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Original Fiberglass Bottom on Cavalier

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:17 pm
by jnbailey71
I am restoring a 1958 15' Cavalier Utility-

Previously I have posted about the options I have to replace a gnarly crack on the starboard side of the boat....from the wealth of information and opinions I have received I decided to replace both sides, transom and decking. I want this boat to last the rest of my life and my kids someday.

My question... my Cavalier has an original fiberglass bottom on it, there is nothing wrong with the fiberglass and at all costs I would like to not open that can of worms. In the pictures below you can see where the fiberglass is brought over the sides of the hull by about 1".

What are my options here? When I disturb the fiberglass that wraps the sides and transom do I need to re-fiberglass the entire bottom? Is it acceptable to "patch" onto old fiberglass (my intuition tells me no). I am looking to all of you for your creative expertise, if it ends up being replacing the bottom I can settle with that (after a case of beer). Hoping to hear all options before I move forward with the most labor intensive and time heavy option.

Thank you in advance!

Re: Original Fiberglass Bottom on Cavalier

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:32 pm
by Al Benton
In the day, they used a resin based fiberglass. The newer epoxy type may not bond well to this. What if you were to cut the existing fiberglass at the edge of the bottom plywood and place a new overlapping patch using the resin (that I believe is still available) once the sides are complete. The patch would overlap onto the existing fiberglass bottom about 6" after sanding that area down to bare fiberglass, and then sanded to blend with the existing after it cures out. It could overlap the new sides the original 1" or possibly up to the waterline.

Just a thought based on a patch job that I did on an old 50's fiberglass boat a few years ago. The resin based patch stuck well.

Re: Original Fiberglass Bottom on Cavalier

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:26 pm
by robertpaul
Have you had a really close look at the frames and other structural pieces?

Re: Original Fiberglass Bottom on Cavalier

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:24 pm
by jnbailey71
I haven't had it surveyed but I think it is in really good shape. Everything is solid except for the port side stringer which is starting to show rot. I'm going to use a product to keep the rot from spreading.

Re: Original Fiberglass Bottom on Cavalier

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:02 am
by robertpaul
Looks very clean to me. Nice. I think that you could pull and replace the port stringer very easily. It is bald of me to suggest this based only on a couple of photos but this is the time to do it. It will give you a look at the frame directly under it.

Re: Original Fiberglass Bottom on Cavalier

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:33 pm
by jnbailey71
Thank you Al and Robert for the information.... I think Al's option is the one to go with, seems like the best compromise. Is the west system Resin the stuff to go with? Would I just shave the existing fiberglass on the hull down to the fabric roughly 5"-6" from the edge then use a 6" wide strip of fabric around the entire hull, overlap the 1" on the side and bond to the original fabric? Am I understanding that correctly?