Repairing cracking gelcoat - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 04-06-2009
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Not to hijack, but I have a spot 1' x 2' that is cracked like that. The PO tried to cover it with some house paint, but didn't do a good job. I'm going to sand and fill with epoxy next week, but the real question is what should I cover it with? I have never sprayed gelcoat and I'm a little afraid to. Would paint blend in well with the good gel coat of the rest of the boat?
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Old 04-06-2009
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Paint is never going to be as good as Gelcoat or really look like it...but if you get the color right, it will not be very noticeable.
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2009
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Awesome! That is what I thought, but given how off the PO fix was, I didn't know if it could be done better.

Thanks as always!

Last edited by funjohnson; 04-06-2009 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 04-06-2009
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okay after looking at the pics... wow

i would get a plastic spreader and mix some of the west system 406 filler, the silica stuff here to a peanut butter thickness and spread a layer in to the cracks. this will fill them with something that has some strength, but is hard to sand, make sure you dont leave any real high spots. then sand any high spots, then mix some more to the thickness of mayo, and roll it on with a fine foam roller, this will give you some build up. once again hit any real high areas with sand paper, then use west 410 filler this stuff to a thick paint consistency, and roll it on every where you dont want non skid. the reason for this is you wont need to sand it under non skid, it will hid it. you will need to do a light sanding, but be gentle you will sand thru it fast. then do a second coat with the roller. when it cures start sanding gently, with a sanding block. when you find a low spot mix some more but thicker and use a spreader to fill it. then sand again, when you are happy paint with choice of light colored paint.

this will about a gallon maybe a little more ( more if you need to the sides too )for a 30 foot boat which you did not say how big you boat is. it will probably take 4 days of nice warm weather, if colder use a faster hardener. you would be smart to do one half the boat at a time. let the first half cure while rolling the second half, then sand the first while the second cures. if you time it right you will have about a 4 hour rest, between the first and second coat of the day with the second coat curing over night.

if doing the hull too, you can work non stop by doing sections and while it cures move to the next section. if you are careful with the 406 filler and not leave and real high spots with the hull too i would say 5 days.

when done you will have a nice hard smooth finish that should last 20 years. the nice thing is the 406 will be ding resistant and the 410 only acts to smooth it out, but is softer
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after looking at the rest of the photos, cute little boat. i would say a gallon will be plenty with some left over, and i would use just the epoxy and 406 below water line. i would also put 3 coats to act as a barrier coat, and if you are going to keep it on the trailer and not in the water you can tint the epoxy to look like paint. then you can use less bottom paint, but you do need to paint it.
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Old 04-07-2009
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Scottyt,
Thanks for the suggestions. Very helpful. One question. Do I have to use West System epoxy or can I use another brand. I have found some on another web site that is much more reasonably priced.
http://www.fiberglasssite.com/servle...-gallon/Detail
Just curious.
Thanks
John
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Jhoward—

I've ordered fiberglass cloth from them, but not epoxy. I'd bet their epoxy is okay though, given their business.
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Old 04-09-2009
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One more thought. Would it be of any benefit to use a layer of 1.5 oz. glass cloth with the epoxy, After I get the cracks filled and sanded?
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Why bother... just more to sand and fair then... unless you want the finish to show a fiberglass cloth pattern???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhoward60 View Post
One more thought. Would it be of any benefit to use a layer of 1.5 oz. glass cloth with the epoxy, After I get the cracks filled and sanded?
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhoward60 View Post
One more thought. Would it be of any benefit to use a layer of 1.5 oz. glass cloth with the epoxy, After I get the cracks filled and sanded?

as SD said nope. the glass would give it some stiffness, but thats not what you want or need. the colloidal silica will give it hardness, which the glass will too but not as well.

glass reinforced plastic ( what your boat is ) is 2 things... fiberglass and resin. the strength comes from the glass, the resin is a binder. in your case the silica will give the epoxy strength, which by it self it has but the silica will give it hardness and strength.
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