It’s too cold outside to really do anything on the boat but there are some GRP works to be done and I just took a little piece with me to the workshop. and I’d say let’s get started! Before I start to work on the whole hull or the whole deck, the hull is actually okay, it’s mainly the deck that looks terrible, I’m just gonna start with this The hatch As you can already see it is in dire need of some TLC The hatch is – this is the outside, there you can see the glass fibres, the top layers of polyester resin have already dissolved. Yeah, and you can tell when you’re walking on it, it’s not super stable. Especially this part because, of course, you want a little light to come through. I think that’s why a little bit of material was saved. So I’ll make this stronger on the underside I’ll add a few additonal layers of fibreglass (chopped strand matting) and polyester resin. Of course this awful seal has to be replaced. I’ll get rid of it right now. And on the outside, of course, you have to reapply some resin in any case. so that the glass does not surface – oh boy, this part has already completely flaked off. So the very first thing I do is remove this seal I’m trying to at least At this speed I’ll still be here tomorrow. Oh screw this, I’m gonna get my Fein. I love this Fein, it’s such a great toy! With the Fein, it all goes very fast. I don’t really want to imagine what that would be like by hand. I remove as much as possible with the Fein but there are still stubborn glue residues left. When the worst is gone then vacuum everything and next remove the small leftover bits with silicone remover and acetone. Especially when working with acetone I recommend using a pair of good chemical gloves because this stuff dries the skin out really badly and I’m not just saying that now because I’m a girl. Speaking of girls, Cotton wool pads for example are also really practical. You can use them in acetone and let it soak – much better than with other rags. After the cleaning I sand everything with 80 grit sandpaper. Then vacuum again and degrease everything and you’re ready to go. So after I’ve cleaned the whole thing now extensively with silicone remover and acetone I’d cut mats to size and laminate them. Now this is one of those 300 grams per square meter of mat. This is a “normal” thickness – whatever normal means. This is the standard mat for boat building. So if you do model making or so then there are also 100 grams per square meter mats and of course it goes up beyond 300, there’s practically no limit. Now I thought I’d definitely do two layers with 300 and then maybe a finer one for the finish. I’m just going to draw a rough line. Sort of. Instead of cutting them, it’s actually better to tear them a little, so the transitions are nice and smooth. You don’t have such a sharp edge there. If something stands off somewhere after you’ve laminated it, it’s not bad at all, you can just cut it off, sand it down a bit, and then you’re done. So! In the middle I’ll leave this hole… That’s it. Now a second mat. I’ll do another mat at 300, then another one at 175. So that’s a lot, much thinner and finer, as you can see and that just gives it a smoother surface. The leftovers that fall off can also be used as a filling material in case of need, so don’t throw it away. So now we’re ready to laminate. Well, I’ll say goodbye! The resin and the hardener must be mixed really well First I apply a layer of resin and then the glass mat. It needs to be soaked really nicely. Polyester resin is mixed with two to four percent hardener and then you have about 20 to 30 minutes to work with the resin, but if it’s warm you have less time. It is better to mix small quantities several times instead of once too much, otherwise it might become stressful. Then comes the next mat Soak again Remove all bubbles with the roller in nice long lanes. And the third and last mat After everything is hardened you can grind away the protruding edge. At this time I unfortunately didn’t have the Makita belt grinder yet, which would have been just the right one. Information about the different sanding machines can be found on my blog, too. GRP unfortunately kills your sanding paper very fast. Hence this little neat trick: simply cut off the worn front part of the sandpaper, move the sand paper forward, and sand on. The inside is finished, next is the outside As you can see, the old glass mat already comes out everywhere I’m not going to apply new glass because I’ve already done that from the back for more stability; here I’ll only add polyester resin on top. And then I will cover the whole thing with a peel-ply because that will give a nice rough surface after curing. You put peel-ply on in a wet state and then you tear it down in a sharp angle. and then you really have a rough surface which is handy because you can stand on it and then it is an additional anti-slip protection. Up here where I applied the resin from the other side yesterday I had a tape but it leaked a bit. and now I have to sand it a little bit with 80 grit and then degrease with acetone. But I have to degrease everything anyway. You may wonder why I use polyester resin. On the one hand it is cheaper than epoxy resin and secondly, it is easier to process especially with regard to the mixing ratio between the resin and the hardener. The ambient temperature is extremely important for all resins. A room temperature is ideal because if it’s too warm then everything hardens too fast and if it’s too cold then maybe it doesn’t harden at all I like to use disposable brushes for such works. In my opinion expensive brushes are not worth it because you can’t get them as clean as they were at the beginning. When you’re done with the bubble roller, just put it into the acetone quickly as once the resin hardens is a real pain to get out. Very cool, this is a totally rough surface you can now either directly apply a new layer of resin, no sanding necessary – or one can leave it also simply as it is. Then you’ve got a slip-resistant surface I see, however, that here partially some bits are not quite covered yet. here, for example, you can still see the non-skid coming through. That means it hasn’t soaked everything yet. I think I’ll do another layer. Yesterday evening I put another layer of resin on followed by again peel-ply of course tape underneath the edge (but with two layers of tape). and now let’s remove the peel-ply. Because the hatch is not completely flat there are places which are not nicely filled. Therefore I decided to fill only these parts in the next round. so I mix a small amount of resin and apply it with a brush. Especially at the edge there are some places that need more resin. Of course, tape the edge nicely again. I tried all sorts of tapes, the differences are quite huge. Links to the best tapes (in my opinion) can be found below in the description and of course also on my blog. I’m putting peel-ply on it again. If you don’t have peel-ply then it’s not a big problem, but you have to sand everything before the next resin. So peel-ply is good for lazy bums like me. It is altogether a nice flat surface, there are simply a few places where I have spilled … so I’d have to sand it down again, because it’s a very smooth surface. and then when I’ve made everything nice and flat, then hopefully the very last layer of polyester resin will come on. And then hopefully that’s it. I briefly grind everything for a really flat surface. Then vacuum again Degrease with acetone, then add resin. peel-ply And then you realize that you left the bubble roller somewhere and have to search for it first… There it is! Especially with the last layer you have to make sure that no wrinkles or bubbles remain, they would be very visible. You really need patience to roll out the air bubbles. Always slowly squeeze out the bubbles from the inside to the outside. No nervous moving back and forth. I hope this was the last layer. Yeah, I think it’s done. So… “Done” meaning: now gotta put everything together. I’ll definitely give the hatch a new seal. I press the seal down slowly and evenly. I glue the two ends with a special adhesive for foam rubber. I also put the brass clasp back in place. By the way, brass can be made sparkly again with hydrochloric acid. Just put it in, wash it off and you’re done. And of course don’t forget gloves, eye protection and good ventilation. So finally it is mounting time, I am so happy! For sealing I use butyl. Butyl has been used in the car industry for a long time, but in boatbuilding it is still a bit of a secret weapon. To enumerate the advantages of Butyl now I would need several minutes here, so I think, I’ll soon make a separate video in which I’ll explain to you what you can use butyl for and what not. I’ll show you in detail how to use it correctly. Just tighten the screws and done! I am really glad that the first GRP project went so well. Of course it took longer than expected, but somehow it’s always like that. Especially the top side, there I really thought I’d do one layer and then that’s it; but it took a little more than that. But I’m really happy with the finish. And I hope it lasts a few years. We will see! So thanks for watching and fair winds! Next time I’ll show you my little window project. I can already tell you this much now: it was much bigger than I thought, really challenging and at times almost drove me crazy, but more about that next time. See you then!