Board Nose Repair

Hitting sand bars is a real hazard at Elliott Heads. Here is how I repaired a major nose crunch on my Tabou Rocket. The nose had a crack running along the front and the glass above it had a split. For this repair, I applied mostly what I had learned from reading the Board Lady's website.

Sand back

First I used fresh 180 grit sandpaper to remove the loose and separated material from the front, and reveal how bad the damage from the impact on the top was.

Sanding back damaged area

Assess damage

The nose crack only appeared to have damaged the outer epoxy. The sandwich foam layer inside was intact. The area above the nose had also been split, with layers of glass separated by the impact, but the foam underneath was still firm - not soft or squishy. However a soft tap with the tip of my finger revealed a flap of glass was separated from those below it.

Damaged area

Vacuum bag epoxy repair

So I decided to do two things. Drill a few holes in the top and inject epoxy to seal and bond the split, and apply a new layer of glass to the front and top of the damaged area. After injecting epoxy into the holes with a syringe, a layer of Epoxy was brushed on and then several layers of glass were wetted onto the front and a single piece wetted onto the top. Peel ply, breather, and a layer of plastic was used to provide a removable seal over the top of this, and a 0.8 bar vacuum applied until the epoxy had cured.

Vacuum bagged epoxy

With the rough textured surface exterior on the top, it was very difficult to get a good seal, so the vacuum pup had to work harder than normal. Usually the vacuum switch shuts it off 10-30 seconds before it fires up for a few seconds and shuts off again. For this job it ran almost constantly. So I placed a fan behind it to keep it cool.

Vacuum pump

Below, you can see the cured epoxy glass repair. The vacuum has pushed epoxy into all the crevasses which ensures that no air bubbles are underneath the layer of glass. You can also see a few holes in the top where the epoxy was injected to bond the split. Once cured for a few days, the edges were sanded back and expoy filler applied.

Epoxy repair

Fill

The filler is applied with a putty knife and is used to fill any voids. Once cured the whole lot is sanded back to match the original shape of the board. Here I used the random orbital sander with fresh 280 grit to start it off and finished up by hand with 600. As the Board Lady says, always use fresh sand paper. Otherwise the excessive heat can damage the Styrofoam core.

Epoxy filler

Colour match and paint

To colour match the paint, I took the board to Autobarn. They were able to get a very close match and supply the paint in a convenient touch up spray can. I cleaned and masked the area, sprayed on the paint, let it dry, sanded it with 600, 800, and finally 1200 grit wet and dry to get it nice and smooth. I applied another coat over that, and finally a clear top coat. Unfortunately the top coat had a few runs, but once it had fully dried they were barely noticeable, so I decided to leave them be.

Colour matched paint and clear coat

Future nose protection

Finally I added a nose protector. This is the second time I have crunched the nose on this board. Both times in exactly the same place. It seems likely that it will happen again, so a bit of high density EVA foam protection seems like a good idea. A lot of windsurfers probably think having a nose protector is pretty lame. However, I want to be able to practice new techniques without the fear that a high speed catapult is going to put my board out of action for a few weeks. You can read about this and other modifications I made to my Tabou Rocket here.

Nose protector

Posted by Henry Thomas, 6 years ago on Monday, April 18, 2011

5 comments:

Eva Hollmann said...

Well done, Henry! congratulations!!!

Eva

Posted 6 years ago on Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Henry Thomas said...

Thanks Eva,

I really found your website very helpful and I am grateful to you for sharing your considerable knowledge and experience.

I did find it really hard to get a smooth clear top coat, but in the end I am not unhappy with the results.

Posted 6 years ago on Friday, April 22, 2011

Andy said...

Henry, what you use for the clear coating? Was it an expensive two parts epoxy marine paint? Eva's site is an excellent source of inspiration. The only part I find not clear is what paint to use. The automotive paint should be good,, however it gets cured at really high temp. Thank you, and yes, excellent job. I will try to fix my Tabou's nose too. Andy.

Posted 5 years ago on Sunday, June 3, 2012

Henry Thomas said...

Hi Andy,

I just used an auto clear coat I purchased with the auto paint I used. Yes I could have used 2 pack epoxy, but figured that it was a relatively small area and using a spray can just made the process quick and easy - no need to sand and polish, it created a shiny clear coat straight out of the can.

Posted 5 years ago on Sunday, June 3, 2012

Francois said...

Hi Henry, very good job !! Motivated to do my first repair on my Tabou and I found your experience. I have 2 questions : - did Autobarn give the mix and quantity of paint to obtain the blue one ? - do you think without vacuum pump but with tape to make pressure, it's possible to have a good fill for a smaller surface ? Francois

Posted 4 years ago on Saturday, August 31, 2013

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