Gelcoat Damage

Discussion in 'Downeast Projects and Boat Building' started by Brooksie, May 26, 2019.

  1. Brooksie

    Brooksie Captain

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    I should have canceled my splash in the high winds Thursday but didn't. I have never put a scratch on my hull in all the years I have owned her. But Thursday I put a 1/4" -3/8" wide gouge, right through the gelcoat over 6' long. Damn.
    Original '71 gelcoat never painted. Any and all ideas/experience on a repair would be appreciated.
     
  2. BlueMack

    BlueMack Senior Member

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    If it’s through the gelcoat as you said, but no structural damage, I would seal the area with some moldable (like play dough) epoxy and seal the area. Then worry about making it pretty again in the fall or next season. You’ll have plenty of time to study up on what to do.

    Pettit splash zone
     
  3. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    Don’t put epoxy on it.

    Depending how deep it is, just use gelcoat.

    Very easy to do and you can set sand and buff it for seamless repair.

    Hardest part is matching the faded color.
     
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  4. BlueMack

    BlueMack Senior Member

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    My idea is just for a temporary repair to keep from hauling, and keep moisture out until a permanent repair
    Can be made.
     
  5. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    The epoxy will make the permanent repair more difficult.

    Fiberglass doesn’t absorb moisture. Coring does.
     
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  6. Keelboater

    Keelboater Captain

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    I tend to agree with ElMar. Anything you use as a temporary cosmetic type of repair will have to be removed when you go back later to do it the right way. It sounds as if it's too low to the waterline to tackle it while it's still floating? For a well seasoned hull like yours, you have to get a color matched gel coat. That would be my first step to take because the research and lead time involved. Or you can try to color match it yourself. Start with a white base, and buy some yellow and some sand color gel coat tint. The repair job itself is a piece of cake. It's the color matching that gives me the biggest challenge. Practice and you'll eventually get it just right. Wet sand and buff the final repair.
     
  7. Brooksie

    Brooksie Captain

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    Thanks all. I was going to try and beach it and fix in the water but now I think I will wait and do it right in the fall or next spring. I have done some color matching on Whaler colors and I know it is hard to get it right but still have the kit to do it.
    Do you agree with what is said online about not using gelcoat paste b/c it will shrink away over time but rather brush on multiple layers of liquid gelcoat and build it up?
    I may put some white latex caulking in it for the time being so I don't look like I have never operated a boat b/4.
     
  8. SHORT STEP

    SHORT STEP Senior Member

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    Merton has all colors in small quantities. Mix and match the original

    Bob
     
  9. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    Snap a pic.

    If you can get to it easy. Use a piece of clear plastic sheet.

    Tape it on the bottom then apply the gelcoat mixed light on hardener push the sheet up into the gelcoat to hold it in.

    Sand and buff.

    OR...... white vinyl sticker till fix in fall/spring.
     
  10. Brooksie

    Brooksie Captain

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    I put white "tarp tape" over it till winter. Too close to waterline to make a good repair w/o hauling. Thanks all.
     
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  11. jdickau484

    jdickau484 Senior Member

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    I would grind it down, glass it, sand/block it in. Light sanding around the repair area will help blend the new gel in. Finer sand paper the farther you get away from repair. Gel that whole area, using less gel in the sanded areas vs your repair area, and then sand/blend it in. the use of patch aid mixed into non wax gel for final coat of gel will help blend it in. Just geling it may leave you a light cloudy line around the repair area.
     
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  12. Brooksie

    Brooksie Captain

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    Yes, I saw "patch Aid" and wondered what it was about. Thanks
     
  13. southshore30

    southshore30 Senior Member

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    Brooksie don’t use that stuff. Being over 6’ long and close to the waterline you will need to get in the water to fix it I’m guessing. Your boat is cored right? You sure yet it didn’t go through the skin to core material?
     
  14. Brooksie

    Brooksie Captain

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    No, just gelcoat deep but 3/8 wide. I'm going to put some wite tarp tape over it and forget it till hauled. Don't use "Patch Aid" you say, what is it anyway?
     
  15. southshore30

    southshore30 Senior Member

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    It’s an additive to gel coat not a actual filler product. You could thicken and fill with gel coat but that deep and wide it’s likely to crack. It just needs to be sanded out a little with 80grit then clean with acetone then fill with a good marine filler like the 3M 2 part marine filler in the little red can. Actual name is escaping me. Then, color match best you can and spray gel coat to cover repair
     
  16. jdickau484

    jdickau484 Senior Member

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    I suggested patch aid to help blend the new gel. It ill provide the final cure and helps the gel flow out better.
     

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