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Old 10-12-2012, 14:35   #1
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Hull/Deck Joint Separation

Bristol 24 restorer here. The deck/hull joint has begun to separate in the V-berth. Seems this is a common problem with early model Bristols. Rivets were used. My research and conversations seem to indicate two ways of dealing with this. First, simply fiberglassing the joint together from the interior. This would seem to make everything much more structural. The second is to pull of the rub rail, drill out the rivets, and rebuild the joint with bolts and fiberglass. A kind owner gave me exacting instructions on how to do this, but my co-restorer seems to believe the first way is the easiest and most sound.

I would greatly appreciate any opinions and/or stories!

Thanks guys.
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:52   #2
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

Its a nasty job working the fiberglass from the inside but it would be the best. I take it there is no liner to have to contend with. My first boat I bonded the whole joint together inside and out and deleted the rubrail in favor of a smooth hull. Way too much work involved.
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Old 10-12-2012, 16:44   #3
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

The "easiest" is seldom the "best".
Generally, any leak has to be stopped from the outside.
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Old 10-12-2012, 17:52   #4
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

To restore the boat to original integrity would be method 2.

"The second is to pull of the rub rail, drill out the rivets, and rebuild the joint with bolts and fiberglass."

If it were my boat that would be the method I would use.
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:14   #5
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

Just laying in a bead of glass or epoxy isn't enough, it has to be well bonded. How will you ensure this along every inch from the inside?
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Old 10-12-2012, 19:35   #6
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

I believe the idea would be to connect the deck to the hull internally with several layers of fiberglass and then apoxy around the rub rail, so the look is still original.
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Old 10-12-2012, 19:50   #7
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

Those are extremely tough to get dry. To do from the outside and do properly would entail separating the top and bottom pieces. Cleaning all old caulking out, fixing fiberglass areas that are damaged under the rubrail from banging against docks and poles, rebedding whole joint and bedding the rubrail back in. One of the big problems here is the water gets under the rubrail and will travel the circumference of the boat to find a way in. If you do a section from the inside it needs to be sealed off completely from the other non damaged areas. Any way you do it is a PITA. I got so sick of the freaking leaks is the reason I went to such extremes on the first boat and about ended up doing the same with the morgan except instead of deleting the rubrail I built it up out of fiberglass and doing a layup from the inside
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:33   #8
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

Unless you are sailing around the world in the Bristol 24, you might want to do it in the least expensive and easiest way. Doing a proper strong offshore repair would require more time than I would be willing to spend unless it is going to be my home for a very long time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:34   #9
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Well she is currently on a trailer in the yard until the work is done. Doing an estimate for the exterior job. I would like to be absolutely sure there is no chance of water infiltration. Seems it would be hard to assure that with the interior job, especially around the bulkheads. But my partner here is certain that way is best.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:56   #10
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

Glassing the hull to deck joint from the inside is probably the easiest if you can get to it. You will still have pull the toe rail and drill out the rivets as they will make it very hard to get the fiberglass to bond properly. Use epoxy resin, Polyester resin just doesn't bond well to old laminates. Pearson built my boat with the joint glassed on the inside. Unfortunately, they used sheet metal screws and Dolphinite to install the toe rail. The Dophinite has hardened over the years and lost it's sealing ability, suspect the rail wasn't sealed all that carefully to begin with so had numerous leaks from the fasteners.

Can you tell whether the leaks are coming from the rivets or is the hull to deck joint suspect?? If the bond between the hull and deck is compromized, you've got a major headache. You can pull all the fasteners, pry the hull and deck apart, clean out all the old caulk, and reseal with Butyl, 5200 or LifeCaulk. If the original sealant was Dolphinite or some other oil based material, you've got to get it all off and thoroughly clean with acetone or the new caulk won't bond. The other choice is glass from the outside but that requires the skills of a good glass person to get the new laminate to blend in. If you are good with glass or want to learn how to, it's not an overwhelming job on a boat that small.

Good luck with the projects. Hate leaks. Nothing makes life at sea more miserable than a soaked berth.
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Old 14-12-2012, 05:51   #11
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Re: Hull/Deck Joint Separation

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Good luck with the projects. Hate leaks. Nothing makes life at sea more miserable than a soaked berth.
Thanks. I think I would prefer to do the outside work, but it has been decided we will approach it from the interior. I suppose if it continues to leak the exterior job can still be done. I really appreciate all the great advice!
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