The Refit Center at the boot Düsseldorf

Refit - turning old into (almost) new

Foto: Angeschliffener Rumpf
Many a boat is waiting for a new owner with zest, slowly deteriorating - but careful planning and preparation are the nuts-and-bolts for the refit a yacht. First, a detailed analysis on the state of the vessel and its accessories is necessary. It is important to document the actual state of the different areas of the vessel carefully and in a well-structured manner. This will enable you to define the necessary measures to be undertaken during the refit.
Preparatory measures:
  • Objectively assess your personal technical skills and the time required
  • Distinguish your own contribution from third-party work required (e.g. yard work, sailmaker)
  • Draw up a work schedule including a list of materials required
  • Calculate costs including rent for the pitch and yard costs
  • Define your priorities - not all tasks have to be done at once
Classification of tasks
  • Deck & cockpit: deck flooring, handrails, guardrail, ropes, windows, sprayhood, cover, fenders, fittings, grating, lockers, cockpit floor, tiller/wheel
  • Under water area: general condition (just new anti-fouling required or complete renewal of under water protection required), osmosis treatment, condition of keel (e.g. rust, GRP layer), steering system, drive, propeller
  • Hull: GRP, steel, wood? structural damage to be repaired? Outer layer: original gel coat or coated, just polish or new coating required?
First steps
After cleaning the soiled surface carry out a revision for corruption or damages to the entire surface. Sometimes it is useful to have the assessment of the surface done by a specialist. At this point the decision is made whether polishing is enough or a new coating required. A new coating will, of course, cause significantly greater costs than just polishing as the latter can usually be done by yourself. Polishing of a sample section gives you an impression of the results you can expect.

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Under Water Area
The underwater area should be inspected in great detail. The question whether an osmosis treatment or prevention needs to be considered for a GRP hull is of great importance and requires an informed answer. When to many old anti-fouling layers have been applied in the past, the entire old coating should be removed. Ideally, the old paint just needs to be sanded or even cleaned. It depends on the material used before.
Repair of gelcoat damage
Unfortunately, an ugly scar, a small chipping or a small crack in the gel coat can occur faster than you think and is very annoying. More so, because it is not only the perfect appearance of the yacht that is affected, but maybe also the dark laminate lying underneath the gel coat. Moisture can penetrate into the laminate through small cracks in the outside surface and eventually damage its strength. Smaller gel coat damages can be repaired with little effort by yourself.
Repair of laminate damage
The repair of laminate damage turns out to be more complicated andtime consuming. The repair area is set off and framed with adhesive tape. The edges of the damaged area need to be scarfed into a V-shape. Trim the glass fibre mats to the right size, start with the smallest piece and gradually increase, producing as uniform overlaps as possible. Completely saturate glassfibre mats with polyester resin. The laminate must appear uniformly transparent in the end. White spots are evidence of trapped air, which must be vented immediately, as this would facilitate later osmosis. The new laminate should slightly surpass the original shape of the damaged area to have sufficient material for grinding it down to an even surface in the end. Finally seal the repaired conclusively.
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