So... I may or may not have split a crack in the rocker during my last private, in Unkar. I guess it depends on who is telling the story. But, a hard hit and a 24 inch X 1/2 inch wide crack was the end result.

The question I posted to our wooden boat community was how should I go about fixing it? Would it be ok to simply sand it down, patch it with glass and paint it over, or should I cut out all of it, like some sort of cancer, and patch in a new board?

Had to make this photo big enough for you to see the crack... (But look at the clear coat shine on the paint job...) 

After thinking it over, and thinking it over again, I decided to go with the suggestion of cutting it all out.

Most of this work took place during the summer months, as I was in between motor trip, and row trips in the canyon. Thinking to myself; "How long is this boat going to take to fix???"

As you can see, a jig saw did a quick and dirty job. Turns out that I discovered a bit of dry rot on the bottom of the boat once i was tearing into it all. So a router was used to scalp it away.

The crack was about 24' X 1/2". I ended up cutting out this healthy hole...30' X 5". Once I started tearing into it, there was delaminated plywood that you just couldn't see from the outside...

I was careful to get it all cut out. (The entire time thinking "why didn't I simply sand it down, patch with some fiberglass, and paint it? I'd be done weeks ago.)


Made a crude cardboard template of the patches needed and cut them out. (Couldn't find the "rotate 90 degrees" icon so please tilt your head to the left)

Used a router to cut a lip into both the patching board and the hole. This gave a contact point for a flat patch. 

Using a layer of fiberglass as a bonding agent and a few brass screws to hold it tight till it dried.

Next, I needed to sand the old paint off in order to prep for the fiberglass patch that would hold it all together.

Sanded all the paint down to the original fiber glass.

Applied a sheet of biaxial cloth, topped with xynole and then topped with 4 oz cloth with research resin 2040 as per the scientific research of Brad Dimmock and friends. (Thank you guy! Its incredibly nice to of you to share all that info with the rest of us!) 

Can't help but wonder if this patched rocker area is as strong, stronger, or weaker than the rest of the boat? Hope i never find out...But to be safe I put a board covering the hole inside the hatch as well.

Covered the entire patch in faring material and did the best I could to make things smooth and flat.

OK, this is where my sanity is called into question. As if this all hasn't been enough work, I decided to sand down the entire boat and give it a new paint job. Here it is all scuffed up and prepped.

(Truth be told, I was disappointed when I returned from a lovely hike up to Beaver falls, to find that the other private group parked in the mouth of Havasu had tied off to my little boat and completely scratched the stern port side panel. This happened after we had talked for a minute about trading needed goods and after I asked them to "feel free to tie off to the other rubber boats or other tie offs, but please not to my wood boat." It was the first trip with the new paint job!!!)

A beautiful new paint job! Ivory sides panels and a sexy black bottom. Now for the Yellow lines...

Tape the lines up...

Spray the color on...

And remove the paper and tape lines. There you have it! A happy ending to the project. The best can't see any sign of the damage.

The only change I made to the paint was to make the thiner of the two yellow stripes two inches thick instead of one. It is a small change, but I had to do some change if I was going to repaint the entire boat. 

(Sure wish I could have found that "rotate 90 degrees" Icon...oh well...)

 I made a short video of the paint job. Here it is; Enjoy.

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Comment by lhedrick on November 23, 2012 at 8:15am

Great photos of the repair process.

I like the white and yellow, nice paint job.

Comment by Phillip Westendorf on November 6, 2012 at 6:57pm


Nice Job!  She looks Great!


Comment by Randy Dersham on November 2, 2012 at 9:08am

fantastic job.  

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