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Old 28-02-2007, 18:42   #1
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busted mast step

Any recomendations on how to fix this? Fiberglass, obviously. But it is kind of confusing because it is thicker around lip of the step (you can't really tell in the picure). Also the cabin curves upwards forward of the step. What is the best way to go about something like this? This will be my first real glass job so any help would be awsome.

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Old 28-02-2007, 19:50   #2
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More information please....

It is difficult to give an opinion on a small blurred photograph.

Could you please tell us:-
1. Type of boat, with dimensions (length, beam, draft, weight).
2. Age of the boat
3. How the damage might have occurred
4. The nature of the construction under, and nearby to, the damage
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Old 28-02-2007, 22:01   #3
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Sure Chris,
I know the photos stink, sorry.

1. Type of boat, with dimensions (length, beam, draft, weight).
12 ft o'day widgeon, 350 lbs

2. Age of the boat
30 years old

3. How the damage might have occurred
19 ft mast probably fell while previous owner was stepping it. There is a 2 foot gap between the damaged hole on the deck and the boot that is attached to the bilge. My guess is that while the mast was being stepped it became top heavy and tipped before the foot of the mast was secured into the boot. I am going to prevent this from happenning again with a tabernacle.

4. The nature of the construction under, and nearby to, the damage.
As you can see in the picture there are two pieces of marine plywood that are through-bolted on the deck on either side of the hole (one of them has been removed but you can see the holes where the bolts go). My guess is that this is for reinforcement and that the broken fiberglass also provides support to the mast.


My main question is, am I going to have to cut away around the broken glass or do I patch it back together?
Also if I am going to have to cut away how will I repair it and maintain the origional shape and contour of the hole? Can you build a mould?
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Old 01-03-2007, 00:31   #4
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O'day Widgeons seem to be much much loved...

... so I would suggest contacting some of the organisations/links below with your questions.

I could make suggestions on how to repair it but I might suggest something that would change the character of a nice boat.

Designer's wife, Anne Baker

O'Day Sailboats

I love O'days

The are lots of others.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:46   #5
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You usually DO have to cut away, you don't just glue FRP back together again you cut it back and build up the new material with an overlap on surfaces that have been beveled back. You might be able to build up a structural backing plate instead, then just fill the cracks and leave the top intact so things fit propely, but mold making isn't all that hard either.

I'd suggest calling West Systems, their tech support is outstanding and they will help with custom projects. If you can take a couple of better photos, and include a ruler or something in the photo so they can also judge scale, they'll be able to give you a better idea.

You pay for the phone call, the rest is all simply generous customer support. One reason they've got a top reputation.<G>
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Old 01-03-2007, 11:40   #6
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I'll try West Systems. I have heard the same thing. I am not too concerned with "changing the character of a nice boat" as it is not very nice right now. I am new to working with fiberglass so any thoughts on the process would be extremely helpfull.
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:28   #7
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Aloha Unbusted,
There might be others who can add to my explanation below.
This is a bit of a complicated explanation but here goes.
1.Take lots of photos and measurements of what you are going to repair
2.Get an angle grinder and put on a masonry wheel.
3.Grind a slot in the areas where the glass is cracked vertically
4.Grind back all damaged areas to good glass with a 10 or 12 to 1 ratio
5.Make up a rigid piece of either door skin or surfboard foam to fit under the area you are going to glass.
6.Make this piece to be able to fit inside (underneath) your patch area
7.Glue or screw it in place so that it will support layers of wet glass when you start building up your patch
8.Wrap a piece of plastic sheeting round and round your mast or a piece of mast section to equal about a 16th of an inch
9.Brace your mast or mast section in place where you want it making certain where you glass there is absolutely no way you can dribble resin on the aluminum mast to make it stick in place
10.Now start building up layer of mat, roving, mat, roving, mat, roving and final layer of cloth to the thickness of the corresponding good glass. If the corresponding good glass is not too thick then you don't need much roving and can do the whole thing with alternate mat and cloth.
I use nothing but epoxy on my patches but that means that I can't use gelcoat for a final finish. I paint it.
11.Use a random orbital sander or a quartersheet sander to smooth and prep for finish.
There are lots of good books on this process, "This old Boat," "The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual," etc..
Your repair is a bit more complicated because the mast needs to fit properly and you don't want to glass it in place.
Former Widgeon sailor.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:42   #8
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John, sounds like a good way to attack the problem and make her unbusted. If you are not concerned about looks you could just fabricate a plywoob patch that could hold up the mast.

Good luck, she seems like a good little boat.

Paul
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:54   #9
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Again Unbusted,
West Systems and System Three have good products but are very expensive so I don't use them. I believe that any good local epoxy manufacturer (or recanner) can provide you with a good more inexpensive product. I use Fiberglass Hawaii 4 to 1 mix epoxy and have never had a problem with it at nearly half the cost of West Systems. But, I buy mine in 5 gallon kits so I save money that way too.
If you are nervous about your first repair (I was 30 years ago) just put a patch on something to get a feel for using it. Patch up an old wheel barrow or something.
I distribute the resin using a 2" brush and get the air bubbles and extra resin out of the glass by using those little yellow plastic jobs you see in hardware stores for patching surfboards (can't remember what they are called). If it is a huge glass job I use an aluminum roller with grooves in it.
Kind Regards,
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Old 01-03-2007, 13:02   #10
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Thats what I was looking for John thanks a million. I feel a little funny asking these questions on cruisers forum but I guess you can cruise (not just daysail) a widgeon right? I can't wait to get this thing out on the water. There are plenty of little things wrong with my widgeon but this is the only thing keeping me from buffing up my skills..that and the deep dark winter hanging over Boston. You can't magine my jelousy when I saw this on the cover of the Boston Globe...

That could have been me, man.

Thanks
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Old 01-03-2007, 13:29   #11
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You can do it!! Good luck,
JohnL
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Old 01-03-2007, 13:38   #12
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Get her done man.
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Old 01-03-2007, 15:23   #13
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Here's some better pictures of the damage



The dark shading on the top of this picture is where the cabin starts to slope up.
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Old 14-03-2007, 12:33   #14
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Why does my biaxial cloth fray like crazy whenever I epoxy it? I am using a foam brush and west system epoxy. Does it have to do with the way I am cutting it or is this just inherent?
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Old 14-03-2007, 16:32   #15
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Sometimes a foam brush will drag on the cloth making it fray. I would use a really cheap china brush from home depot and as long as you keep it in a sealed jar with some acetone in it will last for at least five aplications.

I don't know if that helps but give it a try.

JohnL
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