GULLIVER is a 74’ custom Frers design built in Italy. When she arrived at Front Street Shipyard, the service team hauled her for a survey and discovered moisture in the hull core.
GULLIVER’s original construction included Kevlar in the laminate structure. Kevlar, while providing good abrasion properties, makes accessing the core difficult. Since Kevlar laminate can’t be peeled or ground, we decided to cut out most of the outer skin. We set up a skill saw, established at a precise depth, and sawed the entire area below the waterline into three-foot by three-foot squares. We pulled the outer skin off the core piece by piece.
GULLIVER’s core dried throughout over several months with dehumidifiers and heat. Once the moisture was gone, we patched some areas of core that were damaged during the exterior laminate removal, and we replaced several other sections.
In order to start reconstructing the laminates with a smooth surface, we faired the core. Our composites experts followed the designer’s original laminate plan by carefully wetting out and vacuum bagging sections of new laminate back up on the bottom, upside down using an epoxy resin system. This process worked effectively to produce a boat that’s not only dry, but stronger than original.