Options

Has anyone ever refinished an old fiberflass vhf antenna?

PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
so I will probably never use my vhf but if I remove it there will be a huge gaping hole to cover up.

It had little fibers coming off if it that feel great in your hands.

Step one. Sand with 320 gritt

Step two: clean with acetone

Step three: wipe off as many little fibers as possible

Step four: coat with some 2 part epoxy resin.

There will still be little fibers here and there.  Once the epoxy hardens these will become little meat hooks or razor sharp splinters.  

So I'll need to re apply a second coat once this starts to tack.

That should give me a good thick base to sand down smooth any strands of fiberglass that intend to stab me or break off in my skin.  

I will then go back over her with a 3rd coat of 2 part epoxy resin for a nice base  finish. 

This epoxy resin is not uv rated so a uv marine paint (epoxy 2 part) will go over the final coat after a bit of 320 gritt sanding to ensure she sticks.

Update pics will come as i get more done.  This is just the first coat.



Comments

  • Options
    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    don't forget to tune it when you're done!  not doing so is a good way to blow up a radio.... you can buy a tuner for >$20... 
  • Options
    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So...if you have all that stuff laying around and want to use it for that, why not. But if the antennas that old and worn how are the internals and connectors? Might be wasting time and effort on something that may not be worth it. Unless just to dress it up.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The vhf antenna is set up right each time i launch.  Otherwise it's a long the foot path for me to trip over.

    I've turned it on and while there is no one to hail I was able to pick up the weather forecast from hedersonville nc and I think Asheville so she's in pretty good working order id say.
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    don't forget to tune it when you're done!  not doing so is a good way to blow up a radio.... you can buy a tuner for >$20... 


    I have no idea how to do that.  I'm refinishing it while attached to the boat.  All i know about the vhf is how to turn it on, adjust volume and scan channels
  • Options
    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    google it... it's simple.. i'm amazed at the folks who don't tune their antennas and blow the radio out the first time they key the mic.  it only takes a minute, literally.  
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is a Shakespeare antenna. A quick Google search revealed they are pretuned and for the most part only need a tune if the cable has been cut shorter.  I don't know exactly how long this cable is but I'll guess by the spool of wire zip tired behind the dash that she's uncut.  3 or 4 ft is the minimum.  I think she should be ok. I'll hit the hail button and see what happens!!


  • Options
    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    A VHF antenna both receives and transmits and can receive fine while not being able to transmit. Not trying to crap on your project, all the work you do is amazing. Don't know where you get the energy!. But if you ever do want to make an emergency call or something then check it. I'll be honest, I've owned 4 VHF antennas and never tuned them as @212rowboat describes. I just trusted the manufacturer to get it right. But my current antenna could probably use some tuning. Radio checks with Coast Guard say I transmit ok but a tad of static.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just sold my sailboat which had the only other vhf radio i knew of in the upstate. I never thought to check them.  Although the antenna wasn't hooked up since the mast was down.  

    I'm not on the lake this weekend so I'm doing crap around the house.  Had planned on a wheel bearing replacement on a buddies fj60 for a few extra bucks but he got me the wrong parts.  


    I get bored sitting around doing nothing.  

    We were on the water last week from wed until Monday afternoon.  The admiral didn't want to hit the water this weekend. She closed last night and today.


  • Options
    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Where we are a VHF is indispensable. Big lake and some areas with no cell coverage. Hard to see in your pic but I'm sure it'll look great when you're done.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    right now just looks glossy.  Just did coat number two.  I waited til it was tacky so I was able to lay most of the meat hooks and would be splinters down smooth.  I want to sand off as little as possible.  The finish on this was absolutely gone and she was furry. 

    I could have used polyester resin as i have some and this was made of polyester but I don't plan on ever doing this again.


  • Options
    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 4,983 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Will the epoxy crack when flexed?
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are very few areas where polyester resin is better than epoxy.

    Epoxy will make a more durable and stronger bond.

    It also flakes and cracks less than polyester.  So it is more flexible than the the antenna it is coating.  

    Polyester also doesn't go on as thin.  You need to thin polyester resin to prep into wood for absorbsion to lay fiberglass over it.  I do this with 50% acetone.  Generally this leads to a much longer cure time compared to what polyester resin normally cured.  Its the best way I've found to thin in order to absorb into the wood to help form a good chemical bond.  Without the chemical bond you only have a mechanical bond to sanded wood.  

    Epoxy resin just needs a good sanding on the wood then cleaning with acetone. Once dried shes ready to roll/brush on a coat of epoxy, let it dry a few hours before laying fiberglass over it.  


    Both methods work but you use less epoxy to do the same job, less fiberglass, no crazy fumes and much longer cure times so you can lay multiple layers over a day or two without sanding so long as you use proper hardener in approximate temp range.


  • Options
    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 4,983 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very interesting! Thank you for taking the time to explain. I did my first epoxy work last week making plugs to fill holes where rod holders were. 
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No problem!

    Are you putting gelcoat over the epoxy covered holes?
  • Options
    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 4,983 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    I had the marina do the gel coat. Well above my skill level. Saved a bit of money and learned a bit doing the epoxy and fibreglass mat though! I know exactly what you mean by the “meat hooks or razor sharp splinters”!


    Post edited by YYZRC on
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good call.  Laying gel coat looks like something that takes time to learn, ive not tried it.  Yet.
  • Options
    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 4,983 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was also concerned with color matching. The “white white” Spectrum patch paste doesn’t match (perhaps ironically, it is too white). 
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The matching is as big of a battle as the making it completely smooth.
    It looks good as in I can't see where it was repaired

  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Options
    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,919 ✭✭✭✭✭
Sign In or Register to comment.