Help with tools, time and materials list for rebuild of transom, stringers and deck

MAArcher

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Unfortunately, I don't have confidence that the boat builder is going to be able to get the materials and time to rebuild my boat by May. So I may be looking at doing the work myself. I'm thinking that I might start trying to acquire all the materials I'd need so I have it all on hand just in case.

The boats a 22' David Smith Novi and it needs all new stringers, deck and transom.

What sort of lumber or composite do I use for the stringers?
What sort of lumber or composite do I use for the transom?
What sort of lumber or composite do I use for he deck?
What types of fiberglass cloth do I use? Any tricks to calculating how much of each? Thoughts on "layup schedules"?
What type of resin? How do I calculate how much?
How about a list of consumables too like grinding wheels, rubber gloves, solvents, rags, etc.
Any specialty tools that will make things easier?
Local sources for any of the above (southern ME, NH or North Eastern MA)
Internet sources for anything it makes sense to order online

I'd like to calculate the difference in cost between synthetic and wood. If I'm doing all the work myself then I might be saving enough in labor to justify using the best materials and to "overbuild" a bit.

Also, there's a lot of videos on YouTube for these types of boat repairs but none of the ones I've found seem very good. So if you have any links to a good instructional video, please post them up!

Anyone have an idea of what you think a half way handy novice would need for time for such a project if he had all the materials on hand? If my goal is to be water ready on May 15th, I'm wondering how much time I can give my builder before I pull the plug and do it myself to meet the deadline.
 

xbskt

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Unfortunately, I don't have confidence that the boat builder is going to be able to get the materials and time to rebuild my boat by May. So I may be looking at doing the work myself. I'm thinking that I might start trying to acquire all the materials I'd need so I have it all on hand just in case.

The boats a 22' David Smith Novi and it needs all new stringers, deck and transom.



Anyone have an idea of what you think a half way handy novice would need for time for such a project if he had all the materials on hand? If my goal is to be water ready on May 15th, I'm wondering how much time I can give my builder before I pull the plug and do it myself to meet the deadline.

How much time will you be able to devote to the project is the variable that you only know.
I consider myself on the higher end of handy but a novice with fiberglass. My small experience has been with epoxy and minor repairs to the Whaler.
I have learned a lot and would do it again but I would never consider doing it with a deadline or even a timeline.
A rehab the with the most major thing being done is a transom has taken a year of stolen hours after work and an occasional weekend afternoon.


If it were my project, I would say May is doable but only if you speak of 2023.
My honest opinion.
Good luck and hope you post the project progress.
 

MAArcher

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How much time will you be able to devote to the project is the variable that you only know.
I'm thinking that I will have the motor off and topside fuel tank removed at the first couple of days of decent weather in February (not raining or snowing or subzero wind chill.) After that I'll build a 2x4 support for the roof and then cut the winterback and helm station back from the deck. Then I'll make a template for the deck. Then I'll start demo as time allows.

My advantage is that I work from home and although work is all consuming at the moment, there's a chance by mid February I'll be caught up and able to start dedicating a couple hours every day to demolition. Maybe have everything all tore out by the end of February. I figure around then I'll make the decision on whether she's going to the builder or if I'm doing the rest myself. If I'm doing it myself, then I'm hoping between a weeks vacation taken strategically and the 10 or so weekends between then and mid May, I'll be able to get it put back together. Weather will be a big factor since I'll be doing it all under a tarp tent and I assume I'll have to find a way to regulate temperatures periodically to allow resin to cure.

Probably a pipe dream given that Omicron has me sitting on my ass the last two weeks and who knows whats next. But sometimes it pays to have a plan.
 
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harpoon83

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In my mind there are a few things to consider.
1. Will this be your first time attempting anything remotely close to this? ie. fibergalss work of any sort, gelcoating, things like that
2. If it is, then I would double the time that you think it will take. Even then you might not make it.
3. are you ok with the fact that it might turn out looking like a bag of ass due to your learning as you go.
4. none of it is extraordinarily difficult, but if you are learning the skills as you go then it takes longer.
5. Weather is something that you can't control when you are working outside under a tarp, this alone could kill your time frame

Demo is easy enough, and also lends itself well to working a few hours at a time even after dark with a light under your tarp.
Fiberglass requires a fair amount of planing and time so you can get areas done. You need X amount of time to lay it down, and X amount of time after with heat for it to cure. That is harder to do with only short windows of time. Glassing is also much easier if you have an extra set of hands to help.
 

Cool Boat

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Everyone hit the nail on the head with the timing. If you had a heated shop and were good and experienced your goal is doable. With full weather exposure to deal with, I liked the May of 2023 comment above.

For materials, I would use Coosa (or equal) for the transom, ribs, floors, etc. I would use nidacore or equal for the reinforcement where extra stiffness is needed. Do your homework on the composites, they vary in weight and durability. In the yacht tenders we built transoms (40 HP max) had double 3/4" Coosa Bluewater, 26 lbs/ cu ft, with two extra layers o f mat in it. That material is expensive and has likely gone way up since I bought it last. For the stringers, you might get away with a glassable foam core having enough stiffness,....maybe not. The person who made the boat or has already redone one like it can be of huge help with this. When we redid the deck on a Herreshoff sailboat a few years ago I posted the pictures online here. That job replaced a cedar and plywood deck and was lighter, stronger, and had better stiffness than the original. The hull in our shop now is a 1982 Canadian built downeast type hull of unknown manufacture. I have redone the bulwarks which were likely fir or such with Coosa, glassed over, as they were totally rotted away. The stingers, however, were some absolutely fantastic mahogany plywood, and were properly ventilated, and have zero deterioration. Sometimes you don't have to redo every bit of a hull. If you really need to be on the water in May, it might pay you to find another boat for immediate use, and work on this one later. It may also be substantially cheaper with recent material cost increases. Note too, in a smaller boat, adding extra weight can seriously deteriorate performance. Lighter usually equals better fuel economy and speed. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Ella P

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Speaking from experience I can tell you the learning curve is steep. I agree completely with whom ever said to double the time. additionally you will most likely need more material than you originally plan on.
 
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I’d say the two biggest hurdles aside from the actual experience working with glass is 1) having the materials you need on hand. Chasing stuff really eats up a ton of time and slows progress tremendously.
2) time. Finding the available time to start and finish something is difficult.

I feel like if I could dedicate more time I’d be able to make some real progress but an hour or two here and there adds up and not much to show for it.

I picked up my hull in September and I’m just getting tanks in now.

I had zero glass experience and I’ve picked up pretty quickly. It can definitely be done just a question of how long you are willing to wait for a complete boat.
 

leaky

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Stop by here sometime and can spend an hour or two and kinda walk you through a bunch - tools, glass, resins, cores, heaters, etc.

You are gonna need a tent and a heating method. Heat is required, weather tight too, if you don't have that figured out add it in

Given its a first for you, and this was wood cored to begin with - I highly suggest putting wood back in, just how it was, but do a better sealing job this time. It's the easiest thing to work with. I imagine marine plywood is probably $100/sheet for 1/2 inch, still cheaper than all but the cheapest cores.

I suggest go with a mix of polyester and vinylester resins, basically use the VE to get a better bond where needed for the 1st layer of glass, also is more waterproof, use the (half the price) polyester for all subsequent layers.

Glass types - basically I'd say start with a roll of 3/4 ounce csm, then buy 1708 and 18 or 17 ounce woven roving by the yard (because you will not need even close to a roll of either). Different things you want different sorts of glass basically, and depending what you are doing the direction fibers run matters - again can show you, is pretty common sense generally.
 

Mainer82

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If you're working from home you'll be able to make some headway if you plan things out right, for example:

Work on the stuff like fairing compound, primer, glass etc. so that they are curing while you're working your day job. Mid day you can probably hit it for round 2. Most of the time suck happens working with these products that require cure time. Monitor the heat through the day. Large glass jobs I wait until work is over, but since I work from home the heat is already on when it's go time, things like this will help.

I can tell you this winter glass work sucks the life right out of you. I have used 100 gallons of propane so far just trying to make headway and the progress is slow. You got to be fully committed if you're going to be fighting the weather, I spend 3-4 hours a day on my boat and it often feels like I am losing the battle.

I too have a deadline, so I have a construction schedule that I update weekly and I order my materials based on that so I have them on hand. Running to the local supplier is a waste of time, more than half the time they are out of stock.
 

leaky

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If you're working from home you'll be able to make some headway if you plan things out right, for example:

Work on the stuff like fairing compound, primer, glass etc. so that they are curing while you're working your day job. Mid day you can probably hit it for round 2. Most of the time suck happens working with these products that require cure time. Monitor the heat through the day. Large glass jobs I wait until work is over, but since I work from home the heat is already on when it's go time, things like this will help.

I can tell you this winter glass work sucks the life right out of you. I have used 100 gallons of propane so far just trying to make headway and the progress is slow. You got to be fully committed if you're going to be fighting the weather, I spend 3-4 hours a day on my boat and it often feels like I am losing the battle.

I too have a deadline, so I have a construction schedule that I update weekly and I order my materials based on that so I have them on hand. Running to the local supplier is a waste of time, more than half the time they are out of stock.

Haha yep propane or kero.. I'm at my boat right now, about to tack a couple parts in place then gotta stop on my way home for kero.
 

PatriciaLynn

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Are the stringers bad? Cutting up a deck and cutting out a transom is a big enough job, but I would say that would be doable, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Replacing stringers is a big step that you maybe could skip?
 

MAArcher

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In my mind there are a few things to consider.
1. Will this be your first time attempting anything remotely close to this? ie. fibergalss work of any sort, gelcoating, things like that
2. If it is, then I would double the time that you think it will take. Even then you might not make it.
3. are you ok with the fact that it might turn out looking like a bag of ass due to your learning as you go.
4. none of it is extraordinarily difficult, but if you are learning the skills as you go then it takes longer.
5. Weather is something that you can't control when you are working outside under a tarp, this alone could kill your time frame

Demo is easy enough, and also lends itself well to working a few hours at a time even after dark with a light under your tarp.
Fiberglass requires a fair amount of planing and time so you can get areas done. You need X amount of time to lay it down, and X amount of time after with heat for it to cure. That is harder to do with only short windows of time. Glassing is also much easier if you have an extra set of hands to help.
It will be my first time working with fiberglass. I'd double my time, but I don't even have a real guess to start with.

How long would it take a single full time professional to install stringers and transom and deck if he was brought a gutted boat to do and it was his only project and all materials were on hand? Five 8 hour days? So maybe it would take me a week's vacation and a couple months of Sundays accompanied by all sorts of posts here for instruction? Or would it take even a pro more than a week? Will I hit a lot of spots where I'll have to stop progress because you have to wait for resin to cure before you can move on to the next?

Its a tuff guess not even know the basics. Are the stringers made from special ordered single solid 20' long lengths of lumber? Or do you laminate up a beam from plywood or synthetic? Do I need a five gallon pail of resin or a 55 gallon drum? Are there any tools or tricks that make scribing stringers in easy and accurate? How many yards of what dimension cloth? Do I need multiple types of cloth? How many layers for which applications? What are the most common mistakes to avoid?

Seems like such a common project I'm surprised I'm having a hard time finding a good online tutorial.
 

MAArcher

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Are the stringers bad? Cutting up a deck and cutting out a transom is a big enough job, but I would say that would be doable, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Replacing stringers is a big step that you maybe could skip?

The transom has a giant piece of plate aluminum on it, almost the size of the entire transom, and there's zero flex, so I could let it go for a while I'm sure. The prior owner told me the boat had been repaired but what he really did was scab in a couple small pieces of plywood and then skim coat the deck with one layer of fiberglass just to make things look good for a sucker like me. With no support from stringers the deck basically blew up over the summer, every seam all around where it meets the hull and every butt joint is now cracked. You can see the hull starting to deform a little bit. On the bright side the demolition's half done without me having to do cut anything.
 

MAArcher

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From my perspective, it seems to me that the most difficult part of the whole job would be to scribe stringers. Any tips or tricks or tools to make that job easier? I can see hand planing and sanding of a little pit there, a little bit here, going on and on and eating up a bunch of time trying to get a 20 foot long stringer to fit snug down against the hull.
 

Mainer82

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If you can find a professional who will do a transom, stringers and deck in 40 hours... well I'd be surprised. It's not working hours it is time that is the problem, all these products take time to cure. I'd bet anyone you hire to do the job would want a minimum of a month of having the boat to do what you're asking. I'd be curious to hear what others think.

There's probably 8-16 hours of grinding.
 

Mainer82

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From my perspective, it seems to me that the most difficult part of the whole job would be to scribe stringers. Any tips or tricks or tools to make that job easier? I can see hand planing and sanding of a little pit there, a little bit here, going on and on and eating up a bunch of time trying to get a 20 foot long stringer to fit snug down against the hull.
Just remember that you're not building a piano, you will be filling gaps with resin.
 
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From my perspective, it seems to me that the most difficult part of the whole job would be to scribe stringers. Any tips or tricks or tools to make that job easier? I can see hand planing and sanding of a little pit there, a little bit here, going on and on and eating up a bunch of time trying to get a 20 foot long stringer to fit snug down against the hull.


I’m no expert but if I were scribing stringers I’d pull a line front to rear at the top of where the stringer will be, measure down from the line to the hull every couple feet, mark up your board and cut with a jigsaw.

Only one way to learn.
 

steveinak

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IMO if you didn't have your May deadline to go fishing i'd say go for it and do it yourself. I ain't the greatest with glass but i muddle by and it always seems to take twice as long as i think it will take me to do the job. The name Chuck Desteffino(sp) comes up on here quite a bit a call to him might get you a spot with him to get the job done in time. Maybe just grind your deck & hull sides back a bit all around and tape the cracks up for the season then get all the materials & some sort of shed built to do the job next winter.
 

BillD

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IMO if you didn't have your May deadline to go fishing i'd say go for it and do it yourself. I ain't the greatest with glass but i muddle by and it always seems to take twice as long as i think it will take me to do the job. The name Chuck Desteffino(sp) comes up on here quite a bit a call to him might get you a spot with him to get the job done in time. Maybe just grind your deck & hull sides back a bit all around and tape the cracks up for the season then get all the materials & some sort of shed built to do the job next winter.
I agree with Steve. Quick patching of seams to get a little experience and enjoy the short boating season up here.
Begin gathering materials etc. and maybe some inside storage for the project over next winta starting in late fall.
 


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