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The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual


The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This book will save you money and grief before you can say woven roving."--Sailing

"A comprehensive and accurate work that should benefit almost any owner of a fiberglass boat."--SAIL

"This book will prove a valuable addition to the library of any boat builder or owner who is seriously interested in doing his own repairs, as well as intercepting minor problems before they become major projects."--Boatbuilder

Are there hairline cracks in your boat's deck or topsides gelcoat? Have her color and luster faded over the years? Does she have deck leaks? Has she been holed? Is her hull oilcanning in a sea? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, this book is for you. This is the definitive guide for fiberglass boat repair and beautification, covering not just cosmetic dings and scratches, but also major repairs of structural damage to hull and decks. It will show you how to:

  • replace deteriorated gelcoat, or repair the flaws in an existing gelcoat and recoat it with polyurethane or marine alkyd enamel paint;
  • strengthen a weak and overly flexible hull or deck;
  • tab in loose hull liners and joinerwork;
  • make templates from the good side of a hull to reshape large shattered or missing areas on the other side;
  • repair or replace water-saturated deck cores;
  • repair keels, rudders, and centerboards;
  • rebed and refasten underwater and on-deck hardware;
  • rebed, refasten, and strengthen hull-to-deck joints;
  • fix broken hatches, and make new ones when necessary;
  • treat the symptoms and causes of overstressed hulls.

That beautiful craft swinging at anchor or nestled dockside, her topsides reflecting water and sky like a polished mirror, could be yours. Here's how.

About the Author

A resident of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, Allan Vaitses retired from full-time boatbuilding in the early 1980s after a 45-year career, including 30 years building custom and semicustom fiberglass boats. In his second career as a marine surveyor (a profession he still pursues), Vaitses has witnessed just about every flaw and form of damage or deterioration a fiberglass boat can suffer. In his third career as a writer, Vaitses has imparted his knowledge of boatbuilding, troubleshooting, and repair through such books as Lofting, Covering Wooden Boats With Fiberglass, Boatbuilding One-Off in Fiberglass, and What Shape Is She In? A Guide to the Surveying of Boats.

Table of Contents



1 Materials and Construction

What fiberglass is; Boatbuilding resins; Resin products: glues and putties; The glass fiber materials; Constructing the fiberglass boat; Gelcoat and paint finishes; Interior parts; Other fiberglass parts

2 Restoring the Surface Finish

Gelcoat dullness and fading; Scratches, dings, and breakouts; Gelcoat cracks that won't stay puttied; Bubbles, blisters, and boat pox; Regelcoating versus repainting fiberglass

3 The Art of Fiberglassing

Gelcoating; Hand lay-up; Laying up core materials; Repairing or applying reinforcements; Tabbing parts to hull and deck

4 Fractures, Small Holes, Delaminations

Grinding and Cutting; Rebuilding; Patching cored construction; Delamination

5 Dealing with Core Problems

Saturation--an introduction to the problem; Confined and accessible area of deck saturation; Total deck saturation; Core saturation in hulls; Crushable cores

6 Rebuilding Large Holes and Shattered Areas

Is she worth repairing?; Salvaging the boat; Working out a repair schedule; Backing damage with sheet stock; Working the boat back into shape; Backing compound curves; Framing in a missing shape; Taking a mold off another boat of the same model; Making the piece

7 Undercured, Resin-Rich, and Cooked Laminates

Go back to the manufacturer--if possible; How to repair undercore--if you must; Resin-rich and cooked laminates

8 Repairing Keels and Other Underwater Parts

Damage to hollow fiberglass keels; Weeps around metal hardware; Fixing fin keels and separate skegs; Damage to interior reinforcing members; Lead-ballasted fin keels; Bolted-on iron fin keels; Centerboards and centerboard trunks; Repairing the centerboard case; Rudders and skegs

9 Troubles on Deck

Leaks around fittings; Leaks around deck joints, rails, and railcaps; More about leaks; Hatches and portlights: leaks, fractures, and other troubles; Treating the overstressed boat


Product Details

Viatses, Allan H.
Vaitses, Allen H.
Viatses, Allan H.
Vaitses, Allan H.
International Marine Publishing
Ships & Shipbuilding - Engineering
Boating - Boatbuilding
Fiberglass boats
Boating - General
Nautical-Boat Building
Nautical - General
Edition Number:
Publication Date:
October 1988
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
10.44x7.20x.70 in. 1.28 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Engineering » Mechanical Engineering » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Transportation » Nautical » Boats » Boating
Transportation » Nautical » Boats » Building
Transportation » Nautical » Boats » Maintenance and Repair
Transportation » Nautical » Fiberglass
Transportation » Nautical » General

The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual Used Hardcover
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