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post #11 of 33 Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Rich's reply looks good. I think I would try to do some work at home find a old fiberglass shower or a junk yard vet. Chevy had a lot of white ones. It is just a thought you might try repairs on something of little value. This might save some gas as you said your boat is at a distance. One more thought is what is the air temp? Could that be a factor for you? please keep me up to date. When it warms up I have two small sailboats I wish to try my hand at. I have been looking for some tips even if its leave it to a pro. You might check Glen L boat they have many home built kits even 40+ ft My e mail is; LousTrost at Hotmail.com Read in the tips on use of this site not to use the @ but use at Good luck
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Somewhat odd to see a dark (distinctly blue) layer under the white gel coat, is it not? That's something one would expect on a boat that's been painted....
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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Originally Posted by Lou452 View Post
Rich's reply looks good. I think I would try to do some work at home find a old fiberglass shower or a junk yard vet. Chevy had a lot of white ones. It is just a thought you might try repairs on something of little value. This might save some gas as you said your boat is at a distance. One more thought is what is the air temp? Could that be a factor for you? please keep me up to date. When it warms up I have two small sailboats I wish to try my hand at. I have been looking for some tips even if its leave it to a pro. You might check Glen L boat they have many home built kits even 40+ ft My e mail is; LousTrost at Hotmail.com Read in the tips on use of this site not to use the @ but use at Good luck
It was 60 today which is why I gave it a shot. Won't be that warm again any time soon

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Somewhat odd to see a dark (distinctly blue) layer under the white gel coat, is it not? That's something one would expect on a boat that's been painted....
I was wondering the same thing... :-/

This would be a big problem. Any way to confirm?

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post #14 of 33 Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

First. Kudos for attempting the job. It actually is a good job, so don't fret. As others have said, it's virtually impossible to make the gelcoat match without super human effort that IMO isn't worth it. Gelcoat repair was my job at a couple of marinas so I know your problem. A couple of tips:

1. Stop trying for a perfect repair, it won't happen.
2. It's not a structural repair so IMO there is no need for beveling the repair. That slope makes the underlying color bleed through your thin repair, as you've seen
3. I like rough holes with vertical sides. Much easier to sand flush and the repair won't pop out. Honest.
4. I use making tape instead of plastic. You can get a more fair result because the tape is stiffer and won't wrinkle. You're sanding it anyway, so the smoothness that the plastic imparts is lost when you start sanding.
5. Paint. Yup. If you absolutely insist on a color match, a thin dab of paint feathered into the surrounding gelcoat works. BUT it must be an exterior paint. I really don't recommend this action because you can make a passable job a mess in a hurry. But we did it with IMRON and it worked. I've done it a few times since, but it's just not worth the effort.
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post #15 of 33 Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Sometimes the 'translucency' of the white, etc. gelcoat allows the underlayment to slightly show through .... and you keep on applying (spraying) larger and larger areas so that the final coat is thick enough over the 'repair' to hide any underlayment show through and keep 'feathering out' so that the thickness 'blends' to the OEM surface. Rarely can a repair not be 'faired out' and with a wee bit of extra thickness repair over the 'hole', etc.

One thing that will help with such a repair and its 'eyeball' blending of color match .... use a strong magnifying glass or pocket microscope on the OEM gel ... and if its alligatored (looks like a dried out mud-pond under high magnification) then no repair will ever 'blend' with the oxidized or micro-crazed surface. When you see 'alligatoring' of the gel either you have to deep sand the 'crazing away' or make a decision to paint or 're-gel' the entire surface ... the entire topside or coach roof, etc.
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
First. Kudos for attempting the job. It actually is a good job, so don't fret. As others have said, it's virtually impossible to make the gelcoat match without super human effort that IMO isn't worth it. Gelcoat repair was my job at a couple of marinas so I know your problem. A couple of tips:

1. Stop trying for a perfect repair, it won't happen.
2. It's not a structural repair so IMO there is no need for beveling the repair. That slope makes the underlying color bleed through your thin repair, as you've seen
3. I like rough holes with vertical sides. Much easier to sand flush and the repair won't pop out. Honest.
4. I use making tape instead of plastic. You can get a more fair result because the tape is stiffer and won't wrinkle. You're sanding it anyway, so the smoothness that the plastic imparts is lost when you start sanding.
5. Paint. Yup. If you absolutely insist on a color match, a thin dab of paint feathered into the surrounding gelcoat works. BUT it must be an exterior paint. I really don't recommend this action because you can make a passable job a mess in a hurry. But we did it with IMRON and it worked. I've done it a few times since, but it's just not worth the effort.
I think having the vertical sides is a good idea because I'll build it up with the filler and then not have those blue lines. I'll try to slab on more gel coat and get it as covered as I can and if that doesn't work I'll try vertical sides.

My concern is not having a huge build up of gel coat on the side, but I suppose that's just a sanding away from being bare again. Just trying to not have this small fix consume the whole side with laddered patchwork.

I think I'll leave the other gouges alone.... leave some character on the boat

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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

I think it is a total lack of pigment. I never used clear but used white and colored nothing ever showed through. Maybe use a knife and scrap the blue so not so feathered. Also any other signs your boat was blue before? Not that I am very experienced but seems weird there is a layer of blue unless it has been painted. Also another way to go is fill with evercoat marine bondo. (wrong name but can't think of right one the poly filler) . The cover with a brush on gel coat and feather out. And as said before you don't need to open them up. Greg
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Thansk geehaw,

Looking more closely at the pictures there looks like there was signicantly more white when I started on the scratch, but as directed I feathered it out which thinned out the gelcoat in that area.

I think because I feathered and made it thin, I really need to spread the gel coat wider since I've likely created a depression with a 4" radius.

I'll try to clear up this area and then make sure any gouges are sealed and just leave them be.

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post #19 of 33 Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Sabre's got it - when I saw your pictures my first thought was "shouldn't have done that to prep the scratches." When I did mine, I thickened the gelcoat a little and knifed it into the scratches - I had some bad ones that were down to the glass and 12 feet long. I think there was a nail on a piling or something like that in the boats past. Those ones took up to three loads of gelcoat to fill adequately.

You also have to be careful to not sand & polish the touchup completely flush with the surroundings or you get the thin edges you are experiencing. Remember you are dealing with a convex surface so you are ALWAYS sanding a high spot.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #20 of 33 Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

If it was me, I'd repair all the dings with thickened epoxy and Awlgrip the entire topsides.

'Not saying that's the right or proper thing to do, but if it was my boat, and I wanted it to look good, I'd say forget the fussy stuff and just go whole hog.
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