Q: I have a
ding in my rail. how do I know if it leaks?
A: open the
vent if your board has one of those, put board into a cool place overnight.
Next morning, as the sun starts to get warm, close the vent, set the board
into the sun, and, as it warms up, brush dishwashing detergent onto the
suspect crack. If there are bubbles, you got a leak. (as the air inside the
board warms, it expands, and will escape by whichever means)
Q: I have a
ding, how do I know if there is water in there?
A: tape clear
plastic sheet (Saran wrap, etc) over the suspect ding. Set board into the
sun. If condensation appears on the plastic, you have water in there.
Q: I have a
ding, it leaks, it has water in there, now what do I do?
A: set the
board into a warm, well-ventilated area, providing extra airflow if you can
(fan). With a larger wound, you can increase the surface area by twisting a
paper towel into it, fanning out the top.
Or you can
bring it to me for vacuum-drying.
Q: why is it
so important to get all the water out?
ingredients of your board are waterproof, but not necessarily vapor-proof.
As the board warms, pressure within increases, causing water-vapor to form,
which can migrate through minute imperfections in the laminations, causing
bond failures and other unpleasantness.
Q: my board
has a vent plug. Should I open it when I'm not sailing?
difference between external air pressure and internal board pressure
determines the exact thickness of the board. As the external pressure
fluctuates every day (typically cool early mornings with high pressure, then
thermal low mid-afternoons), the board will first compress, then expand as
the day wears on. In a thick, high-volume board, this change can amount to
1/4" or more. Picture such cycling going on once a day, 365 days a year.
Picture the EPS foam core fatiguing and slowly separating into chunks.
to open the vent between sessions, to eliminate this cycling!
Q: I have a
delam on deck right next to my mast box. Why can't I just inject some Epoxy
A: Unless you
have the extruded EPS foam (do you?), then the injected resin will travel
through the channels between the foam beads, taking the path of least
resistance, which may or may not be where you want it. It also has the
disconcerting propensity to puddle, generating much heat upon curing, which
makes for interesting stalactites in great voids. Very artsy, but not
meaningful, structurally speaking. Click here for
Q: On the
subject of "drying out" a board. Do you have some suggestions there. Being a
woodworker by trade, I am aware of vacuum kilns, that can remove free
moisture from wood. I wondered if that same method could work with
A: YES! But
both vacuum and kiln aspects need to be approached with utmost caution,
since EPS foam has vastly smaller compressive strength than a piece of
lumber, and since many of the ingredients in composite watertoys are
thermoplastic (Divinycell etc). But judiciously applied, and monitored
closely, you can "boil" water out of your soggy craft. As a matter of
fact, most days, I have a couple of boards gurgling away in the
background, and my neighbors have become used to the sight of me putting
ear to board to hear how wet they still are...
Q: a large
area of glass eventually delaminated on the rear area behind the seat. I
am thinking that it could be re-attached with a vacuum bag setup.
A: I have
found that vacuum-bagging such a delam is a real crap-shoot (you never
know just where the injected resin ends up), and adds much weight,
besides. Much better, in my opinion, to just cut the delam away and
in the process of repairing some cracks in my '00 Naish wave board with
West Systems, and my question is, how deep should I sand?
until you have removed all compromised material - wherever that may
lightly Dremel-sanded the areas until the paint is off, to a brown
colored core which looks like the skin of the board.
would be the Divinycell PVC, so you did go through the outer
fiberglass and/or Carbon
if the Divinycell appears to be holding together. You can safely
ignore hairline cracks and such, but need to go further if the
Divinycell seems to be lifting up from the inner laminations.
Q: I've glassed
the repairs in my Naish twice now, sanded, then spray painted. Out of pinholes
in the repair small amounts of moisture are escaping.
A: this means
that not only you have water in there, it also means that your repair is not
Q: Should I
cut away (again) the repair area and wick it out with a rag? Should I keep
it in the sun, hoping to evaporate it?
A: yes to
both - airflow actually is more effective than warmth to get rid of water.
Then - remove
your vent screw. Wait until at least 3pm, later on a really hot day. Fill
whatever cracks and pinholes you have in the substrate, then glass over with
a medium-fast Epoxy (105 West w/ 205 hardner, for example). Don't skimp on
the resin! If the cloth appears dry anywhere, dab on more Epoxy. Hover,
until the surface remains shiny everywhere, indicating a generous amount of
resin. Let cure overnight.
By the time
the next day warms up, expanding the air in your core and trying to push
moisture past your repair, it has all set up hard enough to resist.
judiciously and refinish.
I was wondering what is the easiest/safest
way to remove a traction pad from a Surftech and will I lose any paint?
a torch? no, no, no!!
with your fingertips, worry at a corner,
peeling it up a bit, which exposes the glueline. Take a single-edged
razorblade and gently slice at the glueline while prying the pad up with
your finger - its like skinning a critter. If you are patient and go slow,
you will leave the board intact, with, maybe, a few bits of pad attached. To
remove the last bits, rub at them with Goo-Gone or other sticky remover.
Just make sure to completely wipe it off before long, lest it softens your
Q: I am a Eastcoast Cape Cod sailor who, over the years,
has done minor repairs on
my own with Marine-Tex (with good results from what I can tell). I am just
curious what is your view of Marinetex, would you recommend its use?
A: sure, Marinetex is good for temporary patches. Its
just a bit messy, and
hard to mix well in the field, and has no strength, so, for permanent
repairs, you really need to replace it with "proper" laminations of Epoxy
plus an adequate reinforcement such as fiberglass etc