Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Questions about boat repairs with our resins and fiberglass: hull patches, transoms and stringers, foam, rot etc.
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FitzFisher
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Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by FitzFisher » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:52 pm

Hello everybody. I have enjoyed reading about everyones projects on the site and am ready to list my own and get the benefit of all of the collective knowledge of all of you glass heads. My boat is a 21-foot Fitz Center Console. Image MIke Fitz built this boat in 1989 and I have owned it for about 11 years. I have never ridden in a nicer boat of this size and figured that it would be worth hanging onto. Image
The sole started getting some soft spots a couple years ago and I put up with it, but finally decided to dig in and do whatever it took to put it back in top shape. The boat has an 8-foot beam, deep vee, and is a single hull handlaid beast.Here is a general layout of the boat with dimensions.
Image The glass in the sides near the transom is nearly a 1/2 inch thick, so this is a bit of a heavy, but very solid boat. I tore into the floors (3/4 plywood with 3/4 ounce mat below and 1 1/2 ounce mat on top this week and found what I expected, lots of rotten wood.
Image
The stringers (double 3/4 plywood encased in roving, ~ 14" tall) looked pretty solid until I worked my way forward and found that 60 percent of the stringers were mush.
Image
Then I started banging on the transom and found some hollow spots. Image
As you can see in the picture, there was a good bit of bad wood in there as well. Image I have cut he corners of the cap off to gain access
Image but have not pulled the inner skin yet as I want to make sure the boat is supported properly before I remove her backbone. Here is a shot of the boat on the trailer as it sits.
Image
Is this enough support or should i pull it off the trailer and make a custom fit cradle? The boat does have a lot of glassin it so it is pretty rigid, but I am just not sure how well the multiple rollers will keep it aligned

I plan on using the Marine Epoxy approach with the same basic layout as the original, bur would like to cut down on weight, So I am thinking about adding additional framing down the sides so I can go with 1/2 in the sole instead of 3/4. The original builder did not use a lot of glass in the floors, so I think I can get the same rigidity with he 1/2 inch marine plywood and epoxy.



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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by FitzFisher » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:05 pm

Anyway, the first big question is how to support this baby before I start gutting the transom wood, so any help on that will be greatly appreciated. I figure the transom will be done as originally built; 2 sheets of 3/4 plywood for a total thickness of 2 inches. That seemd to hold up well to a lot of pounding over the last 21 Years, so why change it now? The inner skin is nearly 1/4 inch, as is the outside, so what would you figure I need in the way of Epoxy and "cloth" to do this potion of the rebuild? The transom core will be about 42" tall and a full 72" wide and I planned on using the screw and glue merthod to put it together prior to installation.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to working with you.
Tom
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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by Mad Dog » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:07 am

Welcome Tom.

On my rebuild I chose to build a bunk support frame. I wanted to make sure I gave the hull as little chance as possible to warp or twist. Once you remove the stringers you will lose most of what holds the hull bottom in shape. Plus, to do the work you plan your weight will be shifting around inside adding to the distortion. IMHO, build a frame based on bunks that will temporarily take the place of stringers.

MD :wink:

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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by FitzFisher » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:37 pm

Well after consulting with the original builder about the support issue and after adding a few supports to help keep things solid, I proceeded with teraing out the inner skin of the transom. Started by using a cutoff wheel on my 4 in angle grinder and going all the way around the edge, and then figured it would be easier to remove the skin in strips about 18 in wide. So I cut away and then drove a big prybar down inside the skin. Came out without too much hassle
Image

Had to remove about 12 inches of the stringer to get at the transom better and used the sawzall to get at that. Port stringer was pretty solid and took a while to cut through. Starboard side not as tough. It was evident that the stringer and transom had been joined together before any glass was laid, because where the starbord stringer met the transom, both were rotted equally, so it looked like the water had migrated from one to the other.
Image

As I was pulling the transom skin, I noticed that all four of the floor drains had corroded through and were probably allowing water in. All in all it wasn't that bad for 21 years...
Image

So I will be putting in two pieces of 3/4 marine Fir plywood as a core and need to know how many layers I will need for a 1/4 inch skin (4 ?) and whether to use 1708 on all layers or just alteranating layers of 45/45/ and 0/90 17 oz Cloth. Also need to know how much epoxy to buy. Is there a shelf life on tthis stuff? I know I ma going to use a LOT for the rest of the build, but don't want it sitting around to go bad.. The transom is 72 wide and about 42 tall.

Thanks for the advice in advance
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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by FitzFisher » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:51 pm

I got home tonight and started up the compressor and the air Chisel. Lot's of fun pulling the core out of this one. Not rotted all the way around, so most of it took some work. I finally figured out that it worked easier if I did vertical strips and cut through from the top and then came in from the side to pry off the sections. I probably could have gotten by without having to tear it out, but I don't want to mever tear inot this boat again. here is a shot that shows a strip rolling down as I chisel away.
Image

I didnt manage to get it all out of there but I should be abale to get all done in another hour or so. Time to call Shine and the boys and get some supplies on the way. Pretty close though. I think if I had a wider blade I would have gotten through it quicker.
Image

So hopefuloly I'll get some feedback from the crew here and figure out my supply list for this part of the rebuild.
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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by FitzFisher » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:06 pm

So the transom tearout continues. I had some time this morning to get out and "get my grind on" as the kids say...well they proabably don't say that, but anyway. had to get the old wood out and I finshed that up with the air chisel (great tool for the job!). in the process my chisel found a soft spot inn the glass and cracked through the gel on the outside. Should I reglass this from the inside before I put the new core in or just putty /glue over it?

I found that you really need to get as much wood off as possible before grinding or it takes forever, but after a couple hours I had gotten the inner skin down to bare glass. There is a lot of bedding putty all around the old core, and I assume I will need to grind all that out so that I have a smooth transition fro taping in my new core. Again the air chisel is the tool for the job. Just kinda scary when that stuff shatters and flys all over the place. My shatterproof motorcycle goggles seemed to be a good fit for that job.

Image

In this next pic ypu can see a lip on top that was left from where the builder glassed the outer skin to the cap. The transom core only came up to that point. Should I leave that and just putty around it and reglass to the cap as Fitz did or should I grind it down and take the transom core all the way up?

Image

So I have my buddy from the cabinet shop delivering my 3/4 marine plywood this week. I just have a few questions before I place my order with you guys.

1) do I use 1708 for all of the inner skin layers?

2)will a 6 gallon epoxy kit get me through this part of the project?
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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by Cracker Larry » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:16 pm

Very nice demo work, looks like you're about ready to put it back together better than new 8) Purely speculating, I'd think 6 gallons would do it, or be a very good start. But wait until Monday, for Joel to get back to the office to answer the glass questions. They take weekends off :wink: You will probably need about 5 pounds of wood flour too, for mixing glue, laminating the plywood and making fillets. And probably some tape.

That's a good looking boat, it will make a great restoration :D
Last edited by Cracker Larry on Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by FitzFisher » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:22 pm

Thanks Larry,
As I have figured it, I will need about 14 yds of 1708 , 50 yds of biax tape (12 oz?), 6 gls epoxy, the wood flour, a couple sheets of marine plywood, and about $700 later I'll have a killer transom back in this old girl...I sent an email to Shine, so as soon as I hear back I will place my order. Can't wait to see some forward progress other than demo. :D
Last edited by FitzFisher on Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by Cracker Larry » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:33 pm

Is there a shelf life on this stuff? I know I ma going to use a LOT for the rest of the build, but don't want it sitting around to go bad.
No, it will last for years. If it freezes it may crystallize, but warming it up will bring it back to life.

I know that demo is some hard work, but you got her whipped now. The rest of the job is a lot more fun :lol:
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Re: Fitz 21 CC Transom Stringer Sole R&R

Post by FitzFisher » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:30 pm

As I saw someone post on here. "One step at a time." As soon as I get the transom in, then I'll start tearing out the stringers. They are shot as well. Then on to the decks, hatches, new live well setup, wiring, gauges, repower.....I'm trying not to get too overwhelmed by the magnatude of this rebuild, just focusing in what I can do every day and keeping the end product in my mind's eye. This should be a fine ride when I get finished if it all comes together. I have some more ideas I want to bounce off the forum as I go so I am glad to have this resource. I have done a couple boats over the years but still have a lot to learn from what I see on here. I am pretty excited about the project. Not gonna cheap out as I have done sometimes in teh past. This is gonna be my fishing boat for many years to come.

Thanks again fro the help.
TG
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