Gel coat cracks.. what to do? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Gel coat cracks.. what to do?

On a 1974 Islander 30 MK II what is the easiest wayh to deal with superficial cracking in the gelcoat??
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-30-2012
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Two ways that I know is, sand out the area, apply epoxy primer and paint with a good 2 part polyurethane paint. The other is lightly grind the area and color match a gelcoat paste

Color matching isn't too hard but be ready to do several test samples ( about the size of the tip your pinky ) on the deck

And I think your island has a brown hue to it so, start with the paste ( white ) a small drop of white pigment and then using a toothpick a small drop of brown; (you'll be surprized at how well a drop that small will tint ) mix, then test and repeat as needed, if you go to far add some white and you might experiment with a bit of yellow.

It's not as bad as it sounds

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post #3 of 9 Old 01-31-2012
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Stick a decal over it.

If you want a proper repair, you undercut the crack (so it is wider at the bttom than at the top) clean it thoroughly, and fill with tinted epoxy to match the deck. Sand and polish as necessary. That will still never match 100% unless you've got a damned good eye and good luck, so now you get custom tints and a gel coat repair and try to spray and blend to hide the work. Unless you have a very good eye and some practice at this, you're better off stopping at filling the cracks, and call a pro if you really want to hide it afterwards.

Or apply anti-skid deck paint to that whole area.

Or cut a hole and install some new piece of equipment or a porthole there. :-)
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-31-2012 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pointers!
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-31-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Stick a decal over it.

If you want a proper repair, you undercut the crack (so it is wider at the bttom than at the top) clean it thoroughly, and fill with tinted epoxy to match the deck. Sand and polish as necessary. That will still never match 100% unless you've got a damned good eye and good luck, so now you get custom tints and a gel coat repair and try to spray and blend to hide the work. Unless you have a very good eye and some practice at this, you're better off stopping at filling the cracks, and call a pro if you really want to hide it afterwards.

Or apply anti-skid deck paint to that whole area.

Or cut a hole and install some new piece of equipment or a porthole there. :-)
So far I've used white MarineTex for a few chips, screw holes, and so on in the white gelcoat. Is this OK? It is tinted epoxy after all.

I have a couple of gelcoat cracks and I'm considering using it for those.

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-31-2012
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MarineTex works. It is a high quality tinted epoxy putty.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-31-2012
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If they're really superficial cracks and you're not worried about any damage to fiberglass underneath, here you go: gel-paste

I had to repair a bunch of those types of cracks. I used a dremel to basically widen the crack to a v-shape. You tint that gel paste as you would gelcoat then use it to fill the widened cracks. Some sort of plastic spatula would give you a nice level fill.

Make sure you get the white and not the clear. If only clear is available, don't try and tint it. Trust me, it would be a mistake. I'm not too sure why they sell clear.
Also, check the date on it in case whoever you get it from doesn't sell it often. If it's out of date, it turns blue when you add the hardener.

I don't remember if you have to cover it or coat it with mold release for it to harden.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-01-2012
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Fixing the spider cracks on the deck of my boat is still on the "maņana list" (it has a LOT of company), so I've never actually used this stuff. But, apparently it's made for just this sort of problem.

Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-01-2012
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it worked for me....
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