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Newbie sailing dinghy question about repair

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  • Newbie sailing dinghy question about repair

    I just bought a cheap, old fiberglass 9-ft sailing dinghy with rigging, which I want to use as a plain dinghy for now. That is, going from boatyard dock to mooring and back, dinghy staying in the water, at dock, for the season.

    On the water side of transom, the dinghy has a small teak (or mahogany?) rudder attachment plate (what is tech. term?), 15" by 10" or so, with a matching unvarnished marine plywood backing plate. The whole is held with the four through screws for the rudder pivot hardware.

    These wood parts will be sitting in water, so, for now, not in sailing mode, I could do two things:

    1. - plan on removing wood parts, hoping they were not installed with adhesive, and fill the mounting screw holes with epoxy.
    2.- attempt to seal the wood parts in place, with no experience with epoxy, fiberglass work or other

    Option 2 is interesting, but more costly..!

    Advice, please.
    Last edited by jaymoussy; April 14th, 2016, 08:28 AM. Reason: added clarification: "attachement"

  • #2
    Is the wood actually below the waterline? Don't know that I've ever seen that where the tiller attaches (unless it's a wooden boat). Any reason not to just oil it and seal the edges?
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_270443_1499813187632_202[/ATTACH]

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    • #3
      Originally posted by southkogs View Post
      Is the wood actually below the waterline? Don't know that I've ever seen that where the tiller attaches (unless it's a wooden boat). Any reason not to just oil it and seal the edges?
      Waterline: Don't know yet, need to splash the boat to find out. the bottom paint seems below the wood.

      I just poked at it, both wood pieces are cemented on... no option 1!

      Oil and seal? Sure, but how can I be sure water is not going to seep between the wood and fiberglass?
      Last edited by jaymoussy; April 14th, 2016, 10:47 AM.

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      • #4
        You can't be sure without popping the wood off the fiberglass and applying marine sealant then putting it back.

        But maybe its marine sealant gluing it on...

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        • #5
          Sight unseen and making a few guesses (including that it's generally on the topside of the water) - the plate on your transom is there for either decoration, or keeping the transom from getting all scuffed up. The transom on a sailboat generally won't need as much structure as a powerboat because it's not up against as much force (rudder doesn't really exert that much force on it). So that plate is probably more of a "guard."

          You could put a bead of sealant around the edge, and oil the teak.

          Any sign that it's rotting out?
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          • #6
            Pictures:



            Pics are upside down on my post preview (??
            Attached Files
            Last edited by jaymoussy; April 14th, 2016, 04:59 PM.

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            • #7
              Pictures:



              Pics are upside down (?)

              Indeed to bottom paint, presumably representing waterline, stops at the very bottom of transom, on the small keel.
              Last edited by jaymoussy; April 14th, 2016, 05:05 PM. Reason: added "bottom paint"

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              • #8
                Looks (from the photo) that'll get wet.

                Click image for larger version

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                Not sure why one would do that, except to maybe solve a problem of the rudder interacting with the "lip" on the hull. Does that boat have oar locks on it?

                How long is it going to sit in the water at a time? If it's just a day or so, I think i would oil the wood see how long it goes.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by southkogs View Post
                  Looks (from the photo) that'll get wet.

                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]n10156253[/ATTACH]
                  Not sure why one would do that, except to maybe solve a problem of the rudder interacting with the "lip" on the hull. Does that boat have oar locks on it?

                  How long is it going to sit in the water at a time? If it's just a day or so, I think i would oil the wood see how long it goes.
                  Oarlocks: yes, nice brass ones. May need plastic sleeves?

                  Sit in the water: this is intended as a dock tender to motorboat, moored nearby, all a mile+ from home, easy to keep an eye on (or pull in while away).
                  As the wood is no functional right now, I may just varnish and caulk edges, as best I can, and let it ride. Wood will either survive or peel off.

                  Pouring some water inside hull, I discovered a very minor leak at the back of daggerboard case. Quite common, I read.

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                  • #10
                    It looks like the wood is there to compensate for the "lip" on the hull. I would think the rudder mount get's into the hull through the wood - I'd be surprised if it's just mounted to the wood and the wood just glued to the hull (but I am no expert for sure). The worst you're going to do is screw up the wood, which isn't dangerous ... just unfortunate.

                    Maybe post a topic over in the restoration forums and see what one of the guys over there says. There's a real braintrust with materials like this over there.
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                    • #11
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                      My two cents....
                      Pretty neat little dinghy....
                      You definitely need to address that plate (teak or not) if she's gonna be in the water ALL the time....
                      There is teak and there is wood that is sold as real teak and is actually close to teak but is not real teak.....even real teak will rot....
                      If that cute little sailing dinghy was mine I would haul it out and let it dry as much as possible ...then I'd get some West System Epoxy from West Marine or something like that and mix it up and brush it on that "teak" plate and all around it's edges....Ok if you get some on the dinghy.
                      Then I'd get some 3M Marine Sealant and seal the edge of that little plate to the dinghy.......just like caulking your bathroom tile or kitchen sink.
                      It comes in black or white....I like black ..it doesnt show dirt and scum.
                      Also if any mounting hardware goes through the "teak" plate.....I'd re-bed those screws using the 3M sealant when I put the hardware back......
                      All that is simple to do and shouldn't take but a couple of cold beers to do on a nice Spring day.
                      Working on projects like this is usually good therapy for me.....I seem to forget everything else...
                      Messing around with boats just seems to put me in a great place.

                      Good Luck!

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