Latest News: Forums Technical Help and Advice – Broken Bearers Re: Re: Help and Advice – Broken Bearers

#9735
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Woooh, that’s nasty. But it looks like the ribs are still bonded to the hull ok, it must have been some bump that caused that. Is the rest of the hull ok? I would have thought that it might be worth checking the deck/hull joint. In resisting a force that is trying to break the back of the boat the hull acts a sort of truss with compression in the keel area and tension at deck level. Alternatively the bottom of the hull may have deformed to spread the load so check for surface cracks on the outside.

If the rest of the hull and deck joint are ok, then it’s repairable. The only bit that needs to remain inside the original shape is the top where the deck rests, but you can afford to make the ribs thicker on their sides to compensate.

If you wanted to have a go yourself, I would suggest the hull will need support to get it back to the original shape so there is no hog in the shape (ie the keel is straight). A few 40 litre peat bags might make a good cradle, lifting the transom until you are happy with the shape, don’t try to do this leaving the boat on it’s trolley, ‘cos that will concentrate the load under the damage. Fortunately you have quite a good guide as to when you are back in shape because the cracks will close up.

If you are up for it I would then use an angle grinder with a flap-wheel to grind off the gelcoat and some of the original glass lay-up for a good 300mm either side of the damage top and sides. Where there is a “tee ” in the shape of the short stub, I would cut that away completely to enable the side laminations to be made solid along the length of the ribs then reinstate the stub using polystyrene foam as a former after the main repair has been made. After grinding away the gelcoat and some of the glass (wear a mask) then laminate over the top and down the sides with 3 or 4 layers of woven cloth (not chopped strand) using slightly thickened epoxy resin (thicken with fibres, you can buy them in tubs from the usual resin suppliers). Run the cloth down to and onto the inside of the hull, so you are making a kinda “omega” shape repair.

Best to wait until the weather is a little warmer unless you have the luxury of a workshop big enough to allow you to bed her into the peat bags and walk around her while you work on the damage. The most imprtant part to reinstate the strength is the top surface because the rib acts as a beam, but given that you cannot make that much thicker I would concentrate on getting a good solid side lamination. After it has cured (a couple of days in the warm or up to week in the cold), rub the repair down the minimum amount you need to get the deck panels down, you don’t want to remove too much from the top surface. Finally a coat of un-thinned resin to seal the fibres exposed by rubbing down and paint if you want but under the deck the epoxy won’t see much sunshine so you could leave it unpainted.

That sounds brutal but you have to re-generate the strength of the rib which has as it’s most important function to provide stiffness to the hull