'96 Hyde highside repair - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 06-15-2013, 03:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default '96 Hyde highside repair

I felt that there were problems with the design of drift boats. Don't get me wrong. McKenzie style drift boats seem to work great in the hands of a skilled oarsman, but there were aspects of the design that I didn't agree with. So I designed and built a small drift boat. I think I made mistakes, but still felt it was an improvement over the McKenzie, at least for my purposes. But I had nothing to compare it with. So I bought a very used '96 Hyde high-side. I'm not sure how many owners it had, the guy I bought it from wasn't the first, but the bottom had been patched many times and still leaked badly.
The bottom of my boat is foam core composite. Hyde only used this construction for a few years. There isn't anything inherently wrong with this type of construction. It is state of the art. But hyde made two mistakes. There were big cracks that went completely through the bottom of the boat right where the edge of the front and back steps in the floor of the boat are. They didn't dristribute the load properly. The second mistake they made is covering the bottom with Gel-coat, which needs to be ground off before repairs can be made.
What I ended up doing is cutting through the glass on a big section of the bottom, leaving the foam core mostly in place. Now I am in the process of filling this void with a mxture of epoxy and chopped strand and layers of glass cloth, and griding off the rest of the Gel-coat before laying a couple more layers of glass cloth. So far I have spent hundreds of dollars on epoxy and glass. After this is finished I plan to repaint the whole boat and replace the seats.
Much bigger project than I anticipated.

Last edited by fishfodder; 06-15-2013 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yesterday I did a lot of sanding and grinding on the bottom. This morning I filled in some of the low spots with thickened epoxy. Tomorrow I'll do some more sanding. An hour of sanding and the bottom should be looking pretty good. Still need to finish grinding off the rest of the Gel-coat. If I were producing drift boats, I think I would assume that the bottom is going to need to be repaired after a season or two and make it easier on the owner by not putting Gel-coat on it. Or make it truly indestructable. How about an aluminum floor and stainless steel bottom with rubber sandwiched between.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great idea, better get right on it!
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