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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

Just a quick question, I have found this small crack in the hull of my Microplus. I am annoyed to say the least as I was told when I bought the boat that it was watertight (!) :mad:

It is right over the top of the mid runner pad on the trailer! Anyway, I have now turned the runner so no mre damage can occur.....but........How do I repair this crack???

Pictures below

Is it just a case of scrubbing the hull clean on the inside where the repair needs to be made and using a Fast Glass Car Repair kit??

The length of the crack is about 9 inches and you can see through the crack to the outside!!

Thanks in advance.

By the way, I have checked the rest of the hull inside and out and there are NO more cracks or dents!!!:unsure:
 

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I am no expert in fibreglass repairs but have had boats for a number of years and your suggestion of cleaning the area and repairing with a Fastglass repair kit is exactly what I have done in the past. I even had a hole about 9" x 15" which I repaired in the same way and it outlasted the rest of the hull.
Use acetone to clean the area after scrubbing it to ensure a good bond.
If possible when you have made the repair get some water in the hull and check for further leaks in other areas, there may be some that you can not see yet but which will get larger once the boat is subject to the stresses of a lump sea.
ChrisP as I am sure you know is the expert on boat repairs and may give a more comprehensive reply.
 

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I had exactly the same problem myself a few weeks ago, but I went OTT with magogany deck bearers etc, for your situation get yourself a wire abrasive brush to fit into a 4" angle grinder, & scour an area a lot bigger than the crack (x2 would be a guide).
Use a hoover to remove all the dust (wear a mask, a hat, long sleeved jumper or boiler suit, before you start doing anything!) to avoid itching for a week after, then clean the rubbed down area thoroughly with Acetone, (cheapest is Tesco nail polish remover 70p per bottle).
I bought my 5ltrs of resin, + hardener, + 6sq mts of fibreglass matting from e-bay £21.00 the lot.
There is an instruction sheet inside the glass kit & if you follow it its foolproof, give it at least 3-4 layers of glass, with each layer about 1/2" smaller all round than the one before, this weather you should be able to complete the whole operation in a day, any problems give me a PM.
blueskip
 

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That looks like a good job you did there Blueskip. I had to do a similar job once on a an old boat and was really proud of myself afterwards. The whole thing was much stronger than it had ever been before.
 

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That looks like a good job you did there Blueskip. I had to do a similar job once on a an old boat and was really proud of myself afterwards. The whole thing was much stronger than it had ever been before.
Like you I was looking at strengthening that area of the boat, to take away the tendency of it folding like a pen knife in the middle, I was concerned that the bulkhead was acting as a pivot when the nose was hitting a biggish sea. The timber came from mahogany patio door frame that had been removed by a double glazing firm, plus a big lump of bar top from my old accessory detroying mate Paid4!:whistling:He looked at it & commented that it looked like the "Mary Rose" I had to point out to him where the "Mary Rose" was!:nonono:
Being a retired joiner helps, if you have to go & buy all the tools & the timber it would be a non starter! The fibreglassing was new to me & I had to redo some after I tried to go round 90 degree corners, then discovered I had to put a router with a rounding over bit on all the sharp corners, cool now!:yeah:
blueskip
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Guys,

The problem that I have is that the Microplus is a double skinned hull and after having a bloody good look at it today, I have found that whatever has done the damage has been done from the outside of the hull and there is a fist sized crack/tear in the outer skin right under where the inner crack is!!!

Now, I can feasibly get the nozzle of a can of expanding foam in the crack from the inside.......so.......do I use the expanding foam to fill the void in the hull between the cracked/damaged skins and then glass the inside then the outside as normal with the car repair kit to make it all watertight again?

How do I repair the out skin on the bottom of the hull?

When I prize the crack in the bottom of the hull and look inside it is just a bare cavity, no foam/wood or anything (!), is that right or should there be something in there?
If so, would the above method work for the repair and how the hell do I repair the outer skin of the hull without it being a mess?

Have a look at the damage to the outer skin that I am talking about below and then match that with the inner sking damage above.

This is really starting to worry me!!!!

Thanks in advance guys.

Rich
 

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I think ChrisP is you man. He will have an answer for you but in the meantime I would have a very good look over the rest of the hull to make sure that there is no other damage.
I think you would have a claim against the seller for his description if he said it was watertight. All is not lost yet so wait and see what Chris says before going any further.
Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Terry.

I will wait for chris's or Mikes reponses on tis matter.

While im on here (As I wil be all night!!!) I have looked at the listing again and he states that the crack is 'Small' !!!! mmmm, so small I can get my fist into it!!!!

Anyway, rather than start this as an eBay slanging match and buyer beare thread AGAIN, I will leave it to all the very helpful advice that you guys can help me with.

Cheers,
Rich
 

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The boat is out of the water, on a trailer, so its dry for you to work on? you have to feel really brave (& this is what I would do), cut a lump out of the inside skin so that you can access the INSIDE of the outside skin, repair it as already explained, then put polystyrene between outside & inside to fill the void, & do exactly the same again to the inside skin.
You can "titivate" the crack/hole in the outer skin with filler & gellcoat from the outside, done properly nobody will know there was a hole, remember the Titanic. Face it, you have bought a "pup" (we all do it), now you can get to know your boat intimately, by paying for your mistake with work:rtfm: It wont cost a lot of money but it will take time, & you will feel good when you have done it properly!
blueskip
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Blueskip

What a genius, I never thought of that!

Right, out comes the jigsaw tomorrow morning to cut the hole, better get to the builders merchants tomorrow for the blue foam or polystyrene in the morning and the car accessory shop too for the GRP!

Cheers mate.
Rich
 

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As I mentioned the other day in the "Boat Names" post, my Alaska 500 got wrecked and rolled around for two days before I found her.

"9" inch cracks, big enough for your fist" -Pah! My boat had two splits 7 foot long, ground off corners and the cuddy was in 15 bits ( took me an hour walking up and down the foreshore to find the bits, never did find the hatch though ). Fibreglass is great stuff there is NOTHING so bad it can't be repaired if you have the will. It all repaired fine including the cuddy - and is still good 15 years later.

Your problem is certainly not insurmountable, just make sure you find all the cracks & soft spots, as with Blueskip, if you need to cut away some floor to get to the job properly ( also don't fully fix the floor until her maiden voyage after the repair - that way you can check you've done a good job too ) do it, a cutting blade in an angle grinder is your friend.

Oh, and use cheap disposable glassing tools. Get stuck in and you'll be fine in a month.
 

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I feel worn out after all that, I think I will go & lie down in a darkened room, whilst roarscarymonster goes shopping!:whistling:
blueskip
 

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Hi Guys,

The problem that I have is that the Microplus is a double skinned hull and after having a bloody good look at it today, I have found that whatever has done the damage has been done from the outside of the hull and there is a fist sized crack/tear in the outer skin right under where the inner crack is!!!

Now, I can feasibly get the nozzle of a can of expanding foam in the crack from the inside.......so.......do I use the expanding foam to fill the void in the hull between the cracked/damaged skins and then glass the inside then the outside as normal with the car repair kit to make it all watertight again?

How do I repair the out skin on the bottom of the hull?

When I prize the crack in the bottom of the hull and look inside it is just a bare cavity, no foam/wood or anything (!), is that right or should there be something in there?
If so, would the above method work for the repair and how the hell do I repair the outer skin of the hull without it being a mess?

Have a look at the damage to the outer skin that I am talking about below and then match that with the inner sking damage above.

This is really starting to worry me!!!!

Thanks in advance guys.

Rich
rich i have already p/m you about my rebuild of a microplus,mine had the same problem,there SHOULD be wood/ply between the hull and cabin floor,DONT panic there is a way out,if you p/m me your e/mail address i will send you the photos as it was done,it does get messy but you end up with a over enginered hull,BUT you woll never have to worry again,but it does mean pulling up the cabin floor in one piece,
 

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If you want to repair it the right way rather than stick a patch over it this is the way. It is neither cheep nor easy but gives an invisible repair.

Take a mould off an adjacent bit of hull with aproximately the same profile as the damaged area. Clean up the area to be moulded and apply a release wax. Make the area you take the mould from 2 or three inches bigger than the damaged area you will be cutting out. Once the mould release wax has dried roll on a coat of resin and a couple of layers of glass fibre chopped strand mat. Once this has cured remove it, it will peel off due to the wax.

This is the patch for the inside of the hull, Cut out the damaged area and bevel the edges of the cut to a 12 to 1 ratio. In other words if the hull is 1 cm thick the bevel should be 12 cm long. Now clean up the area inside the hull working through the hole, rub it down will with 40 grit paper and degreae it with Acetone. (Don't use nail varnish remover, it contains moisturisers)

Try the patch for size in the hole and if it is a decent fit mix up some thickened 5 min rapid set epoxy. Put a scew in the centre of the patch and offer it up to the hull again. Dose on the epoxy to bond the repair patch to the inside of the hull. Pull on the screw to force it in place and hold it until cured hence the quick set epoxy.

You now have a hole with bevelled sides with your patch in the bottom to act as a template for the repair, you need to strengthen the repair and bring the thickness up to the surface of the boat. Do this with CSM and resin, starting with a small piece to fill the bottom of the hole and gradually getting slightly bigger to fill in the bevel and build up the thickness.

Use a straight edge to see when you are getting the repair up to the final thickness. When you are 1mm away from the surface stop with the resin and csm and apply a thickened gellcoat same colour as the original to bring the repair up slightly proud of the original hull. When cured sand this back until you have a fair surface, start with 120 grade and work up through the grades of paper to give a polished finish to the hull.

A final finish with Farecla G3 then G10 with leave a near invisible repair.
 

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Cut as small a hole as you can around the inside crack, dig out the foam and clean off the inside skin around the hole. You can use the GRP kits from Halfords (if that’s all you can get hold of) to re-glass the inside of the outer skin. However, you are going to need to get some matching gelcoat from a specialist unless you intend to paint over the repair - even so, you'll need some clear gelcoat and catalyst. Stipple in some gelcoat into the surface damage after cleaning it out with Acetone (good stuff for cleaning your tools with to), then use Celotape and bits of Formica to form a shutter over the still wet gelcoat. Apply more Celotape to secure the shutter – oh yeah, apply some non silicone polish to the side of the Formica that will go against the gelcoat – or you’ll never get it off. Meanwhile, knock up a square of waste matt and resin on a spare piece of Formica or similar inert surface and let it cure – don’t forget the polish! When its gone off, trim it so that it sort of fits inside the inner skin repair so that when you insert it and turn it thru 90 degrees, it closes the hole. Drill a hole thru it big enough to fit the nozzle of a foam canister thru and let it have some foam once you get it in position ( a few long screws, part driven in help to hold it in place). Secure it while the foam goes off. If you have put too much foam in them drill a few more holes to relieve the pressure. When its all cured and secure, flush off the waste foam, stipple it with resin (never brush resin like you would paint) and then start applying layers of matt cut to the same size as the hole and wet each layer with more resin until you are flush (level) with the surrounding GRP. Then apply 3 layers of matt cut 100mm too big all round. Clean this area with abrasives and Acetone until you get to the original GRP before you apply the new material. All you have to do then is ‘WetnDry’ the gelcoat until it’s smooth and level – then wax it. Sounds like a lot of work but it’s easy really. Hope that helps!

Just a footnote:

Never use polystyrene as the resin melts it. and using 'building foam' is wrong to in most cases as its open cell rather than close cell foam - which should be used! In your case the boat is knackered anyway and the foam wont get wet once its finished. Oh yeah - drill a little hole low down on the transom that penetrates the foam between the skinsa nd see if much water runs out - if yes - you have a bigger job on your hands!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oakley,

When I got the boat out today, I used the 'fist hitting the transom' method to see if it was ok and also drilled the small hole and nothing hed come out so it seems like all is well there thank god!

The transom seems to be extremley strong and ridged in all areas though.

I may be wrong with being novice!!!

But in any case, I have a Johnson 40 going on the back if thats any help??

Anything else I should know about or check while im at it tomorrow?

Thanks
Rich
 

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Oakley,

When I got the boat out today, I used the 'fist hitting the transom' method to see if it was ok and also drilled the small hole and nothing hed come out so it seems like all is well there thank god!

The transom seems to be extremley strong and ridged in all areas though.

I may be wrong with being novice!!!

But in any case, I have a Johnson 40 going on the back if thats any help??

Anything else I should know about or check while im at it tomorrow?

Thanks
Rich

I was just cocerned that the damage has been letting in water over a period. Even tho the foam will be closed cell the water can ingress a few inches and then maybe freeze due to frost and start to force the foam away from the hull. I used to repair Ridgid Raider hulls for the Royal Marines in Poole - I have seen every kind of damage and abuse!
 

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Good luck Rich, youve got a job on your hands but if you do it properly luck wont come into it.
 

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You're not going to want to hear this but Microplus 501's had wood sandwiched between the inner and outer skin. If there's nothing there you need to get a dentist's mirror and have a look around in the gap between the skins. It may have rotted away.
 

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Cut a bigger lump out of the inside skin, & keep cutting back, until you find solid wood, when you do, you can replace the wood, & the inside skin, & fibreglass the whole shooting match back together again! It aint gonna be as bad as SimonF's & he has just bought a brand new Evinrude Etec to go on the back of his 15yr old repair job!:yeah:
Remember Cpl Jones "They dont like it up em Mr Mainwaring", dont be frightened to have a good old rummage to see whats what!
blueskip
 
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