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Old 09-06-2007, 11:57 PM
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Default Stringer repair and or replacement.

I have a few questions about this job. first is this something a first timer can accomplish by themselves? second how expensive is it to do itf one was to do it themselves? third how the heck would you go about accomplishing such a feat? do you have to worry about the boat warping after stringer removal etc etc???? my boat is a 17 and a half foot v hull with a mercruiser inboard 4 cyl. ASI Imperial to be exact. also i have to replace the bulkhead at the bilge. what kinda difficulty am i facing in the feat? i dont want to put thousands of dollars into a 28year old boat if you know what i mean. although i may keep thuis boat for many years as the rest of it is in great shape. just lookin for some info on this subject. thank you
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

you know the answer, why ask the guestion!
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

im not sure i understand what you are trying to say mac
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

It sounds like you have a major job to do.With that,its some what hard,but there are some things that should be done by the pros or someone that has done fiberglass work in the pass.I had built boats,rebuilt boats and it takes alot of time doing so with alot of tools that the avg jo doesn't have on hand.

Yes,the bottom of the hull can "hook" if and when new stringers are install.To do that,it is best to build a craddle for the hull before removing all stringer system.The engine and outdrive will have to be removed.Do you have the tools and lift/space to do this?
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

age of boat! experience to do the repairs, material cost could be more than the boats value, ect ect.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

well the thing of it is this boat is not something that i would just junk since the rest of the boat is in such good shape but and a big but this is...........is it worth fixing. i guess only i can answer that question huh? as far as removing the motor and outdrive i have already done this 3 or 4 times this year for various reasons so thats not a big deal to me but i am a stranger to figerglass work for the most part and i talked to a repair shop near springield illinois today that gave me a really rough price range.......he said without looking at the boat he has seen them go as high as 3grand which isnt as bad as i was exspecting considering my perception of the task at hand. does anyone have any tales of this work that they would be willing to share so i can get a little better idea whats ahead?
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

Not knowin or seeing,a total rebuild cost without labor would be around $800.Now that is removing the complete floor,buying enought fiberglass cloth(1808 and 1.5 oz matting) and resin(poly) 4 gals and enought pour foam (2,2 gal 4lb kits)to replace what you need and wood for the flooring that should be glassed in place again.Then you will need a good sander,saw,protective gear for yourself and a place to put the boat out of the weather till all work is done.Time frame could be anywere from 1 week to 2 months work.

You might be better off selling it in the long run.

Forgot,What the untrain eye of how a boat is built will not show what is behine everything.If you can find any info on how much the boat weight when new,take it and have it weight at a truck stop to see how much water has been scuked up by the foam in it.Also take a rubber malard and tap all around to hear any thud sounding.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

The best way to start the project is to go to west Marine and buy the booklets put out by the West epoxy folks. West Epoxy is not owned by West Marine. The one you need the most concerns fiberglass repair. The books are about $5.00 each and are a great resource, including in depth discussion of the replacement of structural parts like stringers and bulkheads. Buy the books, read up on it and do the job. What have you got to lose? Its not fun, but its not bad either - and once it is done, it is you that did it. Go for it!
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

Depending on access, stringer replacement is fairly straightforward and simple and well within the grasp of an amature. I replaced a portion of a stringer in my boat recently. I had to cut an access hole in the deck to get the other side. In the pictures, you can see the hole and you can see the joint where I scarfed the new stringer in. I used doug fir and West Systems epoxy. The lamination schedule was 2 layers of 1.5 oz mat and one layer of 24 oz roven.


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Old 09-07-2007, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

This is a major job . . . how's the transom, the floor, engine outdrive, fuel tank, rigging, hoses, etc. (I ask b/c they usually go before stringers) It could be months of work (nights, holidays, and weekends) . . . even for someone with experience. Sell the boat . . . save the money and get a second job working at walmart for minimum wage . . . in the same amount of time it'd take you to finish that project you'll have saved up enough money to buy a decent working boat.

I've done 4 rehabs (only gave up once). The end result is pretty rewarding . These projects always cost 3x's what you estimate and eat up every weekend, holiday, etc. until you're done.




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Old 09-07-2007, 06:22 AM
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Default RE: Stringer repair and or replacement.

Wow, you are getting good advice!

I did this job as a first timer on a 15 foot boat last spring to teach my teens. There are at least one text available on the internet that describes the tasks. READ! I had to cut out the floor of course, one text advises using a chain saw for this....I accidentally cut through the hull! (Not hard to patch considering what all else I fixed!). I ended up using a DREMEL drill of all things with a cutoff wheel to painstakingly cut out the floor an inch at a time....used 3 or 4 of the metal wheels before I finished. Earplugs, eye protection, loud, itchy work.

The old stringers were encased in sharp fiberglass and were mush. Becauase of the V, I was unable to any tool down low enough to cut the sides of the old fiberglass off right at the hull. I cut away enough of the old center stringer to reduce the dead weight considerably, but I ended up "sistering" a new stringer just right beside it, and arranging the glue / fiberglass so that they join to the old strucdtural fiberglass.

The stringer had to be cut into a precise shape to fit my hull's curve, and there wasn't wood long enough either so I had to splice two pieces carefully.

I was able to find a very dry type of pressure treated wood and used that for the stringers -- it took the glue well. The books say you can't do this, but it worked well for me and I think they will last far longer because of the rpessure treated wood.


The two side stringers were smaller and I also sistered them.

I used the West epoxy system of fiberglass and I bought way too much woven roving and ohter forms of fiberglass. I'm sure I spent over $700 in resin and glas.... but I didn't want to run out. It is not difficult. Lots of gloves to wear, mix the fiberglass resin just like any epoxy glue, but in large quantities it can begin to react fairly quickly and we had some batches that got very hot...you learn quickly how to arange this.

It was an incredible job that I hope NEVER to do again but we had a blast doing it.

Cutting the floor -- had to use 3 different sections of plywood, increibly difficult to match the boat, cut out carboard patterns first -- huge carcboard, all over the living room floor. Worst part was trying to cut the fiberglass woven roving to fit properly. It stretches and changes shape, drives you batty.

We covered all four sides of all pieces of wood. Takes overnight to dry properly, then you have to lay it in and glue it all together. I have photos of my kids and me doing all this. We had a blast and it was great for family bonding, but it was an incredible amount of work!

I think after 2 months of working lots, we finished our stringers and floor. We had to re-fiberglas back in a side console and also a chair.

We have a floor that you can JUMP on now and it is solid.

We learned how to mix the foam and managed to foam in much more space than the original boat -- far better floatation than the original.

So my take is this: if you would enjoy a huge project, get satisfaction out of succeeding at incredibly frustrating tasks, don't mind crying occasionally after you have goofed, can stand itching for a month or more, and have SOMEONE to do it with, I would go for it! Of course, I'm sure my hull wasn't worth NEAR the $700 in supplies alone, much less the hours and hours and hours of time I put into it. But my kids know how to fiberglass to a first cut now, and they appreciate that beat up old 70 year old boat.

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Old 09-07-2007, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

HeHe I love this pix.




Some will not build a cradle and then remove all the stringers at one time. That's where you can get into trouble.

You must always be thinking 4 steps ahead of yourself. A saw in the hands of someone that doesn't think ahead of how it will go back together "with the least amount of work" is dangerous!
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

Worse case for $3K you got your 17.5 foot boat in good shape, cant go out and buy one for that.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

And that's worse case really. The primary determining factor is going to be access.
If you are ONLY talking about the engine mount stringers and the bulkhead in front of them, and you have complete access to them....then I think the $800 number is probably close. If you have to cut of flooring etc then it's going up.

I have a 24' I/O that I had to replace the engine mount stringers. I had total access
to them in the engine compartment....there were structural stringers outboard of them. I sliced the tops off of them and dug out all the wood. This kept the spacing and the engine mounts were aluminum plates bolted to the inside. I laminated marine ply and epoxied it into the shells of the old stringers then covered with ample glass and a couple of reinforcing layers as well. Total was about $700 in materials, including some little tools I bought to help get the wood out. The stringers were solid in the top 1/3....they had rotted from the bottom up mainly because the builder simply cut large holes through them for the blower hoses. I used epoxy for the higher secondary bond strength which increased the cost. But as wart said...if you like the boat and you can do the work....you can't buy a boat for that amount.....
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:15 PM
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Default RE: Stringer repair and or replacement.

Quote:
ggibby - 9/7/2007 2:22 AM


I was able to find a very dry type of pressure treated wood and used that for the stringers -- it took the glue well. The books say you can't do this, but it worked well for me and I think they will last far longer because of the rpessure treated wood.
Pressure treated wood is for protection against microbes. It doesn't prevent dry rot. It won't last any longer than a properly encapsulated piece of doug fir.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:49 PM
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Default RE: Stringer repair and or replacement.

Quote:
76GMC1500 - 9/8/2007 9:15 AM


Pressure treated wood is for protection against microbes. It doesn't prevent dry rot. It won't last any longer than a properly encapsulated piece of doug fir.
And it can be a lot softer from the pressure treating. Plain Douglas fir or laminated plywood is a better choice Oak works well also!
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

A lot of advice given but no questions asked. How do you know you need stringer replacement? Has the floor been removed? Have core samples been bored out? are all of the stringers bad or just sections? This could be a simple job or complex and beyond your limits for time or experience. Can you give us some more details of the damage? Pix? I agree with poster above re West Systems books covering boat construction and fiberglassing techniques. It's required reading for any boat enthusiest in my humple opinion.
I think all the advise above is accurate and correct but seems to be assuming worst case scenarios.
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

i have a bunch of photos but im not sure how to put them into a reply. any help?
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

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Old 09-08-2007, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Stringer repair and or replacement.

Quote:
BigShrimpin - 9/6/2007 11:39 PM
how's the transom, the floor, engine, outdrive, fuel tank, rigging, hoses, etc. (I ask b/c they usually go before stringers)
Aren't these questions?
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