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Thread: 1960 Dorsett Catalina - Am I crazy?

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Lyle's Avatar
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    Question 1960 Dorsett Catalina - Am I crazy?

    Hello everyone.. been awhile... Finally settling in to the new house and getting back to the "Glassket case". I started to grind and clean the interior getting ready to lay in some new fabric when I saw this little split. My question to the experts... do I continue to work through this lil discovery?
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    Lyle
    "Adrift in a sea of information looking for answers to bring me home"

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    1960 Dorsett Catalina

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Supporting Member bruceb's Avatar
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    Lyle-
    Anything in the fiberglass "materials" category is fixable. Hope the boat was free....I'd grind the inside, clean it up, and do some serious reinforcement with heavy structural cloth with epoxy resin. Then flip it over and grind the bad stuff, put some shreaded-up structural cloth and structural thickened resin into the voids. Shape it to original keel detail. Overlay with a couple of generous overlapped layers of finishing cloth with e resin. Seal with a good high build epoxy primer. As long as you don't plan to keep the boat in water for more than two weeks at a time, most marine formulated paints will work fine. Longer and a good bottom paint is advised. Good luck !

  3. #3
    Moderator Moderator Bflaherty's Avatar
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    My only additional tip would be to grind down the outside before building with new structural cloth materials as Bruce described.. That way you can sand and fair it out flush with the true hull lines and still have the thickness for structural integrity... I start on the outside (even if you have to work upside down) and get the outside faired and true. Then build up good structural strength on the inside where no one will ever see it..

    Bottom line: DEFINITELY fixable!!
    Brian Flaherty

    "How can you discover great lands, with your feet planted in the sand"

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    Member Dave H's Avatar
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    Here is some more information to add to your repair project. First of all not all epoxy products are compatible with the old fiberglass resins. check with vendors in your area. I found this out when I was getting all the material to replace the stringers and floor in my seafair. The vender stated the epoxy may or may not bond to the old fiberglass and it took four gallons of resin to replace the stringers and floor. Another factor is the cost, west systems epoxy is about 100.00 a gallon and you only want to do this job once.
    I would start on the inside by cleaning back from the damaged area about 12 inches around the area. Start by cutting strips of cloth the full length of the repair area starting with two inch wide and each strip overlapping the previous by one half inch. From two inch the next one is three inch and so on. Do this for about ten layers once this is complete you can then work on the outside. What the inside layers gives you is some material to grind into to layer your repair like the inside. I learned this process repairing fiberglass boats on the Navy from 1968 to 1972. These are my recommendations and ideas for your project determine your game plan and go for it, good luck. Dave

  5. #5
    Supporting Member Supporting Member bruceb's Avatar
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    Brian's sequence makes perfect sense- just after I posted, thought to change it ! Once it's been sanded/ground, somehow you have to create a barrier on the inside to keep the new materials from falling through when applied from the exterior. Using mylar as the material that faces outward from the inside will help greatly as a release surface/material. Good luck

  6. #6
    I concluded a long time ago that it wasn't possible for a layman to rebuild boats. You need many skills have to successfully see engineering changes that have to be made and give up something tv? To make time for it. The crack in the bottom is just incidental to that boat. Repairing the transom is first. I used treated plywood with fiberglass drain tubes in the last one I did Two weeks ago it took me from port gamble to lopez in three hours it shows no deterioration so far. Id like to try coosa board next time. There is a fiberglass supplier between Annacortes and Burlington there known as the surfboard guys you could check in with them. fiberlay is in kent. Epoxy is best again you are going to need 25 or 30 gallons for the whole job. Many people have successfully used polyester.

  7. #7
    Administrator Helmar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Hello everyone.. been awhile... Finally settling in to the new house and getting back to the "Glassket case". I started to grind and clean the interior getting ready to lay in some new fabric when I saw this little split. My question to the experts... do I continue to work through this lil discovery?
    All good advice for sure.
    I see you are on Camano Island. I would look for a vendor that has some of the braided heavy roving fiberglass mat for that keel. If you go 12 inches wide and lap 4 inches over each other right over the keel, than you can be assured that any flex in the hull will never be able to open that up.
    It would also save you from many many layups with the smaller fiberglass thinner tapes.

    I also have a Dorsett Catalina and well, not impressed with the thickness of the hull's on them specially after you have been down into the guts of the SKagits..

    If you ever get to Seattles south side (old 99 I think) you have Fiberlay which has Everything you could ever need.
    Myself, I like the P-16 laminating fiberglass Resin for most of the big jobs and then use the West Systems Epoxy resins for all the smaller applications.
    Fiberlay will have Every combination of fiberglass mat and cloth available too.
    We now have a Fiberlay down just a tad south of Portland in a area called Clackamas. They ship free from the Seattle store to the Clackamas store and its worth the 2 hour ride up and 2 hours back

    I have tested all the products I listed on wood and fiberglass with a claw hammer and about the only thing I can tell you is you need to be into at least 70% fresh Glass for good adhesion.

    On my Dorsett Catalina, I am going with the laser and building up the heavy roving stringers and thinking I am going to come out with about the same weight as the MDO plywood stringers that Dorsett used. I also have several short rolls of fiberglass cloth that I will be laying down on the hull. Then it will get Foamed to boot.
    The only way I would loose her is if I ran her over the rocks and punched a hole Up though the floor boards but I can't ever see that happening even in the Columbia River.
    I also use the Fiberlay's Closed cell Adhesive Flotation foam. That stuff sticks to the floor boards, striingers as well as the hull.

    I just wish my Skagits rode as nice as that Dorsett.
    Those were designed for the San Francisco Bay's Choppy waters so they are so much better riding at higher speeds then my Skagits do. My Skagit 16 Skimaster will jar out your fillings if you open her up in the choppy waters. But with a little common sense, you would slow down in rough chop with them.

    I just need to get it out of my head that I like working on these things more than running them ;-)
    Helmar Joe Johanesen
    1959 Skagit 20ft Offshore, 1959 Skagit 16ft Skimaster,
    1961 17ft Dorsett Catalina.1958 Uniflite 17 ft
    Outboards: 2.5 Bearcats, 3 50hp White shadow Mercs
    2 40hp Johnsons, several smaller Old kickers for a total of 12

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  8. #8
    Administrator Helmar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
    I concluded a long time ago that it wasn't possible for a layman to rebuild boats. You need many skills have to successfully see engineering changes that have to be made and give up something tv? To make time for it. The crack in the bottom is just incidental to that boat. Repairing the transom is first. I used treated plywood with fiberglass drain tubes in the last one I did Two weeks ago it took me from port gamble to lopez in three hours it shows no deterioration so far. Id like to try coosa board next time. There is a fiberglass supplier between Annacortes and Burlington there known as the surfboard guys you could check in with them. fiberlay is in kent. Epoxy is best again you are going to need 25 or 30 gallons for the whole job. Many people have successfully used polyester.
    25 to 30 Gallons ? Are you sure, were would that much resin go I wonder. I am noticing more and more Youtube videos for glass layup so patching should be ok but structural changes, yeah, you need to be a little more advanced I would think..

    So, were is all that glass resin going ?.....I can see 5 gallons of it maybe ;-)
    Helmar Joe Johanesen
    1959 Skagit 20ft Offshore, 1959 Skagit 16ft Skimaster,
    1961 17ft Dorsett Catalina.1958 Uniflite 17 ft
    Outboards: 2.5 Bearcats, 3 50hp White shadow Mercs
    2 40hp Johnsons, several smaller Old kickers for a total of 12

    Our Sister club
    http://www.goldenstateglassics.com

    Oh, and Where is Robin Hood when you need him??


  9. #9
    pvc foam needs at least a layer of mat on each side and two mat and roving under heavy use like floor. The boat needs a new bunk, floor, stringers, transom, bulkhead, door, bulkhead at rear, repair deck where it was sawn in half and the hatch needs to be removed from the front deck, foam needs to go under deck glassed in and hole patched so you can walk or kneel there. I'm not entertaining the Idea of using wood anywhere other than the cabin door and transom.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Kelly's Avatar
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    What would you use for the floor instead of wood? Your Uniflite doesn't have a wood floor right?
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