Fix'n a Vixen  Part II
                                                                                 
By Scott Hraska

            After we stripped the boat bare and sanded everything good it was time to re-build. Now was when I really needed some help from my father. My father and I decided to go with four stringers as opposed to the original 2 for added support and strength. We also decided to incorporate transom knees into the outside stringers so the transom would handle any amount of power we hang on it. The main problem was the bottom had no support at all. Just some thin fiberglass, and it wasn’t nearly strong enough for even just daily abuse… I mean use J. Since we are on a tight budget we decided against the balsa core.  The decision was to use strips of 1/2inch plywood on the flat spots on the hull of the boat. In the strakes we were not sure what would be used though. We started off by cutting the transom out. The plan for the transom was 4 sheets of 1/2inch plywood with a layer of fiberglass matting in between each layer. Once the transom was in we started on the stringers. My father and I decided to make the inside stringers around 5 ½inches tall, and the outside stringers around 3inches tall. After we cut the basic shape and length of each stringer there was a lot of grinding to be done to shape them to fit the boat perfectly. The inside stringers went in first followed by the outside stringers. For the rest of the bottom we cut out the plywood in strips to make it nice and strong.

 

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           For the fiber-glassing we used epoxy resin for most of the bottom, then switched to polyester due to the cost and the amount that we needed. First we laid down one layer of the bi-axle woven backed with matting over the entire bottom. After that we laid the wood strips over it and then put one piece of the top layer of fiberglass down in the rear of the boat before we ran out of resin. The next day I went to a fiberglass place in Farmingdale and the guy who was helping me gave me a “sample pack” of 4lb. Foam while I was purchasing the 2 gallons of the polyester resin I needed. When I got home I experimented with the 4lbs of foam and man this stuff is so cool! My 12yr old sister thought it was the coolest thing and then next day she was more then happy to help me out filling in the strakes with the foam. I would pour foam in the stakes and then we would put a piece of waxed lexan on top of it so once the foam hits the height of the lexan it would expand out from there. This worked great and I ended up having just enough foam to fill the strakes.

 

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          The following weekend my father and neighbor helped me finish the final 3 sheets of fiberglass that needed to be laid on the inside of the boat. From there I started on the stress cracks. After asking lot of people I just kept getting the same answer, “If you don’t grind them out into the fiberglass they will show rite though the new paint”. I realized there was no alternative and started walking around the boat, and where ever I saw a stress crack I just grinded it out until it was gone, if it meant going into the fiberglass that’s what I did. After that I went around the boat with sheets of fiberglass and cut out a bunch of little shapes to fit into all the grinded out areas I just created.

 

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          Once all the outside stress cracks were grinded out and filled it was time to work on the dashboard. Since we decided to convert the boat to center steer I needed to fill in the dashboard and re-drill all the holesbehind the dash (fiberglassing)0002.jpg (241630 bytes) later. I started by roughly cutting out the shapes to fit the holes in the dashboard with a jig saw, then finished them off by using a bench grinder. After that we put a layer of fiberglass over the front of the dash board, and to strengthen it even more we decided to put a layer on the back of the dashboard as well. From here its time to flip the boat over, and put some time into fixing up the bottom. All the bottom work and finishing sanding will be discussed in the 3rd part of this article.

 
 

This section features articles written by you guys.  Submit whatever you would like - as long as it applies to HydroStreams, motors, trailers, or towing vehicles.  Please send it to me in a form where I can just insert it into this page (some kind of Word processing document would be good).  It would be a good idea to check with me first to make sure nobody else is working on the same topic.  Everyone please consider writing an article and sharing some information that will help out your fellow Streamers.

 


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