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Started this on fri and really tore into it today. Was unsure about how to pop the cap off. A bottle jack in the bilge area ,a few hours of prying and a lot of hillbilly ingenuity did the job. Foam removal was a lot easier than expected. Stringers were rotten and removed. Managed to save enough of the old Transom to hopefully make a template for the new one. Thinking of replacing transom and stringers with marine grade ply but open to opinions and options. I was reading vinyl ester resin may be the way to go? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.






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You are probably the first person I have seen get the cap separated from the hull intact...I am impressed!  That 2 part foam acts like gorilla glue when it expands up against the bottom of the cap and is really difficult to break that bond; or so I thought.

Vinylester works great for rehabs.  Bonding strength is greater than poly but not as strong as epoxy.  It is also has better chemical and water resistance than poly.  Only downside is that vinylester is a little more expensive.  My feelings are it is worth it for the bonding part, but you still have to do proper prep work to the existing surfaces prior to glassing.

One thing to do before you start installing stringers and transom is to make sure the hull is level from side to side and the bottom is running true at least the back 6 ft of the hull.  When the cap was still in place along with the stringers, the hull shape was maintained since the entire structure was like a box or truss.  Once the cap came out and the stringers removed, a lot of the stability was lost and the hull can flex in all different directions.  I see that some of the old glass work for the stringers and cross members is still there, so that may be still holding the shape.  Spend a couple of hours blocking the hull with some additional supports to get it as true as possible.  You may even need to run 1 or 2 2x4s across the top to hold the sides in place.  If you don't do this, it is possible to lock in any odd shapes to the hull bottom once the stringers are installed.  Plus, doing this  now will help when it is time to set the tops of the stringers  so they are level from side to side.

Stringers...how creative do you want to get?  Since the hull is gutted, I would consider making some box stringers using a couple of 2x12's screwed together then covered in plastic.  Make sure when they are screwed together they are straight as possible.  Go with 1708 biax cloth with 0-90 bias.  I would go with 5 layers of fabric.  Lay up the fabric on the top and sides of the 2x12's and let set up.  Next day pop the glass off the 2x12's and you now have a hollow stringer.  Cut the sides to fit the hull, position the stringers and run a filet joint along the bottom of the stringers and drag a piece of 3/4" or 1" pvc pipe through the filet joint to create a smooth transition from the stringer to the hull, then tab the stringers to the hull using 3 layers of fabric to make up each side to hull tab.  End result will be similar to all new boat construction where they utilize a hollow fiberglass grid system. 

Heck...if you plan ahead for this, you could size the stringer mold to allow your rigging tubes to be inside the hollow stringers.  And yes, I did imply more that one rigging tube.  They are easy to install now and it is better to have additional space available for future additions instead of kicking yourself for not having enough room in just one tube.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow. what a project. I am restoring a 1985 R1800. but not to that extent.  I cut 2 access ports in the floor behind the fuel coffin and near the transom to remove wet foam and install a bilge. Only the bottom couple of inches of foam was wet and has been removed. Do you have any pictures of the boat with the foam still in the hull when the cap was pulled? I would like to see where it was poured and get a better idea of where water may be trapped. The pictures you posted provide a great perspective of what is actually under the floor. Thanks for sharing.

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