fiberglass deterioration

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Ralph Rowe
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:23 am

fiberglass deterioration

Post by Ralph Rowe » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:01 pm

I am looking at several earlier F26 Trojans. If the boat has been taken care of, will the age of the fiberglass be a problem far as cracking etc. The deck gets a lot of sun-does this affect the glass. Most boats are put up for the winter which helps some. Other than a survay is there anything I should look for?

Ralph

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chucka
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Location: RI
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Post by chucka » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:13 pm

Look carefully at the foredeck, especially around the rails and other places where hardware penetrates the deck. Those are places where water has a tendency to seep into the balsa core over time causing spongieness, which can be fixed, but requires opening up the fiberglass skin, drying out (or removing) any rot, and either replacing the core or filling it with a penetrating resin, then replacing the skin. If you notice any soft (flexible) spots in the deck, water penetration in the core is a likely cause. You might also find soft spots where there isn't any hardware penetration.

Tapping around the deck with the plastic handle of a screw driver is a good way to find soft spots. A sharp solid sound is good, a hollow thud indicates trouble.

Look at the stringers that support the engine. Use a pocket knife or a screw driver to poke the stringers to make sure they are solid. You will probably find places to test bare wood around openings in the fiberglass skin over the stringers around the engine mounts or where the stringers have scuppers to allow bilge water to drain from the sides of the boat toward the center.

Check out the plywood backing plates between any seacocks and the fiberglass hull, and where the rudder stuffing box is mounted. These were getting pretty spongy on my '75 F26 when I bought her a few years ago. I replaced them.

Look for rot in the plywood bulkhead that separates the engine compartment from the cabin. Water tends to seep down along the cabin bulkhead where it meets the deck, and rot this bulkhead. I had to cut out some large sections and replace them with fresh plywood. Also, if the cockpit deck is wood, the support frames are prone to rot, especially around the joints.

If the fuel tank is original, which is likely if the deck hasn't been replaced, take a careful look at it, including hoses and connections. Old fuel tanks are prone to corrosion, expecially in salt water boats. Gas vapors from any leaks can turn your boat into a bomb.

Good Luck!
Chuck
formerly
Lots A Luck
Trojan F-26 Express
Narragansett Bay, RI

Ralph Rowe
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Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:23 am

Post by Ralph Rowe » Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:38 am

F26 fiberglass questions

I would like to thank Chuck and many others that have answered questions on this site. This is a great site for those of us that like to do it ourselves

Ralph

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jon_e_quest
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:40 pm
Location: Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan

Replacing the balsa core from below.

Post by jon_e_quest » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:09 pm

:idea: I own a 1976 F-26 (my second Trojan). The boat had a lot of delamination in the deck and some in the cabin top. I had to replace 75 percent of the deck's balsa core plus small areas where both cabin top hand rails mount forward. All repairs were done from below using the Gougeon Brother's West System.

The main advantage of replacing the balsa core from below is that the gel coat is not compromised, thus eliminating the need to repair the 'scars' left by cutting from above. The main disadvantages are: 1. GRAVITY!!! and 2. Some (or all?) of the interior trim must be removed to access the areas needing repair. Because my boat also needed a new interior, this actually wasn't an issue in my case.

If interested, I can email photos of my project and I am also willing to explain how I accomplished the repair.
Current Boats:
1972 Model FBA-35 Chris Craft Commander Salon
1962 Model VUC-18 Chris Craft Cavalier Custom Utility

Former Trojans:
1972 Model 440 F-36 Tri-Cabin
1978 Model 253 F-25 Express HT
1976 Model 261 F-26 Express HT

Ralph Rowe
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Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:23 am

Post by Ralph Rowe » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:31 am

Thank you Marc-this is great information-I think the F26, because of its size, performance and styling is a great boat. New boats don't compare.



Ralph

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randyp
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:32 pm
Location: Upstate New York

Fixing the deck from the inside

Post by randyp » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:44 pm

Marc -

I'd sure like to see those pictures of what you did to repair your deck. My local marina fixed one soft spot a few years ago, and did a "C-" kind of job. I'd like to go back an fix it better, as well as tackle what may be another soft spot. Both are on the foredeck, above the v-berth area.


I have a 1977 F-26

Many thanks

randyp

email rputnam@sspinc.com

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jon_e_quest
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Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:40 pm
Location: Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan

Post by jon_e_quest » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:26 pm

I just emailed several pics. Good Luck!
Current Boats:
1972 Model FBA-35 Chris Craft Commander Salon
1962 Model VUC-18 Chris Craft Cavalier Custom Utility

Former Trojans:
1972 Model 440 F-36 Tri-Cabin
1978 Model 253 F-25 Express HT
1976 Model 261 F-26 Express HT

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