Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "'asbestos Mish Mash'??!"
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Thread: "'asbestos Mish Mash'??!"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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'asbestos Mish Mash'??!

Brian Smith

I've just been skimming through the construction manual... and came across several references to 'asbestos powder' and 'asbestos mishmash'... to be mixed with resin, etc., etc- Is this anything to be concerned about for end-user repairs with our boat?? Where and how exactly was this powder used?? Please, somebody educate me on this...

Bud Taplin

Asbestos was used whenever we needed to make a resin putty. Used to smooth over the top of the ballast, and fill in any deep fiberglass cracks.

Who knew back in the 70's. Besides, we were tripping out on joints so we really didn't pay much attention to a little asbestos.

Brian Smith

Understood, Bud- nobody knew back then- My question stands tho, any danger areas, or special precauctions to take working in these areas? Just a standard respirator mask when working with old fiberglass?

Bud Taplin

Probably so, with lots of ventilation, preferably fans.

Ralph and Sandra Weiland

Asbestos in the air is a problem. Asbestos in water is NOT a problem. So the best advice I have is if you must sand, file, or do anything that would make dust, do it wet, preferably under water (e.g., use wet/dry paper). Believe it or not, if the asbestos is in water you can drink it, but avoid inhaling the dust at all costs. The goal: keep all particles out of the air and in the water. A full respirator is also a good idea (not one of those paper things you get from the hardware). And if you wear clothes when doing all this, get a shower afterwards with you clothes (and mask) ON.

Brian Smith

All good tips, suggestions... I guess my question still stands as to where this asbestos mish-mash was used in the construction/lay up of the Westsail... i.e. where are the problem areas, or are all glassed areas suspect??

Bud Taplin

It was used to attach the plywood cabinsides to the fiberglass, on top of the ballast, and anywhere there was a fiberglass putty needed. It was not used in the basic fiberglass layup of the hull and deck, however it was used to stick the plywood reinforcement on the underside of the deck and cabintop before the last layer of fiberglass was applied. Also used on th edges of the plywood to make a smooth transition between the plywood and the fiberglass layup.

Brian Smith

Thanks Bud- I guess the wise move would be, whether fiberglass or glass+asbestos, anytime one is working with it wear a respirator!

Aaron Norlund

Brian and all,

You should wear a respirator whenever you're sanding anything, especially fiberglass. Inhaling microscopic fibers and polyester/epoxy resin is a no-no whether it has asbestos or not!

Fair leads,
Aaron N.

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