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Laser hull-deck joint


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#1 foredeck1916

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 07:18 PM

Just got my Laser out of storage today and was cleaning her off down on the dock and noticed there is a crack in the hull deck joint on the starboard side forward of the centerboard trunk.

Will any Laser gurus here give me some guidence as to how to fix it?

How is the deck constructed in that area- is there a core or is it all glass and resin? It is an old boat,
Hull # 186 if that helps. The rest of the hull is sound as it has been well cared for.

I imagine I am going to have to get it under a cover and dry it out before I do anything. Thanks.

#2 apl

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 07:33 PM

It is an old boat,
Hull # 186 if that helps.


Holy Smokes, that is old! I had 11243 and thought that was old! I was young and beat the crap out of the gunwales and bow, so it leaked like a sieve. Gave me an excuse for not being fast. Tried to put glass on the outside after grinding some room for it, but it still leaked.

#3 Ericbh3

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 07:51 PM

http://www.laserforum.org/

Just post a new topic and they'll get you started. Guy named VTGent49 sold me mine and showed me a project boat of his with a similar problem. Really experienced, he renovates 3-4 lasers a winter. Those folks will be able to help you out.

#4 Akaron

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 08:05 PM

JESUS! 186!? its a freekin antique man, I hope you still have the Elvstrom sails to go with it.

#5 apl

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 08:12 PM

JESUS! 186!? its a freekin antique man, I hope you still have the Elvstrom sails to go with it.


LOL! And that Elvstrom ratcheting block.

My dad didn't read the rules and put on a Mariner swiveling cleat and a Hexaratchet when he got it home from the dealer.

#6 Akaron

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 08:24 PM

that block was a peice of shit, but would never truly die.
the best laser sail i've ever used was a 25 y/o elvstrom, too bad it wasn't my boat.


Ironically, both of these items were removed from production before I was born.

#7 foredeck1916

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 12:51 AM

JESUS! 186!? its a freekin antique man, I hope you still have the Elvstrom sails to go with it.


Unfortunately no. It has a Haarstick sail.

Bought it from my next door neighbor's son, who is a boatbuilder, and took good care of it. He is very anal about his stuff, so he had purchased a new sail and almost never used the boat. Sold it to me for a song.

#8 Call Me Boomvang

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 12:52 AM

Dude, the oldest known hull is like 36 that is a dry trainer or something like that. You should probably post it for sale in collectables on Ebay not sailboats.

#9 foredeck1916

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 12:53 AM

the same thing happened to me last year and i think there's a thread somewhere around here about it. but basically you need to grind out the old filler in between the deck and the hull and refill it with 3M 5200 marine sealant or similar.



Is there any balsa or other wood in that section of the hull??

I sure hope there is no rotten wood. Sounds like its not as bad as I thought...

#10 TheBoathouse

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 01:05 AM


the same thing happened to me last year and i think there's a thread somewhere around here about it. but basically you need to grind out the old filler in between the deck and the hull and refill it with 3M 5200 marine sealant or similar.


Is there any balsa or other wood in that section of the hull??
I sure hope there is no rotten wood. Sounds like its not as bad as I thought...


That is a real old boat as they actually started production with hull #100. Only wood inside a Laser is plywood used for various backup plate areas (hiking straps, cleats, gudgeons, fairleads,etc). Just dry it out real good, flip it over so deck side is down, open it up a little with a knife and either "drizzle" 5200 in to it and let cure for 3-4 days or mix up West System with a little cabosil and "drizzle" it in. 5200 will be more flexible and West will cure faster soak in better but be a little more brittle...

#11 foredeck1916

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 01:40 AM



the same thing happened to me last year and i think there's a thread somewhere around here about it. but basically you need to grind out the old filler in between the deck and the hull and refill it with 3M 5200 marine sealant or similar.


Is there any balsa or other wood in that section of the hull??
I sure hope there is no rotten wood. Sounds like its not as bad as I thought...


That is a real old boat as they actually started production with hull #100. Only wood inside a Laser is plywood used for various backup plate areas (hiking straps, cleats, gudgeons, fairleads,etc). Just dry it out real good, flip it over so deck side is down, open it up a little with a knife and either "drizzle" 5200 in to it and let cure for 3-4 days or mix up West System with a little cabosil and "drizzle" it in. 5200 will be more flexible and West will cure faster soak in better but be a little more brittle...



Thanks. That is good news.

#12 Laser180481

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 02:17 AM

At the gunwhale where the hull and deck meet is simply fiberglass with a bonding material between them. At over 30 years old, it is not surprising that this material has deteriorated. I restore Lasers myself and in every case of an older boat the hull to deck joint is the first place I start. Using a Dremel tool equipt with a drill bit sort of thing I remove this frail and brittle material and then with a syringe fill the canyon with thickened West System epoxy. (404 High Density filler thickened to a peanut butter consistency works very well.) Use clear packaging tape to make a dam on both sides of the gunwhale. Once you sand off the excess, you can check your repair by sraying soapy water on the area and having a partner blow into the stern drain plug. If you see nothing happen, that is good. Bubbles are bad.

If you bave any more questions, I'd be happy too answer them through a PM. Good luck.

#13 Greyhawk

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 02:31 AM

We have Laser #811...

Any way, I haven't tried this myself, but one idea I've heard about to fix your problem:

If you have an access port, tip the boat up on edge, pour some epoxy in through the access port so that it runs down inside to the hull-deck joint, and then rock the boat back and forth so that the epoxy runs along the length of that joint on the inside.

You could also pressurize the boat with the exhaust from a vacuum or blower (take out drain plug and second access port if you've got it, so the boat doesn't explode). The positve pressure inside will help gravity pull the epoxy into the crack. Like above, this technique can also be used to check for leaks all over the whole boat by using a soapy water solution all around the outside and looking for places where air flowing out causes the solution to bubble up.

The other suggestions, about prying the crack open with a knife and injecting 3M 5200, or routing out the bad parts with a dremel and injecting thickened epoxy, sound good too. I suppose it all depends on how bad the crack is and what kind of finish you want.

BTW, the hull is solid glass, and the deck is cored with foam (plywood might be used in the area of hardware), but I don't think the foam goes all the way to the hull-deck joint.

FWIW: old web photo essay on installing Laser mast-step repair kit




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