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Will a glassed boat with no ribs fall apart if the outside glass is removed for replacement?

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by alick burt, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. alick burt

    alick burt LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I have read plenty of posts about the difficulties of removing glass and yes I have done it with heat and scrapers so I know the deal.I have been asked to quote on replacing it on a boat built without ribs and like many my initial reaction is run away!
    If the glass is not too badly damaged i would err on the side of repair and adding more glass ontop but if the client insists on having it removed or it is worn through to wood in many places would removal and replacement be impossible.
    Once the glass is off sanding may improve it but would dark water marks be unbleachable?
    I have yet to see the boat and am awaiting pictures but would be interested to see one that someone has done even if they gave up at some point.
    Many Thanks
    Alick
     
  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Alick,
    IMHO itt all depends on the integrity of the glue joints, and the overall structural strength when the usual tie-togethers (gunwhales, thwarts and seats) are removed or unfastened. This sort of job can be a PITA, and quickly lead to disaster. Unless the boat is of special historic or sentimental value, it is far easier and cheaper (probably quicker too) to just do a new build.
     
    alick burt likes this.
  3. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    RUN AWAY!
    Gil
     
    alick burt likes this.
  4. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    If someone came to my shop with a boat like that, I'd tell him to buy 2 or 3 new ones, as it'll be cheaper...
     
    alick burt likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    alick burt

    alick burt LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'm liking all the comments so far and its sort of where I am with it at the moment but it would be nice to see if someone has had a successful or an unsuccessful attempt to do this in pictures. I always like to attempt the impossible even if its just to learn from it. Hoping someone has beaten me to it with either result and can show us some pictures...
     
  6. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    What exact type of construction are you talking about? If you are talking about a stripper (thin, edge glued strips with fiberglass skins inside and out) you might be quite surprised at how floppy the hull will be once you remove the gunwales and thwarts and even more floppy when you start peeling the outer fiberglass. Without adding some sort of internal structure (like some of the original building forms, temporary thwarts, etc.) it would be very difficult to strip the glass without breaking the boat. If you do decide to try it the customer should be informed ahead of time that it may work, or that it has at least an even chance of ending up in the dumpster, despite your best efforts.

    As mentioned above, it would be far more logical to start from scratch and build a new one, where the steps can be completed in the proper order. You would learn a lot more, the job would be far easier, and the boat would turn out drastically better, both structurally and cosmetically. if you think you're going to turn an old beat up stripper into a pretty boat, you're dreaming.
     
    alick burt likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    alick burt

    alick burt LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Todd
    Thank you for your reply yes it is I think construction is as you describe though I have yet to see pictures to confirm.
    I have made several that way and have removed glass from an old wide board & batten canoe before so I know what a pain it can be removing the glass. My thinking was I would leave the gunwales in place and cut the glass where it goes under them in the hope of retaining rigidity but maybe as you say it would all end up like jelly so I may be daft to attempt it.
    My client hasn't sent pictures yet but did say he would be taking them today so maybe we will see. Hopefully its either just minor scratches and damage that I can repair without stripping fully.
     
  8. Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    Having done a bunch of removals and knowing how much time goes into stripping old glass, my first question to anyone who asks me to do it, is how sentimental is the boat. And if it has glass on the inside, you should be fine. But in the end, if they are willing to pay for my time, I will do it. I make more money on an hourly basis doing repairs than making building a new boat.
     
    alick burt likes this.
  9. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

     
    MGC likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    alick burt

    alick burt LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thank you Rod and Gil :)
    I have pictures now and in my view I think I can patch it where necessary without having to do full removal. I will post the pictures here in due course and will be interested to see what others think.
    Many Thanks
    Alick
     

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