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Author Topic:   transom repair
lilgypsy2000 posted 09-05-2002 08:07 AM ET (US)   Profile for lilgypsy2000   Send Email to lilgypsy2000  
I am in the process of restoring Hull # 877 (refer to post "hull 877" in general discussion). The transom on the port side is cracked in the corner running about halfway down. The crack was repaired once by a previous owner as was the starboard transom corner. The starboard repair is holding up well, however the repair to the crack on the port side has failed. Any ideas? I used the W.E.S.T. products 11 years ago to restore a 36' sailboat. Will the same stuff work with the oldster? Thank you. Great site.
lilgypsy2000 posted 09-05-2002 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for lilgypsy2000  Send Email to lilgypsy2000     
I just checked the crack again and it only extends down about 4 inches. The rest of the repair seems be solid. I think this will be an easy fix. Unless anyone has any ideas. Thanks. Cant wait to get this boat back in the water.
jimh posted 09-05-2002 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For making repairs to the Boston Whaler UNIBOND hull, epoxy is especially recommended because it will not dissolve the foam. Some polyester resins contain styrine which dissolves the foam.

Perhaps you should listen to the interview with WEST SYSTEM's application engineer Jim Watson. See:

lilgypsy2000 posted 09-05-2002 09:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for lilgypsy2000  Send Email to lilgypsy2000     
I will be using the WEST system. The stuff that I have is 11 years old. I just wonder what the shelf life is (or was). I may have to get a new batch of "stuff"
Tom W Clark posted 09-05-2002 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Contrary to what jimh has reported, polyester resin or vinyl ester resin WILL NOT melt the foam in Whalers. It will melt Styrofoam which is what they make packing peanuts out of but not Whalers.

The Boston Whaler Unibond hull is made of polyester resin and polyurethane foam. While epoxy can be use successfully for repairs to this type of boat it is recommended neither by me or Boston Whaler.

Do not misunderstand me, I use epoxy in my line of work and sometimes on my boats and I think it is truly wonderful stuff. The many different forms it comes in allow a very broad range of repairs to be made to a huge variety of projects and it is very strong.

But the notion that a boat built of polyester resin will somehow be better served by being repaired with a material different, more expensive and more difficult to work with seems rather absurd to me.

Official Whaler repair instructions and memos always indicate polyester resin is to be used.

Polyester resin has the benefit of being less expensive, easier to work with and much easier to blend with the hull avoiding any compatibility problems epoxy presents.

Epoxy on the other hand is incompatible with some of the glass cloths that are used for repairs, is much harder to sand down and thus make fair with the rest of the hull and harder to get gel coat to stick to.

lilgypsy2000 posted 09-05-2002 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for lilgypsy2000  Send Email to lilgypsy2000     
Okey so now I am confused. I already have a supply of the WEST system resin and hardner, along with their glass product and a couple of different thickners. However I am not opposed to going out and buying the polyester repair products if that will give me a better repair job. I am close to not only Bay City, Mi (home of the west system) but to a couple of other good supply stores as well. So the question is epoxy (west) or polyester?????????????
buster1389 posted 09-06-2002 01:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for buster1389  Send Email to buster1389     
I had the exact same problem with my 1962 13'. The starboard side had been repaired by the previous owner, but the prt side cracked almost imediatly after my restoration. I decided to grind out the crack and surrounding area. I used westsystem and some fiberglass mat to regain the strength needed in the port corner. It has been a year since i completed the repair and it is probably the strongest part of the boat.
Jerry Townsend posted 09-06-2002 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
One item not addressed in the previous posts. As I recall from my earlier days of experimenting, testing and fiberglas fabrication - polyester resins will not bond properly to epoxy, however epoxy will bond to polyester resins. This compatibility problem may have been corrected or it still may exist - Tom may have further information. --- Jerry/Idaho
russellbailey posted 09-06-2002 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
The short answer is that epoxy works well as a physical bond (i.e., adhesion for patching) or as a chemical bond (i.e., initial layup). Polyester (or the similar vinylester) only work well in a chemical bond. Thus, using polyester or vinylester for patching is a bad idea, while epoxy works very well. In contrast, both polyester and vinylester work quite well in intial boat construction (chemical bond), with epoxy only being used in weight critical highly stressed construction.

lilgypsy2000 posted 09-06-2002 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for lilgypsy2000  Send Email to lilgypsy2000     
Thanks to all. I will use the WEST system. Has I said earlier I used to repair a 36' sailboat (some major repairs) and it is still holding 11 years later. I guess I was just concerened about the foam aspect. Great site. Keep it up gang and jimh.

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