April 19, 2022
After some final preparations, mainly cleaning of the transom, surrounding areas, and new fiberglass panel, I installed the panel permanently in a thick bed of epoxy adhesive that I troweled onto the inside of the transom, along the bottom and side edges, and otherwise as needed. With a large area and some unevenness around the bottom edge and the vertical portion of the jet drive tunnel, it required several batches of mixed epoxy, so there was no time to pause for reflection nor pictures of the adhesive application.
Once the panel was in place, I secured it with clamps along the top edge, which pulled it into the slight curve of the transom shape, and more clamps at the bottom edge through the tunnel opening.
Next, I mixed more of the adhesive epoxy mix and formed broad fillets along the sides where the panel met the existing structures, and slightly smaller fillets at the bottom edge where it met the existing hull. The fillets increased bonding area and, more importantly, would provide a clean rounded corner to ease application of fiberglass later.
It was time to start focusing on molding the repair work to fill in the bottom portion of the jet tunnel. This repair would be effected from both inside and out, but first I needed to create a temporary mold of the shape of the bottom, using the adjacent and known hull shape as the guide. To prepare the surrounding hull for the first steps in the process, I began by scraping away the old bottom paint all around the work area from beneath, which was quick and easy since the old paint was poorly adhered anyway, and age had dried it out to the point that it was essentially falling away on its own. Removing the paint would give hot glue, which would probably be a crucial part of my mold work, a chance to actually stick to the boat. Eventually I’d have to sand/grind the gelcoat and laminate on the underside as well, but not till I’d created the initial laminate from the inside of the boat, as I needed the existing hull shape as is to build the mold.
I couldn’t begin the mold itself till I unclamped the transom, but for now, and with only a half day planned anyway, I built a female pattern of the hull shape, starting with the male transom template I’d made earlier, then using an intact section of the hull just forward of the repair area to scribe closely and fine-tune. The deadrise and shape looked consistent over the area of the repair, though there might be some increase in the angle as it went forward, but in any event the female pattern would allow me to check the shape once the fiberglassing was underway. Hopefully this would all come together in the near future so I could make the hull whole once more.
Total time billed on this job today: 4 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 0600 Weather Observation: 40°, rain. Forecast for the day: Rain and wind in the morning, then showers likely, 50°