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 Post subject: H-18 Hull Side Delam
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:05 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 2
OK, OK. So I have a '79 18, and yes the foam has compressed. During a recent capsize, there was some unsettling cracking when standing on the port hull, though no penetration.

I've scoured most of the forum for postings on repairs, but haven't been able to find any information about fixing hull sides that have delammed. I have, however, use West System 105 Epoxy + hardener + 404 hi density filler + a syringe and injected it into the side at some of the softer spots to some success. Depending on the response, that's my plan of attack.

Any with experience in side repair have any comments? Is it really worth trying to repair the sides? For that matter, is it safe? Trying to get a consensus.

I'm not afraid of repairs, but I don't want to go too far down the road if its not a good idea.

And if it's not a good idea, I guess I'll part the boat, because I wouldn't be comfortable selling it to anyone else. (That's how I ended up with it.)

Thanks,

Dually


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:11 am 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 7:49 am
Posts: 1073
Location: North Carolina
I have done it several times. On the deck the repair is more effective. On the hull sides it doesn't work as well. Bought a '81 that was soft from the bow to the crossbar on both hulls( 600 for boat and trailer with crisp sails ). The boat still had original gelcoat on the keels. We drilled many holes across the upper portion of the delam. Used 2 liter bottles with pointed caps ( don't know what else to call them) to push epoxy mixed with kapok ( filler) into delam void. We then applied air pressure thru a drilled drain plug which forced the inner skin against the foam and outer skin, effectively pushing out excess epoxy. Left the pressure on until resin had cured. This boat had huge delam issues and continued to zipper apart even after the repair. It made the boat really heavy. I must have used a gallon or more of resin. Sailed the boat several times in the ocean but never felt comfortable. If the area you have is small then this may work for you. From your description of hearing it zipper while standing on it I'm afraid you have a large area of delam and personally would replace the hull or the entire boat if soft spots are in both hulls. This '81 quickly became a parts boat. Good Luck!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:31 am 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:48 am
Posts: 111
Location: Finger Lakes, Western NY
I fixed a few small (about the size of your hand) soft spots on the sides of my H18 hulls last fall with good results. I don't sail the boat terribly hard (sheltered inland lake), but the repairs feel quite hard now, and have been through several capsizes since (didn't hear any cracking while walking around on the sides, but to be fair, the spots I repaired were on the outsides of the hull, not the insides).

For my repairs I used Git-rot and followed Matt Miller's FAQ instructions pretty much to the letter. Only difference from a deck repair was that I propped the boat up on its side so that the sides of the hull were more or less horizontal. It was a little awkward fixing delam from the top of a step-ladder but as I said, I'm pleased with the results.

_________________
-Bill

Conesus Lake, NY
1976 Hobie 14


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 2
Just wanted to say thanks to those of you that sent me some thoughts on this repair. Another user did send this lengthy description, I thought I'd share with you all:

D

----- start sharing --------
I have done extensive repairs to a 1976 H14 including repairing delamination of hull tops and sides. The sides were in much worse shape than the tops. I used the repair techniques as described in the Beachcats and other articles. They are all about the same. I purchased 1.25 gallons of epoxy ( on ebay for about $60) thinking that if I didn't use it on the Hobie I could use it on the other boats I own. I have a 12 Shellback dinghy, Prindle 16 and a canoe. I was surprised when I used all of the epoxy on the hulls and still had more repairs to do so I purchased another 1.25 gallons. All delaminated areas were repaired after using about half of the second gallon of epoxy. It probably added about 15 lbs to the boat but I don't race so no big deal.

The follow operation will require that the hulls be disassembled from the frame because you will want to be able position the hull sides so they lay horizontal allowing the the epoxy to flow out through the delaminated area. What I learned was that the delaminated areas would require allot of epoxy if I didn't figure out a way to pull the inner and outer panels closer together reducing the size of the cavity to be filled. I used 3/16 to 1/4 inch wide cable ties as clamps to pull them together. To do this drill a hole all the way trough both outside and inside hull panels using a drill bit about as wide as the cable tie. Drill the hole in the middle of the delaminated area. Take a cable tie and with scissors cut off the female part about an inch from the end. The male part should a be about 6 inches long. Near the tip of the male end cut a diagonal slit about an inch long and about inch or so from the end. This should look sort of like a fish hook. Insert the fish hook end into the hole you just drilled. The hook should catch on the inside panel of the hull leaving several inches of sticking out. Place the female end over the tie that's sticking out and pull it down tight. This will pull the panels together. Drill another hole about 1/8 diam near the clamped hole and using a syringe squirt some epoxy into that hole and let it set up overnight. This will help hold the panels together and hopefully fill the hole which goes through both panels. It's ok if a little epoxy drips into the hull. You may clamp and glue many holes at one time during this operation. Some delaminated areas required as many a 6 clamps, some only one. At this point the hull may look a little unfair around the points where the clamps were inserted but once I completed the repairs the bumps seemed to vanish. Once this is done you may proceed with repairs as described in the articles.

When you are finished, clip off the protruding cable ties with a knife or scissors. Fill all holes and imperfections with thickened epoxy. Use a silica or micro balloon additive to thicken the epoxy for filling and fairing the outside of the hulls. I carefully sanded the outside of the hulls with 80 or 120 grit sandpaper on a orbital finishing sander. It could be sanded by hand also.

Hints: Purchase slow cure laminating epoxy which is relatively thin (about like pancake syrup). Thin as needed with MEC available at any hardware store. Excess epoxy will squirt out the holes during the repair process. Use a popsicle stick or something similar to scrape it up and put it back in your pot to use in the next hole. I mixed up about 2 dixie cups worth of epoxy at a time but you may mix more for large areas. Again make sure you use slow cure epoxy and work during the cool part of the day. Based on the description of your hulls I would start with a gallon of epoxy.

Results: The hulls look great and are hard as rock. They give a nice ring when tapped with my knuckles...no more soft spots. I'm really happy with the results and the hulls may be stronger than new. After the delam repairs I repainted the hulls using 2 to 3 coats of oil based primer and 3 coats of deck enamel both from Home Depot. I thinned the primer and paint 10% with Penetrol, hand sanded between coats with 120 grit sandpaper and used the best Purdy 2 inch brush I could afford (about $15.00). The brush and Penetrol make all the difference. I swear my hulls look like they were sprayed by a body shop. I get complements all the time. People can't believe it was brushed. I did a 2 tone Seafoam Green on the sides and White on top. I also painted my trailer the same 2 tone. I got the H14 and trailer for almost nothing. They were getting ready to haul it to the dump. It's now one the best looking Hobies I have ever seen.

---- end sharing -----


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