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I want to put an end to this..........delamination #185366
07/16/09 05:57 PM
07/16/09 05:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 70
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tx246 Offline OP
journeyman
tx246  Offline OP
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Ok. I have a really old boat and over the years soft spots have developed and I repaired them with the Epoxy injection method. My poor boat looks like a heroin addict as it has so many holes. Seems every few years the leading edge of the repair gets weak and starts to fail.

I sail heavy and hard. The last time I had the boat out I was trapped when I noticed a tweak in the hull. Freaked me out. The hull looked like it was failing at a 45 degree angle across the top of the hull with the front of the hull toeing in. I limped it back to the ramp and loaded up. There was a flat spot on the top of the hull and the side of the top there was a bulge at the edge. By the time I got home, it popped back into shape.....like it never happened.

I want to fix it for good. I am not really concerned with weight as much as I am strength. I am familiar with both polyester and epoxy fiberglass.

Seems that the delamination occurs right down the middle of the hulls. As you get to the edges, the foam core is still intact. Is it better to cut the top centers of the hull off entirely, and remove the damaged foam, add foam and relay the top back on? Is it possible to add a new layer of foam to the existing deck and glass over it? I know my sailboards use polystyrene as the core material. Can I shape normal polystyrene before glassing? Is wood a suitable core? Anybody done this? Im not going to throw the boat out. Materials are not that expensive and I have the time. I just dont want a hull failure while hanging out on the wire.

I dont care what it looks like as long as it is functional.

Thanks in advance for the replies.

Last edited by tx246; 07/16/09 05:58 PM.
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Re: I want to put an end to this..........delamination [Re: tx246] #185445
07/17/09 12:03 PM
07/17/09 12:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 125
Clinton, Mississippi
rattlenhum Offline
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rattlenhum  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 125
Clinton, Mississippi
It sounds like your hull may be too far gone for a deck repair to "fix it for good." The fact that the whole hull toed in makes me conclude that the sides of the hull have been compromised as well That said, the most structurally sound deck fix I've seen is to remove the top skin and all the delam/previous delam fix crap until you have solid stuff to which you can bond. Then go back with balsa and resin before reglassing the top. I've seen such a repair hold up to years of heavy abuse, but it was not as large an area as yours sounds.

I know you said it's not an option, but I highly recommend replacement. If you've got the time to kill, you may be able to get some more use out of the hull, but I don't think you can come close to "for good".

Just an opinion. smile


Jerome Vaughan
Hobie 16
Clinton, Mississippi
Re: I want to put an end to this..........delamination [Re: rattlenhum] #185461
07/17/09 03:42 PM
07/17/09 03:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 70
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tx246 Offline OP
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tx246  Offline OP
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I guess to describe the tweak better. The hull sides didnt look any different only the top side. I can go push on the sides and they feel the same. If I cut the top layer off, I can cut an inspection port on the bottom layer to check up on the hull sides.

Where do you find balsa sheets? and should I just go back with the same thickness as the original core?

Re: I want to put an end to this..........delamination [Re: tx246] #185463
07/17/09 04:09 PM
07/17/09 04:09 PM
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tx246 Offline OP
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tx246  Offline OP
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Ok I found a source for boat balsa and foam core. I also found that balsa is stronger. What are the pros and cons of these two balsa and foam core?

Re: I want to put an end to this..........delamination [Re: tx246] #185527
07/19/09 06:17 AM
07/19/09 06:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,884
Detroit, MI
mbounds Offline
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mbounds  Offline
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Posts: 1,884
Detroit, MI
Do not use balsa core. It will eventually get wet and lose that strength, as well as weighing a ton.

My honest suggestion for you, since you sail "heavy and hard"?
[Linked Image]
Your boat is dead, but it doesn't know it yet. You need to find new (at least to you) hulls.

Re: I want to put an end to this..........delamination [Re: mbounds] #185559
07/19/09 08:34 PM
07/19/09 08:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
North Carolina
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abbman Offline
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abbman  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
North Carolina
Tx246,

I can totally relate, especially if this is your first boat. I had a similar problem. I bought my first boat, an 83' H16, about five years ago. It was love at first sight. As I became more interested and knowledgable, much to the thanks of this site and the hobie site, I too learned that I had the dreaded "soft spots". My whole starbord deck was soft. I repaired it with the injection method with a great deal of success. I was very happy with it. It got me through another season. But think, how much weight have you've just added to your boat? How much has your confidence decreased in your boat's ability to sail hard? (which I too love to do) How much slower are you than your H16 buddies? (due to that extra weight and confidence) How much money are you willing to put into it? (and think total cost, multiple repairs) Are you ready for a hull failure when you least expect it?
That's how I felt about my hulls every time I pressed on them and it sounded like a bag of potato chips. I think that this repair is great.... for small areas of delam. It sounds like you do not have a small area of delam.
I searced and searched, but eventually found what I was looking for..... a rock hard set of 86' hulls that were significantly lighter than my 83' hulls, before I did anything to them.
I know they are light. I know they are strong. I know I can sail my boat with confidence. It was worth it. Just be patient, look around on the web, look around at sailing clubs, look around everywhere you go. Don't be afraid to ask a potential seller if you can see the hulls and press on them. Push on every inch of each hull. You'll find what your looking for.

That's just my two cents. Sorry for the long post.


James
1983 Hobie 16'
Re: I want to put an end to this..........delamination [Re: tx246] #185648
07/20/09 11:05 PM
07/20/09 11:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 493
Minnesota
Jeff Peterson Offline
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Jeff Peterson  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 493
Minnesota
I'd try re-injecting epoxy into the soft areas. If necessary, drill new holes between the old injection holes if the old repair has failed in some areas. I don't know if I'd try a total deck repair on these hulls, but some folks are confident that they can repair anything "fiberglass". I believe in the quick fix, first. (I'm the kind of person that will stick a baked bean can on a failing exhaust pipe just to get another year out of it. By then, the muffler is gone, too!)


Jeff Peterson
H-16 Sail #23721
Big Marine Lake, MN
Re: I want to put an end to this..........delamination [Re: Jeff Peterson] #185900
07/22/09 09:10 PM
07/22/09 09:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 70
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tx246 Offline OP
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tx246  Offline OP
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Well, I did a careful inspection of the hull after I reinjected the deck. The deck is now firm but the sides are flexy from the pylon up 4ft toward the nose. The only way to make that that good is to cut the deck, go inside and do a lot of work. I dont race and there arent many sailboats on my lake much less Hobies so fast is relative. I do travel long distances to sail. My concern is with a catastrophic hull failure with a dismast in the middle of nowhere by myself.

In the end, I bought a 1985 with solid hulls, new sails, and some very nice bits that my boat didnt have. My banana will be an organ donor on Ebay so some other sail boat will live.

Thanks for the responses.


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