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Re: [bolger] Re: Epoxy over polyester?

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  • Stefan Topolski
    I appreciate this discussion; these are all valid opinions. However, having read Vaitses book, assisted in applying it to an old fishing boat, seen it ride
    Message 1 of 32 , Oct 4, 2011
      I appreciate this discussion; these are all valid opinions.  However, having read Vaitses' book, assisted in applying it to an old fishing boat, seen it ride higher after relaunch, and still owning it 20 years later, one has to conclude that both views are correct.

      Allan Vaitses used the method several times himself, and in his book he himself commented that the increased volume of displacement and the now-drier weight of wood more than compensated for the increased weight of the slightly-denser-than-water fiberglass.  He also made the claim the interior hull was no longer needed.  If a boat's thruhulls are not attended to properly and it is allowed a full wet bilge afterwards, then -no- it should not sit higher, so again both conclusions may be true.  It depends on your technique.

      Futhermore, a Vaitses' method boat may be completely new or not.  At minimum he calls for 1/4 inch and this is at best a very tough skin.  However, solid layups as thick as 1/2+ inch at the gunwale to 1+ inch across the keel are more solid and stiff than generations of newer fiberglass boats and do amount to a new boat hull which can stand on its own.  To call interior framing essential in this case would be hyperbole.  It depends on your technique.

      The ringnails provide an bond which suffices to prevent gross delamination between new hull and old.  No one wants to trap excesses of water between the two hulls if possible.  No one wants the extra strength of the wooden hull to be lost before its time.  Vaitses himself made the claim that the old wooden interior became a plug and no more.  If we can accept many of Phil Bolger's claims as still possible when they often turned out not so, then we can accept Vaitses' claims as equally possible.  It ultimately depends on your technique.

      A fix which halts nearly all water incursion, prevents more rot than it may cause, and has produced hulls far more rugged than production fiberglass boats of the last 40 years is much more than merely a temporary skin.  20 years after we applied it to our 30 foot Novie lobster boat its condition is completely unchanged on survey.  In a discussion of wooden boats by an owner of 5 of them, let's be honest - we live in an entropicly expansive universe and wooden boats do rot at the least neglect.  A boat which has lasted 20 years with minimal upkeep and no identifiable hull degradation IS a new boat.

      If your technique is not as extensive and durable as my father's was then your results may be different.  It certainly depends on your technique.

      All the Best,
      Stefan

      "One gathers peace as a feather in the palm of one's hand."    -anonymous

      Stefan Topolski  MD
      Assist. Professor, U. of Massachusetts Medical School
      Clinical Instructor, U. of New England
      Founder and Director of
      Caring in Community, Inc.  501(c)3
      1105 Mohawk Trail
      Shelburne Falls, Ma.





      El sep 14, 2011, a las 10:46 am, Chris Crandall escribió:

       

      I want to refine Stefan's posting.

      The Vaitses method is as described--a "creation" of a new hull outside
      the exterior of an older, solid wood one. It works, after a fashion, and
      is a "temporary" fix, in that the hull will not last forever, but the
      new life offered by the "topcoat" extends the life of the boat more than
      commensurate with labor, materials, and time required of the technique.

      However, this is not a "new" boat, nor is the hull adequate to stand on
      its own. The interior framing of the old boat is still essential, and a
      complete collapse of the interior planking will render the boat
      dangerous at best, useless at worst.

      The mechanics of the method creates a watertight hull. What is essential
      is a firm bond between the new skin (that's all it is) and the old,
      otherwise useable boat. This is what the ringnails do--provide a strong
      connection between the old skin and the new skin.

      So, the metaphor that is appropriate is a "skin graft". This will
      perform admirably, but it's not also a heart, lung, liver & kidney
      transplant as well--the framing, decking, motor, rigging, sails, and
      their condition determines the value and functionality of the boat. It's
      just a way to keep the water out--it's like wrapping the boat in a stiff
      balloon. (OK, a very stiff balloon).

      I'm not sure why he claims the boat will sit higher in the water--that
      seems to defy the laws of physics. Because the skin (polyester, nails,
      fabric) are all heavier than water, and because the skin displaces only
      its own volume, it should ride lower, unless . . . well I can think of
      several bad things that would make this happen, but none good.


    • Stefan Topolski
      In his book he did restore sailing yachts with it - his stories include one being indestructable until it got cut in half by a steamer off shore. All the Best,
      Message 32 of 32 , Oct 4, 2011
        In his book he did restore sailing yachts with it - his stories include one being indestructable until it got cut in half by a steamer off shore.

        All the Best,
        Stefan

        "One gathers peace as a feather in the palm of one's hand."    -anonymous

        Stefan Topolski  MD
        Assist. Professor, U. of Massachusetts Medical School
        Clinical Instructor, U. of New England
        Founder and Director of
        Caring in Community, Inc.  501(c)3
        1105 Mohawk Trail
        Shelburne Falls, Ma.





        El sep 17, 2011, a las 5:06 pm, John Kohnen escribió:

        Vaitses's method was intended to get some more years of working out of  
        fishing boats and other workboats. I don't think I ever read of him  
        touting it for yachts.

        A fellow I knew got ahold of a nice-looking British built double-ended  
        sailboat that had been cold-molded over. The work had been done in Port  
        Townsend, wooden boat capital of the west. That doesn't mean that  
        _everyone_ in Port Townsend knows what they're doing. <g> One day he cut  
        or drilled into the hull to mount something, and after he got through the  
        cold-molded outer shell he ran into -- compost! :o( From the outside the  
        boat looked great, from the inside it looked OK, in between was a layer of  
        very rotten wood, sandwiched between the cold-molded shell and a thin  
        layer of good wood on the inside of the planks. <sigh> He ground off the  
        cold-molded shell and discovered that just about every plank needed to be  
        replaced. He never got very far into the project before he lost heart, and  
        the boat was eventually broken up by the boatyard. If he'd never cut  
        through the outer shell maybe he'd have gone voyaging, and maybe the boat  
        would have brought him back. <shrug> After he knew that there wasn't much  
        of anything holding that outer shell to the rest of the boat he didn't  
        dare take her to sea.

        The example many people give of a boat that was cold-molded over  
        successfully is a British cutter that spends most of its time around South  
        Georgia -- where it's _cold_ and the rot spores are probably in  
        hibernation. <g> I'd be very suspicious of any traditionally built wooden  
        boat that had been covered with glass, using polyester or epoxy, or had  
        been shelled with cold-molding.

        On Thu, 15 Sep 2011 09:27:44 -0700, dave wrote:


        The vaitses method always makes me cringe when I hear about it. I guess  
        in the case of a boat with a really terminal hull, great interior and  
        great rig.... it might,just might, pay to do that, but if you're going  
        to build a new hull over the old one, why not cold mold? The part  
        nobody's talking about is fairing the new polyester hull. That's a huge  
        labor investment, unless you just don't care and decide to paint the raw  
        polyester, in which case you've built yourself a totally unsaleable  
        hulk. Either way, you've built yourself a totally unsaleable boat, so  
        you better love it for the 15 or so years it'll last before that  
        well-sheathed rot finishes its business; but if you fair it, at least  
        it'll look like a boat.
        ...


        --
        John (jkohnen@...)
        A fool and his money are soon elected. (Will Rogers)


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