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  • Cracked rail with slight darkening of the balsa (FST)

    I've had an impact on the rail of my fst spitfire. The weave of the cloth is showing and I can feel two hairline cracks running along both the top, and bottom of the rail (each about 2cm long). I didn't think the damage was significant, so I've carried on surfing the board. I've now noticed slight discolouring to the rail.

    Attachment Attachment

    What should I do?

    My plan was to sand down both cracks to expose the rail (taking out cloth and resin but leaving the fst composite on the deck and base as intact as possible). Then leave the board in a warm and dry room (18-20C - sub 50% humidity) for a couple of days. After a couple of days I'll lay one piece of 4oz cloth.

    Obviously I'm very keen to ensure I dry the rail properly. And I don't want any risk that there's water in the eps core (and I don't want to expose the core, because I can't easily replace the composite deck / base). Is a couple of days enough? Is there any risk of water in the core? how quickly can water pass through the rail into the core? - the discolouration suggests it's travelled along at least 20-30mm of rail - that's more than the rail's 12mm thickness. Is there anything I can do to ensure the core is dry?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I would let it dry as long as possible. A couple of days is probaly not long enough

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    • #3
      For the looks of it that board is going to need at least a week to properly dry. When there is discolouration like this it means that water has gone in and probably the board has been subjected to some heat which produces the darkened discolouration.
      You could either sand the area enough to remove the fibreglass and expose the wood to allow for a quick dry or to perform a small hole to speedup the process on the deck ( it will be the part less exposed to water). In any case the best thing would be to bring the board to your ding repair guy but if you want to do it yourself and know your way around epoxy and fibreglass, I would go for the first method. Again let it dry properly, I would leave it at least a week maybe two just to be sure, on the rail to direct water out of the sanded area, then apply EPOXY RESIN, cloth and sand down etc etc etc

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      • #4
        Thanks 50young, Iggy.

        I've sanded down the rail to expose a couple cm square of balsa. I've got it lying rail down in with a dehumidifier running in the room. I'll leave it like that for 10 days or so, them lay one maybe two layers of 4oz cloth (with epoxy resin).

        Is there any way I can be sure that the eps is dry? Does anyone know which draws water more - balsa or eps foam?

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        • #5
          I'd say the eps.

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          • #6
            Eps for sure

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            • #7
              definitely EPS

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              • #8
                In that case will I be able to dry the core just by exposing the rail?

                Is there any way I can ensure that the core is dry with actually exposing it?

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                • #9
                  I would drill a couple of small 3 mm holes into the cracks above the balsa rails. This will help drying out the eps. A small amount of q-cel filer will sort the holes later.

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                  • #10
                    I'm pretty unhappy about the idea of taking a drill to my board, but I've heard a few people suggesting it now.

                    The more I think about it though, the more I think I'm going to have to expose the eps, and a couple of little 3mm drill holes would probably do very little to effect the boards structural integrity.

                    What's does anyone else think? Drill my Spitfire?

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                    • #11
                      Cleaner than cutting a section of the deck skin out...

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                      • #12
                        I did some Internet searching into vacuuming water setups as I used to do a lot of ding repair. And in most cases small holes were drilled to enable easer water removal. There was an interesting debate on vacuum versus warm room drying on one site I looked at. Basically if time is not an issue warm room drying can produce the same results.

                        On a different note I was in Costa Rica some years ago and there was a guy who was a whiz at ding repair. He would use a knife and just hack the bad bits out then fill and re glass. You would have never known there was a ding in the first place.
                        Not suggesting this but it was cool to see.

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                        • #13
                          Hey Aidanewen,
                          You can also take a razor, boxcutter or some kind of sharp blade and gently pry/cut some of the broken glass away. You just want to get air to the wet spots and enable it to breathe and dry. water can get in through those cracks, but there isn't nearly enough space to get out in a timely manner. If you peel away some of the broken glass, you can then just reglass once dry.

                          Obviously go slow and be careful, you won't need to remove a ton.

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