Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts
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Re-glassing My Wooden Centerboard
If the centerboard is fine structurally, it sounds like the gelcoat is cracking and peeling off, not the fiberglass. This happens because the fiberglass bends and the gelcoat outside is more brittle - it cracks and later falls off. It''s something like an eggshell on a hard boiled egg; the egg underneath can be fine, but the shell is all broken. How thick are the flakes? There may be fairing compound involved, especially at the edges. If there''s enough gelcoat/coating left attached, the easiest fix might be to mix up some epoxy and fairing compound and apply that to your board, sand it smooth, and paint it. If you start applying too much fiberglass, you can really screw up the board''s shape until it doesn''t fit in the trunk any more. Adding more ''glass to the board could also strengthen it too much; imagine a grounding where, a wave would wash your boat up onto the sand, breaking the board against the bottom. The boat stays upright, washes ashore, and you could step out and pull the boat to safety. An overly strong, unbroken board in the same situation might flip the boat over as the wave carried you sideways up the beach, tossing you out and enabling the next wave to start beating the boat to pieces.