Stringer Install Tutorial
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Stringer Install Tutorial

  1. #1
    Tabs Up Drives Out J-Bonz's Avatar
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    Default Stringer Install Tutorial

    I thought it would be cool to start a thread dedicated on only installing stringers. I thought it would be cool to get input from all others that have went through this before. This would help save the infamous Offshore Ginger of typing alot.. I thought it would be cool at some point to start others on bulkheads, filling gauge holes, straitening the hull, flow coating, etc.. This would also give others a basis to start from.

    I am not an expert by any means. I was lucky enough to get some very good direction from "GlassDave" on OSO when I was working on my last project. The project was a heavy layed up hull. I would not do the exactly the same for a 18" jet boat. I say that because I am still trying to figure it out. But, I would use alot of the same techniques..... I will start with my last project. It was a 21' apache scout that suffered some from termite damage. I replaced all the wood in the boat. That included the transom, bulkheads, stringers, and whatever was left. I will just focus on the stringers...

    To get to the stringers on this boat I had to cut out the cockpit liner. There was no way of splitting the top deck from the hull. This specific boat was bonded 360 degrees around the rub rail... Once that was cut out and the transom was repaired, I focused on the four stringers.
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  3. #2
    Tabs Up Drives Out J-Bonz's Avatar
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    The next thing I did was to create a template for the stringer to be replaced and make make shift braces. For the template I used poster board and made measurements on the tall side.. I cut the existing stinger out with a cheap saw zaw from Harbor Freight. This left alot of grinding . I utilized a flap disk to cut it down... If I did it now, I would use one of those new oscillating cutters. Especially the 1/3 circle tooth one.. This lets you get close to the hull without worrying about cutting through... I roughed up the glass a good 6" to 8" away from the stingers..
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    Tabs Up Drives Out J-Bonz's Avatar
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    I decided early on to go the epoxy route for all my work. As a side note, yes it is a little more expensive but, it is much easier to work with............ No fumes & longer working pot. I purchased my epoxy from U.S. Composites. It is allot cheaper than west systems and from what I read its just as strong. I specifically used the slower cure.

    Marine Epoxy : Urethane Foam : Fiberglass : U.S. Composites, Inc.

    The boat I was working on I chose to replace with bonded plywood stringers. This is what was originally in the boat. Once the poster board template was made above, I cut out the pieces of plywood.. Since I could only purchase plywood in 4' x 8' sheets, I had to bond the stringers together to meet the length requirement. I bonded two layers 1/2" ply to create one long stringer. I did stagger the joints. To bond the two pieces together I used epoxy and biax 1400. Remember, going the epoxy route you do not want to use glass with matting. This cannot be stressed enough.. When you go epoxy, remember no mat.. I laid the first layer of wood on the ground on plastic wrap. I used a level and door shims to make sure it was straight along the length. I mixed together the 2 part epoxy and some West Systems 406 filler. I used the 406 to help thicken the epoxy and also I thought it would help make a good bond. I whetted out the wood 2 or 3 times. It can really soak it in. Once I was happy with how both bonding sides were whetted, I applied the glass. I used a roller to push out the air bubbles. Once completed I did then place the second layer of wood on top the first. I used whatever I could in the shop to place on the second layer as weight. This help squeeze out air and access epoxy.
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    Tabs Up Drives Out J-Bonz's Avatar
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    Once bonded together and cured, I used a belt sander to shave off the access glass between the layers. The next big step was to fit the stringer in. FYI, the stringer was some what oversize. I was affraid of not having enough material and having to start over. I started initally fitting the stringer in with a belt sander. Holy crud, it was in and out of the boat. I then purchased a hand planer. This really help cut down the high spots...... and also created a few low spots...

    If anyone has a better way to fit a stinger in I would love to know! thats the point of trying to create one dedicated thread. Share the knowledge!

    Once it was fitted after a week of sanding, I was starting to cut glass. I use 1700 biax. This has no mat which is correct for going the epoxy route.. for a "bomber" set up, I went with 3 layers of glass. Like previous stated by O.G., I did the opposite of the west systems book. I went with 2, 4, & 6" overlap. I used a 45 grit sanding disk and ground down 8" on both sides of the stringer for it to bond to. Once the dust was settled and vacuumed up, I went over it with acetone to clean the surface...I then placed the stringer in where I wanted it to go. I then used a pencil to outline the stringer. I was then ready to bond the stringer in. I mixed the 2 part epoxy and added West Systems 407 to create a peanut butter consistency. This was was then placed were placed where the stringer as to be placed. The stringer was then placed in the boat with the braces in place. I used the West Systems plastics sticks to create fillets (804 Mixing Sticks, WEST SYSTEM | Epoxy - Mixing / Application) I let it sit for one night. This was long enough to let it bond in but gave me enough time to glass with no sanding.. The first glass layer of the center line about 2". This was cut from tabbing material. The other two layers were from the roll. It wrapped the stringer entirely and expanded out 4" and then 6". A roller was used to roll out the air bubbles in the glass....

    I forgot to mention, the edges of the tops of the stingers were rounded to be at least 1/4" with a hand router. This is need so the glass will stay bonded at the regardless of your determination
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    Last edited by J-Bonz; 02-01-2013 at 10:38 PM.
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    Tabs Up Drives Out J-Bonz's Avatar
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    So that was my methodology, What was yours? What did I do wrong? Lets discuss.
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    Senior Member Deweydaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Bonz View Post
    So that was my methodology, What was yours? What did I do wrong? Lets discuss.
    J, You have talent and skills!!!! Good for you!!!! I've never took on a repair as such......I'm good with tools...Ouch!!!! LOL But not blessed with carpentry skills.....Thanks for the read!!!!!

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    Senior Member OFFSHORE GINGER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Bonz View Post
    So that was my methodology, What was yours? What did I do wrong? Lets discuss.
    Ha Ha Ha , J-B without trying to sound rude and please do not take this the wrong way because that is not my intent considering it almost seems like you are looking for some sort of arguement just by the way you have worded this post but non the less i feel we know each other and you only mean well Ha Ha Ha once again . My God man you look so serious in those pics and how funny it is that you have mentioned Dave because we have been friends for years now and talk on a very regular basis either by phone or E-Mail and hopefully we both can and will be able to tip a few at the power boat races being held in Tawas at the end of june this year . J-B , just curious have you sold the Scout yet and are you aware that Defender Power Boats is producing the 21 Scout again under Bobby's watchful eye from the old molds ....................
    Last edited by OFFSHORE GINGER; 02-02-2013 at 11:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deweydaddy View Post
    J, You have talent and skills!!!! Good for you!!!! I've never took on a repair as such......I'm good with tools...Ouch!!!! LOL But not blessed with carpentry skills.....Thanks for the read!!!!!
    D-D , first off you really don't need a talent or a skill to do something of this nature other then some proper coaching on how to do the job right along with being able to think things thru on what needs to be done step by step because first off .........if you screw something up it can be fixed and two ........all you need to remember is you are smarter then a dumb piece of fiberglass LOL .

  11. #9
    Senior Member OFFSHORE GINGER's Avatar
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    Default Out of work

    J-B , i failed to mention that guys like Dave & Myself will most likely have to start looking for another profession ( fliping burgers at Micky D's ) because of guys like you ......................... l@@king g@@d !!! Artie
    Last edited by OFFSHORE GINGER; 02-02-2013 at 11:58 AM.

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    Senior Member johnf's Avatar
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    I had to guess where a good position of hull was prior to glassing in new stringer(keel) When I put it on the dolly the thing sagged like a inch or so had to put it on a three point stance to get stringer back to where I thought it was originally. I put a couple of gussets to help hold the floor,don't know if that was good or bad! I boosted the keel up until it hit the straight edge by a single point at the bow, the stern by the wood bracket in pic. I hope that was right! will post pics of glass job before replacing the bulkhead. Also I kept the original glass sides that were originally layed up and epoxied the new stringer to the bottom and sides,worked great! It was like a suction fit. Was my first time and was better than the rotted keel I took out. All advice welcome. Johnf

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    Tabs Up Drives Out J-Bonz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFSHORE GINGER View Post
    Ha Ha Ha , J-B without trying to sound rude and please do not take this the wrong way because that is not my intent considering it almost seems like you are looking for some sort of arguement just by the way you have worded this post but non the less i feel we know each other and you only mean well Ha Ha Ha once again . My God man you look so serious in those pics and how funny it is that you have mentioned Dave because we have been friends for years now and talk on a very regular basis either by phone or E-Mail and hopefully we both can and will be able to tip a few at the power boat races being held in Tawas at the end of june this year . J-B , just curious have you sold the Scout yet and are you aware that Defender Power Boats is producing the 21 Scout again under Bobby's watchful eye from the old molds ....................

    Yeah, I could see that. No offense taken. Was putting a few back when I wrote the posts. I remember you saying you were friends with Dave. Let me tell you, that guys needs a 1-900 line. He really coached me through the build. Anytime I called he answered... He is one nice guys to offer all the help he does. He was the one that actually painted the boat. He also made a deck hatch which included coring the underside of the deck. I have seen the threads on the rebuilding of the Scout. I have talked to Phil a few times via email. Cant wait to see how that and the Warpath Chief comes out.. Its great to see Bobby at work..
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    Senior Member OFFSHORE GINGER's Avatar
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    JOHN-F , for some odd reason you seem to bounce from one thread to the next posting the same questions , and why is that considering you have already started your own thread , and thank you for that very nice P.M . ( jack wad ??????? ) Ha Ha Ha ....sure made my day Ha Ha Ha .......... .........
    Last edited by OFFSHORE GINGER; 02-03-2013 at 08:12 PM.

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