peter wild

Foam in hull repair

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Hi all this is the first time on this site so unsure of the process.. l am fixing up an old glass 1980? windrush super sloop.. the foam blocks in the hull have come unstuck so the sides can flex unless they are jammed down, any ideas would be great,,

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l Found an old post where they jammed closed cell round pool float sticks on on top of the loose foam to stiffen up the hulls..

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Hi Peter

What I did is cut a hatch hole in the forward deck as far in-front of the front beam as it will still fit. There is a very small ridge that you will need to make flat or your hatch lid wont screw onto the base when the base is attached onto the hull. I just re stuck the two layers of foam back in with sicafiex and jammed them down as far as I could and held them in place with upright dowels, until the sicafiex dried.

Being a pre foam or B/H boat there is not a hatch behind the front beam. You will have to cut one in behind the beam, back a bit from the beam. From this hatch you will need to shuffle the foam block's forward and back to get the sicafiex glue onto the sides of the foam. Go into the back hatch and undo the plastic box either push it out of the way or cut it up and remove it. You can then get access into the back and reach in to put sicafiex onto the sides of the foam. The sicafiex is the best glue to use I have used the white and the black. I think the black is better but the white is good enough. Make sure you have surgical gloves on and a thick long sleeve shirt on, or your arm will be covered in glue and be sore from reaching into your arm pit. I used 1.5 tubes each hull but if you are careful and use just enough you should be able to get the hole job done with two tubes.

Due to your boat being a old one with no bulk heads at the beams it would pay to put some glass under each beam inside the hulls to give it some strength. Or you risk it cracking. Its not that hard to do, I removed the rudders and flipped the boat over and sat it on 4 old 200L drums and that way when you lay the glass mat in it stays in place. I also lay the glass to the gunnels either side, especially the beam side gunnel . If you are sailing in the sea with chop and wave put plenty on. If you are lake sailing you probably wont need that much.  I know this may sound like a bit of work but once its done your boat will be good for years. It will also sail a lot better with the foam stuck back in place.         

Cheers Quin      

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To answer your question: I did put pool noodles into the hulls of my bulk head boat because the horizontal B/H had collapsed and there was no sideways support inside so the hulls were wobbly. But your boat if slightly different and has the foam blocks inside to support the hulls so you don't need to put noodles in the hulls just re-glue the blocks in.

Being a B/H boat there is a hatch behind the front beam, from this hatch I lifted the foam block up and put the noodles under it. I removed the remains of the wood ply from the old horizontal collapsed B/H. I then stuffed as many of the big long noodles in until it was tight. I had 4 big guys looking on so I got them to sit on the hulls as I jiggled the last ones in. The hull was bulging outwards a bit so they were very tight in there. I think I bought 25 noodles, but some types are skinnier and have a hollow in them. I got the solid ones that were a bit bigger and longer. I think it cost $280 for them?

The boat was 77kgs before and after was 83.5 so weight is not an issue, my foam boat is 85kgs. The difference it made to the boat was dramatic to say the least. Before it was a wobbly hulled dog, slow on every point of sail. After it floated higher in the water responded better and sailed much better. I really cant tell much if any difference between performance of my B/H and my foamy now, and I have had someone else sail it so they are side by side and they are much the same. That's on the sea with 10 to 15 knot breezes.

I haven't had a issue with water draining out but I was thinking maybe it would be a good idea to buy a length of electrical white conduit and lay that in the bottom between the B/H's and maybe drill lots of holes in it just incase.  I hope this helps

 Cheers Quin      

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Thank's Quin that is a great idea Sikaflex 291 is that the stuff?  with the new hatch up the front will it be ok to put it in behind the front beam..

the glassing of the crossbeams upside down l will also attempt as it looks and feels quiet weak it that area, the glass is still attached to the foam as far as l can see so there is a good surface to pump the sika down onto... cheers and thanks again for your help..

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Hi Peter

A hatch behind the front beam is ok, Most Windrush have one there. Just set it back from the beam say around 5cm. But to get access to the front you will also need to also put a hatch up the front or cut a access hole that you can replace. Its easier to just put a hatch in up as far as you can. You say the glass is still stuck to the foam??? The foam should be just glued in?

Has your boat got any numbers stamped into the small flat alloy area where the back beam bolts on?? Its just that fiberglass tends to melt the foam. Depends what you use.

Cheers   

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Hi there...there is fiberglass tape fixed to the foam that has separated from the hull so most of the foam is loose at this stage..

Can't find any numbers on the castings..

the sail number and also on the rear beam 4547... name on boat CYRANO 11.

Not that that will help much but sail Number might help with age..cheers

and yes they may have used epoxy on the tape on the foam because it is yellow like epoxy goes..cheers. l will post a pic..

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Interesting !!! There was a run of boats before the bulkhead ones that apparently the factory did the foam attachment this way. They are lighter than the older ones and do have some extra glass around the beam attachments on the inside of the hulls, (always could do with more though). A photo of the underside of the beam area would confirm. They are the best of the pre foam Windrush boats. Stick the blocks in properly and you will have a competitive boat.

I have a old one that's done this way but it's not factory. A guy spent a lot of time making nice little bulkheads and glassing in all the foam. But now its got a gap between the foam and hull where it's been repeatedly stood on when tipped over by a learner. So I have to cut the glass and push it down a cm or so and reattach. Not a job I'm looking forward to doing. Every time he sailed it he tipped it over, also the hulls would fill up. When the hulls fill up and you beach the boat the extra weight of the water inside the hulls separates the foam from the hulls.

By the look of the photo I would cut a hatch or access a bit behind the front beam and up the front and slide the top bit back out of the way, tip the bottom bit on its side putting glue on either side and push back in place. It may help to attach a bit of hard tubing onto the end of your gun for extra reach. I didn't but it would have helped a lot.

I've had to do three boats now and the easiest one was a job I finished for a guy who had cut big squares out of the deck in front and behind the 4 beam attachments then gave up. It did make it very easy to get to all areas of inside the hulls but then I had to re glass in the 4 squares and make them strong enough to sit or stand on, and make it all look nice.

Cheers

Quin      

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Thank's again Quin, good to know that with some time and effort l will end up with reasonable hull's..do l have to remove the beams to find the number? is there a standard of hatch size for the front and rear replacement.. buy them before cutting holes. and again thank's for your time..l will get on with the foam repairs first and complete,,don't want to drive you mad with to many Questions,, l will work on it in stages thanks..

 

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Hi Peter

No problem, By the look of that there is a crack in that fiberglass? I would put 3 or 4 layers of glass, that's if you use standard chop strand, around and under the beams. Especially down the sides and inner beam side to the gunnel. A small drill with one of those small rotor bits to get into the corners and get in that crack would help it stick. Also wipe it with grease and wax remover to get off the old salt. Buy one of those little fiberglass rollers and try to wipe up the excess resin. It just adds weight.

I think 5in hatch was the standard size but I've seen bigger and the bigger the better access. I would measure and go looking at a boat shop or BCF. They sell them, the newer flat types are better but check on line. The back hatch will have to remain the same size.  As for the hatch I said to put up the front on the deck, you might want the bring it back somewhat so you can also get access to the front of the beam. So when you are laying up the glass you can get to both sides, front and back of the beam. You still should be able to get your arm in there and glue the front foam blocks in. You just might have to shuffle them around to get the glue on them. Make a gaff with a shorter handle to help. 

There's not quite as much stress on the hulls at the back beam. If you do a good job on the front you wont have to do so much on the back. So you can reuse the back hatches but you will need 4 new holes cut and hatches for the front beam.  

Also before you put the tramp on go get some old seatbelt strapping and undo the main hull bolt and slide it under the beam. You will have to cut a hole for the bolt to go through. You will have to roll the hull over a little bit to get it in, get help to do it. I've found two layers at the front and sometimes one at the back will tighten up your boat very nicely.  

The photo of the hull from the back in your shed, If you see that rivet on the back casting. Look at that flat bit on the hull alloy casting just below and to the right of that rivet. The numbers will be easily seen on that flat bit. Lots/ most of the boats didn't have numbers so don't worry about it. It was a indicator of the age but I would say around  83 84 with those sail numbers but I could be wrong. 

You have a good days work there doing the glassing and then a few hours gluing in the foam and you will need a hand flipping it over and carrying it when upside down. I sat it on some planks and drums so it was stable. I think it's defiantly worth doing if you want to use it a bit and race it.

Cheers

Quin            

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