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Author Topic:   Rebuilding Guardian
jimh posted 10-08-2000 07:58 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
(I had to reconstruct this thread)

Guys- I have aquired a 1988 BW 18' Guardian bare hull from our local marine police division. This is the question ... there are 5 access plates to the gas tank connections. These plates were off and have been for who knows how long. I know the wet foam issue but what about the gas tank condition? There is a floor panel that provides access to the whole tank and it is not seating right. I plan to dig out the caulk and reseat it but should I lift the tank and refoam in? The tank says right on it .125 inch thick aluminum. There is no console or seats at this time wouldn't I be wise to do this before I mount them? I am concerned about corrosion after 12 yrs. Thanks I am sure there will be many more questions to come. Eric

jimh posted 10-08-2000 08:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
(DIVE_1 replied)
I have removed numerous floors and fuel tanks for repairs. These are the common areas to check:

1. Floor not seated correctly - remove floor and flip upside down, check flange on floorboard where floor and deck touch, common problems - plywood and fiberglass have seperated near mounting flange - clean backgrind, fiberglass with biaxial matting and resin, grind flange flat, reinstall floor and check the fit, grind new fiberglass if necessary to obtain correct fit height.

2. Fuel tank - visually inspect tank for corrosion(welded corners corrode first). There is no reason to remove the tank unless there is a problem with the tank. The foam that is around the tank holds the tank in place and will dry out if it becomes wet. This foam is seperated from the boats core foam by fiberglass.

jimh posted 10-08-2000 08:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

Thanks for the reply I have seen from past posts that you had some experience with the guardian series. I had gotten the impression that the tank is foamed into a tub of glass seperate from the hull glass but was not sure thanks for the insight. You mentioned in the past that you have seen gunnels made from aluminum don't they get hot in the sun? I need to get/make some since mine are gone, Wwhaler wants 700.00 per side. I may get Whaler's but thought aluminum might not be bad either. I will eventually have children on the boat and the hot aluminum is a concern. Thanks again for the response. Eric

jimh posted 10-08-2000 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
(oops, that was eric above; now Dive ! replies again)

We have 2 guardians with aluminum gunnels. They are 1/4" thick and cover the entire top of the gunnel starting behind the spring cleat and running to the back edge of the transom. they also extend 4" down on the inside of the hull. It took about 40 hours for two of us to fabricate a set. We started with 1/4"x8" 6061T6 aluminum flat bar and laid it on the gunnels to trace the inside and outside of the hull. After cutting the aluminum to fit, we drilled holes to match the screw pattern for the stern cleats.

The next step is to fit 1/4"x4" 6061T6 aluminum flat bar to the inside of the hull and the inside lower edge of the gunnel tops. Tack weld the gunnel tops to the inside pieces while everything is fitted on the boat(be careful not to burn the fiberglass).

Remove aluminum gunnels and fully weld the seam alternating inside and outside corner joint to minimize distortion. Grind top and side of outside corner to remove excess weld. Use a router with a 1/4" radius carbide bit to round off the outide corner. Reinstall gunnels for final fitting (a 5 pound rubber mallet works well). Measure the lip underneath the fiberglass gunnel of the hull, 1/2 of this dimension is the distance to measure from the outside edge of the aluminum gunnel tops when marking the aluminum for the screw holes to attach the tops.

Drill holes every 6" the entire length of the aluminum gunnel tops staying in from the outside edge the distance described above. Countersink all holes in the aluminum to accept 1/4"x4" flat head stainless steel machine screws. Carefully drill all the way through the fibeglass gunnels. Install screws, stainless steel flat washers and nylock nuts underneath the gunnel. Start in the middle of the aluminum gunnel and alternately tighten all screw and nuts working to the ends of the aluminum gunnels.

jimh posted 10-08-2000 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
(more of DIVE ! reply)

Once the top is fitted and secured, start on the inside flange, measure up 1" and space the screws 6" inches apart starting at the
narrowest part of the front of the aluminum gunnels and only making holes where the gunnel is thin. Near the transom the gunnels get wider and screw are not needed. Drill holes through the aluminum and fiberglass, countersink holes in the aluminum for flathead screws. On the outside of the hull measure the distance from the centerline of the end holes. Cut a piece of 1/4"x1" 304 stainless steel flatbar 3" longer than the hole centerline measurements. Drill holes in the stainless steel bar to match the holes on the inside flange of the aluminum gunnel. Insert screws through the aluminum, the hull, and the stainless steel bar. Install and tighten flat washers and nylock nuts. Install stern cleats to ensure screw holes line up.

If everything fits, remove the aluminum gunnels. Sandblast the aluminum with glass beads. Wear cotton gloves and do not touch the blasted aluminum with bare skin (oil from your hand will not allow the paint to adhere well). Find a dust free environment and roll on 2 coats of AWLGRIP paint (we used pure white and it self levels), no primer is required if you blast the aluminum with glass beads. Satin finish or brush finish the stainless steel flat bars while the paint cures for several days.

When the paint is cured, reattach the aluminum gunnels to the hull using 3M 101 on both sides of all screws. Cut the ends of all screws off flush with the ends of the nylock nuts. Lightly sand the ends of the screws and nuts to remove any burrs.

jimh posted 10-08-2000 08:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
(Dive 1 continues--the long length of the reply might be what plotchered the software)

This is an intense fabrication job and I hope you understand my explanation. If you need detailed photographs of the alumimum gunnels, let me know and I will mail them to you.

This is similar to the way the factory fabricates and installs the aluminum gunnels except ours turned out much better (we don't have to make a profit).

jimh posted 10-08-2000 08:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
OK- I seem to have been able to rebuild this interesting thread from its corrupted remains.

It took a bit of effort, but I thought the information was quite interesting.

Perhaps the very long reply posted originally by DIVE_1 was related to the problem. Better to keep the replies a bit shorter and perhaps post two or three of them, instead of one long epic reply :-)


eric_from_MD posted 10-08-2000 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for eric_from_MD  Send Email to eric_from_MD     
Jimh- Thanks for the extra effort, it's much appreciated.

DIVE1- Thanks for the explanation will give that some serious consideration.

DIVE 1 posted 10-08-2000 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
Thank you for the repair to the site.
jimh posted 10-08-2000 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I also wanted to comment on the construction of the tank compartment on the typical "classic" Outrage (and Guardian?).

The fuel tank sits in a cavity that is part of the liner mold. The interior of this cavity is completely sealed off from the foam interior of the boat by the laminate and gelcoat finish of the liner molded assembly. The tank is mounted in the cavity, resting on rubber mounts and retained by stainless steel straps. Then the tank is foamed in place to prevent any movement.

The cavity may also contain tunnels for wiring and control lines, too.

The cavity is designed to drain any water that accumulates to a rear sump, where it can either drain via a drain tube through the bottom of the hull or be pumped overboard by a bilge sump pump.

An additional molded assembly covers the tank cavity. It is fastened mechanically and caulked in place, but you can remove it if necessary to work on the tank.


bigz posted 10-09-2000 08:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Guys just remember don't pull the plug on the sump when your still in the water --- chuckle chuckle --- same with the forward locker drain plug --- and heh heh remember to put them in when you launch ---!!!

Might add Jim the 27 fuel tank is installed in a similar manner but are not foamed --- in fact the entire cavity under the aft deck is not "foamed"


ben norman posted 10-10-2000 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for ben norman  Send Email to ben norman     
you might want to just add emulsibond to your paint for the alumimin, it will bond just as well to the alumimin and you dont have to sand blast it. To prep the alum, just wipe it down with minerals spirits. I paint for a living in minnesota and know first hand it works in harsh enviroments.
eric_from_MD posted 10-10-2000 06:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for eric_from_MD  Send Email to eric_from_MD     
Thanks for all the responses guys. Great site I,m glad I stumbled across it.

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