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  1. #1

    Repairing badly crashed hull at home-progress thread with pictures.

    I won't rehash the story, or my stupidity, but long story short I'm alive and well and now I've got an even bigger project on my hands. I'm starting this post to document, as in the event this is successful it could help others. To set expectations, this will be my first time working with fiberglass and this is an ambitious project in my opinion. I have watched multiple youtube videos, as well as done extensive research on how to fix, so I'm hoping that helps. In the end, the goal will not be perfection, but rather to be strong, water tight, and functional. I'll worry about using paint or stickers to cover up the majorly offensive areas once complete. I repeat, I am not expecting professional caliber results from my efforts, but do expect to have a functioning, strong ski at the end.

    To start, I've started cutting out some of the delaminated glass and outlined all of the damage that I've found in crayon, and that is also serving as my initial template on where to grind and/or cut away. I will be removing the fuel filler cap assembly, I just don't have a big enough wrench to get onto that stuck plastic retaining nut yet.

    The starboard front hull took the majority of the impact as you can see here. The good news is I can work from the inside in a good majority of this area. My plan is to cut away all of the damaged glass with the exception of where the top hull was mated to the bottom hull from the factory. In those areas, I will either use overlapped mat once the damage has been sanded down, or simply sand down and fill with cut up pieces of mat cloth. I also plan to wrap the mat from the inside to the outside, to assist in covering up any weak areas from the impact. For the bottom hull, I will use a dremel to cut away all of the impact damage, and see if it is going to be more feasible to cut in small pieces of repair or if I should just cut out the entire section, affix a backing plate to the inside of the hull with either sturdy cardboard, flexible plastic, or aluminum flat stock, and use bigger pieces of cloth. I will need to check the rigidity of the glass around the impact once I have the damage cut out. I plan to take small pieces out at a time, and leave as much original intact as possible as trying to get the curve of the hull correct seems like an arduous task.

    No for the side of the ski. This area is a little more straight forward, and My plan right now is to grind away 1/2" on either side of each of the cracks, sand down an inch or two out with beveled edges, and start to fill it. I am also toying with the idea of using some expandable foam as a backing plate here, I will have to see how much I have to cut away first.

    Lastly, there are a couple of other cracks that have gone all the way through as a result. These I am going to cut away the cracked area, affix a new piece of fiberglass to the backside, use some mat filler, and sand and repeat until they are flush and smooth. I may start in these areas as they are the least critical and will allow me to get a feel for how the mat lays, and how to work with the resin.

    I have some tools coming in tomorrow evening to start on this more fully, and will try to update the thread with pictures as I go along. Also, if anyone has any tips as this proceeds feel free to kick them my way, it is very much going to be a figure it out as I go project.
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  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Ouch! That looks like a tough one to learn on.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

  3. +1 by:

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Ouch! That looks like a tough one to learn on.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!
    Thanks Steve! I've gone back and forth about fixing it or bailing on it. Figure what do I have to lose(except a few hundred in materials) by trying to put it back together. If nothing else, I will learn a lot and be able to apply it to other things.

    Small win, got that dang fuel filler neck out and the crack doesn't run all the way to the edge. Rubber mallet and a flat head work

  5. #4
    ncdoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Eastern NC
    I dont know what year and model that is but I think you'd be money ahead by finding another hull and swapping everything out. Just my opinion.

  6. +1 by:

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ncdoo View Post
    I dont know what year and model that is but I think you'd be money ahead by finding another hull and swapping everything out. Just my opinion.
    It’s an 01 xlt 800. Not the best ski, and not worth much. The problem with swapping is I’ve already paid the taxes and registration on this one, and in Florida you have to have a title. Finding a hull with a title seems difficult, and then I’m paying for title transfer and registration all over again. I have been hunting craigslist though, not much out there.

  8. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Give it a shot.. worst case, like you said out a few hundred bucks, and up severely in knowledge.

  9. +1 by:

  10. #7
    Myself's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Central Arkansas
    I say go for it. It never hurt anyone to learn a new craft.

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  12. #8
    Dave in DE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    slower lower Delaware. And have a cottage on finger lake in upstate NY.
    Nothing against learning a new skill. But I'm with NCDoo on this one. That's a lot of work. I can't tell and am not sure there the same but eBay has a 99 xl1200 hull listed with paperwork. You would have to create the front motor mounts for the 800. but that would be a cake walk by comparison. Worst come to worst you could always swap over hull Vin tags.

  13. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ncdoo View Post
    I dont know what year and model that is but I think you'd be money ahead by finding another hull and swapping everything out. Just my opinion.
    I definitely hear you guys. A few considerations though to give further insight to why i'm opting to try to repair it:
    -Garage space. I simply don't have room for 3 skis in there, and due to HOA regs I can't have them in the front driveway overnight.
    -Cost. In order to swap everything into a new hull, not only am I looking at the cost of that hull, I'm also looking at the cost for every nut that I break, every component that doesn't come out "clean", as well as all sorts of little things that I'm sure to find that if I were putting that amount of work into it I'd want to replace. It would be cheaper to chuck this ski and just buy another used one at that point...
    -Lastly, I'm not expecting perfect results. If I can make this thing water tight and strong, I'm good. I agree that to make it perfect again would require an inordinate amount of work, not to mention skills that I don't have yet.

    I'm going to dig into it tonight and start cutting away all the damaged sections, Once I do that, i'll post up pictures again and really plan out my attack on it.

  14. #10
    After failing to repair the household easter chicken this evening, I decided to get to work on the ski for a couple of hours.

    First and foremost, proper PPE!

    I got the majority of the crash damage cut out of the starboard hull and upper deck. One this is for sure, these things are STRONG.

    The observant ones will notice that the rub rail is still somewhat compromised. The short version is, I don't care. I will be sanding it down to about half of it's thickness, and overlapping the upper and lower deck onto it. I still have a lot of prep work to do before I can even think about starting to add glass back to this, and I think i'm going to bite the bullet and order a grinder and a couple of flap sanding pads, the orbital is taking for-freaking-ever.

    I'm also going to remove some more of the foam from the hull, and lay in a piece of glass from the inside to act as a backing plate for the hull. I figure this can't hurt, and I may try to figure out a way to inject some foam back into the hull once complete.

    At any rate, that's all for the night, man fiberglass is itchy!
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