Side bench problem Speed Boat

GP14 Sailing Forums Forum Side bench problem Speed Boat

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  arthaberland 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #12102

    steve13003
    Participant

    More help sought, having at least part sorted the water in the buoyancy tanks I slipped in the boat onto the aft side bench which cracked and split close to the aft support.  Investigating the damage I find the the side bench is a sandwhich of fibre glass and plywood. The plywood I’d saturated and rotten !! Obviously why the side bench failed as the internal strength had gone.

    Have others suffered similar problems? And if so what method has been used to repair the side bench?

    I was first planning to insert a new piece of ply bonded with epoxy with a piece of solid hard wood bonded under the bench onto the stub and the aft support, after drying out the whole area. This will be fiddly as it means working in a small space between the two piece of the fibreglass

    Another thought is to cut out the top of the side bench – makes the working space easier but bonding back the top piece to the inner side of the deck concerns me that there may not be enough strength in the joint.

    has anyone done this repair and if so how did you approach it?

    Thanks

    #12156

    steve13003
    Participant

    So that anyone who reads this understands the problem, after taking out the rotten plywood which was obviously not marine ply I have managed to insert a new piece of 10mm marine ply which was first sealed with West epoxy, bonded this to the two fibre glass parts of the bench making sure that the afte end was on the support.  A second reinforcing piece of ply has been bonded to the underside of the side bench.  The gel coat damage and cracks were ground out and filled with gel coat filler rubbed down an polished as best I could the blend in with the undamaged areas, you now have to look hard to see the damage.

    The question is what state are the benches in? I don’t want to pull them apart but will be very wary of any cracks or signs of movement.

    Suggestion to owners of Speed boats of similar age check the condition of your side benches and if you see any delamination of the side deck mouldings get something done soon as possible.

    #12596

    steve13003
    Participant

    After sailing last weekend I noticed that the bottom rudder pintle was loose.  When I investigated I found that the piece of plywood which had been placed inside the transom to strengthen the rudder fixing area was rotten and I was able to pull away large handfulls of wood.  The bolts securing the pintle were loose because they had lost their support!  In the short term I have managed to add a spreader plate inside the transom and have tightened the bolts.  Later I will remove the hatch frame to get a bit more space for hand access and will replace the rotten wood with a new piece which will be first epoxy sealed.

    I would suggest other owners of Speed Epoxy boats to check this area and the condition of the plywood strengthening backing to the rudder fixings as this cab a hid stress area.

    #13521

    arthaberland
    Participant

    Best way to keep wood from rotting in an epoxy boat is drill all mounting holes oversized and then fill with epoxy. Once it has hardened, drill through the epoxy to the proper size, apply sealant, and bolt everything back together. The epoxy will keep the ply from ever coming in contact with water even if the sealant around the mounting bolts or screws fails

    #13522

    steve13003
    Participant

    Thanks, a good idea but the water that caused the problem did not enter through fixing holes, it came from water in the underfloor buoyancy tank, and general water in the boat from Sailing spray and capsizes.  The wood went rotten because it was not marine ply, was not sealed or encapsulated during construction of the boat.

    #13561

    Les
    Participant

    Wow. It’s eye opening reading about your experience with this boat. Hope you manage to the problems ironed out.

    #13563

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    Seconded.

    And this amply shows that plastic,  whether GRP or FRP or epoxy,  is not the universal panacea that removes all need for maintenance of a boat.   Plastic boats,  in whatever plastic material,  can still have significant problems which need sorting out.

    And when it comes to ease of repair,  I suspect that overall there is less difference between wood and plastic than many boat owners imagine;    it is not that plastic is significantly easier,  simply that the techniques are different.    Says he with feeling,  having been stalled for the last month over a significant and important structural repair on the big boat (well,  slightly bigger),  which is indeed GRP,  simply because if I attempt the repair at these low temperatures I can’t rely on the structural strength of the epoxy.    I can’t safely do anything further on the repair until the weather warms up significantly;  the risk is that a possible subsequent failure could be life threatening if it were to happen at sea.

     

    Oliver

    #13564

    steve13003
    Participant

    Having previously owned and maintained five wooden GP’s with not too many problems, I have replaced decks, installed a front buoyancy tank, three modified Series 1 mast steps, removed and moved side benches and even reduced 5he weight of one boat by changing the solid transom for a plywood one. However the problems with my FRP boat and it’s rotten plywood , see above and my other posting, have defeated my diy maintenance skills as the skills and environment needed for cutting out and getting into the areas where plywood has been used to strengthen the boat are new to me.  However at least the experts at SP Boats have – at a cost – been able to rescue my boat, although I did come close to simply stripping off all the valuable fittings and scrapping the old hull.

    I would encourage all owners of Speed FRP boats to check their boats regularly for any signs of problems with the wooden parts, keep the boat well aired, a breathable cover is also recommended to allow ventilation when the boat is not in use, I had always thought the “ plastic” covers were ok for a plastic boat.

    #13572

    arthaberland
    Participant

    this is true, Oliver. My other boat is a SeaSprite 23, a GRP from 1962. When I purchased her 4 years ago, I had to rip out each and every bit of mahogany in her hull. This included the embedded parts. ALL of it was rotten. I hope to relaunch her this year.

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