In 2002, I started to repair the bows of my new to me 96 Tobago
. They had split glass down about 1/8 to 1/4 inch, and looked like they were filled with bondo. I had heard the bow bulkhead was a retrofit, and assumed it was part of a poor repair job from before the bulkhead when flexing was a problem.
This spring, while looking for damage that might have resulted from a heavy snow load while on the hard
, I noticed a crack along the rest of the bottom of the hull
(except for the keel
area), and started to sand to the bottom of it. Surprisingly, it appears like the inboard and outboard
sides of the hull
are bonded together with expoxy. I chased the crack in for about 1/4 inch and am now reglassing.
It all confuses me. Was the boat built like this, without some exterior glass over the joint? Seems to have performed ok for over a decade, with 2 trips to the Caribbean
. Still, I'm surprised by this construction, if I'm right.
In anticipation of a question of how I am repairing it: I lay up about 24" of crack at once, allowing some contour for overlap. I lay it up with isophthalic resin, alternating with matting and roving, getting smaller as I approach the bottom of the boat so as to minimize sanding
. Trick is, I lay it up backwards onto a sheet of plastic. Then, after washing
the area with acetone, I paste it on with the sheet, and, while pulling hard on the sides, tape the sheet to the boat. The sheet presses out excess resin, and ensures a pressure-assisted bond onto the repair. Except for needing an extra pair of hands to get the sheet taped in the right spot, it is a neat repair. Good thing, too: holding sanders above your head
while laying on your back feeding Canadian mosquitos is so similar to a sharp stick in your eye. Sometimes you get that too.