Cockpit rim repair

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Jim Tait
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Cockpit rim repair

Post by Jim Tait » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:06 am

I have an old boat that is needing a repair along the cockpit rim; an area of 3 or 4 inches is all cracked and flexible, as opposed to being rigid.
Whats the best way to repair this and keep the correct curves?
I assume I'll have to chop this bit out, and rebuild it somehow?

Thanks,
Jim

Chris Bolton
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Re: Cockpit rim repair

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:28 am

If the cracked area is still the right shape, I'd try using it as a base. I would use West 105 epoxy and glassfibre tape. The West epoxy isn't cheap but it goes a long way, provided you only mix small batches; I've had the same pack for years and done many repairs with it. Clean the brushes with undiluted washing machine detergent. The process I'd follow is roughly as below, but modified as I go along to suit circumstances!

1. Turn the boat nearly upside down so that the underside of the damaged area forms a shallow trough.
2. Mix some epoxy and brush it into the trough, ie, on the underside of the damaged area. The idea is that it will fill the cracks and seep through to the top face. If it starts dripping right through, you could wrap some gaffer tape onto it, but don't tape it initially, as the tape will trap air and stop the resin getting through.
3. Once that's set, turn the boat the right way up, and remove any tape. Hopefully, it's solid enough to hold its shape and be a base to laminate on.
4. With appropriate protection to skin and breathing, sand or grind off the top surface of the damaged area. Go down as far as you can before you risk losing the shape or going right through. Taper the areas where it meets the intact rim.
5. Paint epoxy onto the sanded surface and then lay on the tape. Apply several layers, with an overlap onto the taper. How many layers you can add depends on how much you were able to cut back and how thick the rim was to start with. There's no harm in going a bit higher than the original.
6. Leave to cure. Depending on how it's worked, and what kind of perfection you want, that may be enough. If necessary, sand off any lumps and bumps and give a final coat of epoxy (or, if it matters, gelcoat to match the existing).

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Jim
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Re: Cockpit rim repair

Post by Jim » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:35 pm

I've always just proceeded similar to what Chris describes gingerly patching up around the original pieces, however if you need to make a temporary mould, I'm told that hosepipe is very useful for this sort of thing. Some manufacturers may still use it as a former for their rims...

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Jim Tait
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Re: Cockpit rim repair

Post by Jim Tait » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:16 pm

Great, Thank folks....

I have epoxy resin and diolene - that's what it looks like the boat is made of.

Fingers crossed!

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Re: Cockpit rim repair

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:25 pm

Diolen will work, but I'd use glassfibre tape rather than diolen for preference; diolen is harder to sand smooth, and tape will reduce the amount of tidying up needed on the outside edge.

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