Possibly helpful book - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-29-2007, 04:42 PM   #1
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"Fix it and Sail" by Brian Gilbert.

It's on how to buy and restore a small cruising sailboat. But a lot of the information is valuable for fiberglass trailer owners, including:

repairing, cleaning and painting fiberglass
dealing with rusty and worn metal items
canvas work and upholstery
woodworking (cabinets, etc)

I haven't read much of it yet but it sure seems like it will be helpful.

Bobbie
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
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Bobbie,
Keep us posted as you get further in the book. You are right, it looks as if there may be a wealth of valuable info there.
Thanks for helping to keep us informed!

Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:27 PM   #3
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"Fix it and Sail" by Brian Gilbert.

It's on how to buy and restore a small cruising sailboat. But a lot of the information is valuable for fiberglass trailer owners, including:

repairing, cleaning and painting fiberglass
dealing with rusty and worn metal items
canvas work and upholstery
woodworking (cabinets, etc)

I haven't read much of it yet but it sure seems like it will be helpful.

Bobbie
You might want to check out this linkfor more sailing info:
http://atomvoyages.com/

Atom is a 28ft. Triton Sailboat. Lots of info on not taking too much stuff, recipes & provisions, and in the "Boat Projects" section, lots of Solar info.

Have had many special sails in another Triton.

Reading about sailing can help get you through times when you can't sail (or camp!!!)

Dick I.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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I read the book (most of it, I've skipped some of the not-so-trailer relevant sections and those not relevant to my own boat.

The author basically takes you through his own experience gutting and refurbing a small glass trailer sailer. He makes the point that starting with someone else's alterations may make the job harder than starting with a fresh project boat.

Lots of good information on evaluating the condition of the interior and the exterior fiberglass. There is information on preparing the surfaces for painting- none on refurbing without painting the fiberglass, though. There is a good section on helpful tools There is an emphasis on personal safety while working with sanding, cutting, and painting and glueing fiberglass. There is information on strengthing joined sections of fiberglass as well.

He also includes a section on rebuilding cabinetry (more emphasis on woods suitable for marine use than most of us need but still useful.) There is a chapter on sewing including covering cushions. He used an innovating lace-up method instead of zippers on his cushions but does not give a lot of details (he does, however, invite you to email him with questions.)
Some of the information would also be applicable to repair of pop-top fabric and screens.

There is a section on marine wiring. This may be overkill for land trailers, but could be useful.

There is a section on the boat trailer which is essentially similar to the frame trailer for an egg. Boat trailers have unique problems, of course, including rust (lots of it), wiring getting wet, and the fact that you WANT the boat to slide off easily (I assume most of us don't want our eggs slidiing off the trailer frame.)

Another useful feature is a log which shows approximately how much time various jobs took. There is also a price-list. The latter may be less useful due to ever-increasing prices, but as the book was published in 2006 they are sort of current now. He also includes lots of information on where to buy various things including paint and fiberglas supplies.

For the boaters among us, there is also a chapter on upkeep of that old outboard (mine is 25 years old so I'll probably find that useful as well.)

So all in all I think this book would be of interest to anyone restoring a fiberglass trailer. (Though watch out, you might decide you need to restore an old boat as well!) And maybe it will inspire someone here to write the companion book about restoring an egg!

Bobbie
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:01 PM   #5
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here is a link

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetail...2Bsail%26x%3D43
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:01 AM   #6
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none on refurbing without painting the fiberglass, though.
not quite sure what you mean by this sentence; but fiberglass needs to be painted or gelcoated to resist u/v; raw fiberglass will discolor and breakdown in sunlight, and will basically deteriorate in the elements without a finish.

did you mean polishing or buffing?
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Old 03-30-2007, 05:25 AM   #7
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not quite sure what you mean by this sentence; but fiberglass needs to be painted or gelcoated to resist u/v; raw fiberglass will discolor and breakdown in sunlight, and will basically deteriorate in the elements without a finish.

did you mean polishing or buffing?
Gelcoat can be waxed polished and buffed... "raw" fiberglass cannot...since this has to do with repairs, I'm assuming you'd be looking to fix a small patch with either paint or gelcoat.
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:12 AM   #8
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not quite sure what you mean by this sentence; but fiberglass needs to be painted or gelcoated to resist u/v; raw fiberglass will discolor and breakdown in sunlight, and will basically deteriorate in the elements without a finish.

did you mean polishing or buffing?
Mildly oxidized gel coats can be restored. The author of this book bought an old fiberglass boat that had already been badly painted several times over the original gel coat and was blistered, and ended up sanding it down to the fiberglass and completely repainting. I think it was an omission not to explain that, had he had only an oxidized gel coat, he might have been able to restore it without paint. Though actually he does refer to that possibility for the interior if the boat is built with an interior fiberglass liner (like a Burro, I believe, with structural features cast in fiberglass.)

Bobbie
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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yes gina, that's what i was trying to say, sorry for my poor word skills. hard liners on boats, (my little yacht has one) are exactly like the interiours of eggs like uhaul type, though more robust; they are gelcoated. as everyone knows there are tons of products to bring back gelcoat shine, some better than others; they can look great for a while but there really is no way to get enough moisture/color back into the gelcoat once its oxidized and faded for the original showroom shine longterm. yachts turn to awlgrip when they desire a real lasting, (7 years or so), solution; its sprayed on by professionals and terribly expensive.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:33 AM   #10
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they can look great for a while but there really is no way to get enough moisture/color back into the gelcoat once its oxidized and faded for the original showroom shine longterm
I think it's important to distinguish two different types of job that get called 'polishing':

- There's the wax polish job which doesn't do anything serious to the gel coat but just aims to put a glossy layer on top of it.

- There's a full polishing job, using cutting compound and a serious electric polisher, just as an auto body shop would use on a painted car.

The second one of these returns an 'oxidized and faded' gel coat to an as-new condition - making 20 year old gelcoat look brand new is exactly what it does. It's plenty of work, but no more than the sanding needed as preparation to a paint job. As far as I'm aware, no-one on this forum has ever reported doing this sort of polishing job, or having it done for them - please speak up if you have.

"Putting moisture back into the gelcoat" sounds like soemthing a cosmetic product would promise to do!

Andrew
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:40 PM   #11
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From the website for Vertglas, a gelcoat restorer (no affiliation, just one I'd heard of so I looked it up)

Quote:
Vertglas can restore shine to almost every faded, oxidized boat. If your boat still looks good when it gets wet, Vertglas can restore the shine and maintain it.
Their system (not unlike many others) involves first removing oxidation with a rubbing compound, then sealing again. The test of getting wet and looking good is probably a good one.

Once the gelcoat is gone (blistered through, or oxidized or worn off) you have to paint. Typically gelcoats take a lot of wearing off before they are gone.

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Old 03-30-2007, 01:48 PM   #12
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andrew, i was actually going to mention rubbing compounds in my last post as they are the best way to restore gelcoat appearance. i would not say they return gelcoat to show room state however, as like other restoratives, with time, they collect dust, grime and pollution and the gelcoat returns to its previous state of age, with the added bonus of a layer of dead film to deal with. maybe moisture is not the most accurate word, i should perhaps have said pigment. it is my humble opinion that once gelcoat has oxidized and faded, it can be temporarily 'brought back to life' by various products. return to original condition permanently? i've never seen it in my personal experience. a rubbing compound even applied scrupiously with a buffer is only good for a bit more than a year or so. many sailors remove the old stuff and rebuff at thier annual haulout. the biggest hassel i've encountered with gelcoat restorative products, including waxes and rubbing compounds is that after they have expired thier lifespan, they complicate a more serious and lastin refinishing. removal is difficult as sandpaper clogs quickly when the 'hull' is prepped for new options, and the chemicals in these products must be completely eradicated and neutralized or they may be incompatable with the next product applied. i stand by my previous statement that the best thing out there is a meticulous prep and awlgrip. would i spend that kind of money and time on a moulded fiberglass camper, no. marine paints, sprayed or properly rolled and tipped will give you a finish that will be the envy of campers worldwide. a top notch paintjob should last 3 or more years at which time, even one fresh coat of paint will look brand new and serious prep is no longer required. again, just my 2 cents from 20 plus years of marine diy and observation in the most esteemed boatyards in the world. u/v, climate and pollution are the deciding factors in gelcoat deterioration; lifespan will vary from the tropics to the far north.
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