GP14 Sailing Forums Forum Wooden boat repair help needed.

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    • #21441

      Hi, I’m looking for some advice on repairing a wooden Series II.

      During the winter water has managed to get between the rubbing strake and the deck in a couple of places, and it looks like the wood has swollen and lifted (see pictures).  I’m wondering if this is a simple repair that I can manage, or if it needs more expert hands.  If the latter, can anyone recommend someone around Manchester?

      I’ve also included a picture of another part of the boat which is still in good repair, for comparison.

      Thanks in advance 🙂

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    • #21444
      Oliver Shaw

      I think it likely that this will be a reasonably simple repair,  but it is difficult to be certain from the photos.   However it looks to be a case only of water lifting the varnish;   I cannot see any evidence of water penetrating between different pieces of wood.

      In any scenario a good first step would seem to be to remove the lifted varnish and allow the underlying wood to dry out thoroughly.   If you can arrange indoor storage,  even if only temporarily while you are working on her,  that will be an immense help.

      First use a heat gun and a tungsten carbide scraper to remove the varnish;   then dry the boat out;    then,  when you start sanding the wood,  also sand the surrounding varnish to a feather edge.

      I would confidently expect the boat to have been built using epoxy as the adhesive,  so I would expect that once the wood is exposed and thoroughly dried out you will find that both the wood and the joints are still perfectly sound;   but you do of course need to check this.

      Provided the wood is sound it is then a case of sanding it smooth and then making good the finish.   It is worth using epoxy first as a sealer;   possibly choose Smith’s CPES,  which appears to be formulated specifically for this role (unlike other epoxies,  which are designed more as adhesives and which do this as an incidental feature,  and perhaps penetrate less well).   However I have never used CPES myself,  but it is extensively advertised in Classic Boat,  and from what I have read I am impressed  –  and expect to use it in the future.   The one drawback is that the smallest pack size is 1 litre,  which is probably far more than you need for this one repair.

      Then build up your varnish on top of the epoxy once it has cured.   If your existing finish is two-pot,  which I would expect on a series 2 boat,  stay with 2-pot.

      Build up successive coats extending progressively further and further over your sanded feather edge of the surrounding sound varnish.   Once you have built up the damaged area  –  I suggest a minimum of six coats on top of the epoxy  –  it would be worth then sanding down the entire brightwork and giving her a further two coats overall.   That is for reasons of both beauty and protection;   if the varnish has already failed in one area it is fair to assume that other areas will follow unless you pre-empt that by preventative maintenance.

      If you do find that more extensive work is needed much will depend on your woodworking skills and facilities;   but I think it likely that the above will be sufficient.

      If you want a professional boatbuilder/repairer in the north-west,  although he is not in Manchester,  I can warmly recommend Tim Harper for actual structural work;   although I think it fair to say that his speciality is the woodwork rather than the painting and varnishing.   He built my last GP14 for me,  heavily bespoke as a cruising boat,  and I went to him because I was impressed with another boat he had built.

      For the best available paintwork and varnishwork I can recommend Paintcraft,  of Nottingham,  having also seen some of their work.   They are the headline name,  and they also do repairs,  although I have never seen any of their repairs at first hand.

      Just to make absolutely clear,  the above are my purely personal recommendations,  based on having seen some of their work;   I do not think the Association would wish to recommend any one of our registered boatbuilders as against any others!

      There are several other boatbuilders registered with the Association,  who advertise on the website or in Mainsail,  and who I gather are all highly respected;   but I happen not to have had any dealings with them.

      Hope this helps,




    • #21445

      Thanks Oliver 🙂

      That was very very helpful.

      Funnily enough, after reading some of your other posts, I bought some CPES earlier this week, and I spent most of today with my son assembling an “instant” (hahaha!) garage from MachineMart, so my pride and joy is now under cover.  We’re planning on sanding her deck down to bare wood over the weekend.  I’m hoping to be able to just “touch-up” some parts in the interior.  I don’t fancy sanding all those nooks and crannies!  Then we can leave her to dry out and see what happens to the joints.

      Again, thanks very much 🙂

    • #21446
      Oliver Shaw

      Nooks and crannies;  a detail sander may be helpful for those.

      While I think to mention it,  I have very occasionally dealt with very small chips in varnish by using a very small chisel or even just a sharpened screwdriver to scrape just the area of bare wood exposed,  then use an artist’s paintbrush or similar to dab in varnish in the hole,  and repeat for subsequent coats until the level is flush the with surrounding varnish.   Then (and it doesn’t have to be immediate) sand down the entire deck (or whatever) and apply one or two coats over the lot.

      If you do at some point go to a professional,  see my later edit;   those were my purely personal recommendations,  not official recommendations from the Association!



    • #21448

      Thanks again Oliver 🙂

      Fully understand that those are personal recommendations. I’ve now got Mainsail and have been looking at some of the advertisers in there too.

      Going to start sanding this afternoon… wish me luck!  🙂

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