Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How to fix a dinged chine.

If your paddling a wooden boat in whitewater your going to damage a chine. Especially if your boat is of the experimental type that does not have chine guards. (Ill be putting those on in a few weeks. What? I wanted to see how the performance would be without them.) Anyhoo i crushed in a five inch section of my chine while i was asleep at the wheel drinking hot tea. 

You can see in the above photo its nicely bashed in. So here is how you fix this little problem. First using a scraper (not sand paper!) Scrape back the paint and whatever bottom coating you have applied to expose the clear fiberglass layer. This will give you the chance to assess the real damage.

Here we have it three inches of captain crunch. You have two options your first is to paint on un-thickened epoxy allowing it to sink into the broken part of the glass. The other option is to cut away the broken glass and replace it. If your going to do this get a sharp utility knife and score around the whole broken assed area. After you've cut through it get a sharp chisel and pry out the bad glass.

Once you've exposed the plywood you need to take the scraper and create a scarf joint all around the cut out glass, i prefer the scraper once again. The scarf needs to be about a half inch deep all the way around.

Finally i like to clean the whole area with alcohol, denatured if you've got it but this i'll do. OK the next step lacks pictures because its hard to take photos when working with epoxy. First cut out the number of layers that you want to replace, for me it was four.  First paint un-thickened over the exposed plywood and stick on the first layer. Next wet out the cloth, you don't need to wet out the cloth past the scarf. You can leave the edges of the patch raw.

(These photos are after the fact.) Once you have all the layers in place and wet out you can use a vacuum bag if you have one, i don't. Or you can use freezer paper. Cut the paper into strips so that it will contour to the bend. Tape them at one end first then pull them tight. Cover the whole patch with the strips.

Next tightly cover the whole thing with painters tape and let cure.

When you remove the whole thing it will not look like this. the main part of the patch (over the wood and scarf) should have bonded nicely. Now the excess just needs to be trimmed off. I used a x-acto knife and a really sharp chisel. After the edges are trimmed lightly sand the area, then it will look like the above picture.

Finally coat the exterior with whatever coating you had before. and Ta Da!

Now the chine is all set to be crushed in again, super.

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