Boat Repairs.

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Aug 27, 2022
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With the arrival of the son not being able to say one sentence without the word "fishing" in it ive decided im going to finish the repairs on "Kiona" our beloved family boat.
Here it is upside down on old tires,
I painted this boat myself some 7 yr ago, it was combination of 2 pack and a special marine paint thats was expensinve but ummmmm.... well the bloke saw me comming and I bought it!, you can see parts of the black have flaked off, all the 2 pack remains and is still hard.
So its a 2pack cammo and the black underside is the marine black, me thinking marine paint being the go for underwater. I installed my own LED strip lighting for the port n starboard lights and theres a 36W LED spotty mounted in front and below the bow sprit. its great for night travelling and crabbing in creeks, turns night into day to navigate the skinny shallow channels.


there was a big hole in the front, this was a small crack that I repaired over 10 yr ago, this boats been in the fam for a good 12yr now and had 2 repaints since its first rebuild. its a 1984 sportsman craft 149, 60hp etec. was a half cab but I converted it to this as the previous owner abandoned the project. I paid $800 for the shell n trailer. no floor, nor gunwhales and nothing on th inside, I rebuilt this over 2 yrs at leisure.
in this pic ive already stuffed carbon chop into the hole and the void left from the rotted timber I removed as well, its way deeper than the actual hole, the hole is where the Black hardened carbon is right in the middle of the repair, theres still a couple layers of carbon to go over this so those cast holes in the repair get filled!
Do you like the trailer gouges, river launching has its downsides and its usually the retrieve that does it!

This hole was only a crack from the boat sitting for over a year on the trailer, the roller has weakened and cracked the fiberglass letting water seeping in, over the year it was allowed to sit and rot, the small crack turned into a full blown dig out of the keel line where the timber under the glass had rotted,
Same as the other big hole, I saturated the , now dug out and dried rotten area" and stuffed it full of carbon fiber chop mixed with heaps of resin, the carbon dried super hard and the resin eventually seeps through and re hardens the rotted area as it too soaks up the resin, water proofing the whole underneath area of the repair.


So I then gathered what I could find, I only had a really thick 850gsm double weave fiberglass sheet and a small off cut from the carbon left over from the quad drifter.
I cut everything to size ready to layer over the hole thats already filled and cured with the carbon chop....Note" Im only using the carbon coz ive ran out of the thinner fiberglass sheet.
So the heavy glass is to build up the area above the carbon chop and the small carbon fiber piece will be to lay over eveyrthing to tidy it up before sanding in a couple days.


ill put some more pics up of the completed patch tomorrow but heres a look at my yard, the mrs is starting to crack up coz we now have 2 trailers taking up space in the yard and a camper trailer out of view and then the boats in the middle of the back lawn too!


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managed to get the carbon chop in and covered with another couple of layers of carbon fiber cloth over them to bring them up a bit then they got another 5 layers of glass cloth on top of that.
I then noticed when I rubbed the patches back to add more glass a couple of small holes appeared on the bow line,
I picked away at them and they didnt go right through so they got a small fill with resin and glass chop then the whole line of the bow between the two holes got 3 layers of glass over it.
so in places theres a good inch of glass and carbon then the area is covered along that line with more glass so im picking this repair will last quite a few years, provided I dont let it sit on a concrete ramp and bang up n down with water movement,. Thats actually what damaged the bottom in the first place, it happened on the 3rd trip after the hernia OP, son and I were retrieving the boat on a river ramp and the wind and tide were opposing causing a good amount of small chop, then a boat or 3 gos past..... in the end we couldnt get it on and I got the son to hold was a bit too much and when I came back with more rope it was banging up n down on the concrete...wasnt fussed then and he didnt know so all was good.
The very next weekend we used it again and when leaving I released the bung and holy moly...about 50 liters came out! I knew straight away what had happened!
The holes were already there from yrs past but only pin sized... the big hits on that dreadful day crushed and weakened the surrounding area and the rest is they say!
Ummmmm I cant insert these pics so I hope they work, sorry you have to click them, I have a new I phone so maybe somethings a miss!


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Ok so everything’s prepped and daughter n me brushed on about 7 coats of matt black acrylic, not the best, in fact probably thr worst choice but we had heaps so we went for it. Its so darn hot, 36’c today, so its baking in the sun, the black underside was so hot the paint was touch dry brfore we could re-dip the brush ,
After an hours back I’ll hit it with some clear enamel, then she sits for a couple days to cure and we’re good to go with flipping her back over 😎
When I painted my boat I used Starthane catalyzed polyurethane. 25 years old now and it’s still solid and watertight.

I too added a lot of extra glass at the nose of the keel and along it. Actually, we did many repairs on my old boat.
When I painted my boat I used Starthane catalyzed polyurethane. 25 years old now and it’s still solid and watertight.

I too added a lot of extra glass at the nose of the keel and along it. Actually, we did many repairs on my old boat.
I was told many yrs ago if I wanted to get into boating and buying used then go for glass, easier to work on at home etc etc, theres a weight and handling trade off with aluminium boats being way lighter, requiring less horse power to do the job, less fuel on the car and boat....really glass just gives a way nicer ride, much quieter in a chop and smoother in ripply stuff, also re-glassing or modifying at your leisure etc, you can do that with ally boats too but not many are good at ally welding or lack the gear at home or maybe dont know anyone who has, all my glassing has been self taught with the help of mates and blokes advice ya pick up over the years...nothings failed as yet (Touch Wood) these repairs are because of my errant retrieves after the hernia op, trying to do it easy and stuffing it.
ive had this boat for some 12 yrs , all it had when it came home was a rebuilt transom (Pheeeew) and about a quarter of the floor done, its a 1984 sportsman craft half cab 147, it had no supports, no deck, no seats and....almost no floor.
Those were pretty much my thoughts back before I had a welder that would weld aluminum. Now I’m thinking more about an aluminum boat, because of the light weight I will be able to tow a bigger boat.
Those were pretty much my thoughts back before I had a welder that would weld aluminum. Now I’m thinking more about an aluminum boat, because of the light weight I will be able to tow a bigger boat.
I should have clarified this boat only has to last another 5-6 yrs. Then I’ll be going to an ally boat, they really can’t be beaten when it comes to hauling the thing on and off the trailer,
The repair went well. ive adjusted the rollers to have a more even spread of weight across the skids and rollers, We got the oldest daughter and her boyfriend came around and together with the mrs we tipped her back right side went great!

WE then moved the trailer into position and I began winding it back on ,Even @ 460kg's, (almost 1000 pounds) its a very easy process, the boat ends up pulling the trailer under itself as you wind,
We got her on and I began walking around it doing an inspection......UH OH...oil dripping out of the outboard leg!.... Remember I left the motor bolted on and we tipped it over! It held all good but the oil was Trim Fluid, the seal had busted on the shaft.

in the pic the small black ring seal on the ram shaft has broken out and now moves with the shaft creating no seal at all, I push it comes straight back out!

Busted Seal.png

Whats happened is......The seal was gone ...I rekon 1-2 yrs ago, because it sits underwater when at rest water slowly seeps in, it then mixs with the trim fluid (fancy name for ATF), we dont use the boat much, half the reservoir was filled with a light grey oil/water mixture,
Because the use of the trim motor is minimal, its taken a long time to fully mix, it then sat for months at a time, the reservoir then separates the fluid and water and they sit on top of each other.. Then once we tipped her upside down the fluid starts to run out of the seal....OK.. repairs all done, tip it right side up and start to refill the reservoir with nice new clean fluid, pump it through a few times and this is when it started to spew the grey stuff everywhere.
I flushed it to this point but its with great sadness the boat cant go in to get fixed until next saturday!
There is no way we can use this while its leaking real bad...that leaks into water, the home of the fish we are trying to target and we cant have that! .

in this pic you can see the fluid is starting to turn red, its clean state, still a ways to go but thats it, the mechanics booked it in...i'll stop right here thanks!
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