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Thread: Wood replacement questions

  1. #1

    Wood replacement questions

    I don't have many current pictures at this time due to me dropping our camera in salt water while camping at Kalaloch last spring and well everything was lost... live and learn I knew better.
    Anyway, I have all the wood removed from the boat except the strips in the stringers that the floor screws to. All the tabbing has been ground back. I am ready to start the rebuilding process now. I purchased a couple sheets of 3/8"Hydrotek marine plywood to get started. I am not a professional boat restorer but my day job is restoring classic cars, steel, aluminum and fiberglass, so I do have 20 years experience with old wore out cars.
    While researching the best current products/materials to use, I have found a big dilemma about wood-composite core and polyester-epoxy controversy vs. life span and cost. With restoring cars I always try and "restore" to original but with modern products and material.
    On my boat, while tearing out the wood and fiberglass I found most of the fiberglass(polyester resin) would pull the plywood apart where the wood was not rotten, so I know the bond was good. While researching whether to use polyester on wood the main consensus is "use epoxy, polyester doesn't stick to wood". Well that is not what I found on my boat and boats are still being built that way. The latest info I could find is that polyester does stick to wood but seems to wick water into the wood over time, this info from supposed navel engineer or voids, added holes into the wood at a later time.
    Cost is an issue, epoxy is quite expensive especially for how much I will need to rebuild all the interior, plus I am fairly familiar with polyester resin, unless I am missing something here. I am not trying to be cheap, just not waste my money on something I don't need. There are quite a few brands of epoxy with quite a big difference in price.
    I have searched on these forums also and have found some discussion on this, but I am not sure which way I want to go. I know these boats have been around since the 50's-60's and some have not had the wood rot. It seems a bit overkill to build such a strong transom onto a light layup boat that might see 30mph on smooth water if I'm lucky.
    So what should I do?
    I will try and post some pictures of it's current state soon.

  2. #2
    Administrator Helmar's Avatar
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    Well, the way I learned it from Island Boat Shop was we used pretty much just Fiberlays P-16 laminating fiberglass resin all around.
    Most of everything was taped and fiberglassed.

    Another proven product was West Systems epoxy resin..

    The reason I know this stuff is strong, we blew up a floor without enough vent holes when we used the Fiberlay closed cell Adhesion foam.
    That took us quite some time to get back apart.

    Sealing the wood, Daily's is the choice now that MarXite is no longer produced. Or, two part epoxy wood sealer.
    Normally if a surface is to be painted, two coats of sealer. The edges, we would seal it until it would no longer take sealer. Minimum of two coats, some woods, 4 and more.

    You will find on that Skagit you have different thickness's around the transom, keel and chine edges.

    Normally you will find weakness's in some of the production that you can build better.
    The transoms and going to the 2" we found out worked out real well using some of the larger 4 stroke engines. No flex at all. Flex causes cracks.

    I have used a couple of what I call donor boats, engine, steering, hardware, Some I/O packages and scrapped the boat.
    So I personally feel that on some of the later Rinell boats and bayliner boats, it would take two of them to make one Skagit materiel wise.

    Others have and use other types of products but this is what I know works. I think I have 6 or so under my belt so far and working on two more.
    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??


  3. #3
    Thanks Helmar, I appreciate the information!
    On the daily 's wood sealer do you then apply p-16 over that with no adhesion issue? I have always been told epoxy over polyester but NO polyester over epoxy, that is my concern with sealing the wood with epoxy, any experience with that? In my automotive painting career I am always concerned/cautious with compatibility, my lively hood depends on it.
    Got it with strengthening the transom for heavier outboards. I did notice that the transom was thinner on the sides and I am planning to replace in a similar fashion. I measured just over an inch of thickness in the center with three layers of 3/8 plywood when I took it out, and your saying to double that, correct? On that note I thought my boat seems like it's a thin layup excluding the bottom. I was just amazed by how thin the sides are when tapping on it. I don't have much to compare it to other then 70's jet boats that I previously owned which are like a heavy brick. Thanks again and I welcome any and all opinions or comments what else has worked or not worked.

  4. #4
    Administrator Helmar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sclapsaddle View Post
    Thanks Helmar, I appreciate the information!
    On the daily 's wood sealer do you then apply p-16 over that with no adhesion issue? I have always been told epoxy over polyester but NO polyester over epoxy, that is my concern with sealing the wood with epoxy, any experience with that? In my automotive painting career I am always concerned/cautious with compatibility, my lively hood depends on it.
    Got it with strengthening the transom for heavier outboards. I did notice that the transom was thinner on the sides and I am planning to replace in a similar fashion. I measured just over an inch of thickness in the center with three layers of 3/8 plywood when I took it out, and your saying to double that, correct? On that note I thought my boat seems like it's a thin layup excluding the bottom. I was just amazed by how thin the sides are when tapping on it. I don't have much to compare it to other then 70's jet boats that I previously owned which are like a heavy brick. Thanks again and I welcome any and all opinions or comments what else has worked or not worked.
    To be honest about the Dailys, it needs sanding for adhesion. Normally I would be using the MarXite which required none. Same with the two part epoxy sealer....Sorry, forgot the name but have some in the shop still to go look at.

    For fiberglass tape on glass, we have tested and for the most part, you have to have a minimum of 70% of Fresh fiberglass surface for good adhesion.
    I know this first hand as I had to make changes to New construction and this was before the new Osculating tools. Hammer, chisel and grinder, it was brutal !

    I can't say about fiberglass resin over epoxy resin as I have never done that. If I have, the epoxy resin was to hold like the control block to the hull sides but would fiberglass tape on the edges with the fiberglass resins. Back to that 70% rule.

    With the power planer, I found it was easy to start the lay up on the transoms. I will either use a bulkhead frame or clamp to the stringers a plate that I will use to jack against to force the camber when doing layup. The power planer was to feather the outer edges of the plywood as to eliminate as much void area as possible.
    The next layup, would overlap the outer edges and this was done with the first template by using pop cycle sticks and hot glue as to know the extended width that was required. Feather the edges and then resin on the first layer, resin on the next layup and mash it into place. I will take them out to 2" of left to my own liking.
    I would always be sloppy with the upper portions of the layup knowing I could trim the extra wood, seal it and several layers of glass tape. Once done with that, cover the whole the whole transom with fiberglass cloth.

    Then comes the flooring all the way to the transom to help tie in the floor to the transom.
    I will also build a Bilge pump area in the rear for the pump or pumps. (will have pictures of that process soon I hope, got to warm up some as my little wood heater is not keeping up with the low 20's degrees)
    I also Never cared for how large the rear splashwell bucket was. Too much water area so if left to my own liking, I would also box part of that off and leave it open in the cockpit area as to store fenders or rope in.
    Everything is sealed in fiberglass cloth.

    The thickness of the stern, I have Never seen one crack or cracked with the camber they have put in them.
    I will take the transom build out as far into the camber as I possible can, tie the transom to hull bottom when I can, using the floor and a knee to help tie it all in for the heavy torque motors.
    I have seen as much as 100 plus hp motors on the rear but these old girls, the hull speeds above 30mph get pretty spooky. They will start to porpoise bad.
    Remember, not much V to these old girls as with over powering them, its like a barn door with a motor on them ;-)

    Another thing that I like to do is use the Closed cell flotation Adhesion foam under the floor. Found that Fiberlay is the best choice on that. Its important to scrub the hull as its is a Adhesion foam so only 1/2 deck is needed.
    In order to sink her, you would have to poke something clear up through the floor !.

    Hope I answered most of your questions.

    My training came from one of the masters, Marty Loken from Island Boat Shop and also the Wooden Boat Shop out of Seattle. My other training came from the late George Calkins, master craftsman and boat builder. He was famous for his Bartender boats that the coast guard used to use. You can still by kits to build those too. George had Many designs of boats from a 40 foot sail boat down to small racing boats.

    So, that is what I have for now.

    I am Sure others have other ways they have or are doing things so Now is the time to jump in.
    We might move this thread to the restoration area too.

    Enjoy
    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??


  5. #5
    Yes thanks, I don't want to reinvent the wheel here just do what works and use others advise. Pictures this afternoon.

  6. #6
    My 1958 Skagit 20 Offshore. There's a couple pictures of when I picked it up at my parents house outside of Shelton after I brought it home and took out the rotten interior, then after I removed all the wood and ground the fiberglass.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Kelly's Avatar
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    No time to post...at work...will definitely check out the pics tomorrow.
    Thanks for posting them!
    1958 Skagit 20 Express Hardtop
    1958 Skagit 20 Express
    -PNW Craftsmanship


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  8. #8
    Administrator Helmar's Avatar
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    Do you have the helm windshield frame for her ?
    If not, the late Chuck Carey took his off Skagit 20 and came up with a nice look.

    I am not finding a picture of his 20 other than one on our main website that is in the picture rotation. His is the blue one with the later Merc on the back.

    Anyone have a picture of Chucks cut down windshield ?
    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
    Supporting Member Supporting Member bruceb's Avatar
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    ˙Here's a shot from July 2011 in Jarrel's Cove with Chuck's 20. The windshield is a classic used by vintage wood runabout manufacturers and enthusiasts. There is a bracket at each side and a center bracket. Two pieces of flat glass are the windshield area. Nice looking. I'm going to throw a wrench in the idea, as it probably needs to be higher to provide better protection for occupants. Skagit used off the shelf Taylor plexi on some 17 models as well as the last year of production for the 20 express/offshore models. The FG frame with glass inserts were installed by the factory from 1955-late 1959 on 20' models. So if one can't come up with a factory FG frame and glass combo for that upper windshield, a proper sized plexi in aluminum frame (easy to find on eBay, just make sure of dimensions) might be an inexpensive and semi-correct looking alternative.P1110517.jpg

  10. #10
    I do have what I assume is the original windshield, I believe thin aluminum bottom and curved Plexiglas, no complete surround. However the looks I like about these boats is the tall bow and short cabin height, and the original glass while sounds like they are very functional alters the look to me, I might have to compromise based on Chuck's experience though. With my slow progress it will be awhile before I will have to decide.

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