A complete rebuild of a 25' 6" Dusky. This thread will cover almost all aspects of a fiberglass boat rebuild.
A job well done!
So I purchased my 1983 25'6 about eight years ago and it was on blocks. The boat was white with layers and layers of blue bottom paint. It also had a double station fold down tower on the boat. The man that I purchased the boat from said that it came from the keys area were it was a charter boat for years. After purchasing the boat I have under taken several projects to restore the boat a little at a time. The first project was to take the tower off and replace it with a new fabricated T-Top. After that I was not happy with the marks that the tower left on the top of the cap so I decided to paint the cap. I also elected to to take the bow rails off because it gave the boat a cleaner look. While painting the cap I decided that i did not like the front cabin because it was never used so I removed it. While I was down their i suspected that I might have some rot in the rear stringers of the boat. But after being beat up by the heat for several weeks in the middle of summer I did not look any further. After I cut the cabin out I glassed a new section of floor up front all the way up to the anchor locker were it was tied in to. It turned out great and it has plenty of room up front for fishing. I did place a huge cooler long ways like a cophin box in front of the seat. The next project was to remove the bottom paint. I paid to have the boat sandblasted because I couldn't find anyone close to soda blast. After a week on lifts I faired the bottom and sprayed it with white gel cote it turned out great. After that I sanded the sides of the boat and added several coats of Alcraft 2000 fighting lady yellow. It turned out beautiful.
I finally noticed recently that I was feeling more vibration from the hull. So I decided to remove the floor on the boat. I found total devastation down there and the scary part was that the was still rock solid. Thats why it has gone this long with out removing it. My stringers are completely rotted out on the port side and broken into pieces. The fuel tank is sitting on the hull bottom and the starboard side is rotted it just has not broken through the glass yet. I tried to post pictures but I couldn't figure it out tonight. I am going to totally rebuild the stringers and the floor from the ground up. I have worked with glass before on project boats but never glassed stringers so if anyone has any ideas i'm up for them. Hopefully I will be traveling to Dusky shortley to purchase a new set of wood stringers to be glassed in. I will use 1.5 oz mat and 24oz roven for the job. Hopefully I can get the pictures to work so you all can see what I am talking about.
So after cutting up the deck this is what I found. The left stringer was a hollow core of fiberglass that was ripped in several places. The right stringer was not broken but the wood was rotted out what was left of it. The side of the deck has no supports or chase tub for wires and fuel lines. I spent the afternoon taking the old foam out of the boat. To my suprise the foam was not wet .
After seeing the holes cut through the stringers that were not sealed it is pretty clear why my stringers disenigrated.
After removing the foam I decided that it was time to remove the fuel tank. I was hoping that it was in good condition so it would not have to be replaced. The top of the tank looked dirty but structurally sound. After removing the layer of glass that held it in place the tank was siphoned of the remaining fifty gallons of good fuel and removed.
Last edited by DJ; January 26th, 2009 at 11:29 PM.
The front of my dusky never seemed to drain water that was up in the front of the hull to the rear bilge area. The water was always pumped out when it would get up front. After the tank was removed I realized why their was debris blocking the inlet to the bilge style hose that was glassed over for the water to drain through.
Besides that tube was packed full of rotten wood and debris. Nothing could have passed through that tube. After removing the tank and inspecting it on the bottom side it had bad corrosion in every spot that the tank sat on the rubber rubrail pieces. Also some of the rub rail had come loose from where they were fastened to the stringers. I guess I will be purchasing a new tank for the boat. The last thing that I want to do is finish this and have the tank fail or possibly hurt someone. After speaking with Dusky head quarters I will be going with the 109 gallon polyethylene tank that wont pit.
As you can see in the picture I spent the whole entire day and a half cutting and removing stringers and supports and then grinding and plenty of it. I used a grinder with a 6 1/2 inch cutting disk on it to cut the stringers out. This was a great tool and it also helped me to remove the best stringer intact so it could be used as a template to cut the new ones.
I decided to remove both stringers at one time I left the cap on the boat and a small section of floor intact in the bow of the boat. I was sure that the boat would have plenty of support to warrant the removal of both stringers at the same time.
I also recently traveled to Dusky head quarters and purchased three 2x12x16 fir boards that is what was used to make the stringers in the boat originally. Thanks again to Dusky and especially Gary in the parts department he has been great. I returned with the boards and realized that the third board had to be ripped down the center and the two pieces attached to the whole boards to make the height of the stringers. After cutting the boards I coated the top side of the whole board and the bottom of the ripped board with thickened epoxy. After placing them together I used ratchet straps to tighten them down. I then used a long drill bit and drilled out from the top down every one and a half foot and then used a bigger bit to counter sink the holes about four inches down. I then screwed the boards together using three inch stainless steel screw.
After the epoxy was set up they were as strong as ever and the holes were filled with epoxy to seal them shut. I then used the solid stringer that I cut out of the boat as a template to draw the shape of the new ones. I also used some 2x4 pieces to figure out the bottom angle cut that had to be made for the stringers to match the hull shape and be straight. After this was figured out I cut out both of the stringers.
After they were test fitted to the hull i mixed up a thickened epoxy like peanut butter and bedded the first stringer down on the hull. I made sure that their were no hard spot or voids between the hull and the new stringer. After the epoxy started to kick off i placed a layer of 1.5 oz csm followed by 24 oz roven woven over the stringers. they turned out to be rock solid and they look great. I will try to start putting in the supports soon as soon as I can get a few free days from work again.
So I purchased my new gas tank recently. It is the 109 gallon tank that Dusky is currently using. After about four days the tank arrived at my front door. It looks great and after measuring everything I will have plenty of room to mount the tank and account for the three percent expansion after it is filled with fuel.
I took another day off of work and started to work on the boat some more. I purchased a five foot length of 1 1/2 PVC pipe to replace the old drain that I removed from under the back two compartments. The old drain tube was made out of bilge hose, but after looking at the new boat production the PVC appears to be a better alternative. To make the drain I used a table saw to rip the pipe in half to get a good even cut. After the piece was fitted and cut to size I mixed a thickened batch of Epoxy and Cabosil together and then bedded the PVC down to the hull. I placed blocks on the piece until it was set and the Epoxy hardened. I also before it was put down used a string and a section of cloth that was layed under the pipe until after the blocks were placed to secure the part. I then pulled the cloth through the PVC from back to front to fair the Epoxy on the inside so it was smooth to the edges.
While this was setting up I started on the front compartment that runs under the console. I had to cut the bottom piece of the compartment out of 3/4 marine plywood and cut the edges at a sharp angle to get them to lay in with the contours of the deep vee. After that I cut an opening out for a drain area that would be lower to catch the water to drain to the hull area. I then cut a smaller section of wood about 4 inches by 4 inches to epoxy under the drain area. It was Epoxied and then the whole piece was covered on the bottom with Epoxy and 1.5 chop strand mat. I thickened some more Epoxy and bedded the piece down to the hull. After this was done several items were placed on it for weight to hold it down tight to the hull.
While that was setting up I already had my front and back sections cut out for the compartment I also bedded them in Epoxy to the floor piece and the sides of the vee were they rested. Before the thickened Epoxy on all the parts fully cured and were still tacky I laid down the 1.5 CSM and epoxied all of the pieces of the compartment.
After that was setting up I stared on the two compartments in the back were the drain tube was mounted down. I used the same method on these as the front one with the thickened Epoxy first followed by 1.5 mat.
Well because of the city I can only have the boat at home for three day out of every week so that is all that I can finish this week working on it a little after work a couple of nights. If anyone has any ideas or concerns about the build I would love to hear them.
I have measured and the hull is still in the same shape that it was before I started nothing has moved. I left a 0ne foot section of the floor in the front and transom to help hold everything in place also these hulls have about one inch of glass in them they are sturdy. Also i did not leave any space between the stringers and the hull they were completely bedded in epoxy. I appreciate all of the responses guys and even though I have not posted much I have been reading and learning from this forum it is great.
I took two days off of work this week and decided that I would get some more done on the boat. I started by putting in the support that goes between the rear compartments. I cut the marine plywood to size and bedded it in thickened epoxy before tabbing it in with 1.5 oz csm. After it was tabbed in I covered the whole piece in csm.
After finishing the rear support it was time to move onto the structural side supports that are on the outside of the stringers. I took measurements and then cut the supports out of the marine plywood. It took several small cuts to fine tune the pieces. After they were just right they were epoxied into place followed by the mat. After they set up I installed the wire chases that the boat didn't have. After they holes were cut I placed epoxy on all of the exposed wood then after the pvc was placed in thickened epoxy was placed around the wood then followed by small pieces of mat. This should prevent any of the wood from rotting again.
That is all the work that I can get done for now maybe the first of next week I can do some more.
Well after receiving the rubrail from dusky it was finally time to mount the new tank in. The rubrail was put down in a thickened epoxy mixture and the holes that were drilled into the stringers to mount them were filled with epoxy from a syringe.
After this set up I placed the tank in on top of the pieces and coated two 2x4s that were already cut to size with epoxy resign. The tank was then weighted down and the 2x4s were epoxied into place to keep the tank securely mounted.
After the tank was in place it was time to apply the two part foam. I mixed several batches until the compartments on the sides of the tank had plenty. After the foam hardened I came back over the top of the foam with epoxy to encapsulate it so no water could ever be absorbed by it.
After the foam was in I cut all of my floor pieces of wood using the pieces I removed as templates. I used 1/2 inch marine plywood. The bottom of the pieces were covered with a layer of 1.5 csm and fiberglass resign. After installing the pieces into the boat I used thickened resign in the joints and cracks to fill them in.
After this the floor received 5 layers of csm and a total of 18 gallons of resign trust me it is solid. I wanted to re create the solid floor that was in the boat originally from the factory. I will post some more pictures soon of the floor with the layers of glass.
After the floor was glassed in it was time to fair in the sides were the new floor connected to the boat. I used some fiberglass resign with a mixture of micro balloons and cabosil. After applying this with a yellow spreader i sanded the mixture smooth.
I also cut the holes in the deck for the compartments. The last compartment used to be for storage. I was not happy with the original access to the bilge through a small inspection plate so this time I modified that hatch so it opens into the bilge area with all the room I will ever need to work in there. Besides I never stored anything in there anyway.
After sanding i used a spray gun and a product called duratec to spray the sides of the boat with gel cote. After I layed down a few coats I rolled out the floor with gel cote. After this dries I plan on sanding the floor again and the sides with 220 to smooth it all out after that I will paint it.
Finally it is starting to feel like my boat again. This has been a long project but it will be finished soon. Also I finally got a new camera so the pictures will be much better.
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So today I started to sand the sides of the boat it has really smoothed out nicely. The 220 and the sprayed on gel cote really helped fair the sides out were the new floor connects to the boat. I would have taken some pictures but it was pretty dark i don't think it would have showed the sand areas very well. Maybe tomorrow in the daylight I will get some more pictures and post them.
After the gel cote was dry I sanded the edges down with 220 grit and a da sander. This really smoothed the sides out nicely. They are just about ready for paint. The floor also received some sanding to get it ready for paint. I also cut out the opening for the hatch under the console. After cutting this opening and pre fitting a hatch I used epoxy to seal the exposed wood.
All of the hatch openings were the floor meets the supports I glassed in using csm and epoxy. This should keep the hatches water tight and secure. They still will need to be sanded and painted after they set up. This weekend i sanded and re sprayed the cap with alwgrip snow white. All of the work on the floor put some minor scratches in the surface. I figured after doing all of this work I want it to look good. I will post pictures of the cap In the next couple of days I have to re mount all of the hardware first.
Here are the pictures of the cap sprayed with a fresh coat of Awlgrip snow white. After putting the hardware back on i sprayed the inside of the boat on the sides with easypoxy white. All of the fairing work turned out great and the sides look like they did before the floor was replaced. The inside of the boat was gray but I think that it looks much better white. I still have to paint the floor itself maybe I can get to that this coming weekend if I have some spare time.
Over all I am very happy with the way it is shaping up. I think it looks good.
Well I have started to get this thing looking like a boat again and it feels pretty good. The console is mounted in and I have the majority of the wiring completed under the console. I will hopefully get some more pictures of under the console in a few days.I plan on working pretty hard on it for the next couple of days.
paulyv I placed my stringers down on a thickened bed of peanut butter type epoxy. This was so that the wood was not directly in contact with the hull it had epoxy between it. I can tell you that when the stringers were placed in from the factory they were just wood on the hull surface and then glassed over. I can not cut the stringers as exact as they can so the epoxy just fills the gaps and makes the bond stronger to the hull.
So I took a few days off of work because the end is in sight now with this project and I want it to be over quickly. It's not helping that the ocean seems to be flatter this winter than before. I am starting to do the fun stuff now. I cut two holes under the console to run the wires, steering and shift cables through i placed epoxy on the inside of the bare wood and then placed two pvc sleeves in the holes. After the pvc went in i used thickened epoxy around them top and bottom.I also cut the inspection hatch for the top of the gas tank and then the hatch for the rear of the compartment under the console.
I also painted the rear hatch that now leads to my bilge area. I love having all of the room now to get in the bilge and work. Before all I had was inspection plate to get one arm through. I placed my bilge and a new float switch in. I also ran new wire for the bilge.
I put new hatch covers over the rear in floor compartments and I got my rear fold up bench seat back in.
I also had a couple of friends come over and we put the T-Top back in and I mounted it down. I am getting close but I want to roll the floor one final time after the boat is back together because of the scuffs and spills from working on it.