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Old 27-06-2022, 07:58   #1
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Dinghy Softspots

Hello!

So I finished the topside part of my AMF Puffer restoration, flipped it, and found that the hull is soft where it was resting on the trailer rails. See image, softspots marked with blue tape.

Ive done some reading and research, but would really like your thoughts on the best path forward. There is some slight give when I press on it with my palm, and a good bit of crazing. Ive opened up a lot of the crazycracks, but now I am CONCERNED about my poor hull. If I can get it fixed, Ill modify the trailer so this doesnt happen again.

So is there hope??
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Old 27-06-2022, 09:57   #2
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Re: Dinghy Softspots

I am not familiar with these. What is the substrate? Assuming you cannot investigate from top side I guess you could always clean up the cracks and lay down some glass?
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Old 27-06-2022, 10:13   #3
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Re: Dinghy Softspots

So I drilled a hole to check it out, cause who doesn’t need more holes in their boat. It looks like no substrate, opens into the void between the deck and hull. Helpful?
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Old 27-06-2022, 14:25   #4
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Re: Dinghy Softspots

If there's no coring, the trailer rails have probably been pushing against the bottom, weakening it, every time the boat got water in it or someone climbed in while it was on the trailer. The proper fix would be to grind it all down, re-glass and re-gelcoat it so it matches the rest of the hull. It probably isn't worth doing all that though. Adding a layer of epoxy-saturated fiberglass tape over the soft spots and then another layer of epoxy to fill in the weave (sanded a bit afterwards) would fix the structural problem quickly, though you do now have the hole to fix too. The quick epoxy fix would not be pretty, however. You could paint the bottom or have gelcoat re-shot to cover it if the aesthetics are important.
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Old 27-06-2022, 15:36   #5
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Re: Dinghy Softspots

For the hole you drilled. Cut a piece of plywood to fit the hole (you may have to lightly sand the circumference of the wood for it to fit). Epoxy it in place. Then, repair the other bits, and re-paint the bottom. It is a dinghy, and it is meant to be abused.

We have seen people who have admirable, beautiful timber dinghies, and watched as they got out into waist-deep water and gently carried their art work ashore. Personally, I prefer to get ashore dry-foot, and therefore, a sturdy dinghy. Ymmv.

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Old 27-06-2022, 17:22   #6
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Re: Dinghy Softspots

Hrmmm. Well I just got new sails and did a bunch of work to the topside, so Im going to attempt repairs. Plus its a great sail. Talking to some friends who do fiberglass work. Might either grind out the soft spots, leave a fiberglass skeleton, and cover that or just add some additional layers on top. Well see what they think. Either way oof.
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Old 27-06-2022, 17:30   #7
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Re: Dinghy Softspots

Looks like pox (water migration blisters.
The hull had blown foam core likely.
Drill the holes out Tilt the boat and unscrew anything attached below the waterline. That will be the culprit which allowed water in. Leave holes open to drain for days Fill holes with Systems West with micro balloon hull up you can work it right away. Be brand new used with a sanding and touch of paint. Id go hard bottom paint in the form of Cal car paint Auto Air then keep it waxed
Lovely hull to save
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