Well inevitably stuff happens. So we thought we’d share an example of that stuff and how to fix it. Out of the boat with some friends and never forget to empty the starboard storage locker before filling the fat sac with water! The fin from a skimboard was pushed into the bottom of James contest board and it left a pretty good gouge.
Here is the damage, you can see the puncture from the fin going through the exterior layer of fiberglass, the bamboo veneer and pretty deep into the foam.
Now, luckily, the damage was pretty localized. The rails are fine, the deck is fin, it’s just the section that got punctured. However, that column of foam is compressed all the way down to the deck. While the fin was sharp enough to cut through the various layers of external material, the interior foam gets sort of compressed and we need to deal with that.
The first thing we do is mark around the outside of the damage. Like we mentioned it’s failry localized, so we don’t have a huge amount of damage beyond the basic length and width of a skim board fin. You can see the rectangular outline we’ve drawn using a soft pencil. Next we take a router and clean away all of the damage on the surface.
We also create a small template that matches the cleaned up section of the repair, so that we can use it for cutting the bamboo patch and the fiberglass layers.
It’s a little hard to see, but we route the deeper damage and cut a section of foam to slide into that depression.
We also cut a section of foam to fit into the wider, but more shallow area of the repair. What we are attempting to do is recreate the same everywhere by replacing the damaged sections with fresh foam of the same type.
Once everything is test fitted, we paint it every so lightly with epoxy and hold it in place while it cures. We want to be careful and not change the shear properties too much, the idea is that we are creating a uniform interior of foam.
Next up we use our template and cut an oversized section of bamboo veneer that will fully cover the cut out area on the surface of the repair.
Using a saw, hotwire, sanding blocks and elbow grease, we trim the excess foam just a tad under the surface of the board.
We test fit the bamboo layer to insure we have everything covered. Also, it’s hard to see, but the area around the cut into the board is very slightly beveled, So rather than a but joint, the bamboo patch witll overlap the adjacent areas of the board.
This is a close up of the bamboo patch. We tried to match the grain and coloration as much as possible.
We mix up a fresh batch of epoxy and paint it on the patch and then around the exterior of the repair. We want good adhesion.
We glue everything up, cover it with some release film to make sure we don’t stick it to anything we don’t want.
Finally we pull a vacuum and we leav it like that until the epoxy cures.
Now that will get us up to the next phase, where we’ll sand the bamboo patch to fit and then cover it with fiberglass. Come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of what not to do to your contest board! We think we like the discussion of the conservation of momentum better than fixing damaged boards!