1/6/14 - Fiberglass Stripped

Somebody applied a layer of of fiberglass coated in polyester resin sometime in this boat's past as a last ditch effort to keep it afloat.  For a proper restoration it needs to come off.  I wasn't looking forward to this task, but it went well.  I used a heat gun and a scrapper and it came off without too much effort... some of it had already delaminated making it easier to remove.

Chetek Aqua-Flyer fiberglass strippedChetek Aqua-Flyer fiberglass stripped

Chetek Aqua-Flyer fiberglass strippedChetek Aqua-Flyer fiberglass stripped


With the fiberglass off, paint traces can be seen here and there.  It appears that this boat was originally painted with Chetek's "Pale Blue" factory paint option.  The paint finish was most likely a combination of pale blue below the spray rail and white above the spray rail.


The Aqua-Flyers condition can now be fully accessed.  The biggest surprise was the stem.  It was rotted were it joins the keel.  Looking at the stem from the inside of the boat it looked to be in pretty good shape.  


The rest of the hull wasn't in as bad shape as I was guessing it might be in.  The hull had been well sanded in prep for the fiberglass.  Undoubtedly it has also been sanded a number of times in the past in preparation for occasional repainting.  With all that sanding over the years, the cedar strips, that started out as ½" thick, are now nearly half their original thickness at ⁵⁄₁₆"... a little too thin for a boat of this size.  You can see this by looking at the end of the cedar strips along the transom (click on the picture to enlarge), you'll see the the original cove and beads of the strips are now only revealing a half-cove as the other half has been sanded off.


Another concern is the fasteners.  The cedar strips on this boat were screwed to the ribs, a better option instead of being tacked with nails.  The Chetek brochure says that the standard fastener option was cadmium plated, optionally the purchaser could choose silicon bronze for $20 more (that was 1956 dollars).  For corrosion resistance in those days, cadmium plated was the best you could get aside from silicon bronze.  Today most wooden boat builder would agree that fastening a wooden boat should be done with silicon bronze, especially below the water line.  Anyway, after scraping away the filler material covering the screw heads, I can see that there's not much left of these original cadmium plated fasteners, the heads of many of them have completely corroded away.  The boat needs to be completely refastened.


Lastly, in flipping the boat over, it became quite clear that the hull had hogged quite a bit.  The term "Hogging" is used to refer to the bottom of the hull curving into a concave shape along the keel... it should be flat, not bent in.  The amount of hogging I measured along this keel is 1⅜" (click on the images to enlarge them).


 

 

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