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About a year ago I picked up a worn out Hobie 16 with 86' Nationals Sails and an Ugly Waterline. Upon buying the boat I decided to replace the Tramp, Standing Rigging, Redo the Gelcoat and Freshen the boat up.

This thread is an attempt at documenting the restoration.

Today I disassembled the boat and put it in my garage, as well as sanding down the other hull...

DJI_0697.JPG

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The only hard part is getting the old decals off, still only 2 feet through one side...

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18 hours ago, JBOATTROUBLEMAKER said:

The only hard part is getting the old decals off, still only 2 feet through one side...

Caramel wheel

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Blue Easy Off oven cleaner will take most things off gel coat, but not damage the gel coat.    Salty Dog Marine (on ebay) has very affordable kits for standing and running rigging.  About $100 for all the standing rigging, and about $100 for all the running.  When I first got a 16 going, I replaced all that stuff, but still have a lot of early demasting, where the shackels broke, and the pins that hold the shrouds at the base broke, so I strongly recommend replacing EVERY bit of stainless in the standing rigging.  Big strong looking parts can just shatter like glass after a decade or so of crevice corrosion.  Don't forget the cable in the leading edge of the jib.   When that broke on me, it did not cause a demasting, but it did cause a capsize.

Somebody online also has an reasonable priced replacement tramp, but I forget who.  Most of them are in the $400 price range, as I recall, but I think the one place had them for more like $150.

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Looks like the best priced tramp might have been Tampa Catamarans, and it is $200 now.

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13 hours ago, kruiter said:

Looks like the best priced tramp might have been Tampa Catamarans, and it is $200 now.

Black Mesh with pockets?

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Yup... other options listed on their website: https://tampacatamarans.com/hobie-16-aftermarket-trampoline-standard-design/

Nice tramp, but I believe the Hobie branded tramps last longer.. though they cost more, too. If you race, some folks will protest you for using non-standard tramp. TANSTAAFL.

Cover your tramp of any manufacturer and it will live a long and happy life.

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Will do. 

As you can tell, the old tramp lived a long, but definetly not happy life...

DJI_0697.JPG

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I like to think that this boat will one day...

I dont think the restoration is going to be the hard part...

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I just got a tramp custom-made for our Spirit 17 by:

Tampa Catamarans
813.966.4640

They were fantastic to work with and very, very affordable. Great quality as well.

We went through exactly the same thing you did with our boat - which looked even more trashed. It was pretty expensive, but well worth the project for me and my boys. Here is the run down if you're interested:

BEACHCATS IN REHAB

From here...

45dd12be.jpg

 

...to here...

2019_FIASCO_01g-1038x576.jpg

 

Good times.

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Just read through your article. My boat did not really need this restoration, it sailed fine before, just looked horrible. Than again, after grinding down the hull I found a few skeletons in the closet.

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23 minutes ago, JBOATTROUBLEMAKER said:

Just read through your article. My boat did not really need this restoration, it sailed fine before, just looked horrible. Than again, after grinding down the hull I found a few skeletons in the closet.

Cool. As you can see in the installment 2 of the series, we removed our striping with a straight blade. Are you going to use paint or gelcoat for the re-finish?

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3 minutes ago, smackdaddy said:

Cool. As you can see in the installment 2 of the series, we removed our striping with a straight blade. Are you going to use paint or gelcoat for the re-finish?

I plan to use Gelcoat to refinish the hulls.

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I had thought about that but ended up going paint due to cost and prep. Anyway, I look forward to following your progress! Enjoy!

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5 hours ago, smackdaddy said:

I had thought about that but ended up going paint due to cost and prep. Anyway, I look forward to following your progress! Enjoy!

I may change course for the same reasons, we will see...

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My experience with paint and gelcoat is that the prep for both is significant, and similar. Applying by spraying effort similar for both. Paint more sensitive to contamination. Finishing effort higher for gelcoat as you sand and polish much more than paint.

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On 7/4/2020 at 7:23 PM, mookiesurfs said:

My experience with paint and gelcoat is that the prep for both is significant, and similar. Applying by spraying effort similar for both. Paint more sensitive to contamination. Finishing effort higher for gelcoat as you sand and polish much more than paint.

Yeah - that last part is what finally swung me. That plus trying to maintain the texture on the no-slip sections with gelcoat, etc. It was just too much work. 6 years in, I've been absolutely blown away by the finish and durability of this paint though...

file-14.jpg

file-13.jpg

 

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24 minutes ago, smackdaddy said:

Yeah - that last part is what finally swung me. That plus trying to maintain the texture on the no-slip sections with gelcoat, etc. It was just too much work. 6 years in, I've been absolutely blown away by the finish and durability of this paint though...

file-14.jpg

file-13.jpg

 

Would white paint provide as much protection as Gelcoat?

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I did gelcoat on mine, and had some issues with it not curing in some spots.  I guess this is pretty common, and there are tricks to minimize this problem.  Such as checking the date code of the gelcoat to make sure it is not too old, etc.  So if you go this way do more research than I did, which was not much.

I have another set of hulls to do, and it will be paint for sure.  Either the Interlux briteside above, or the next step up, interlux pefection.

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10 hours ago, JBOATTROUBLEMAKER said:

Would white paint provide as much protection as Gelcoat?

Though I can't say for sure - It definitely depends on the paint (color doesn't matter I don't think). Obviously paint is thinner than gelcoat, but this Interlux has been super tough (rubbing up against docks, scraping on rocks and sand). I have zero complaints and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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If you keep it insides Brightsides one part paint will stay glossy. Outside, not so much after 2 years. Paint with a 2 part polyurethane. Forget gel coat. Sooo much extra work. 

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56 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Forget gel coat. Sooo much extra work. 

Yep, even the pros will avoid repainting with gelcoat given the option.

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I have a prindle 15 that needs this treatment.  Going to put it on the trailer today to get it out from under a tree.  How are your decks?  Mine are soft.  Is that something I can live with or will the boat explode out from under me the first time I try to sail it?

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It depends on where they are soft.  Hobies generally go soft on the top in between the tramp and to bow, and it is a real problem that can lead to boats coming apart, because there can be a lot of stress there.  It can be addressed, certainly to the point that it will not come apart under normal sailing conditions.

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Lots of holes and lots of epoxy injected. It will definitely by you several more decades...

file-1.jpg

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On 7/6/2020 at 12:52 PM, JBOATTROUBLEMAKER said:

Would white paint provide as much protection as Gelcoat?

 

On 7/6/2020 at 10:58 PM, smackdaddy said:

Though I can't say for sure - It definitely depends on the paint (color doesn't matter I don't think). Obviously paint is thinner than gelcoat, but this Interlux has been super tough (rubbing up against docks, scraping on rocks and sand). I have zero complaints and would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

On 7/7/2020 at 12:00 AM, SCARECROW said:

Yep, even the pros will avoid repainting with gelcoat given the option.

Just asked to prep and paint a Hobie yesterday. Faded blue hull with no decals left to remove with a heat gun and razor blade. Wanted to paint it to match the gelcoat. It looks like it just needs a good buffing with a wool bonnet and gelcoat  buffing compound and that will make for an easy restoration. 
 

As far as this job is concerned, use a good quality 2 part urethane paint for abrasion resistance and forget about gelcoating. I do that for a living and it won’t be worth the effort. 
 

Paint is a very thin protective film that blocks UV, provides a glossy surface for easy cleaning and scratch  resistance. It is about as thick as one piece of paper.
 

Gelcoat is a thick layer of plastic(polyester resin with thickening agents, titanium dioxide for abrasion resistance) and is about 10 times as thick as paint( 10 pieces of paper). It has to be applied by spray for the best uniform coverage and then has to be sanded with repeated grits -200,400,800,1,000-1,500 -at least to 800 grit- before it can be compounded and brought to a true gloss. 
 

Have fun with the project and use a good quality paint!

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Should check out beachcats.com, lots of experience over there.  If you drill holes for epoxy injection, use a drill stop to limit hole depth, because you only want to go thru the top glass layer and the foam inside, NOT the inner layer of glass.

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On 7/8/2020 at 10:00 AM, Bsquared said:

Should check out beachcats.com, lots of experience over there.  If you drill holes for epoxy injection, use a drill stop to limit hole depth, because you only want to go thru the top glass layer and the foam inside, NOT the inner layer of glass.

Thanks.  Yeah, decks are flexy, like the thin foam core just crumbled.  Hulls seem fine but I assume they are solid, if thin, laminate.

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Hi, thread is a little old but i have a couple comments.

Those hulls look ok to just fine sand and buff out.  A painted finish is not going to look good when it gets scratched up at the beach.  If your are trying to lighten the boat weight you could sand all the gelcoat off and paint with 3 part polyurethane.  Gel coat on a repair is for a color match.  Gelcoat is a product that is sprayed into a female mold.  The side that is blocked from the air fully cures and the side that you will apply the laminate to remains tacky.  On a repair they spray pva on the gelcoat to get the outside to fully cure.  It would be a real shitfight to gelcoat an entire hull after it is out of the mold.

Blindly injecting epoxy into a delam is a good way to gain a lot of weight , and it may or may not yield lasting results.  Carefully cutting out a section of deck and getting a good look at the delam might be a better idea.  You could maybe glue that piece back in with thickened epoxy or install a hatch/cover.  You can figure out the best way to proceed once you can look around in there.

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David - I don't mean to hassle you, but I do have a bit of honest pushback on the epoxy injection thing. When you say "Blindly injecting epoxy into a delam is a good way to gain a lot of weight" - can you quantify that? A lot of weight in relation to what?

Think about it this way, in the holes you see in my picture above I pumped in maybe 4 ounces total of epoxy. It was one of 4 areas that I treated - but it was the largest and therefore took the most epoxy. But let's say that at the end of the day I used 16 ounces across all the repairs. In what respect is 1 pound "a lot of weight" for this boat?

When I considered the options, there was no freakin' way I was going to remove the top skin. Once you do that and see what I assume will be 40 year old foam decaying into powder - what do you do then? What's the fix? And how do you keep that fix lighter than 1 pound? While also re-skinning the thing and getting back to a nice finish (with no seams, the no-skid design, etc.)?

As for paint vs. gelcoat I totally agree that if you can sand and polish the original back to its finish that is by far the best option. I tried it with our boat but the gelcoat was pretty thin. Just wouldn't work. And I agree with you (and others) that gelcoating again is just not a great solution - way too much hassle. But as I said above, our Interlux paint has held up wonderfully for over 6 years. It looks brand new. Sure it has scratches here and there (mostly in areas where you can't see them anyway like the bottom of the hulls) - but they are easily touched up with the same paint. I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to anyone.

Unless you are using an old cat for high-end racing (which would be weird anyway) why not get the thing spruced up and back out on the water as quickly and cheaply as possible? Even if it's a couple pounds heavier and might get a scratch on the bottom of the hull when you drag her onto the beach - who the hell cares? The beach is where the chicks are...not your garage. Heh.

2019_FIASCO_01g-1038x576.jpg

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On 7/6/2020 at 11:03 PM, Zonker said:

If you keep it insides Brightsides one part paint will stay glossy. Outside, not so much after 2 years. Paint with a 2 part polyurethane. Forget gel coat. Sooo much extra work. 

the gel coat is a lot more forgiving dragging the boat across the beach.....

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There's a $3.99 E-book that will help with 2-part Interlux perfection paint. It's called Rolling Perfection. The paint can last for about a quarter of a century and it's pretty easy to apply. I have an affiliation with this book and will profit greatly if you buy it.

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Russell's book is well worth the price if it's like his book on working with epoxy. From what I have seen his painting skill is far above most folks when working with Perfection. 

Yet gelcoat will still get scratched dragging it up a beach. So will paint. I guess the paint will scratch through because it is thinner - but it is much, much tougher than gelcoat. Maybe get a launch dolly if you return to the same spot :)

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On 7/7/2020 at 10:49 AM, bridhb said:

I have a prindle 15 that needs this treatment.  Going to put it on the trailer today to get it out from under a tree.  How are your decks?  Mine are soft.  Is that something I can live with or will the boat explode out from under me the first time I try to sail it?

Believe it or not, this H16 has no soft spots, main reason I bought it, only $350 too (with a trailer) and test sailed it before I drove it home.

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i wrote blind injection of resin because you can't see where it is going.  you dont really know if only 1 skin is delammed or both top and bottom without cutting a section out and inspecting it.  If you shoot resin in there you don't really know where it is going and you might be making a mess and adding weight to the boat.

gelcoat is sprayed fairly liberally when they build a boat that way, and sanding with 600 or higher grit should not go through into the glass.  Sometimes you can bring the shine back with just compound and a buffer, or liquid products for fiberglass.  If you paint with a color that doesnt match the gelcoat, any little scratch will stand out.

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It's pretty easy to know where the epoxy is going if you're doing it right. As in my pic above - drill holes a few inches apart in the affected area, then start at the outside edges injecting a bit in each and then moving inward. As you do so you should start seeing the epoxy in the outer holes push up a bit. This tells you exactly where the epoxy is going.

As someone mentioned above - make sure to put a stop on your drill bit to ensure you only go through the top skin.

If you find yourself injecting several gallons - you definitely have a bigger problem than soft decks.

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Injecting epoxy does not work, imo. Might buy you a little time, but as a delam repair it does not work. I have cut open many laminates for repair, and if they've been injected previously there are just little worms and puddles of epoxy. Sorry. Cutting the laminate off and glassing it back on is pretty easy, honestly.

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Get back to your A cat Mookie.  And get the Go Pro on it.

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1 hour ago, mookiesurfs said:

Injecting epoxy does not work, imo. Might buy you a little time, but as a delam repair it does not work. I have cut open many laminates for repair, and if they've been injected previously there are just little worms and puddles of epoxy. Sorry. Cutting the laminate off and glassing it back on is pretty easy, honestly.

Just curious - what do you use to re-core?

Buying time was plenty for our particular boat.

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9 hours ago, smackdaddy said:

Just curious - what do you use to re-core?

Buying time was plenty for our particular boat.

It very much depends on the boat, the area loads, and repair size. End grain balsa for large weight sensitive repairs. At the  opposite end of the spectrum G5 plates for mast steps or very high loads. However, my go-to filler is epoxy/filler mix with the appropriate filler and ratio. However, there are many ways to skin a cat, especially cats as varied and unique as boats.

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Foam sandwich is how many beach cats are built.  That means there is glass on both sides of the foam.  Only glueing one side back is not going to work very well if both sides are delammed.  It's a blind operation if you don't cut a section out and look in there first.

corecell is a good core ,it is sort of half way between airex and divinicell/cledgecell.  typically the skins are glued on the foam using  vacuum bag technology.  the early hobies used surfboard type sheet foam which later could turn to powder.  They switched to a better foam like divinicell in the 80's.  Idk what they use these days.

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That's kind of what I thought. Yeah - I'll definitely stick with the buy-time-injection-approach. I'd rather sail the 47 year-old-girl til she breaks instead of having her sitting in my garage for years while I rebuild her. Just not worth that kind of time or money. At the end of the day...as you say...

6 hours ago, mookiesurfs said:

...my go-to filler is epoxy/filler mix with the appropriate filler and ratio.

The injection approach is really just a quarter-assed job of this. But, I think it does show that the earlier point about weight issues is a bit over the top.

Anyway, as you say, it all depends on the boat and ones priorities. Thanks for the info mook.

PS - Just think about getting a good, clean shape with balsa - or even foam across the length of the deck and/or hull. Shudder.

H16FrontPostX_Sec_sized.jpg

 

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*Update 

Restoration was finished. Pictures coming soon. However, having taken a closer look at the finished product while putting the boat away, I noticed that if I pushed with my thumb as hard as I could, about .5mm of give and a quieter version of the dreaded crunches that often spell the death of old boats. Hobie aficionados, should I be concerned about this, or am I picking nits?

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Just go and sail it.  Enjoy it and when it falls apart move on to the next project.  Don't become a boat restorer rather than the sailor you want to be.

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1 hour ago, DtM said:

Just go and sail it.  Enjoy it and when it falls apart move on to the next project.  Don't become a boat restorer rather than the sailor you want to be.

Understood (BTW my approach either way would be that, I would just avoid spending a million bucks more working on the boat if it seems like it will fall apart, though I doubt that it is anywhere close to that bad).

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On 7/19/2020 at 1:19 PM, smackdaddy said:

PS - Just think about getting a good, clean shape with balsa - or even foam across the length of the deck and/or hull. Shudder.

There were a ton of soft-deck H16s in the Dallas area when I was in college in Denton. I used to fix them for $100 a hull. I don't have any pictures, it was 30 years ago, but the technique I came up with was:

Day 1: Poke around and figure out the extent of the soft spot. It can't go too close to the pylon where the deck curves or too far out to the edge of the deck. A lot of these only had a soft spot 6" x 12" or so, just from people standing on it. As long as it's not way out to the edges this will work.

Make a template of what you're going to cut out of the deck from cardboard. Put a center line on it from the bow to the pylon, and measure how far it is from the pylon.

Duct tape over the whole repair area, and tape some cut up tarps to the sides so you don't get epoxy on them.

Lay two layers of 6oz cloth in epoxy on the duct tape. Then lay a layer of cedar strips in thickened epoxy on the wet cloth. I used to have a jig that would cut cedar 1x2s into the same thickness as the deck foam. Clean off the top of the cedar with a rag and lay a couple of strips of duct tape over the whole thing to hold it down.

Day 2: Take the template out and mark on the top of the cedar with a sharpie. Cut out the whole thing, cedar and glass and deck, all in place, with a jigsaw.

If you poked around right at the start the deck edges still on the boat look fine. If not you have to dig out some bad foam and stick some cedar in thickened epoxy in there, which is a pain in the ass.

Now separate the glass and cedar from the deck section. Take the top of the old deck section you cut out from the boat and scrape off all the old foam and crap and sand the underside down, and epoxy it on top of the cedar/glass. Glue this on the other hull just to make sure the curve stays more or less right.

Glue in a lip under the edges of the deck for the patch to sit in. I used strips of 1/8" plywood with 6oz glass on top.

Day 3: Butter up the edges of the patch with thickened epoxy and drop it in. Duct tape down to get good contact with the lip underneath. If you're in a hurry you can start the other hull now.

Day 4: Sand down any excess and lay a 2" glass cloth strip along the join.

Day 5: Sand the cloth down so it doesn't look so awful. I didn't know about peelply back then so it was a pretty ugly repair, there was a big scar around the deck, but the decks were hard as hell and they lasted forever. I didn't do any finish work on them, but I told people to paint the deck white if they were going to repaint just to keep the heat down, so if you ever saw white-decked H16s in Dallas you knew it was a boat I'd fixed.

It's a little bit of effort but it's not huge. It doesn't take forever but you have to glue four times. I would do both hulls on a boat in a week, drop it off Saturday and pick it up the next Saturday.

 

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On 7/19/2020 at 11:19 AM, smackdaddy said:

That's kind of what I thought. Yeah - I'll definitely stick with the buy-time-injection-approach. I'd rather sail the 47 year-old-girl til she breaks instead of having her sitting in my garage for years while I rebuild her. Just not worth that kind of time or money. At the end of the day...as you say...

The injection approach is really just a quarter-assed job of this. But, I think it does show that the earlier point about weight issues is a bit over the top.

Anyway, as you say, it all depends on the boat and ones priorities. Thanks for the info mook.

PS - Just think about getting a good, clean shape with balsa - or even foam across the length of the deck and/or hull. Shudder.

H16FrontPostX_Sec_sized.jpg

 

Good picture, brings back a lot of memories! The worst being inventory control when I had to help count the sheets of foam.

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On 10/9/2020 at 8:34 AM, KONeill said:

There were a ton of soft-deck H16s in the Dallas area when I was in college in Denton. I used to fix them for $100 a hull. I don't have any pictures, it was 30 years ago, but the technique I came up with was:

Day 1: Poke around and figure out the extent of the soft spot. It can't go too close to the pylon where the deck curves or too far out to the edge of the deck. A lot of these only had a soft spot 6" x 12" or so, just from people standing on it. As long as it's not way out to the edges this will work.

Make a template of what you're going to cut out of the deck from cardboard. Put a center line on it from the bow to the pylon, and measure how far it is from the pylon.

Duct tape over the whole repair area, and tape some cut up tarps to the sides so you don't get epoxy on them.

Lay two layers of 6oz cloth in epoxy on the duct tape. Then lay a layer of cedar strips in thickened epoxy on the wet cloth. I used to have a jig that would cut cedar 1x2s into the same thickness as the deck foam. Clean off the top of the cedar with a rag and lay a couple of strips of duct tape over the whole thing to hold it down.

Day 2: Take the template out and mark on the top of the cedar with a sharpie. Cut out the whole thing, cedar and glass and deck, all in place, with a jigsaw.

If you poked around right at the start the deck edges still on the boat look fine. If not you have to dig out some bad foam and stick some cedar in thickened epoxy in there, which is a pain in the ass.

Now separate the glass and cedar from the deck section. Take the top of the old deck section you cut out from the boat and scrape off all the old foam and crap and sand the underside down, and epoxy it on top of the cedar/glass. Glue this on the other hull just to make sure the curve stays more or less right.

Glue in a lip under the edges of the deck for the patch to sit in. I used strips of 1/8" plywood with 6oz glass on top.

Day 3: Butter up the edges of the patch with thickened epoxy and drop it in. Duct tape down to get good contact with the lip underneath. If you're in a hurry you can start the other hull now.

Day 4: Sand down any excess and lay a 2" glass cloth strip along the join.

Day 5: Sand the cloth down so it doesn't look so awful. I didn't know about peelply back then so it was a pretty ugly repair, there was a big scar around the deck, but the decks were hard as hell and they lasted forever. I didn't do any finish work on them, but I told people to paint the deck white if they were going to repaint just to keep the heat down, so if you ever saw white-decked H16s in Dallas you knew it was a boat I'd fixed.

It's a little bit of effort but it's not huge. It doesn't take forever but you have to glue four times. I would do both hulls on a boat in a week, drop it off Saturday and pick it up the next Saturday.

 

I'd say you were definitely undercharging for your services!

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When I showed up at Coast Catamaran the H-18 had just launched to market. About a year(?) after there was testing going on over at R&D where they were working on a fix for where the inside deck/hull joint at the forward beam was breaking due to mast pumping.

I remember it being solved by the creation of a moulded foam block the (same hi-density foam that the pod on the bottom of the tube that's built into the 16 hull as seen in the picture) was laminated in between the first and second layup.

Knowing that there was/is a problem with the 16 deck going soft in front of the pylon from it being stepped upon I'm really surprised the company didn't come up with a production fix.

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4 hours ago, smackdaddy said:

I'd say you were definitely undercharging for your services!

Ha, yeah probably. I think my goal was $25/hr, but I doubt I actually hit that. Still not too bad as a side hustle, at the time I was tutoring math for a living and anything that got me outside for a few hours was good in my book.

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On 10/17/2020 at 5:54 PM, hobot said:

Knowing that there was/is a problem with the 16 deck going soft in front of the pylon from it being stepped upon I'm really surprised the company didn't come up with a production fix. 

you sell more boats when owners break their boats by bad behavior

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1 comment on paint.

I have battleship grey imron on my 6.0

it is so hot i can't sit on it in the summer  (fl) sun

every scratch acts like an etch-a-sketch and you can see the white gelcoat under it - this is not just on the bottom (actually my bottoms are better than other spots since i use beach wheels and pool noodles on the hulls to keep it off the sand), but everywhere  anything that can scratch it, it does

Also stress cracks on the bows look terrible (from either hull pressure while the bows dive, or from the spin, or from the anchor lines that are attached to the bows). also stress cracks on the decks by the front beam (lots of forces there)

While it looked amazing at first, and is easy to keep clean and shines up with a fresh coat of nu-finish, i would never do it again

Lastly, the imron used can't be wet sanded, and i would have to hire a painter to do any repairs (i don't have the equipment nor skills) so i am stuck with scratches, cracks,, and a hot boat that i can't even sit on in the summer.

 

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