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Author Topic:   Hull Repair
Sinclair7 posted 07-24-2001 02:25 PM ET (US)   Profile for Sinclair7   Send Email to Sinclair7  
I am currently trying to restore a 1982 13 foot BW. This my first boat and i have very little experience. If at all possible, could some on answer a few questions.

1. what are the different leyers of the hull and in what order are they?

2. If a chip goes through the hull to the green mesh, how is this repaired?

3. Is the hull color a top coat of paint or the actual color of the material on the outer most layer?

4. The previous owner repowered the boat. There are holes in the rear from the old engine. How should these be repaired?

5. There are many screw in the deck, which have rusted. How should the holes be repaired without sanding down the textured finish on the deck?

6. What will remove the rust stains?

7. Is it possible to obtain new "Boston Whaler" decals for the hull.

Thanks in advance for any help!!

Sinclair7 posted 07-24-2001 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sinclair7  Send Email to Sinclair7     
i was able to answer some of my own questions by reading some of the other postings. However, I am still not to sure about how the boat's color is achieved and how the boat is actually constructed. Another Question:
Could anyone recomend the best way to clean the hull? I'd really like to clean it up and start from the beginning.
jimh posted 07-24-2001 11:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Whaler is made from the outside in.

The hull is laid up in a female mold.

The first layer is the gelcoat, which is a thick, hard, waterproof, opaque layer of resin which is sprayed into the mold. This creates the outer skin of the boat and its color. The thickness varies, but it is much thicker than paint.

After the gelcoat, layers of laminates and resins are applied to build up the thickness and strength.

The interior liner or cockpit is made is a similar fashion. This piece is called the turtle.

So far the construction of a Whaler is like most other fiberglass boats. Now the big difference.

While the hull and turtle moldings are still wet, they are clamped together and filled with an expanding foam. The foam fills all the interior space. The laminates and the foam all cure together in the clamped molds to form a single structure.

You really need to read some of the reference material. See

Also see . This is not part of the WHALER section of the site, but applies to your question precisely.

The best way to repair screw holes in the deck depends in the texture of the deck area.

If the deck is smooth, you can simply fill the hole and cover it with matching gelcoat.

If the hole is in a non-skid area, the easiest way to handle this is to use a flat-head stainless steel screw to fill the hole. Carefully counter sink the hole to the exact size of the smallest flathead screw that will cover the hole, and then insert a screw to fill the hole. You can reduce the size of the hole beneath the head in order to get better purchase with the screw. You can use some epoxy or resin for that. Using the flush flathead screw will produce a nice appearance and fill the hole.

I have never seen an amateur match the non-skid pattern with new gelcoat layers.

(Credit for the flat head screw idea goes to Larry Goltz.)


Tom W Clark posted 07-25-2001 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

To do a good initial cleaning on a somewhat distressed hull I recommend Comet brand cleanser. It has an abrasive and some bleach and is the best cleanser I've ever used, especially for the non-skid. Because it is abrasive it is not recommended for shiny gel coat but that doesn't sound like what you're dealing with right now. Bar Keepers Friend is another useful cleanser. It contains oxalic acid which is good for removing rust stains. It is not magical and must be allowed enough time to sit on a rust stain to do its job, but it really works.

jimh, I really like Larry's screw repair trick, but screw holes can be filled in the non-skid rather nicely. You've "never seen an amateur match the non-skid pattern with new gel coat"? Well, you've never seen one of my non-skid patches. I gave a rather lengthy description of the process some where back in the forum. I can't find it now but here's how:

If the screw hole is small you can simply fill it with gel coat patch paste. If is larger or deep you can first fill it to the surface with epoxy, polyester resin or even polyurethane caulk. My preference is to use a 5 minute epoxy.

If the hole is topped off then drill or route it down 1/16" -1/8" to create some room for the gel coat patch paste. Try to get clean edges and "capture" as many hairline cracks that typically radiate from poorly installed fasteners.

Now mix up your color matched gel coat patch paste and fill the hole up to, or above the level of the "tops" of the non-skid.

As the gel coat patch paste begins to set or "kick" it will be solid to the touch but still some what malleable. At this point I use a wood scraper that is about 1/16" thick (this is the kind of scraper wood workers use for fine finishing, it is essentially a hardened piece of steel about 1/16" thick measuring, typically, 3" x 5") and run it on its edge down the "valleys" of the gel coat between the "tops". You will see that the Whaler non-skid is made by these "valleys" running in three direction making each "top" a hexagon. By carving the "valleys" in all three directions you will be left with hexagonal "tops" which will, for all the world, look just like the original non-skid.

This really works! Try it, you'll like it. It almost takes more time to describe than to execute.

Sinclair7 posted 07-25-2001 07:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sinclair7  Send Email to Sinclair7     
jimh and tom,
hey, thanks for the reply. I spent all day yesterday cleaning the hull. Surprisingly, the boat is in better shape than i thought. The main problem seems to be that one of the previous owners drove alot of screw into the hull to attach the rub-rail. I think i am going to fill all the screw holes with epoxy. Skim coat the entire area where the rub-rail attaches with "Evercoat's" formula 27 all purpose filler. Then put on a layer of liquid gel coat. If I am missing something, or if I am way off, please let me know. Will I need to add color at some point? If so, how is this done? As far as the deck, I will decide which method to use after I see how well the rest comes out.
Thanks again for the response.

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