14 February 2015

Whabamp II - holey chit - pt iii

Having the roach barge planted in the alley
made me obsessed with making the bare hull 
at least presentable to the neighbors.
Boston Whalers are famous for the unsinkability,
a direct result of their foam filling.
After 45 years of abuse,
the foam makes repairs tricky,
 with no access to the back side.
As predicted,
the day after opening the holes up, 
we had just enough rain to stall any progress.
The dry out week allowed time to think of a proper repair.
At first the plan was to fill the holes with wood,
at least the corners.
I ended up using styrofoam slivers,
embedded into a wet epoxy bondo-like filler...
...than filed down to shape and glassed over using epoxy resin.
The holes were gouged out way more than the top pics show.
The transom notch was a different story.
Hard to notice,
but someone had raised the transom about an inch and a half,
then someone else cut out a couple inches.
Not sure why.
A couple unpictured 1-1/4x1-1/4" strips of mahogany 
were screwed and glued into place.
The epoxy filler filled the gaps...
...and multiple layers of glass sealed it solid.
Afterwards the epoxy filler faired the surfaces about 90% flat.
The bow was another story.
This thing was hammered!
I squared up the edges with the epoxy bondo and foam,
then layed fiberglass over to give it strength.
Way more layers on the really rough side.
The same smoothie job limited the amount of filler outside the glasswork.
A rolled layer of epoxy primer sealed the chemical sandwich.
It looked like a Mexican panga!
The solid colors accentuated the waves and pocks!
But omfg how did I not catch this!!??
Most of the rail work was done while standing outside of the boat.
I never really saw the discrepancy.
From the top the problem was obvious.
A couple templates were cut out to match the sides.
This answered why there was a lip on one side and not on the other.
I could have used foam as a filler,
but the neighbor had the perfect donor material.
A crescent of hard oak was shaped in to fit.
Much more substantial than foam or a cheap 2x4,
and free!
The gelcoat and new filler were removed
to get as much of a fiberglass bond as possible.
A kitty hair bondo filled the remaining gap in the wood.
Fiberglass wrapped the new repair.
You may be thinking, 
"What a hack!".
A proper boatyard repair may have entailed cutting out this whole area,
then reshape using a solid chunk of foam.
The ideal way would have been to cut out the entire top section of both sides,
make a giant C out of plywood,
and really have a solid foundation.
That would have been cool!
But this is an alley repair job using recycled obtanium,
with limited time.
It sure feels solid and looks great with primer.
What repair?
This session focused only on the upper rail area.
When the boat is flipped I'll match up the lower lip.
Believe me it's hard to not fix certain things!
I couldn't imagine doing this last year!
Fortunately all the neighbors are actually interested in the progress.
One tool that helps being neighborly is this body file.
Much quieter then a grinder,
and not dusty like a DA sander.
I'm too lazy to search for my wood handle versions!
There are a ton of glaring issues,
but it's nice to not see big holes and missing chunks.
Next up may be the transom extension/jack plate.
This one is going to be a monster 12" out.
Not common on a 16/17' whaler.
 More later!

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