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Old 08-21-2011, 06:10 PM
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Default Repair help request

I have a small crack in my hull and need advice on how to go about repairs. The damage is about the size of a dollar bill. This is what i'm thinking...

1. grind out the damaged area

2. Apply glass and resin

3. Sand smooth

4. Apply gel coat

Do i need to apply a filler over the resin and glass before the gel coat IOT get a smooth area before i apply the gel coat? If so what filler would you recommend?

I'm not sure if the glass is cracked through the entire but it doesn't appear to be.

Thanks for the help

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Old 08-21-2011, 06:45 PM
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Looks like impact damage, is it below the waterline?

Hard to tell from that pic but in the last shot it looks like the underlying glass also has a crack. That might make it more involved to repair. You might try an extra close-up shot of the damage with a quarter taped to the hull for size reference.

It would probably be a good idea to get a look at the inside of the hull in that area if possible. Also get an estimate from a glass repair shop, it could give you a better idea how far the damage goes and if they think it's not too bad you can do the repair yourself.

Glass repair materials are pretty pricey so you might not really save much by doing the repair yourself.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:23 PM
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Thanks prober,

It is impact damage, clipped the sea wall. If you look at the 2nd pic you can get a good idea of the size it's about 3" in diameter so its not very large. Its above the water line right along the bumper so its not keeping me on the sidelines but I still want it fixed. I already have the materials and want to do it myself if possible. Thanks though maybe ill get an expert and make it easy on myself.

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Old 08-22-2011, 05:19 AM
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In order to get a structurally sound repair, the edges of the patch area have to be tapered. A general rule of thumb is that the width of the tapered area should be 6 to 10 times the depth of the patch. So if the patch is 1/4 inch deep you would tapper back about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches.
All the broken material should be removed. Patching consists of layering in multiple layers of cloth patches or mat, The first patch would be the shape of the inner cutout. The next would be a bit larger, etc until you have filled in the area with the overlapping patches. Depending on what cloth you use, the individual patches can be multiple (2 or 3) plys thick thoroughly wetted with epoxy before application. You have to be careful not to do too many patches at a time to avoid sag and bubbles. Let the glass set up before applying the next patch. If you let it dry, you have to sand it a bit to insure good adhesion of the next layer. Eventually you will have a decent patch but it may need sanding and/or filling. Use epoxy and a filler like Cabosil to make a thick paste. Try to apply a smooth layer and not too thick or it may run. The filler is sand-able but is a lot tougher to do than the epoxy alone. After all is even and smooth and cured, apply the gel coat. Follow the directions exactly.
Good luck
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:23 PM
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Thanks Lotsinker,

Thats exactly what I was looking for....will post results when I get around to it as long as my repair job isn't too embarassing.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:39 PM
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You can make a better sandable filler by adding cabosil to the gelcoat that you intend to finish with. Epoxy is tough to sand, very tough. There can also be problems with gel sticking to the epoxy. Polyester is so much quicker to work with, in fact you really need to be organized and quick.

Rubrail needs to come off to get at the end of the cracks.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsawyer8419 View Post
Thanks Lotsinker,

Thats exactly what I was looking for....will post results when I get around to it as long as my repair job isn't too embarassing.
Google YouTube for fiberglass repair videos. there are a few good ones. Also look at the West System web site, They used to have videos too any may still have them.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:02 PM
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jonesg,

You're right the when the resin hardens it gets very difficult to smooth out with sand paper. I practiced using it on a small chip on another part of the boat. Are you suggesting I use polyester? Im not familiar with that type of material when used for repairs. The rubrail comes off easily so that wont be an issue. My biggest fear is that it comes out looking like a hack job. I think im going to find some glass and practice first. Any ideas what this rapair would cost at a Marina or glass shop. Im guessing $ 300-400.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsawyer8419 View Post
jonesg,

You're right the when the resin hardens it gets very difficult to smooth out with sand paper. I practiced using it on a small chip on another part of the boat. Are you suggesting I use polyester? Im not familiar with that type of material when used for repairs. The rubrail comes off easily so that wont be an issue. My biggest fear is that it comes out looking like a hack job. I think im going to find some glass and practice first. Any ideas what this rapair would cost at a Marina or glass shop. Im guessing $ 300-400.
You use cabosil mainly for thickening for the structural part of a repair when you need to bed something in or make a bonding putty or structural fillet....thats why its hard to sand....when working with glass you use it neat......when fairing you use you use fillers specifically designed for fairing like microballoons or other low density fillers...check out West Systems site and they have plenty of info on what filler to use and where....they are very easy to sand....if you want a fairing putty right out of the can, use System 3 Quick Fair which is epoxy based or 3M Premium Marine Filler....its a vinyl ester base and accepts gelcoat easily....
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:23 PM
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Thanks Maxi

This is starting to make a bit more sense. Since the crack is on a ridge I would have to mold the fairing compound to match the ridge which might make it more difficult. Anyone (a novice) attempted a similar repair. If so how did it turn out? Was it worth doing it yourself or would you recommend taking it to a glass repair expert?
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsawyer8419 View Post
Thanks Maxi

This is starting to make a bit more sense. Since the crack is on a ridge I would have to mold the fairing compound to match the ridge which might make it more difficult. Anyone (a novice) attempted a similar repair. If so how did it turn out? Was it worth doing it yourself or would you recommend taking it to a glass repair expert?
based on the picture, it looks to be just a gelcoat repair....but you wont know for sure until you sand down the damaged area and look closer.....if nothing looks structually damaged, it can be repaired with gelcoat....the hardest part is matching the faded color....and once you put it on, you can sand down with finer and finer grit paper, compound and finesse......just for laughs get a local quote.....may only be a few hundred to fix
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxie View Post
based on the picture, it looks to be just a gelcoat repair....but you wont know for sure until you sand down the damaged area and look closer.....if nothing looks structually damaged, it can be repaired with gelcoat....the hardest part is matching the faded color....and once you put it on, you can sand down with finer and finer grit paper, compound and finesse......just for laughs get a local quote.....may only be a few hundred to fix

ditto.. I wouldnt go too wild with the grinder... It doesnt look like a major structural area on the boat...
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxie View Post
based on the picture, it looks to be just a gelcoat repair....but you wont know for sure until you sand down the damaged area and look closer.....if nothing looks structually damaged, it can be repaired with gelcoat....the hardest part is matching the faded color....and once you put it on, you can sand down with finer and finer grit paper, compound and finesse......just for laughs get a local quote.....may only be a few hundred to fix
If you see glass fibers (and I do) it's more than just gelcoat...
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:06 AM
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Ditto on more than just a gelcoat job... and matching the color. However, it's not difficult to make your own structurally sound repair. I dunno, but is it possible to have the shop do the color matching? I had one pro make a repair years ago and thought nothing of it when it the repair was absolutely undetectable. Then I saw work on other boats and while very neat and smooth, the color stood out like a sore thumb.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:50 AM
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I generally only use epoxy for most repairs but in areas like this I like to use polyester so it's easier to fair/gel coat/make disappear; I know this could be done with epoxy and would be stronger, but it may be easier in this case to go polyester. If I’m going to repair with gel coat over the top, I want to use polyester; if not use I use epoxy. This is just a rule of thumb; you can always break the rule. People put gel coat over epoxy all the time with a mechanical bond, west system makes something for putting gel coat over epoxy. This shouldn’t be too tough to repair. Just like the other posters have said, cut out the bad area and taper the edges back. If you can, put a layer or two over the hole from the inside, then start cutting pieces of glass (1708,1808 whatever) to fill the hole, they’ll get progressively larger to fit the tapered edges, leave the glass slightly below the gel coat, fair with micro balloons, and brush on gel coat (last poster is right, have a pro color match if you want it to really disapear) and sand flush. Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostsinker View Post
If you see glass fibers (and I do) it's more than just gelcoat...
What are we supposed to see under the gelcoat other than glass fibers? The first layer or skin coat is matt, and that's what you see. Now I'm not saying that there's nothing more to it, but you won't know untill it's sanded back a little. Since matt is random fibers, any type of hit or even abrasion will make it poke out a little....you see those exact same fibers on keel scratches and gouges all the time and many times its just gelcoat damage from beaching it or a trailer mishap........you need to see if the laminate has developed a crack...if you sand a little to expose the layer underneath and there's no crack, it's fine. Again, we're assuming a lot from a picture....nothing replaces actually examining the damage first hand. The gelcoat color match would be the biggest PITA....especially if the hull has aged in the sun...I think a competent shop could do that job rather inexpensively.
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