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  #1  
Old 04-15-2010
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Cracks along non-skid, how to fix

So I bought a boat which has a series of perhaps 8-10 four foot long cracks around one stanchion base, supposedly from buckling when some unhelpful dock person pushed on the stanchion to stop the boat.

Everything I've read says to open the cracks with a sharp edge, such as a cabinet scraper, fill the cracks with gelcoat paste, then sand and fair.

Obviously, that assumes a smooth surface to fair to. But what if those cracks are on nonskid of the sort built/molded during layup (e.g. not painted nonskid)?

How would you go about fixing that and at the same time keeping the cosmetic appearance of the existing nonskid?
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Old 04-15-2010
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There's a company in Fla called " Mini-craft They sell molds for various types of non-skid decks for just about any boat. I'd like to try fixing mine someday.


Mini-Craft of Florida, Inc. - Inventor of the Aerosol Spray Gel-Kote
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With cracks that severe, there's the chance they are right through the glass into the deck core. If that's the case, they will need to be ground out and filled with epoxy and then gelcoat applied to the top.

As to matching the nonskid, that's tricky. You can buy flexible pad with the nonskid pattern molded in, but since there are many patterns, finding the right one is not trivial.

Last edited by JimsCAL; 04-16-2010 at 07:44 AM.
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You can also use silicone to make a mold of your nonskid pattern. I have seen that done and it works.
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I'd have to agree with JimsCAL. The cracks need to be ground out and you need to find out if the laminate is damaged. With cracks that long, it does seem likely that the damage is more than just cracked gelcoat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
You can also use silicone to make a mold of your nonskid pattern. I have seen that done and it works.
I would use a rubber compound rather than silicone. Silicone can be a problem, since it can leave oils behind that make painting or bedding hardware to the fiberglass later a real PITA.
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Make your own pattern using a good area of non skid. I have heard of but not tried this. Spray the good nonskid with mould release or something similar. Then spread some silicon over the area and allow it to harden. You now have an exact mould of your boats pattern. How this works in practice is yet to be determined.

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I am prepared to drill holes and dig around to see if there's any rotting core, then clean it out and use epoxy to fill the space, but what stumps me is matching the repaired nonskid to everything else.

Making my own pattern seems like a good idea, thanks for that suggestion, I hadn't thought of that. I'm trying to think how that's done in practice, though, especially over such a longish area.

The cracks are thin enough that I can probably even make a pattern using the same surface area. The pattern isn't grid-like but more like a speckling so probably easier to match if I take off a large section of the surface.
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The MAS epoxy site used to have a video of this method of duplicating non-skid step by step.
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I'd be worried about squeeze out and how to know you actually have the pattern in place over the fix.
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