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Question for those that attempted their first stringer replacement

KRS62

Well-known member
I have read through many "replacing stringer" threads, so I have done a little homework before posting. In those threads (most like everything else I guess) there is wide range of advice from the experienced members in this group. I would like to ask those that forged ahead and did it themselves if you felt it was worth it or not.

My situation: I am fairly handy and have worked with fiberglass on a project or two many, many years ago. I have a hull in rough shape, but can't buy a new hull at this time. I will at least get an estimate from someone with experience before I take it on myself. I know that by the time I get materials, etc there may not be that much difference in price. There is a part of me however that would like to learn how to do it in case I need it for the next project boat.

With some hard work, this hull should be repairable and much cheaper than a new hull. My initial assessment was that I just needed to re-do a few old repairs and repaint. After pulling the rigging, I noticed the motor mount holes are a little bit soft. Generally speaking the rest of the stringers are okay. (Yes, I know they may not be all okay.) My first thought was to repair the small section. Cut out the bad to get to the good and repair what's needed. One could argue that this is all that you need to do. Most say to go ahead and replace entire stringer, which makes sense to me I guess. I am already having to do a lot of work on this boat, so I am up for putting in the work on the hull.

So, for those that replaced it on your own.....in hindsight would you do it again? Any successes or failures you care to share? I guess I am looking for someone to talk me into moving ahead.....and/or out of doing it myself, lol.

thanks!

KRS
 

John Fenner

Well-known member
I have a bit of input, once old stringers are cut out, inside of hull ground smooth, strap hull down to dead flat and level concrete, level across transom and bow, use Masonite to make patterns for the profile of the bottom at each stringer placement, take patterns and lay out the material for new stringers, cut, sand to fit, have all ready and numbered, lines laid out in hull for reference, screw cross beams to line it all up, mix up west system epoxy along each stringer, set the whole framework of stringers in place, allow epoxy to cure, then lay your resin soaked glass over and roll the bubbles out, cure, done.
 
I have a bit of input, once old stringers are cut out, inside of hull ground smooth, strap hull down to dead flat and level concrete, level across transom and bow, use Masonite to make patterns for the profile of the bottom at each stringer placement, take patterns and lay out the material for new stringers, cut, sand to fit, have all ready and numbered, lines laid out in hull for reference, screw cross beams to line it all up, mix up west system epoxy along each stringer, set the whole framework of stringers in place, allow epoxy to cure, then lay your resin soaked glass over and roll the bubbles out, cure, done.
I was thinking about blocking up the boat and replacing two stringers at a time. Thought it would better keep its shape as opposed to replacing all at once and laying it on a flat surface. Is there an advantage to laying it on a flat surface?
 

Rick McC.

Well-known member
I was thinking about blocking up the boat and replacing two stringers at a time. Thought it would better keep its shape as opposed to replacing all at once and laying it on a flat surface. Is there an advantage to laying it on a flat surface?
Sure; having a flat bottom before you start, and easy to keep flat during the stringer replacement process.

If I was doing an airboat project and Mr. Fenner commented; I’d damn sure listen…
 

John Fenner

Well-known member
Sure; having a flat bottom before you start, and easy to keep flat during the stringer replacement process.

If I was doing an airboat project and Mr. Fenner commented; I’d damn sure listen…
I was thinking more about this post, wanted to add to my original reply.
You will want to cut out plywood bucks that hold new stringers upright and squared, at transom at bow and roughly 4' forward from transom, ok, this buck should be doubled up with 2 pieces sandwiched and screwed together, this buck will serve 2 purposes and should be trimmed at hull contact area, you want a slight curvature to it, say at center add 1/8" to 3/16" more than the transom profile.
Strap transom to floor as stated, take a piece of the Masonite 1/4" where hull just touches the floor and shim up the front of the hull, strap it down, now here is where the 4' slightly curved buck comes into play, strap that down till bottom contacts floor at center, build the Masonite patterns to that profile, number them, use them to lay out new stringer material.
This will create a pad in the rear for the hull to ride on plane, freely.
A belt sander will be a great tool to have for this whole project, if you have access to a band saw even better.
It sounds like a lot of work, the payoff will be a great riding hull.
 
Don't really have a large enough concrete surface that is level to work on. What if I used a trailer and placed sheets of plywood under the boat, leveled it and strapped it down? Would that work? I also have a large gooseneck trailer available that might provide a large flat surface.
 

John Fenner

Well-known member
Don't really have a large enough concrete surface that is level to work on. What if I used a trailer and placed sheets of plywood under the boat, leveled it and strapped it down? Would that work? I also have a large gooseneck trailer available that might provide a large flat surface.
I don't see a problem with the gooseneck trailer as a platform.
 
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