Detached cockpit rim

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Mr Ed
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:51 pm

Detached cockpit rim

Post by Mr Ed » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:01 pm

Hello,

I've got a problem with my boat (whose make I'm deliberately not being forthcoming with). The cockpit rim has broken away at the and I have approximately 1/2" of movement in the plastic rim. Though the plastic rim still seems to be attached with whatever adhesive was used to the fibreglass of the boat at the back.

Has anyone any ideas on how to fix this myself? It's been back to the manufacturer twice and come back superficially fixed but detached again soon after through normal use. Each time the boat has been out of action too long. I'm unwilling to take it back for the same problem again.

Any ideas or just chalk it up as experience and live with it? (I only get a small amount of water in the boat)

Ed

PlymouthDamo
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: Detached cockpit rim

Post by PlymouthDamo » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:22 pm

It's dead easy to do, providing you can beg, borrow or steal some epoxy resin, powder mix and fibreglass tape. You just mix up the resin then add enough powder to thicken it into a peanut-butter consistency paste. Daub a load into the concaved part where the crack is. (There's a typo in your original post so it's not clear where the crack actually is - but I'm assuming it's on a right-angled join between the rim and the boat. The concave bit I'm referring to is under the cockpit rim, on the outside of the boat.) Use the curved end of a wooden lolly stick to spread it, thereby creating a curved 'fillet' along the crack under the rim. Then place some fibreglass tape over this fillet and use a paint brush to completely soak it in unthickened epoxy resin. Then leave it to cure - 24 hours should be plenty - and it will be strong. You can also stick some fibreglass tape along the other side of the crack (i.e. inside the cockpit opening) to give it extra strength.

I realise the above isn't an adequate explanation, but it should be enough to get you googling for how to use epoxy and fibreglass. It's a fairly common process and there'll be loads of youtube videos etc.

Chris Bolton
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Location: NW England

Re: Detached cockpit rim

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:12 pm

I'm puzzled that you have a fibreglass boat with a plastic cockpit rim; it's not a combination I've ever seen, and I'm unsure about how they should be joined. Do you know what kind of plastic it is?

I understand why you haven't named the manufacturer, but you'd get better advice if you did, because we have to guess the details.

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Detached cockpit rim

Post by TechnoEngineer » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:46 am

I wouldn't just "live with it" as the GRP might delaminate. Do you have any photos?
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Jim
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Location: Dumbarton

Re: Detached cockpit rim

Post by Jim » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:11 pm

I don't really understand, is it a composite rim that just looks plastic because it has black gelcoat on or is it definitely plastic.
Does the boat have a built in upstand that the vertical part of the rim is glued to or is the deck flush and the rim has a bottom flange to glue to the deck, or is it just glued corner to corner (which will never work well)?

It is probably designed to be fitted with a flexible adhesive because that is quick, cheap and easy for the manufacturer (I'm assuming it is a budget boat, not top of the range from a leading manufacturer), but it will be more secure if it is laminated to the deck using strips of fibreglass tape as PlymouthDamo suggests. Use coarse sandpaper to key the vertical part of the rim first to make sure you get a good bond to it. Fibreglass tape is more flexible and easier to tell if you have wetted it properly than kevlar or carbon so don't be tempted to get fancy, just use glass. If you tape over a gap, the resin will slump a little as it cures and you will end up with tiny holes between the weave of the tape, so it is important to fill any gaps/undulations with epoxy/filler powder mix first - don't wait for it to cure though, carefully add the tape whilst it is still wet and ensure the filler supports it without gaps, all using the bare minimum of filler and tape because you don't want to add too much weight. It is best to wer the tape with resin off the job to avoid disturbing the filler - I use an old board or put card or polythene on my work bench, wet that first and then lay the tape strips on to wet them through before starting with filler. Oh yes, and very thinly smear resin onto a dry surface before trying to fill it, the filler will grip much better as you work.

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MikeB
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Location: Scotland

Re: Detached cockpit rim

Post by MikeB » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:21 pm

And cleaning off the surfaces with acetone with help enormously - removes any wax / dust / etc. But as previously noted, I'm not aware of anything with a "plastic" c/pit rim.

PlymouthDamo
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: Detached cockpit rim

Post by PlymouthDamo » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:39 pm

If the whole boat was plastic, then it would be a plastic rim, but as the OP says the boat's fibreglass, I think it's safe to say the rim will be made out of some sort of fibre, bonded with either epoxy or polyester resin. An epoxy/glass repair will work on either.

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