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  1. #1
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    Default Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Have been doing some restoration on my 1976 AMF SLICKCRAFT (SS-206) over the last month or so. I have so far concentrated on replacing damaged/rotten wood. I first tackled some weak spots in the floor and everything went well. My next task is to address an area of wood rot in the transom. Damage appears to be contained to about a 12 inch radius. Went to a boat repair shop today to discuss costs and the best method of repairing transom weakness. During my conversation with the fiberglass repair guy, he brought up "fact" that asbestos was used as a filler in the construction of many boats in the 70's. Although I have been using a protective mask while doing the necessary grinding, cutting and sanding of the old fiberglass in my boat, the idea of generating an asbestos cloud around me and on me raises a concern. I ask another boat dealer if he had knowledge of the use of asbestos in fiberglass boats and he said in his forty years in the boat business he had never heard of such a thing. My question - Who is telling the truth???

  2. #2
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Filler? For what??I really doubt it, SBAKF. Glass fiber was cheaper.When they wanted to "thicken" the resin they usually used diatomaceous earth, or Cab-O-Sil. Does the same to resin that corn starch does to gravy.I never heard of using asbestos. Cab-O-Sil is a super-fine powder and shouldn't be breathed so they always had to wear masks when using it. Maybe the masks caused a misunderstanding.Once the resin had set, Cab-O-Sil offers no extra hazard, but you are smart to wear a mask when sanding or grinding.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    They (at least one manufacturer) did use asbestos putty. An alert was posted on this board some years and if you search boats(asbestos) you will probably find it. The boat in that instance was a Glastron, '74 vintage. I got the plans from that original poster and the plans specify the use of asbestos putty in various locations to do things like fix the transom in place prior to mfgr's glassing. Same type of use on the stringers, floor, etc. if I recall correctly( but definately was used in the transom area). Be concerned when grinding out beads, demo of floor and transom and stringers. It is not in the fiberglass to the best of my knowledge. Good luck.edit update:I searched and didnt find it. It must have been lost.

  4. #4
    Petty Officer 3rd Class
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Morning all,Asbestosis or mesotheliosis is directly caused by the inhalation of asbestos into the lungs. The finer the particle, such as dust, the greater the danger. The ingestion of even tiny amounts can cause horrific problems 20 or 30 years down the track. It is not simply a case of wearing a mask when grinding. Here in Australia secondary contact with the dust has caused the lung condition. An example was a wife who washed her husbands clothing over a period of time (he was a worker in as asbestos mine). You need to wear a full disposable body suit, hood & mask with an outside air supply.This clothing must be bagged & disposed of after use. Do you have this gear?Now to the transom. If you think that it contains asbestos do not use power equipment. Do not use a hand saw. Hit the yellow pages & find a company licenced to deal with asbestos. Get them to remove the rotten section of transom. Overkill? No way. If in doubt, do not cut.I do not wish to be an alarmist but this stuff is deadly. Go to Google & type in asbestos & see what it can do.Regards,Peter

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    JB's correct about asbestos for filler. I know, for a fact, that up until 1970 the only filler Glastron used was talc and I can't imagine why they would change. Talc makes a far superior filler. A small amount of Cab-o-sil was used to make gelcoat repairs but no asbestos. I also know that in the early years, asbestos was used in the Corvette bodies.c/6Hooty

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Thanks for the replies. But - I'm still wondering if my boat (1976 AMF SLICKCRAFT) was built using asbestos filler (or asbestos putty). Perhap the guy just mentioned the asbestos to justify charging 3 grand plus to replace my tansom. If there is someone from Holland, Michigan on the board - would you mind making a few calls to local boat repair shops to see if they have any knowledge of Slickcraft using asbestos in the construction of their boats in the 70's?

  7. #7
    Lieutenant Commander pjc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    sbakf, i'm doing a '67 slikker resto meself--do a search on "slickcraft" and you'll find my thread, w/ photos.i have closely followed JasonJ skanky beast project, imo, his advice is very very good (i'm using epoxy though, JJ likes poly)anyhoo--always wear a dust mask, partical mask, whatever ya call it when cutting, grinding or sanding glass/resin. ie--cutting out old floor,etc.i'll tell you, i went to work cutting my floor out w/o mask, great clowds a glass dust surroundin me. next day my lungs hurt bad--DO NOT do foolish deal like i did.btw, glass model makers here at work always wear mask--ifin ya get enough of them tiny glass fibers in lungs can make 'em bleed--perminant dammage--oh ya, don't know if leon slikker used asbestos in his boats--i did try to contact leon hiself to enquire on my slikker, was transfered to customer no service, left message--heard no more--leon and his kid now run pursuit boats-- web page
    "88"

  8. #8
    Master Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    You can always have the suspected asbestos tested.There are many companies that test &/or do asbestos abatement. Look under Asbestos Removal & Abatement in phone book. In the building trade asbestos was often used as a filler & binder in floor tile, wall compound & ceiling tile.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    I found a link to the Classic glastron tips and hints page which has an asbestos warning. The warner was Jonathan Willis, who is the person that sent me copies of the plans he refers to. I just looked the plans up and they appear to be authentic, and even include a sign off block. The plans clearly specify the use of asbestos putty. This putty was not used as a body filler like bondo is, but as a positioning material. http://www.classicglastron.com/gl-tips-and-hints.html

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    To reiterate, there was no asbestos used in Glastron boats before 1970. I was the plastics engineer there from 1964 until 1970 and I know it for a fact. I also doubt it was used after that.c/6Hooty

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Just to be clear Hooty, do you doubt that there are plans that specify the use of Asbestos putty as stated on the classic glastron tips and hints page? I know that in practice sometimes materials are substituted for those called out on the plans. Is that what you are saying? I hope so. I demoed my boat with a good mask, clothes and goggles. I suspect the problem with asbestos results from prolonged exposure anyway(I'm no expert here, so take that with a big gulp of salt).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    I wrote the spec's and procedures for everything from adhesives to waxing molds. There was no putty or filled resin used in bonding the transom boards. They were bonded to the hulls with mat and p/e resin.After Glastron got involved with Carlson, they were building some boats on the left coast. I don't know what models. It's possible that group out there used asbestos but no asbestos was used in Austin. I read that posting on the Classicglastron b/b and I'd be interested in reviewing Mr. Willis assembly drawings about dates and place of mfg.c/6Hooty

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    That is interesting. My particular boat was built in Austin(on 2nd thought maybe not, but it was originally sold in Austin). I can fax some of those sheets to you if you'd like.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    I'd be interested in seein' 'um.email: jehart1@comcast.netc/6Hooty

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Abestos wasn't banned until the 80s so it is possible a 1976 boat could have used it. I doubt they would have used much in a trailer boat because the construction methods didn't need much, if any, resin thickening for the processes.The professional guys who remove asbestos (abatement) use Tyvek jumpsuits and respirators, not particle masks. They tape up everywhere so the stuff can't touch them. The Feds require notification for disposal of ALL asbestos materials.Hey, the fiberglass fibers aren't good for your health either so wear a good respirator when working with the stuff. Make sure the cartridges match the service to be cost effective. Particle masks are best used for non haz type materials.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Got the faxii SCO, thanks. All that was happening after my time but they were definitely using the stuff. Somebody must have thought it was a good idea. I'm still not sure if that was Austin or the Left Coast. I think they were building boats at both places about then.BillP makes an interesting point. They didn't use a lot, plus, what was used is encapsulated in polyester so it's probably no worse then anything else you'll get from sawing or grinding.c/6Hooty

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    When I demoed my transom, I could tell what was the putty. I looked like, well, kind of like scat. brownish, greyish. Nothing that had cloth or chop in it also had the putty in my case.

  18. #18
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Just as a side note>>>I am NOT very sure about the marine industries, but as a BOILER engineer, I am VERY familure with ASBESTOS and it differant uses over the years. ASBESTOS was used in CALKING until the late 1970's. ASBESTOS is a minaral, mined along with TALC>>any talc has at LEAST trace amounts of asbestos in it (I NEVER used talcium powder in my home). ASBESTOS is only dangerous as a FRIABLE material (dust/airbore particulate)!These fibers are normaly to small to see with the naked eye. Some people may seem immune to exposure of asbestos, but some could have minamal exposure and wind up with Asbestosis(a fiberous scaring of the lungs)-Lung Cancer, or Mesothelioma(a cancer in the lining of the chest/abdominal cavity.It may take 20 years or more for illness to show up!!!!ONLY HEPA FILTERS will filter friable asbestos> The dust masks normally used for fiberglass work will NOT stop asbestos fibers>you are not doing ANYTHING to stop asbestos by wearing them!!!Get the RIGHT GEAR FOR THE JOB!!!!!!! and DONOT wear work cloths and take them home>>>get the trevec suits

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    From an OSHA safey data sheet on asbestos...The most common respirator is a half-face, dual cartridge respirator. Respirators must be equipped with HEPA filtered cartridges (color coded purple) or a N-100, P-100 or R-100 NIOSH rating . These cartridges are specific for filtering out asbestos fibers. Paper dust masks available at hardware stores do not filter out asbestos fibers and should not be used. Half face respirators cover the nose and mouth and consist of a silicone or rubber face piece, elastic head harness and filter cartridges.

  20. #20
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: Asbestos in the fiberglass???

    Paper dust masks don't really filter out a darn thing. If you've ever worn one working in a dusty environment, after you remove it, you'll see streaks of dust running from the creases in the mask up to your nostrils.While exposure to asbestos likely isn't an issue for 99% of the home builders and restorers, all dusts are hazardous, and you should protect your lungs by wearing a 1/2 mask respirator minimum.

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