Gelcoat crazing - your opinion? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-30-2007
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Gelcoat crazing - your opinion?

Below is a pic of a section of our Passport 40. As you can see, there is a lot of cracking and crazing in the picture. This is just under the caprail (the caprail is the top piece of orange cetol'd teak). This crazing runs, pretty much, the length of the boat. According to the surveyor, the gelcoat was laid on too thick during the building process and has crazed as a result. He said that it's a fairly common thing on boats of this era and does not represent a structural issue or core issue. I'd like to get rid of it. Am I looking at grinding away at it and then putting new gelcoat over it? It's the entire length of the boat - will that just make it look worse if I'm not painting the hull? Anyone have a disagreement (based on the picture) with the surveyor or have any other comments or suggestions? (p.s. We'll be sanding down the caprail and putting a new finish on - probably Amazon's Teak Lustre Satin [based on the Practical Sailor review] - and will also be cleaning the mess the prior owner made of the cetol job)

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Old 10-31-2007
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Lots of "mess" potential on this one. Test an area first to find out how the gelcoat works.
pigslo
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Old 10-31-2007
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Old 10-31-2007
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I think your surveyor was right, and I second Cam's suggestion. Gel-coat is nasty stuff to work with. I would sand it smooth, fill in any little holes or crevices with epoxy thickened with microballoons (easier sanding) and then paint it nicely.

Then again, if your caprail falls off next month - guess the surveyor was wrong huh
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Old 10-31-2007
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I'd agree that sanding, fairing and painting the offending area would be the best route to go... especially if the damage is confined to the area between the teak caprail and the trim below it. Even if you get just a close colour match, with the dividing line of the teak trim/rubrail it should look fine.

The trick, though, will be getting a close colour match... although another option may be to intentionally do that strip in a contrasting colour!
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Old 10-31-2007
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You will need to do more than just fill and sand, you will need to cut/grind out the crack best tool is a dremil to a good depth, if not down to the glass this will give the epoxy filler a key, fair and paint and the cracks should not come back to easy, if you dont key the cracks you will be waisting you time.
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Old 10-31-2007
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your surveyor and simon are correct...
if it troubles you, fill and paint (and they will return anyway.)
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With putting the boat up for sale, I don't want it to trouble a prospective buyer
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Old 10-31-2007
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A prospective buyer..

A prospective buyer of a Passport 40 will, and should, understand gel coat crazing. If they don't then they need to buy a Hunter first and learn the ropes!

The ONLY way to paint or gel coat over them is to Dremel along each and every crack to open it up into a nice U or V shaped channel then fill and fair it. It you sand the cracks and fair over them, without grinding them out, they WILL re-appear through the new gel coat or LPU paint thus defeating the purpose... This is a BIG time consuming job and I'd leave it up to a new owner as the boat is NOT new and cosmetics of a used boat are NEVER 100%. Cape Dory was famous for laying up the gel too thick and CD owners love their boats despite the rampant crazing on many of them.. That crazing is most likely just what your surveyor said the gel coat is to thick...
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Old 10-31-2007
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Unfortunately, gelcoat crazing is pretty common, and it does look like the issue is just crazing, not anything more serious. I would leave it alone. If you try to hide it, and don't do an excellent job, the repair attempt may raise far more red flags to a prospective buyer than the honest gelcoat crazing would have.
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