Projects: The wooden boat repair and renovation — by Boatwork Ltd.
Set up in 2012, Boatwork Ltd is run by married team Mark and Julie Bestford with help from their mascot and canine companion Hassle. The company focuses on the management, maintenance and repair of their various clients’ boats. Recently tasked with a wooden boat repair which involved replacing a GRP sheathing with an epoxy one on a wooden motor boat, it was a project they were eager to start. We look at how the project is going so far.
Firstly, tell us a little about yourself.
Having both completed 22 years’ service in the Royal Navy, with extensive knowledge of the marine industry, and as boat owners ourselves, we are expert in the issues facing boat owners. We formed Boatwork Ltd in 2012 and since have undertaken both modern composite and traditional built boat restorations.
How did the project come about?
A client wanted his 33’ wooden motor boat made structurally sound. This meant that the GRP sheathing had to be removed from the superstructure, and replaced with an epoxy one. This has higher water and temperature resistance, mechanical and thermal properties amongst other advantages.
Which WEST SYSTEM or PRO-SET epoxy products did you use? How did they help?
The first thing we did was to remove the GRP sheathing. The damaged cabin structure then had to be repaired and a layer of 3mm plywood applied over the planking of the cabin roofs. The whole structure was then sheathed with the epoxy. We used a variety of WEST SYSTEM® products to do this. For example we used WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin® and 206 Slow Hardener and a variety of fillers; 403 Microfibres, 406 Colloidal Silica and 407 Low Density Filler worked really well. They have excellent gap-closing properties and prevent any problems with epoxy running off. We also used 743 Glass Fabric which is excellent for building composite laminates and 774 Peel Ply which prevents the epoxy bonding.
What’s your top tip for boatbuilders looking to start a similar project?
For the inevitable epoxy stains on your skin, use white vinegar to get them off. The downside is you’ll smell like a portion of fish and chips!
We hope Boatwork Ltd. continue their success with their maintenance and management projects and continue to spread their love of boats! We also wish the client happy sailing with his restricted motor boat!