Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fiberglass Repair

The people at the have completed a re-glassing of their cockpit sole. Here's how he did it, but read the comment at the end.

As part of the current section I am working on (engine room/cockpit area), the biggest job is completing the repair of my delaminated and waterlogged cockpit sole.  In the first post on this subject, I cut out the bottom layer of glass and removed the wet core.  If you haven’t read the first post, check it out here:
This past week I finally finished the repair work and am excited to have it done.  Aside from the hull blisters, this is probably the biggest repair job on the boat.  This is what the sole looked like before the repair job:

The next step was to grind down the remaining core and get a fairly smooth surface to glue in the new core.  Here is the surface post grinding:

I purchased some end-grain balsa to use as the replacement core. Here is the first piece measured and cut. The board underneath it is the backing plate I will use to hold the core in place while the epoxy dries. I covered it in wax paper so epoxy wont stick to it.

After measuring and cutting the core, I painted both contact surfaces (core and sole) with unthickened epoxy to penetrate, then slathered on a ton of thickened epoxy to the core:

Next I smushed it up against the sole undersides, put on the backing plate, then used shower curtain rods to snug it up.

I filled in the edges with thickened epoxy and let the first piece cure.  Here it is after it dried:

I then performed the same tasks on the second piece of core.  Here are both pieces in place, with the edges sanded round:

Next up I applied a few progressively larger layers of biaxial cloth to the undersides.  I used smallish (1 ft or so) strips to keep it manageable while laying up the glass overhead.

Job finished!  I will sand it down and paint it along with the rest of the engine room ceiling.  I stood on the cockpit sole for the first time in a while and it is solid as a rock!
Lessons learned: doing the job from the underside was a mistake.  My initial idea was that working from the underside would ensure the top skin is undamaged and finish/fairing work would be minimized.  The glass underneath is rough and unfinished, so the repair work need not be super neat.However, I underestimated the effort it took to glue in the core overhead with gravity working against me.  It was extremely messy, with epoxy getting all over me, in my hair and everywhere.  My arms were noodles after each work session working overhead.  If I had to do this again I would definitely go from the top and just take my time with the finishing work, particularly since I am fairing and painting the decks regardless.  Gravity working for you is a good thing.  All in all, I am happy with the repair and glad to be moving forward!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quick Fit Coupling

The company at has this interesting hose quick connect/disconnect system. Their are many places on a boat where this sort of device can make life simpler. I use a similar device for my bilge pumps which helps me get them quickly out of the bilge if they need servicing. Looks like a great product.

Qwik-Lok is a quick disconnect marine plumbing system and method that can provide increased productivity, higher quality and value while simultaneously reducing costs. The heart of the Qwik-Lok system is the innovative Qwik-Lok socket that fits industry standard marine hose in popular 3/4" and 1-1/8" sizes. Qwik-Lok’s numerous benefits make it much more than just a quick disconnect plumbing system.

Qwik-Lok fittings are installed in place of standard barbed fittings. Zero learning curve required. Qwik-Lok sockets are installed to the hose ends whether it’s pre-assembled in our factory or done at the boat or on the work bench. No more crimping or tightening a hose clamp at arms length in hard to reach areas. Only learning curve here is to get used to how easy life can be.
With the locking ring back out of the locked position and into the neutral position, simply push that end of the hose onto the fitting until the socket snaps into place, then push the locking ring into the latch and locked position.
To remove, just grasp the same locking ring and pull. The latches will automatically disengage and the hose will be free. The only tools you need are one thumb and forefinger.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Marine Wifi

The people over at have come up with a great wifi product. Check it out!

Perfect Marine Grade WiFi 

The Wirie and The WirieAP Overview

Our products offer you the best combination of performance, ease of use, and durability on the market. Here is a summary of each product's features, click on the product name to learn more about The Wirie and The WirieAP.

The Wirie

Available now!
The Wirie AP

Now Available too!
• 1000mW WiFi Adapter (long-range)
• Single USB Cable installation (Max 79')
• 100% Marine Grade
• Fully waterproof (IP67)
• Flexible Mounting Options
• Portable (use on boat/RV and ashore)
• Requires a computer to operate
• WiFi Adapter upgradeable
• Simplest configuration, easiest to use
• Fully upgradeable to The WirieAP
• 8dBi Marine WiFi Antenna
• Choice of color
• 1 Year Warranty
• 1000mW WiFi Adapter (long-range)
• 500mW Local Access Point
• Provides onboard WiFi router for local network
• Single 12V Cable (No Max length)
• 100% Marine Grade
• Fully waterproof (IP67)
• Flexible Mounting Options
• Unlimited installation height
• No software installation
• Operate from any WiFi device
• 8dBi Marine WiFi Antenna
• Choice of color
• 1 Year Warranty

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Battery Fill System

 The company at has some interesting products. This is one of four different battery fill systems they have on offer. For those with lead acid batteries and a need to fill them up with water from time to time, this could be the answer


Qwik-Fill On-board Battery Watering System works with group size 24 through 27 and most 29 through 31, 12-volt marine deep cycle batteries.
One of the primary causes of short battery life is a failure to maintain proper water level. Whether your batteries are in plain sight or hard to reach, adding water to the proper level couldn't be easier with the Qwik-Fill On-board Battery Watering System from Flow-Rite.
After a simple, one time installation that takes only a few minutes, you can fill all your batteries simultaneously from a single remote fill point without ever having to remove a single battery cap. You no longer have to touch or even see your batteries. The level in each cell is controlled independently, adding water only to cells that are low. It will not overfill and its precise accuracy would be almost impossible to match with conventional filling methods. Finally, the battery accessory we've all been waiting for has arrived.