section of the bow deck has been ripped upward. if you have any recommendations on how to fix it I would really appreciate it. it looks like there is a wood core to the deck.

also, the mast where it goes through the deck is held in place by wood shims (trangular). is this supposed to be that way? if there is a part that i am missing please tell me and i will buy it? the area is covered with a rubber cover but the wood shims seem rigged. any comments would be greatly appreciated thanks!

Rob
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Old 03-10-2010, 19:26   #2
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I think you're going to need to post some pictures without getting some generic responses about fiberglass repair. I have a deck stepped mast and use little pieces of wood to shim in between the collar and the spar; pretty standard practice.
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Old 03-10-2010, 19:37   #3
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the mast where it goes through the deck is held in place by wood shims (trangular). is this supposed to be that way?
They are called partners and create a space between the mast and its collar. Essentially they center the mast in the hole it goes through.

Michael
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:50   #4
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They are called partners and create a space between the mast and its collar. Essentially they center the mast in the hole it goes through.
Michael
The mast partners are the ship's timbers fitted between deck beams around the opening in the deck where the mast passes through - they are under the deck planking. When the mast is stepped, it is "wedged" in place at deck level, the wedges going between the partners and the mast itself. This serves to stiffen the installation, so that the mast doesn't move around and start damaging itself and the deck.

The wedges are often made with a shoulder to prevent them dropping through. Not shown in this sketch is a mast collar - a ring bolted down onto the deck to take a canvas mast-boot which serves to stop leaks.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:06   #5
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Oops! Ah, yes, arithmetic shift right, they are wedges. I shouldn't operate computer machinery before a couple cups of coffee...

Michael
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Old 04-10-2010, 20:31   #6
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pictures!

Thanks! I have attached pictures. Please let me know what you think. Thanks again!
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Old 04-10-2010, 20:59   #7
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looks like mebbe some deck rot, new deck backing plate and decking, new anchor roller-- might want to install a plank type sprit just for the anchor roller-- make it stronger..
looks like it was hit and bent down so the aftermost part of the anchor roller came up into the air-- pulling the deck as it bent.

your mast needs a boot. it doesnt have one. dont know about your wedges--mine are from inside. the boot covers the hole into which the wedges go.
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Old 04-10-2010, 21:00   #8
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That's all pretty ugly - hope you got the boat for free or close to it. All of it can be fixed but it will take time and money.
- - Assuming your headstay is attached to a chainplate that goes down the front of the hull - the repair is not difficult. You need to remove decking back from the bow until you get to good solid, non-fractured deck. Then a new piece of decking, normally marine plywood sandwiched between fiberglass skins is laid, bolted and glassed into place. You may have to remove some the the toe rail bolts to get it out of the way if you need to replace decking further back.
- - The mast seems to be all messed up where it goes through the deck. I am assuming that the mast is "keel-stepped" that is, it passes through the deck and continues down into the boat to the keel area where there is a "step" to hold the end of the mast. Or is the mast "deck-stepped" in that the bottom of the mast is sitting in that "donut" shaped piece?
- - In any case the mast should be removed from the boat and inspected and cleaned up and any repairs necessary done. Also the rigging.
- - If "deck-stepped" try to remove the "donut ring": and clean up the deck surface and any "compression post" that is inside the cabin underneath the mast. Depending upon the shape of that "donut" ring it might have been filled with RTV rubber to hold the bottom of the mast in place. You have to disassemble the area to really find out what is there and what is missing.
- - If "keel-stepped" then after removing the mast, again remove the "donut" shaped collar the clean everything then reassemble. Again RTV (Spar-tite) or commercial RTV (much more economical) can be used to make the support necessary to keep the mast centered in the deck hole. Taking everything apart carefully will allow you to see what needs to be done.
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Old 05-10-2010, 13:54   #9
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For the stuff at the bow you need to rip / cut away everything that's damaged. Everything should be able to withstand you grabbing it with both hands and shaking it furiously and not flex. Basically you're going to be ripping out a bunch of busted crap and re-epoxying down some fiberglass but you need to make sure that what you're joining the repair to is strong. No sense in putting in a patch if the patch is connected to bad material.
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:20   #10
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Unless your boat's hull and deck is made of epoxy - do not use epoxy! Use the same resin that the boat was originally made with or your "patch" will not last. When you use proper FRG repair procedures you will restore the damaged area to its original strength and condition.
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Old 05-10-2010, 21:46   #11
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Unless your boat's hull and deck is made of epoxy - do not use epoxy! Use the same resin that the boat was originally made with or your "patch" will not last. When you use proper FRG repair procedures you will restore the damaged area to its original strength and condition.
?

How in the heck are you supposed to know (especially on a boat from the 60's or 70's) the exact type of resin that was used? I've got some west repairs against fiberglass that seems to be holding up just fine after a few years and I doubt that the Taiwanese yard was using west.
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Old 05-10-2010, 22:30   #12
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Unless your boat's hull and deck is made of epoxy - do not use epoxy! Use the same resin that the boat was originally made with or your "patch" will not last. When you use proper FRG repair procedures you will restore the damaged area to its original strength and condition.
My experience too is that epoxy will cover FRG when applied properly (read the application sheets about how to apply for extent of overlap necessary for a patch). I have epoxy repairs over FRG on the keel from hitting a rock that has been there for eight years - so far, so good. The problem with epoxy is that you can't put FRG over it - once epoxy, everything over it must be epoxy...
Gotta admit, too, that it is MUCH easier to work with than polyester resin - especially when you are under it, below the keel, trying to apply it upwards...

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Old 06-10-2010, 06:44   #13
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?
How in the heck are you supposed to know (especially on a boat from the 60's or 70's) the exact type of resin that was used? I've got some west repairs against fiberglass that seems to be holding up just fine after a few years and I doubt that the Taiwanese yard was using west.
FRG boats before 1994 were made with normal "GP" or Orthophthalic Polyester resin which is the stuff found in auto repair/hardware stores/marine stores and most Fiberglass supply houses. One grade better is Isophthalic Polyester resin which is compatible and 25% stronger and costs about a third more.
- - However the major problem with epoxy versus polyester resin is the shrinkage and UV properties. Additionally as mentioned by others, epoxy has a problem after curing of nothing sticking to it.
- - Polyester shrinkage is around 7-9% versus epoxy with 2-3%. Epoxy also can only "mechanically" bond with existing cured polyester resins. For small repairs epoxy is suitable if the underlying polyester resin is abraded enough to provide "tooth" for the epoxy to grab on to during the curing.
- - With polyester to polyester repairs you can chemically "loosen" the resin with a styrene wipe prior to application of the new polyester resin and achieve both a chemical and a mechanical bond which is superior to a merely mechanical bond.
- - And then you have the problem of gel-coating the finished repair of the deck. Polyester gel-coats will not adhere to an epoxy repair. Color and texture matching is nearly impossible. You end up with two different and obviously separate parts of the cabin top. In other words the repaired sections stands out like a sore thumb.
- - Also epoxy is greatly affected by UV and turns brown and "cooks" when not adequately protected from UV.
- - Finally the cost of a large repair using epoxy as many times the cost of polyester. For small, out of the sun repairs like the keel, where an epoxy bottom paint will be applied over the repair epoxy is convenient, quick and adequate. But for major hull and deck repairs it is not appropriate nor recommended when you want a restoration to blend with the original.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:33   #14
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achieve both a chemical and a mechanical bond which is superior to a merely mechanical bond.
- - And then you have the problem of gel-coating the finished repair of the deck. Polyester gel-coats will not adhere to an epoxy repair. Color and texture matching is nearly impossible. You end up with two different and obviously separate parts of the cabin top. In other words the repaired sections stands out like a sore thumb.
... For small, out of the sun repairs like the keel, where an epoxy bottom paint will be applied over the repair epoxy is convenient, quick and adequate. But for major hull and deck repairs it is not appropriate nor recommended when you want a restoration to blend with the original.
I see your point, thanks. Below water line for smaller jobs OK, above water line it has problems.
But after having resin dripping on me, and fiberglass drooping on me under the keel, then trying to get the stuff off of me, I would still recommend epoxy for any overhead work. Or hire it out.
Epoxy cleans up with vinegar. And then you smell like a salad...

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Old 06-10-2010, 10:30   #15
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There has been some good input so far, but I'll throw in a few more considerations.

The deck on this boat is likely balsa cored in most places but there is probably a stronger, structural timber (board) running along the centerline of the foredeck. You should probably notice this easily when looking at the coring since much of it is exposed. Pearson used this technique on some of the Bill Shaw boats that I've looked at which are similar to this P 32. If you take this repair on you may have to replace this piece in it's entirety, or add supplemental reinforcements since it has been broken. Since heavy anchoring and docking loads are focused on this beam it needs to be very strong indeed as you can tell from what has happened.

The mast is keel stepped on that boat I believe, and may be o.k.. The worst pitting/corrosion is often at the base of the mast and may require cutting the base of the mast off if it is bad (and using a riser block to compensate). If there is heavy pitting though in other places, like where the mast passes through the deck, then the mast may not be strong enough for use. As with any old boat, the whole rig needs to be inspected from chainplates to sheets..

I agree that this boat should be free, or very close to it. The repair may not be too big of a deal but there are a few elements of the repair that would have me concerned. One is underside access. On some boats it can be pretty uncomfortable to work on the stem from the inside for even a short time. The anchor locker being in the way could make that even worse. This isn't necessarily a big deal, but I'd figure it out before I committed to the repair. I'd also think through blending the repair in cosmetically. If the deck damage stops before the anchor locker you may be able to simply paint the forward deck triangle a slightly different color, and deal with it. If it moves down the sides of the hull, and farther aft, you may get into a situation where you want to paint the boats topsides entirely after the repair is done.

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