Fiber glass up in the corners above the aft tank?

Where the aft transom meets the side of the boat above the aft tank it's no fibre glass on the inside. Shall it be taped or not?

In this area I have problems with the old resin which is no longer has any effect. The plywood on the aft transom (I hope I use the the ringht word, I meen, in bad english, the end part of the boat on which you attach the rudder) is partly loosing contact with the solid wood part. I think of using wedges to make room to get epoxy resin down. As it is will the mayority of water passing the drain holes drip down in the aft tank. Any experience of such operations? I have removed the gunwales.


62816inBerlin's picture

Hello Leif
Your English is good enough for anybody!
It sounds as if you are engaged in a major job. Your Mirror must have been stored outdoors for some time without adequate protection.
Before continuing, take a screwdriver handle or similar object and tap all over the hull. If you hear a dull sound instead of a sharp rapping noise, that part is probably suffering from rot under the paint.
I cut out all rotted parts and patched in new plywood (see .
If you only have delamination and separation of joints as you describe (but without rot) you can pry the gap open a bit with a thin wedge as you said and then inject slightly thickened epoxy resin using a medical hypodermic syringe (get the thickest cannulas you can buy at the local pharmacy and a few single-use plastic syringes). Then clamp everything down tightly (I used bricks as weights, ropes and webbing cargo-belts with ratchet tighteners where C-clamps could not be used). you can then fibreglass tape over the junction to the tank (use wood dust or microbubble filler to get a neat radius - I wasn't very good at that).
In the first picture of my centreboard case repair description, you can see that the lower (i.e. left-hand) side of the slot is in better condition than on the other side. This is because that was where I first detected leakage and had injected thin epoxy resin at several points along the case (my pharmacist must have thought I was a masoschistic junkie, judging by the number of THICK cannulas I was buying). The rot developing on the other side went unnoticed for years as it was covered by a wide strip of fibreglass tape.
If you have time to read, see Duncan Gibbs' long thread on the Wooden Boat Forum. He saved a Mirror that was almost a complete write-off and is now restoring a Dragon. Here is a sample picture from his story:
Duncan Gibbs Project
The URL is :

There are several other threads on the Woode Boat Forum dealing with Mirror restoration projects ;-{) .

Cheers and wishing you success,


Thank you Gernot,

The status of my project is similar to the photo above with some differences. Our is (I think) much better on the outside. The plywood is almost ok everywere. It's where the solid wood strips sat I have minor problems. I have also removed the center board box. I'm close to the turning point of the project, I hope.

Lack of maintainance, wrong maintainance and sheer ageing gave the result. It looked good on pictures (bought it on distance), so I thought it just needed some fresh paint. Then I fetched it I discovered, need of some bits of fiber glass, and it would be nice to remove the blue colour inside the bottom, and remove the gray under the gunwales. Understood then that the boat was varnished with a poor kind of varnish, not the good 2-component sort and it was anyway weared down in so many places so on the tanks I had anyway to go down to fresh wood. Discovered then that most of the tapeing inside either lose or sanded down too much prior to my restauration. Adding to that was also that somone had used rotation grinder and not sanded out the uneven result.

The boat was made 1971, but was only maintained on a regular base up to 1976. My prior owner said that they had just added "silicon", but on the inside it's not true. I checked with the owner before. Probably the outside has not been fully painted since 1976.

That the centre board box was leaking I know prior to the purchase.

The gunwales was a security measurement. As all resin seems to have díed on that boat I wanted to remove them and epoxy resin them to not get rot behind. The intended use make it more important and it's much easier to get the paint off without them. To get them off was not at all easy, the brass screws were rotten (40 % ok, 30 % broke in the middle and 30 % I had to drill off due to problems with the screw head) and in between lots of copper nails. No problems with and glue or resin however, but most copper nails made cracked holes through the plywood (a secret which will be hided behind the gunwales).

The aft transom was a discovery of yesterday.

But I now do everything nice and then I will have some years without maintainance. And I paid just 50 punds (63 euro) for it with (old) racing equipment. The renovation cost will be about 10 times that including a homemade wooden handtrailer. In these day's of no activity in the Mirror class in Sweden you don't find any boats of that quality for that money.


One way to make epoxy flow in the direction you want, especially if you can not use gravity to help you, is to heat the wood with a hair dryer in the direction you want the epoxy to flow. This is especially useful when you want epoxy to flow into very narrow joints.

Would love to see your Mirror when finished. Please post a photo. Perhaps you could post photos as you go along with your repairs.


62816inBerlin's picture

>>>>In these day's of no activity in the Mirror class in Sweden you don't find any boats of that quality for that money.


That's sad in a way, the Scandinavian countries used to figure in the World and European championships not too long ago. Mirrors never spread to Germany as a class, and even the Netherlands are no longer that active. The up-side is that this means that many boats are coming available as "knockabout" family boats (which "Puffin" has been for over 25 years now) at reasonable prices.

The floor board at the front of the cabin area, against the side tank wall of my boat turned black and soft.
I was able to look into the tank as saw that opposite to the soft floor, the inside of the tank was black.

I get water in these tanks sometimes, how I don't know, and assumed that the two darkened areas were related. I fixed the problem as follows.

It is possible to purchase a two part epoxy that is water thin. It is made by several manufacturers. I did two things. I. Injected this water thin epoxy into the softened wood. 2. Then I angled the boat so that the dark area in the tank was at a low point. Then I poured some of this water thin epoxy into the tank and it settled in just the right place. The boat was left in this position for a couple of days and when all was said and done, the previous soft wood was now quite hard. After some sanding and varnishing the dark area of the wood was mostly gone.