HTT wall repair

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by KyCamper2020, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. KyCamper2020

    KyCamper2020 New Member

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    My 2010 Crossroads Sunset Trail
    HTT has some pretty extensive water damage up front in and around the bunk end door. I’m still researching how best to tackle the bunk end door so any input would be great!! Like many posts I’ve read, only the bottom half of the door was effected so would love to hear from anyone who was able to fix just that half of the door but not sure if that solution exists.

    In tackling the inside I’ve taken all the rotten wood I could find from the front wall and I’m letting it dry out. Most of the rot went all the way to the fiberglass. Luckily I have what I believe is an aluminum frame so structurally seems okay.

    So now I need something to glue the fiberglass to on the inside and was wondering if I could use composite decking material inside the walls? It wouldn’t rot if it got wet again and can be worked with like wood. Is this a good idea? How do I prep the fiberglass? Would I just use epoxy and would it even stick to the composite?

    Thanks

    You guys are the best
     
  2. HobieNick

    HobieNick Member

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    I have not done this repair on a HTT but I have done several sailboat deck repairs. Fiberglass skins with a wood core. I assume this is how your walls are made so my advice will be general and may not pertain to your exact situation. Pictures will help.

    First of all you need to make sure any of the wood not removed is securely bonded to the outside FG panel. Even if the wood is not rotten it may have separated. Any gaps will cause issues. Also, make sure any wood left in place has a straight edge. This will make putting new wood in much easier. You may have to remove good wood to achieve this. At this time fit the replacement wood. Do not use composite decking as it is very hard to bond to it. There are synthetic materials that can be used, but they are usually more expensive. I suggest a marine grade plywood. Ideally you will want to bevel the mating edges so they overlap a bit. This is hard to do so don't worry too much about it.

    Once your core material is cut to fit, the fun starts. I suggest using epoxy (either West Systems or Total Boat products). Get the slow hardener as it will give you more working time. Especially if you do the repair in warm weather since heat speeds up curing. The first step is to fill any separations of the original wood with unthickened epoxy. Then wet out the mating surface of the new wood core with unthickened epoxy. Then using a toothed trowel put thickened epoxy on the same side of the wood you wet out. Place the wood in place and apply pressure to the entire surface while the epoxy cures. After the epoxy is partially cured use a knife to cut off any excess squeeze out. The epoxy should be firm but pliable. It will save you time sanding. After fully cured sand any areas of squeeze out or areas that will be effected by any excess epoxy. Once done repeat this process for the inner fiberglass skin.

    The reason you need to wet out the wood is to fill the wood fibers with epoxy before you add the thickened epoxy. If you do not it will "dry out" the thickened epoxy too much and the bond will be weak. When mixing epoxy do not mix large batches. The thicker the layer the faster it cures. Epoxy gives off heat when it cures and heat speeds up the curing. It's a self sustaining cycle. If you keep the layer thin it will take longer for it to cure. If you want to speed up the curing add heat. Halogen lamps work well.

    When applying pressure it is very important to spread even pressure across the entire surface. If not, the epoxy will flow to the areas not under pressure. This will be hard on a vertical surface. You will need some sort of bracing and padding.

    This is alot of information. There are several videos and blogs and how to do this. It will be a lot of work but it is doable.
     
  3. Steveo4090

    Steveo4090 Well-Known Member

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    I've used west systems epoxy on a few projects and they're really top notch. Not cheap, but you only want to do that job once so personally I would get the best materials I could for the job. That will be a big job for sure. Take your time and dry fit everything before you start. Make sure you have plenty of mixing cups and measure the parts out...don't guess or eyeball it, and then make sure to mix thoroughly.
     

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