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Old 15-10-2013, 12:45   #1
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Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

Hello all! Well this is my first post, I have been out of the loop now for about 8 years living and working in the high arctic. Before that I lived and sailed for 5 years on my tiny Lyle Hess Balboa 26 all over the great lakes, gulf of St. Lawrence, Labrador coast and NF.

I am in a position where I am looking for a live aboard cruiser for 2 adults, 1 child. I am stuck on 2 vessels -one is a FC atkin/ingrid/samson seafarer, the other is a Ta Chiao ct41 i believe, about a '76. Depending on the ferro build, I know the seafarer is the best/safest choice for offshore long distance family hauler. I have been aboard quite a few vessels in various conditions and the seafarer was hands down the most seakindly I ever set foot on or had the pleasure of taking the helm of.

That being said, the CT i am looking at can resell down the road much better if we need more space, but she has some serious delam issues on her deck. I assume she is end grain balsa core but i really have no idea. I know many people have already exhausted all avenues trying to find short cuts to this, but here is my fix idea, but I need feedback from experience as to why this idea may/may not be viable:

There are large (6 foot sections that have dry delaminated due to poor build practices/poor adhesion or not enough epoxy used. Actual matting layers are separating dry. http://www.yachtsalvage.com/photos/Y...S133260_09.jpg Hull itself is sound. There are a few high load areas effected (near winches, etc.) Without pulling the whole deck and starting over, I want cover the areas, drill multiple holes in effected areas, and heat the hell out of the boat and dehumidify for a week or so from the inside and above to minimize moisture. to take a slightly xylene-thinned ESP 155 or similar, and from the top, pump this thinned expoxy into the voids, hopefully the thinning and drying will help carry resin via xylene osmosis. Then allowing a few more weeks of curing under heat and low humidity before re gelcoating/finishing. Any reason why this wouldn't work? Cheers from Ellesmere Island!
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Old 15-10-2013, 13:34   #2
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

i think you will need a lot longer than a week and, if you go down this path, should plan on heating the cabin to at least 80 degrees for many consecutive days.

there are a lot of products on the market to make 'rot' solid but... i think the drill holes would need to be as close as every 3-6 inches to actually solve the soft core.

it isnt fun (i know, i just re-cored 60% of my deck) but there is a reason why we all follow the same path to resolving soft decks.

if you do re-core your deck, consider foam and not balsa. not to say u will ever have to deal with this problem again if you use balsa and do it right the 1st time but... organics and water just dont gel well.

food for thought.

-s
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Old 15-10-2013, 14:00   #3
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

This is a photo of our old propane deck locker that was "fixed" by the PO with the drill and fill technique.

The outside was hard from all of the epoxy, however you can clearly see the individual holes where the epoxy did not seep in that far. I know this is not a deck, but I would be afraid of the same thing happening as there is no real way of telling how far its penetrating and it doesn't have enough time before the epoxy sets up for it to really wick that far.

Our decks also had de-lamination (between the top layer of chopped mat). It wasn't fun, but we ended up pulling up all of the delam areas and re-glassing.
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Old 15-10-2013, 16:24   #4
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

So many things wrong here, I am not sure where to start...

Please go read anything on working with epoxy, and fiberglass repair from a reliable source. West Systems has a number of good free articles online and there are many books on the subject.

The short answer is no you can't do what you are suggesting and have any confidence in the process. The only reasonable solution is to cut out the delaminated sections, inspect the core for rot, then rebuild the glass. For something this large I would probably recommend investing in vacuum bagging the sections, but a good hand layup would also be reasonable.

Major problems that stand out

1) you cannot thin epoxy, and no reasonable manufacture of it recommends it
2) as little as 1% thinner can prevent epoxy from curing at all
3) heating a substrate hoping to increase penetration has been shown to have minimal effect, measurable but minimal (in the 5 mill range)
4) capillary action only works on surface layers, once a wet seal is created the air trapped inside can't get out.
5) the 'get rot' epoxies out here are junk, and have drastically reduced strength compared to moderate quality laminating epoxies, they are not the same thing.
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Old 15-10-2013, 17:47   #5
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

Ok well scratch that idea... thank you all for the good advice! Now I know why the boat is selling real cheap... The sea farer sold so I made an offer on this, but I believe someone else offered quite a bit more anyway. If I do end up with her, i guess I got my work "cut out" for me, pardon the pun! Well the owner did seal it up ad lib to preserve the interior, so hopefully re decking is all I will have to do that is major. I have done a much smaller job with foam and with balsa, and truthfully I did a real botch job using the foam. The balsa job was far superior actually. I think a good balsa job would last another 30 years, that's good enough for me... Ty all for your input
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Old 16-10-2013, 06:11   #6
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ijiraq.
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Old 16-10-2013, 06:30   #7
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

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Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
i think you will need a lot longer than a week and, if you go down this path, should plan on heating the cabin to at least 80 degrees for many consecutive days.-s
Just as well he has scratched the idea, have you seen his location?

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Old 16-10-2013, 07:06   #8
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

They rot from the top down...

If the deck is wet, double and triple check that the bulkheads are still sound. I'd be drilling wee small holes into the tabbing through the plywood to make sure that the plywood is still intact around the chainplates. My bulkheads sounded fine to the hammer and ear, but were full of potting soil when I pulled the chainplates at the deck level for the recoil.

Directly the whole interior is gutted, and you are buying epoxy by the pail and $100 sheets of marine plywood. $8 suits that last 3 days, and $8 respirator cartridges that last about the same... $50 stacks of grinding discs, and $40 boxes of sandpaper. Then comes primer and paint and putty. If you use epoxy, it'll probably be awlgrip or interlux at $50 - 100 a gallon, another thousand or two here or there.

When you add it up, you end up with 10k in materials in a boat you paid 4k for, with untold hours... that still requires another 5k and hundreds of hours to finish.

I stepped into that hole, got hitched mid way... the wife didn't like me spending every spare minute with the boat. I believe the words are, "I think you love that boat more than me." So you stop working on the boat as much, until you stop working on the boat.

A year or two passes...

One day, it clicks that maybe you love the idea of freedom and wonder, the dream of cruising more than keeping a happy wife....

After the breakup you decide it would be cheaper to go buy another boat than continuing to add labor and materials dollars to rebuild this one, much faster too.

Buy the best boat you can afford, and if you cant afford one in sail away condition then work another year or two doing what you do... Unless you want a project. I've been working as a boat builder for the last 5 years... I much prefer a boat that can be sailed to one covered in the itchy dust.

Boat projects have a tendency to spiral out of control, surveyors cant see what they can't see... Rot is where it is hardest to fix. Life has a tendency to take you places you haven't thought about going, and a long boat project leaves a lot of time for things to change. I would take a pass on that boat, and buy one you can sail today.

Zach
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:02   #9
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

That is no lie Zach..... Boat are black holes at best.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:15   #10
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post

1) you cannot thin epoxy, and no reasonable manufacture of it recommends it
2) as little as 1% thinner can prevent epoxy from curing at all


So not true. While I wouldn't (ever) recommend what the OP suggested, you can thin epoxy just fine. I do it all the time, no problems. The manufacterers don't have a problem with it either, I talk to reps often and they even come visit us to check out the scene.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:54   #11
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

Epoxy debates aside, there is no better time in my experience to source a boat with very few problems as-is, and to pay less for it than at any time in the last 30 years.

You need to avoid falling in love with a particular model or style, and simply look for a set of characteristics (SA/D, length to beam ratio, LWL, layout, etc.) that define "seaworthy and fit for purpose" to you, and then search around those parameters for models that fit.

The cherry-picking comes later. Also consider (as a for instance) that a great boat with a worn-out diesel (but everything else in good shape) only needs decent engine access to make sense; if it's a drop-in, swap-in, you factor that into the purchase price counter-offer. Most "good old boat" owners, especially retirees, are resigned to the now-prevalent fact that the used boat market is, with very few exceptions, largely collapsed, and that to get $10K for a 30 footer is about as good as it's going to get if the boat is pre-1990.
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:30   #12
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

I been down that spiral before. Traded a tractor for an old steel lake Eire style whitefish boat. Surveyed sail she had some pitted spots, but overall acceptable, with a touch of work. I'll never forget what that surveyor said..."you can always trust steel, steel degrades at a set rate... I refitted her for a year and when I stripped the fibre glass off the steel on her bottom, there was no steel left I was about 19 then. Been through a couple wives, POSSIBLY due to boats, I lived alone in a bathtub for way too long... I have no romantic notions of boats or the sea anymore... I just see an inflated real estate market down south, global instability/unpredictability. I'm not sure I even LIKE sailing that much anymore, but with the price of US boats right now, and the bang for the buck, it just makes sense. A sailboat is a very practical tool the way I see it, that's about it. I think I might go for it. Spend a months holidays down there next year and do the whole damn thing, and then load her up with electronics and flip her and get something more suitable... I know what I can fetch for that boat in Canada is minimum triple what I pay for her. I don't know why but people down around Ontario love these boats...so I was doing a bit of looking around this morning and saw some honeycomb-like products...looks nice, and not too bad to work with. Anyone using this kind of thing?
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:35   #13
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
That is no lie Zach..... Boat are black holes at best.
Charlie I recall you were using a method to inject epoxy into soft decking with a grease gun. What happened to that?
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Old 16-10-2013, 10:42   #14
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by HansSolo View Post
This is a photo of our old propane deck locker that was "fixed" by the PO with the drill and fill technique.

The outside was hard from all of the epoxy, however you can clearly see the individual holes where the epoxy did not seep in that far. I know this is not a deck, but I would be afraid of the same thing happening as there is no real way of telling how far its penetrating and it doesn't have enough time before the epoxy sets up for it to really wick that far.

Our decks also had de-lamination (between the top layer of chopped mat). It wasn't fun, but we ended up pulling up all of the delam areas and re-glassing.
did you thin the epoxy when you did this? if so to what extent?
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Old 16-10-2013, 10:56   #15
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Re: Delamination/Penetrating Expoxy/Purchase dilemma

I am thinking to do some tests. There is an old decrepit glassed wood cape islander here that is basically soil in many places. I am going to cut out a piece of her and try to impregnated the rot using a cycloaliphatic epoxy thinned with 50-80% xylene. I know people are going to think i am nuts to thin it that much, but I think those epoxies will (over the course of say 5 days to 3 weeks) cure hard as rock once the xylene is gone. Thus the need to heat the area effectively. I will test using battery blankets, I want at least 110F I think. I know xylene will take forever to evap but I am going to try, at least see the result. If thinned enough, and drilled say 3" centers or so using the grease gun or similar pressure method and given enough time, I don't see how this couldn't be effective if refined adequately. As far as bulkheads, yes drilling small holes has brought me grief before, when i found rot in the middle that didn't show, but that is another can of worms ill open later if i have to...
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