Fiberglass Boat restore

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by AllAlaskan, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Hello, I had a friend sell me a boat for 200 bucks yesterday. I got home from the gun show and my friend and his brother came over with a 14foot boat they had been telling me about. His brother was given the boat by a friend of his who was moving (state trooper owned it so it sounds legit) and told him he could just have it. Well They already have like 3 boats sitting in his yard atm and his wife told him that if he brought it home she would kill him lol. So he told me If I want it that He would sell it to me for 200 and to pay him back later since I told him I dont have the cash atm.

    The boat...

    Its a 13.5 foot long 5.5 foot wide fiber glass shallow v hull. It use to be set up with a stearing wheel and hand throttle towards the front but had most of that stuff removed. Eventually I would like to set it back up that way but for now My plans are just to sand the hull down to get all the old paint off and check for any spots that need to be fixed (they said that the trooper told them it didnt have any leaks, I just want to check to be sure) and try to re-enforce the hull since I plan on taking this in some rivers as well as lakes. They said that they think it would hold up to a 25hp engine easy since the hull is so stout and wide. Im hoping to find a 20-25 hp engine for it next spring.

    Im mostly want a boat that I can take up some rivers and lakes for fishing and hunting. Im looking mostly to use it in the Little SU and possibly the Susitna and Fish Creek (put in down by Point Mac launch and drive up to the creek) for dipnetting when and if they open it back up next year for Dipnetting.

    I have never done Fiberglass work before so this is mainly why Im posting this. The boat has a covered nose and the cover right where the wheel was attatched is cracked and needs to be repaired. Plus I want to re-enforce the whole bottem side of the hull to strengthen it up just in case It does have a run in with something like a log or what ever (I hope it never happens.) just to be safe.

    Any things I should be aware of working with fiber glass (other than wearing a mask :D ) and how to go about it properly.

    This is MY first boat, My dad had a small boat when I was a kid but I have never owned a boat before till now. Its going to be an all winter project aiming to have it done by next spring.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  2. PAPA G

    PAPA G G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    does it have a makers name on it???

  3. I cant find any markings on it, It has alot of leaves inside on the floor which im ganna clean out tomarrow but from what I have seen I cant see any make names. Im ganna call a friend of mine and see if He can bring over his digital camera so I can snap a some shots of it, along with some of my other projects I have done that I dont have pics for yet.
  4. PAPA G

    PAPA G G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    there should be a plate on the inside transom giving info.
  5. Charlie: If you are going up the Little Susitna, you will need a lower unit conversion for your outboard to convert it to a pumper. Too many shallow sand/gravel bars to try using a prop job with any satisfaction. When I lived in Anchorage 1968/71 I spent a lot of time on the Little Su. I even named a dog "Little Su". :)

    Any fiberglass hull can be repaired to be stronger than original. It just gets a little heavier overall. Do a good sanding job and then lay a new layer of fiberglass cloth over it. Then paint as desired. .......... Big Cholla
  6. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    Well, for one thing...dont sand the hull. It is Gelcoated with fiberglass !!!
    You need to polish and wax it only !
    When you get the insides all cleaned out and can inspect it , walk on the flooring and see if you find any soft spots /flex spots and listen for any cracking sounds etc. If it is solid , then the underside spars are good and you wont need any re-enforcing between the floor and the Hull.
    Check the transom close , for soft spots...That is where most boats start to fail, and it is a job to replace it...almost not worth the trouble in some cases.
    Also expensive..
    Look over the hull under the bottom , for any gouges , or bad scrapes on either side of the center line...Any major rock damage will be easily found.
    Next, make sure the botton is straight and Not "Hooked" which is when the center of the bottom is pushed up towards the floor. This happens when Boats are on trailers and they get filled with rain water or a heavy snow load and it Hooks (Warps the hull)...I can remove a hook in a hull but it is a job and takes some time and it must be done in hot weather or in a Hot Garage...
    I had my own Boat repair company in Florida for a few years and Fiberglass was my specialty.
  7. The only thing That I can find on the entire boat is on the transome in small lettering

    PM 14d6083 thats the only thing I can find on the boat.

    ANd ya I was thinking about putting a jet on it Cholla for the creeks. Something else I have been playing around with was trying to find an older Jetski or Wave runner and putting a 600cc plus engine in the back and cutting the fiberglass and remolding it to accept the engine in the back sorta like this....

    [ame=]YouTube - Jet Ski Jon Boat[/ame]

    And my boat looks similer to the video below, but is "shallower" than this one I think
    [ame=]YouTube - Jet ski powered boat pre lake run[/ame]
    [ame=]YouTube - Jet ski powered boat lake test #1[/ame]
    [ame=]YouTube - Jet ski powered boat lake test #2[/ame]

    Just a thought, I was thinking it should have enuph power to push the boat but would also do well in shallow water set up like this. I have seen older Jetskis and wave runnes on Craigs list for under 1k some as low as $500 and got to thinking that if I could find one that this could possibly be a great way to have plenty of power and keep from chewing up props. I have been watching alot of these videos over the last summer and was already thinking that it was a good idea. Just some thoughts.
  8. hhmmm ok, It looked like some one had painted over the gelcoat already is why I was thinking of sanding it. Its got some good scratches on it. Here in a little bit I will go out and try to turn it on its side. Its kinda of a heavy little boat lol, not like an aluminum that I can flip by my self. I called my buddy to bring over his camera and he said He will try to get over in a little bit so hopefully he does. I know its never ganna be a showboat, im just wanting something that I can use but I want to make sure its safe. When we pulled it out of hte truck I didnt notice if the hull was hooked or not. The floor felt pretty good when I was in there but I will go out in a bit and check it again. We have it up on some logs running the length of the boat so its not sitting with all its weight on the spine or keel or what ever it is called that runs down the center.
  9. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    The #1 rule before beginning ANY fiberglass job for the first time is to go to the bathroom before starting and wipe your butt with a piece of fiberglass mat. This will teach you to stay the he ll away from the stuff unless you're wearing suitable protective gear. On a serious note, if the transom or floor is soft or weak, take a look @
    - Seacast Environmental Solutions - FIBERGLASS BOAT TRANSOM REPAIR | Seacast | Stringer | Motor Mount Repair
    I was recently "almost" given a boat (got it on a stupidly favorable trade.) that needs the transom repaired and will be using this on the advice of a friend who races boats.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  10. ROFL, have you done this before? :D I know it can be itchy stuff......dang talk about "firein the hole" feeling.

    Im reading your link right now.
  11. That looks like some interesting stuff. And actuallly I did notice the wood in the transome does seem a little old. The fibergladd and plastic on both sides of the transom has seperated a little bit from the wood transome. That was something Else I was wondering about. The wood still seems strong but you can tell its been around a while too.
  12. Brandhard

    Brandhard G&G Evangelist

    I bought a boat for 200 bucks as well from a guy at work. half a year later I think I should have taken out a loan bought a decent one! Not quite, but it's a ton of work.
  13. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    The boat is the cheapest part of the project...the motor is the main ingredient...and most costly.

    I've only done a small amount of fiberglass repair work on an old ski boat, modified V- hull...which had some major scratches in it.

    As mentioned above, the figerglass dust goes everywhere...and is dangerous to your lungs...and will cut you skin if rubbed. doubt you'll be wearing a "hepi" filter on your face and wearing good quality gloves during the work.

    For me, I like to "creep" up on my fish(ha)...but your jet boat will wake up all the fish in the lake, and more. That's why I use a 4 stroke, short shaft, electric start motor.'ve got a fun project (at least in the beginning it will be fun) to start with. Maybe it's gonna be an all winter project if you have an inside place to do the work.

    Good luck...and I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures as you projgres.

  14. Well I Have a garauge that has an oilstove heater in it I can start up. I was just thinking of the jet idea because alot of the creeks I wasnt to fish in have sand bars and spots where the water is shallow and thought that with a jet I could get through those spots easier than If I used a prop engine. I may just try to find an outboard that has a jet lower on it too. For now I just want to refinish it and fixe the spots where the fiberglass cracked upon the top (cosmetic only) and get an engine for it.

    The Jetboat idea was just something I was kicking around, most likely wont be going that way cause of money but was something fun to throw around lol :D
  15. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    Charlie...As a friend,Let me be Honest with you.
    You dont have enough financial resources to own a boat much less repair,restore, and outfit one properly with a new baby on the way...
    If I were you , I would scrap the idea and work on the snowmachine.
    Fiberglas is expensive, The Polyurethane paint for fiberglass is expensive,and you dont have the tools and equipment necessary for what you must do.
    Everything concerning a boat is expensive...I know, I have owned everything from an Aluminum John Boat to a 40 ft Houseboat, with several in between.
    A boat is a Hole in the water that you dump Money into...
    Take a step back and realize what you are up against...your buddy should have paid YOU to take it off his hands, especially if he got it for free...
    Plus fiberglass Boats are not good river boats, that is why 99% are Aluminum jet Boats up here.
    You would need at least 35-40 Hp Jet Outboard to putz upstream at the fall of our rivers per mile...It takes POWER.
    That boat with a 10-18 hp Outboard would be OK for Biglake to tool around in and fish with...thats about it.
  16. Well it wasnt my friend that sold me the boat, it was actually his brother. He just told me about it.

    And if you think that a fiberglass boat wont work well in the creeks up here then that sucks lol. I didnt realize how expensive fiberglass was, that was kinda part of the reasen I posted it. I do Value your opinion. I guess Im just tired of being stuck on the bank.

    I did plan on focusing on the snowmachine first, I was just thinking I could fix the boat up over winter for next summer. Maby I will put an add in craigs list and see if I cant getsome one to trade me the boat for something more feesable for me. I may just call him and ask him to come get it and tell him I just cant afford it......

    Your shooting my dreams down man lol :p But I do appreciate you being honost. You do know me better than most people on the forum.
  17. Tigercat200

    Tigercat200 G&G Evangelist

    I just wanted to post a warning about MEK-P since we are talking about fiberglass work. This may no longer be valid but some of the fiberglass resin mixes used Methylethyl Ketone Peroxide as one of the parts to mix. Be sure to wear eye protection. If you get MEK-P in your eyes you WILL go blind. Doesn't matter how quickly you wash it out either. Might take 5 years but, you will go blind. Nothing can stop it. Composite work is not something to trifle with. There are a lot of people out there who didn't know better or didn't take appropriate care and have skin, breathing, and eye problems. Use your protective gear.
  18. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    AA...If....just "if" you keep moving forward with your boat idea, consider using a swamp boat motor. Here's a link showing one:GO-DEVIL Engines

    That would work in very shallow water...and you wouldn't have to worry about the motor freezing up.
  19. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    I am in total agreement with Rich. Any boat requires money to keep up and the older a boat is the more expensive it is to keep going. I have done a lot of fiberglass work on cars at my uncles body shop and have to say it is no fun to work around. I think you would be way ahead if you saved up and bought a used aluminimum boat.

    Been messing with boats since I was a kid...I'm 73 old glass boat is just that .... an old glass boat...sweep it out...check for soft floors (if the floors are soft and most will have to cut out the floor, replace the stringers and install and glass a new floor)...big job and expensive...if there is soft wood in the transom (most are glass over wood) that's another huge project for someone that doensn't have the skills...Cracks in the structural parts....difficult to I sound negative? I am...if you can find a nice used aluminum boat that doesn't leak and hasn't had rivet repairs made (they always leak later on) pick it up and enjoy it...I don't know how many old glass boats I've seen "bought cheap" and ended up costing as much as a new or newer one...I've also done it and probably would still be doing it if I had the strength...if you have the time and money to devote to it go ahead...if not and you just want to hook up and go now and then a nice used aluminum or glass boat with a solid engine probably would cost much less in the long run.

    Here's a few of the many over the I have been there and done that.

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