Nick Wright, engineer and all round carbon fibre repair guru has sent this slalom K1 repair in to the site. Many thanks Nick.
Once again, by poor old slalom boat was not doing too well, and it was time to fix it up (especially with BUCS just around to corner). The current problem was that the very end of the tail was cracked and leaking quite badly.
So here is how I went about making it a little less broken:
1 – GET PROTECTED!!!!! Seriously, £15 on a mask, glasses and some gloves is an awful lot better than giving yourself any of the nasties that carbon fibre / fibreglass / epoxy resin will give you!
2 – Make sure you can actually see what you are about to do. I happen to have quite a handy little clamp lamp that I got from B&Q for not a great deal a little while back, and it clamps onto the back of the boat perfectly.
3 – Work out how much fabric you are going to use, of both carbon and peel ply, and cut it before you get covered in glue. Speaking of getting covered in glue, it’s probably a good idea not to do this in your favourite jeans. No matter how hard you try, resin doesn’t wash out! I generally use West System 105 glue as it seems to have quite a good reputation from what I have heard from everyone else who has used it.
4 – Time to get messy! Measure out the correct ratios of resin and hardener and mix thoroughly (1-2 minutes). Once it’s mixed, apply to the area in need of repairing with a paint brush (or a mixing stick if you forgot to buy paint brushes).
5 – Add the first sheet of carbon, ensure it gets fully wetted out and pressed down firmly onto the boat. A relatively harsh jabbing with a paint brush will help to move any excess resin and air bubbles. Apply more resin and more carbon until you reach the desired thickness. I used 3 layers of 650g/m2 carbon fibre which is the heaviest I could find and the repair looks more than sufficient.
6 – Wrap it all up nice and tightly in peel ply, making sure the peel ply is also wetted out properly. Then wrap it all in a vacuum bag, or as tesco prefer to call them: heavy duty refuse sacks. As I final touch for a repair in a position like this, I found jamming the repaired area inside a latex glove did a very good job of keeping it tidy and catching any potential drips. Might look stupid, but it worked!
7 – Finally, after it has had at least 24 hours to fully cure, rip off the glove, bin liner, and peel ply and give it a good sanding to remove any lumps or other mistakes. Its then time to give it one light lacquer coat to keep everything sealed in! Job done!!!