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Reel Loco

98 Hewes LT 18 Rehab

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I am subscribing to this thread, some great info.

How are you planning to fix the stringer separation and fuel tank support?

This project is about 65-75% complete. I'm posting the pics and describing how I went about repairing stringers, fuel tank supports,etc. I had to work furiously over winter & spring as I couldn't have the cap sitting in that structure during hurricane season ( I promised the city I would have it down by June). Otherwise I would have posted my progress blow by blow. Hopefully this might help someone else who may be considering the same. Also if someone spots a grave error I've made I can still remove the cap before it's too late! Thanks for subscribing :content:

Loco

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The first photo is of the fuel tank area after I cleaned it up a bit. Oldsalt was correct with his suggestion to get some type of support from port to starboard so as not to lose the shape of the boat. I decided to leave in all the fuel tank supports except for the one closest to the center of the boat. Remember that only the floor has been removed at this point.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1314982912-P1040190.JPG[/lightbox]

After removing the stated fuel tank support I gound off all the old fibergl*** material attatching the stringers to the hull in the area where the fuel tank supprt had been. I then proceeded to reattach the stringers to the hull with polyester resin & two layers of 7018 biaxial cloth( as recommended by MBC and various suppliers.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1314982826-P1040782.JPG[/lightbox]

Next I needed to construct a form from which to rebuild a new fuel tank support using 4lb two part foam.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1314982935-P1040946.JPG[/lightbox]

I lined the form with plastic sheeting to keep the foam from adhereing to the hull as I wanted to cover the entire support in fibergl***.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1314982959-P1040949.JPG[/lightbox]

Here's the new support sitting in position. I poured the two part foam in the form and when it hardened I used a carpenters saw to trim off the excess foam that protruded above the form. The foam did come out of the foam easily with the plastic. I later changed to plastic wrap as it conformed better to the hull.

Notice how well prepped the area around the new support and stringers. I can't tell you how important that part is. When boats are built the resins have not set fully when the next layer is applied. This causes a (Primary)chemical bond which is STRONG! When you fibergl*** to a resin that has set you are only acheiving a (Secondary)mechanical bond which is nowhere as strong as the Primary type bond. Prep is critical!

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1314982974-P1040997.JPG[/lightbox]

Finally the new support has been gl***ed in with two layers of 7018 biaxial cloth and this time I used West Systems 105 Epoxy Resin which is VERY expensive compared to polyester resin. BUT, it also adheres 200 times better than polyester resin. I am using the epoxy resin in all the critical places. I made all of my tank supports from polyester resin and then attatched them to the hull with epoxy. Remember I never want to have to take the cap off this boat again!

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1314983011-P1050008.JPG[/lightbox]

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RL,

Mine is a 94 and have noticed they,

(the manufacturer) had changed the stringer & fuel tank supports design and layout.

Wonder why they did this?

Original design flaws?

Your stringers are ALOT wider than mine.

I drilled a hole and probed it with a 12" drill bit. My stringers are only 2" thick.

Your's look to be 10"-12" wide/thick.

Looks like I'll have to start picking my brain and come up with a interlocking integrated stringer design which with sustain category 3 hurricanes and mishaps.

Yah, I only have 2 speeds, wot and stop. :content:

Sounds like a case of carpentry basic's and a little geometry to boot.

Having no background in boat design I'm not sure why MBC(and maybe the rest of the industry) went to a modular type stringer system. Costs, maybe? In my research about stringers I saw more info on the type of stringer that you have.

Maybe a tour of the factory is in order??

Loco

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!st photo was taken just after prying the cap loose.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315053766-P1050034.JPG[/lightbox]

The next run of photos are of more damage i discovered (other than stringer seperation) once the cap was removed. This photo shows a broken cross support located in the bilge area.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315053846-P1050044.JPG[/lightbox]

This photo shows the battery compartment had seperated from the cap. [lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315053867-P1050036.JPG[/lightbox]

Just a view with the cap off.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315053906-P1050047.JPG[/lightbox]

This shot shows the port stringer about 3/4 of the way back. The damage was located exactly where the bottom back of the seat compartment sits on the stringers. I believe this caused a pressure point across both stringers causing the port stringer to break at this point. The starboard stringer had some damage at this point.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315053928-P1050048.JPG[/lightbox]

Port stringer. Closer view of damage.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315053945-P1050068.JPG[/lightbox]

Next is a shot taken from above of the area of the bow directly below the anchor locker. There was a crack in the gelcoat that extended from just below the bow lifting ring area to below the first fuel tank support. I chased this crack with my grinder and ended up chasing it right to the gelcoat on the outside of the hull. I took a drill bit and drilled a hole at either end of the crack to stop it fom going any further.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315053994-P1050070.JPG[/lightbox]

Another view of the area of the bow with the crack. Notice the dark brown area to the left center of the photo. That's an old repair that someone attempted to do without even removing the old gelcoat,

I was able to pry the old patch job right off.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315054007-P1050076.JPG[/lightbox]

Well, now that i've shown most of the damage what are your thoughts on how it ended up like this? My buddy Bob thinks someone dropped the boat off a trailer or something!

Well,

friends are coming for dinner ( racks of BQ ribs!!) so I need to get ready.

Loco

Oh, and if anyone knows the history on this boat I would appreciate any feedback. The PO said he bought it in the Ft Meyers area.

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I have seen a Hewes that color out here on Pine Island before. It has been a while, but I am always checking out the MBC products here on Pathfinder Island.

You need to register as an owner so that we can send PMs to you, and you can respond.

It looks like the hull is painted over the gel coat, are there any signs that the bottom gl*** had to be repaired? The damage an seperations may have not all happened in one incident. Once a rib support cracked it puts more stress on the others when the hull flexes. It could be just allot of hard use in big water, or like suggested, it was dropped or beached at speed.

Enjoy the ribs :) Ironic, huh?

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Oldsalt,

The ribs were excellent!! You'll have to invite Crawfish over. What a cook! Just be prepared to have lots of cold beer on hand. He also has a wonderful wife!

I registered as an owner a couple of days ago. Don't know how long that process will take. I've been able to answer a PM I just can't initiate one yet.

The hull has been painted. Crawfish looked the bottom over and said it looks fine to him. There are a couple of spots I'm repairing when it gets a little cooler out.

Did you make the get together they had recently at Burnt store bar? Would've liked to have been there to meet some other Hewes owners on the harbor. Ooops,

guess it wasn't limited to Hewes owners!

Later

Loco

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Reel Loco,

The last set of pictures are not showing up for me. Did you do something different with this last set of photo's?

OOPS! Sorry.My bad. Will repost photos later today.

Loco

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Let the repairs begin! After removing the cap and identifying the repairs that needed to be made I removed the remainder of old fuel tank and cross supports. The next step was to start repairing the stringers. The port stringer was definitely the worse. I proceded by cutting out the damaged portion located directly under where the seat rests on the stringer.Next I dammed the area and poured with two part foam.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315178382-P1050205.JPG[/lightbox]

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315178732-P1050207.JPG[/lightbox]

After trimming off the excess foam I gl***ed the new stringer area with three layers of 7018 biaxial cloth and polyester resin.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315179046-P1050208.JPG[/lightbox]

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315179175-P1050215.JPG[/lightbox]

Photo of forward part of starboard stringer prepped and ready to be regl***ed.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315179384-P1050210.JPG[/lightbox]

Photo of forward part of starboard stringer regl***ed with two layers of 7018 biaxial cloth and epoxy resin.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315179571-P1050213.JPG[/lightbox]

Same photos only port side.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315179687-P1050211.JPG[/lightbox]

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315179734-P1050212.JPG[/lightbox]

Enough for today. This fibergl*** work exhausts me!

Loco

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Looks good but i cant believe thats a 1998 mine is a 2000 i guess thats the difference between a good owner and a bad one

I have to agree with that. Someone sure beat the crap outta this one!

Loco

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Next order of business was to make new cross braces and fuel tank supports from foam by consructing forms from plywood, covering the inside of the form with saran wrap and pouring with two part foam. The foam forms were then covered entirely with 7018 biaxial cloth and polyester resin. [lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315272339-P1050220.JPG[/lightbox]

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315272413-P1050236.JPG[/lightbox]

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315272439-P1050240.JPG[/lightbox]

This photo is of the forward fuel tank support. I imbedded 1/4" aluminum plate in the front and rear fuel tank supports before gl***ing to give me something to attatch the fuel tank to.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315272614-P1050245.JPG[/lightbox]

Here's the fuel tank and cross supports ready to be tabbed to the hull. I tabbed each one with two layers of 7018 biaxial cloth and epoxy resin.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315272709-P1050248.JPG[/lightbox]

Before gl***ing in these supports I cut a vee across both stingers to alleviate the pressure point on the stringers where the back of the seat came in contact with the stringers.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315272778-P1050226.JPG[/lightbox]

Finished cross braces and fuel tank supports.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315272866-P1050254.JPG[/lightbox]

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As I continue to watch this project, I am baffled as to what could have caused so much internal damage and left the outside of the hull looking so good.

This is not something I would attempt, but I'm really enjoying this. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up. ;)

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looking good! glad you are using polyester resin.. i've had experiences where epoxy and polyester didn't play well together...

keep taking photos.. great work!

Squid,

I have not experienced any problems with either the polyester or epoxy resins other than mixing too hot.

Epoxy will adhere to polyester but not vice versa. West Systems claims that polyester gel coat will adhere to their epoxy as long as you remove the amines that form on the cured epoxy. Guess I'll find out!

Thanks for commenting,

Loco

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Gary,

Nice job of cleaning that up. Doesn't look like the same hull. Looking good!

Oldsalt,

Hard to beleive it's the same boat! I'm pleased with the progress so far.

Loco

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As I continue to watch this project, I am baffled as to what could have caused so much internal damage and left the outside of the hull looking so good.

This is not something I would attempt, but I'm really enjoying this. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up. ;)

Fishtails,

The hull has been painted which would account for it looking good.

I'm glad you are enjoying the photos. That's exactly why I'm posting it. Please do not take anything as gospel though as this is my first attempt at restoring a boat.

Hence the name,

Reel Loco

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Remember the crack running down the inside of the bow from just below the bow lifting ring to underneath the front fuel tank support(about 3' in length)?

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315423713-P1050070.JPG[/lightbox]

This photo is when I first started chasing the crack with a grinder just below the bow lifting ring. I eventually ground the entire inside of the bow down to the gel coat or close to it.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315424328-P1050080.JPG[/lightbox]

At the top center of this photo you'll see part of the bow repair. I used eight layers of 7018 biaxial cloth and epoxy resin for this repair. Sorry,

I thought I had taken better pics of the bow repair.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315424604-P1050236.JPG[/lightbox]

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.....epoxy will adhere to polyester but not vice versa. West Systems claims that polyester gel coat will adhere to their epoxy as long as you remove the amines that form on the cured epoxy. Guess I'll find out!

Thanks for commenting,

Loco

that's the experience i had..

i used west system epoxy for a repair, but couldn't get gel to adhere to it... after sanding, it should work, i hope as well!

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Here's another repair that needed to be made. The battery box compartment had seperated from the underneath side of the cap.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315425067-P1050036.JPG[/lightbox]

Here's the battery box compartment repaired. Fibergl***ing upside down is a whole different ballgame! Glad I did not have alot of that to do.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315425140-P1050318.JPG[/lightbox]

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To dress things up I gel coated the bow and bilge areas as seen in the following photos.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315425602-P1050257.JPG[/lightbox] [lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315425636-P1050265.JPG[/lightbox]

Plumbing was next. I replaced all the old fuel tank hoses & bilge pump hoses. I also added hoses for a new baitwell(for shrimp) I created from the forward starboard insulated storage compartment. I added this on recommendation of a captain freind. This gives me the ability to seperate shrimp from whitebait.

Also notice the rubber strips I placed on top of the fuel tank supports. Should help dampen shock to the fuel tank supports from the weight of the tank and fuel.

[lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315426140-P1050316.JPG[/lightbox] [lightbox]http://www.mbcforum.com/fbbuploads/med_1315426157-P1050317.JPG[/lightbox]

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