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Advice on restoring old boat
Hi 125ers

I've been looking at my dad's old 125 (sail no 910 I think) which he built in the late 70s. It's in pretty poor condition after years of neglect (rain, sun, etc), so I'm after some advice about attempting to restore it - essentially, whether it is worth it. Of course, this is a decision only I can make, but any advice would be appreciated.

Problems include:
1. transom is rotted through at the join to the hull
2. the ply of the hull between the centrecase and bulkhead, the bit of timber there that runs lengthwise along the hull (don't know what this is called), the lower middle part of the bulkhead, plus surrounding sections of the hull are rotted through (i.e there's holes in the boat !) - the centrecase looks OK though
3. various smaller areas of ply on the hull have deteriorated
4. parts of the gunwhales are rotted too
5. most of the fibreglass on top has perished

My main concern is replacing the rotten hull sections - is it feasible to cut out the rotten bits and replace with new material ?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Matthew Montgomery27-Jul-2007    Edit    Delete 
Re: Advice on restoring old boat
Be careful not to let emotion get in the way of good sense. It may be excellent to revive dad's boat as a tribute, but it sounds to be a very big project. You could build a new hull easier.
The holes at the base of the transom and main bulkhead sound like dry rot where fresh water has been allowed to pond. This is a fungus that "disolves" wood. It must be completely cut out. You can successfully glue in patches by the scarfe joint system. I use an angle grinder with a reasonably coarse grit disc so that you cut rather than burn the timber. A 5:1 ratio is good, so use a 25mm wide ruler to mark out the joins and chamfer for the glue joint with the disc. Practice first on a scrap of ply. Make the "hole" piece with the bevels first then cut a piece of ply as the "filler". Grind the edge bevels to the 25mm ruler marks and do a trial fit. The parallel line formed by the veneers of ply will help in keeping the bevel reasonably uniform. However it is not all that important as the gap filling properties with expoy glues is very good. I use the WEST system as the resin can be used for fibreglass and then modified for glue and filler. Hold the patch in position whilst the glue dries with a push stick, clamps or small nails (these are very helpful in stopping the patch sliding all over the place). The nails are only inserted part way then removed. If the patch is on a curve you may need to approximate the curve with strategically located push sticks to minimise the filling required to get the right shapes.
Fibregalss tape with polyester resin will break down in sunlight. Remove all the damaged tape by pulling it off. Sand a new bond area with your angle grinder (carefully) and reglass.
A problem with 125's built in the 70's was the glues available have crystalised by now and lost strength. Check a few joints out to test the extent of the problem before committing to the project.
Good luck and enjoy the rejuvenation.
Don Barnett30-Jul-2007    Edit    Delete 

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