Help with repair, please

The Sasafras 16 is my first and only build. When military orders took us to Germany for four years, the boat was put in storage.  Unfortuantly it came out of storage with a two inch hole straight through the side!! Iv'e searched the site and forums but don't see any repair advice for a hole like this. Anyone care to help out a rookie? Pictures should be linked.

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RE: Help with repair, please

Second attempt to link to a photo album.


RE: Help with repair, please

   I could not get the photos to display, but the repair should be straightforward. I'd cut a nice round or square hole a bit larger than the damage. Then cut an identical piece of Okoume plywood that just fills the area. Glue that patch in with overlapping fiberglass cloth on both sides. Use additional layers of cloth if you think you need more strength. Feather the edges and sand smooth. If you want a totally concealed patch use a judicious and artistic bit of paint.

RE: Help with repair, please

   John Harris touches on such repairs in his Life of Boats blog.

Scroll down to the Skerry.

RE: Help with repair, please

   And I did get your photos to display. The repair should be straightforward as stated above. New paint over the repair will make the boat look great again!

RE: Help with repair, please

I couldn't get that URL to work either, despite downloading Google Photo app then denying it permission to read & write to my Photo storage.

Not gonna happen. Too intrusive, completely unnecessary complication in this day & age.

But repairing that unfortunate puncture ought not be too arduous! Epoxy's grand stuff... if you need a bit of Okoume ply let me know, I'll mail you some. Have plenty on hand I won't be using anytime soon, 5mm. 

RE: Help with repair, please

That's not a hole, this is a hole!

I cut away to find good  plywood then cut a larger section away to half the depth of the original plyThen I made two patches, one to fit the original hole and one to fit the bit I'd cut away. Glue these two patches together then glue them into the hole. Replace the fibreglass and all the other layers on the bottom and . . .

What hole

RE: Help with repair, please


RE: Help with repair, please


That's a perfect post.


As Yambo shows us, the wonderful thing about building you own boat from wood, glass and epoxy is that you can make invisible repairs, especially on a painted boat.

If the boat is varnished, repairs can be covered up with decals, painted graphics, onlays, etc.

Have fun,



RE: Help with repair, please

BTW, Google Photo content can easily be displayed here, as long as the owner has made the album shared. Google uses a strange-looking form of security protection to make sure that no one can just scan through their servers and steal your photos. The result is a URL that is apparently gibberish which does not match up with CLC's picture posting instructions. But in fact, it's totally easy to use.

First, follow the link given by the original poster:

That will get you to the Google photo album. Then, click on the desired picture. That opens a viewer page for the image. Right-click on the image and select "Copy Image Location". Do NOT copy the URL from the  URL bar for the page displaying the image. That is the viewer's URL, not the image's.

The URL you get from "Copy Image Location" will look something like this:

It looks nothing like the URL described in how to post photos on CLC fora. For one thing, there is no .jpg or other file type suffix. That's because it's not the direct link to the image. Instead, it's a request to the server to fetch the image. Servers that are not running Google's server code won't understand this, but the Google Photo Album servers will. Not only does this keep false servers from pretending they're Google, the apparent nonsense URL is also unguessable so others can't decode it and access your photos that you didn't share. All that they can do is edit the image display width and height.

So now that you have the URL, weird as it looks, just paste it into the image box according to CLC's instructions and Bob's your uncle.

Happy posting all,


RE: Help with repair, please

Lazlo I welcomed reading your explanation of what's behind Google's photo app installer windows. I hesitate giving such permissions as they request for exactly the reasons you've explained, not knowing whether Google's doing their best to provide a secure product.

Try as I might to get images I've hosted any number of places to show up here I routinely encounter an X in the preview window once I add a URL.

If there were an <edit> button I'd bravely click past it w/o seeing my image previewed, but as it is I'm disinclined to put my failures up for permanent display.

Thanks for taking time to explain this all.



RE: Help with repair, please

   I've got no problem with Yambo's method -- certainly stronger than the technique I propose. But I think it is more complex than it needs to be. I made a skin-on-frame Folbot nearly 60 years ago and it's still a great boat. Think about it. The skin of a skin-on-frame kayak or canoe spans vastly larger distances than anything you are talking about here.

All you really need to do to fix a hole like the one described is to stretch a skin over the hole that is attached firmly to the hull. If you don't believe me, patch that hole with a couple of layers of Gorilla tape. I think you'll find it keeps the water out. So the trick is to put in an attractive Okoume patch to fill the hole and then put a solidly-attached skin over the patch and a good bit of the surrounding hull. I forgot to mention in my previous post that you should sand everything around your patch to bare epoxy so that the new cloth will bond as firmly as possible.

I reiterate that I have no quarrel with Yambo's method except that I'd find it troublesome.

RE: Help with repair, please

   Thank you all for your posts. It's not nearly as daunting now that you have given me a way forward.  I'll post some pictures the correct way of the repair and finished project.

spclark if your serious about mailing a bit of Okoume I will accept. Not sure where I would get a small piece around here, especially with everything closed down. If you don't mind sending me an email I'll give you a mailing address and get you a few bucks for postage, [email protected].

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