I have been asked by multiple times recently to update my blog and post some new pictures. OK – I’ve been asked twice, but it did happen twice this week. I am happy to report that there has been some progress.
First off, I got the hole in my floor fixed. This was quite an event. First off, I have never done anything with fiberglass before in my life. So, all of this was new. I watched a video on the Tap Plastics web site about how to repair fiberglass and off I went. I got the fabric and resin and all the supplies I needed from Tap. OK – commercial over.
This is what the hole in my floor looked like when I started. If you are reading this blog for the first time you’ll have to go back and see the blogs about the foam and how I got this big hole in my floor.
To fix this you need two things. Glass fabric and resin. The glass fabric is basically as it sounds. It is woven fabric made of glass fibers. The resin is, uh, well it is resin. It is a gel until you mix it with a catalyst and it hardens. Hard resin is brittle, but the glass gives it strength. The white fabric is the glass, the resin is the light blue bottle, and the red bottle is acetone (used to clean the surface before you do the repair).
I don’t have any “in process” photos, but the basic idea is this. First you trim the edges of the good glass, my floor. Essentially the idea is to sand them down at an angle – like a ramp. Next you cut up glass starting in the shape of the hole, and then slowly build bigger and bigger pieces until you fill in the ramp and build up the thickness to the same as the original floor. Then you lay down the first layer, and paint resin on it. Then the next biggest size, more resin, then the next, etc. I also “rotated” the fiberglass 45 degrees for each cut so that the fibers all help reinforce in different directions.
When I was done, it looked like this:
Then, I waited. Later, the resin was as hard as a rock. Interestingly, it sort of cleared up a bit too.
This morning I went out and stood on it. It crackled and popped a bit. It reminded me of the sound that brand new snow skis make the first time you bend them. The sound made me smile as it reminded me of the days of working at Olympic Sports, a long time ago. After a little stomping around, the cracking stopped and I’m satisfied that the floor is whole again. It sure looks a little different (due to the type of resin used by me and by Correct Craft when they built the boat), but it feels as solid as a rock..
I also discovered that two small parts on the trailer needed to be replaced so I did that today. It was more of the “rusty rust” problem (old blog again). These two parts are where the bow rests on the trailer.
I cut up two new blocks of 2 x 6 pressure treated lumber to match the old broken pieces and stapled the fabric back on.
I’m sort of amazed, but the next step is carpet.