Voyager Sport 5.5 upgrade project advice

 Hey all,

I have a Voyager 5.5 sports (possibly also known as a fisherman) which has been doing me proud for a couple of years now, however twice I have had small cracks in the hull and have had these repaired fine.
however the guys that patched it said that Voyagers were known for having quite thin glass layers on the hull and sides. I'm guessing a cost saving exercise at the time?
This is a constant concern to me whenever launching or retrieving in case of a swell or anything untowards that may push the boat out of alignment and I get another crack in the hull.
So the time has come to come to look at strengthening the hull (its too nice a boat to sell Vs he cost of replacement size boat) I want to add several layers of woven glass to the hull and replace stringers with Thermalite or composite fo some sort.

My questions are:

Does anyone know if the stringers in this model are fibreglass or timber? I know the keel is timber. But a chap in WA told me he thought the Voyagers had glass stringers? I know i'll find out when I lift the floor, but any thoughts from anyone has done this project before would be a great help.

and....when I lift the floor and remove/work on the stringers and add glass layers to the hull. Can I do this on the trailer? or should I look at different supports? my trailer is fully rollered with no keel support just rollers down doth sides. (all have good contact evenly it appears)
There are varying thoughts on how to support your boat when the floor comes out and I am hoping someone with Voayger experiemce may be able to help.

Hope to hear form anyone to get me through this dilemma. 

Couple of pics of the boat for reference...:-)

Image Upload: 

Posts: 167

Date Joined: 08/09/11

 Hi Mr B.  My Derben 5.2

Sun, 2020-01-19 11:23

 Hi Mr B.  My Derben 5.2 meter runabout was flexing in heavy swells .even the floor was stress cracked. Finished up ripping out the floor, only 5mm ply with a layer of fiberglass on the top only. As the bottom was 8 mm thick, we replaced the floor with 10 mm marine ply. Glassed both sides and run the glass up the sides of the hull 6 inches. 

Before, you could lift one corner of the boat on the trailer, and the boat would twist. Now, the whole back end will lift. Even feels better on the water, but is heavier. 

$140 for 4 litres of polyester resin from the local hardware, $200 for 20 litres from fiberglass and resin in Kew st. 

Got a roll of chopped mat and a roll of woven for about 1 quarter of the price of the local hardware. 

Harder was $8 for 10 ml , locale, and  $20 for 500 from fiberglass and resin. 

It's not the local hardware shop price gouging, it's the freight company, they class resin and harder as "dangerous goods " and charge a premium. Even paint was coming to Katanning as dangerous goods, and frequently the freight was more than the value of the product. 

Was well worth doing in my case, 


MrBungle50's picture

Posts: 2

Date Joined: 17/01/20

 Thanks for the reply

Sun, 2020-01-19 13:32

 Thanks for the reply Marrisy,
So you reckon I should defiitely strengthen the hull and bite the bullet and start the project? The cost savings in Doing it yourself far outweigh the cost of a professional that's for sure.I reckon I'll do just that and start pulling things out. slowly

I'm keen to keep it on the trailer if I can, unless someone shouts a horror story on here. But I've lifted a small section of under the kill tank and in front of the drivers seat and it would appear the outermost stringer is fibreglass but the keel seems to be wrapped timber.
plus, it looks like the underside of the floor wasnt even coated in resin when installed as the piece i took out was cracked and peeling and crumbling a bit also.

I'll post some pictures as i go but just clearing out shed space to get stuck in and then hopefully I'll be on track and this shouldnt take too long?

I have a good local fibreglass supplier rather than the hardware shop, so should keep costs down and they also sell therma-lite board too...I'm going to cost out the diffeerence between the two.

Cheers and thanks

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2611

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Worth doing, IMO

Tue, 2020-01-28 19:19

 I think they were a good little hull. Not coating /sealing the underside of the floor was really common among a lot of Aussie builders, unfortunately, even supposedly revered names like the Linsday Fry Seafarers--do you know they actually used bloody masonite for a while? Jeez. 

Leaving the cap on the boat will help with stiffness while you have the floor out, but it would be a good idea to brace it anyway--you don't want to be refitting a floor tho a hull which has deformed. Be careful with adding extra laminations --you can really add a lot of weight. If your transom is good, a floor isn't too hard to do. 

If you want to watch a Voyager video, and haven't watched the YBS stuff on Youtube, have a look at this. He started off on an 18ft Voyager. His old man rebuilt floor and transom for him, then the etec blew up, then he got the big new Genesis deal. But, along the way, he did a deal with Merc and got a 150 4 stroke for the old Voyager--you should see it go! Just skips across the water, looks like it rides better than the big platey. 

Video here. Go to 3.24 to see a 40 knot flypast.

Posts: 291

Date Joined: 22/05/19

 If you can get onto  a bloke

Tue, 2020-01-28 20:34

 If you can get onto  a bloke called nev fox. He has to built the commodore boats which are exactly like a Fraser with a few minor variances. 
if you want to pm me I can pass you his number. Really nice bloke and willing to help anyone. I reckon his is your man for anything you want to do with these hulls

Posts: 3

Date Joined: 21/01/19

 PMed you craig

Sat, 2020-02-08 18:24

 PMed you craig

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2829

Date Joined: 14/10/12

Whatever you do, dont buy

Sat, 2020-02-08 19:12

Whatever you do, dont buy cheap marine ply. 

I have to re-do my boat after 18 months becuase the marine ply i got is simply not that and is falling apart.