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post #21 of 33 Old 03-09-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
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.
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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
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.
SloopJonB,

Trust me, had I not thought that was the way to do it, I never would have

It seemed to be unanimous online that gel coat needs a smooth surface or it will just bridge the gaps and crack easily.

I have some areas like the attached that I would love to fix (they are HIGHLY noticeable, more so than what I just "fixed") but there was no way I was going to try to sand them all out and build them back up again. Can these just be lightly sanded down the middle and then the whole area spread with gel coat? Just don't want it flaking off or something after I've done all the buffing and waxing.




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Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
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.
Siamese,

The topsides are actually in great shape. I just need to wash em thoroughly and then follow mainesail's guide (Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax) and I'll be looking brand new! Just didn't want to cut corners so I was going to fill in the dings.
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Before I really knew any of the intracacies of gel coat I did some small patches similar to what your tried. My hull was already old and spiderwebbed so I really did not care about matching the exact color so I did not try. I also did not widen out the cracks and used a fully pigmented 'white' gelcoat that was actually a pretty good match from > 20' away.
I'm kinda' with geehaw and others on this and I think that you did not add enough pigment to the 'matching kit' so the under layer colors bled through.
I'd start with a new can/container of fully white pigmented gelcoat and use your pigments on that.
The trick with pigmenting an already white pigmented gelcoat is that you take some white resin and you can put it on your hull (as long as no hardener has been added). Then you can mix in a few pigments to try to approximate the color (this done right on the hull). If the sun is directly overhead there may be too much light so morning or afternoon may give the best light to actually see if the colors are matched.
Once you have matched the color of the resin you mix in the hardener and apply. Gelcoat that has no hardener added should easily scrape or wipe off with just your friend Acetone.
Of course you can also mix up your tinted gelcoat on another surface such as a piece of plexiglass, glass or even cardboard but if it is right on the hull you can more easily see the differences in shades without any intervening borders that might distract your eye.
Be aware that most gel coat formulas require covering from air, as you did, but some are intended for over coating and are cured aerobically.
I took a marine survey course to pick up some of these details.
Good for you for trying. You make me seem very lazy 'cause I have plenty of divots like that in my 1967 Tartan 27' which I will (eventually) use a fully pigmented white gel coat on. I think I have a can of this stuff in the trunk of my car waiting to be used: Evercoat Premium Gel-Kote
I'll probably need some new MEK (methyl ethyl ketone - woo hoo!) to use as a hardening agent but at least I have the resin.
Ain't boat ownership grand?
Reminds me of the saying: "Life is what happens when you are making other plans."
Good luck.

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post #23 of 33 Old 03-09-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

CalebD,

Yes it is very likely I didn't add enough coloring, the label warned "NOT" to exceed 1 tube per 4oz of gel coat, which must be really easy to follow if you're willing to risk a $20 tube of gelcoat to try ($50 kit with 2 x 2oz tubes and a bunch of coloring I'll never use).

I tried the coloring but again unless you're willing to commit to mixing up a bunch of this at once your ratios are very volatile. I added the smallest pinch of yellow that I could and it turned the mixture creme.

I did use that testing technique though. Actually I wasted a fair amount of the gel coat when I determined I was satisfied with the color and happily spread it all on, forgetting I hadn't added the hardener yet. Most of it scraped off but the rest I wiped off with a cloth and acetone.

My concern wasn't really the tones though (I read so many times that matching was so near impossible that I pretty much never had much hope short of luck) it was more about making a smooth surface for it to adhere to, and then once I realized that the color was going to show through, I wasn't happy.

The kit says I can add the gel coat without ANY coloring if the dent doesn't go through the gel coat. I'll have to give that a try tomorrow as well. I'll also try lightly sanding a thin line in the middle of a gash to clean/smooth it, wipe with acetone and see how that works.

Depends on how main patch fix goes

PS: Yes "grand" is the appropriate word for it. I swear I saw the west marine manager light up with joy when he saw my car drive in for the third time today. I really prefer to buy my stuff through amazon (save a lot) but for short notice stuff (like today's Evercoat Forumla 27 filler) I have to spend the big bucks. They are definite the convenience store of the marine world

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Last edited by maine89; 03-09-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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Siamese,

The topsides are actually in great shape.....
Just a gentle correction, maine... the topsides ARE the hull, between waterline and deck edge... What you are referring to as topsides is the deck

The more you show us the more it looks like a paint job is in order.. in which case just fill and fair, and then get some buddies and do a roll and tip job on it when things warm up...

Ron

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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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Just a gentle correction, maine... the topsides ARE the hull, between waterline and deck edge... What you are referring to as topsides is the deck

The more you show us the more it looks like a paint job is in order.. in which case just fill and fair, and then get some buddies and do a roll and tip job on it when things warm up...
I know the topsides are the hull I was saying that I didn't think it needed a pint job because except for the 3 dings in that one area I tried to fix, and the random scratch section (must have be rubbing on something) the topsides/hull is beautiful. There are two other scrapes in the blue stripe but I'm trying to forget those since matching that blue would be a real challenge (but I'll probably try anyways, can always wipe it off...)

Note: Black streaks have since been wiped off one of those attached photos.
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

I guess that you saw the same webinar that I got with my course re., mixing the colors on the hull.

Yes, the gel coat will not set up without hardener in it (MEK).

Get a fully pigmented white gelcoat, scrape or sand those spots again and try again. No one will see the difference in shade from more than 20' away. What you are trying to do is to protect the fiberglass laminate below from more damage and keep your hull sound. Over (much) time the white gelcoat will weather as well; I can still see my original 'patches' up close but from a distance it is all a blur (puts on his glasses).

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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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I guess that you saw the same webinar that I got with my course re., mixing the colors on the hull.

Yes, the gel coat will not set up without hardener in it (MEK).

Get a fully pigmented white gelcoat, scrape or sand those spots again and try again. No one will see the difference in shade from more than 20' away. What you are trying to do is to protect the fiberglass laminate below from more damage and keep your hull sound. Over (much) time the white gelcoat will weather as well; I can still see my original 'patches' up close but from a distance it is all a blur (puts on his glasses).
Are scrapes in the hull (that don't break through the gel coat entirely) potentially harmful? I have very few scratches that break the gel coat and those were the ones that seemingly needed a little more color to be fully covered. Maybe the partially transparent gel coat will be perfect for the finer scratches that just need to be faired? Transparency sure makes color matching easier

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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

When you reached the point in our fourth photo, that's where I would have broke out the air bursh and fogged in the color, then wet sand ( 800 -1000, even 1200 grit ) compound then polished

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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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Originally Posted by maine89 View Post
SloopJonB,

Trust me, had I not thought that was the way to do it, I never would have

It seemed to be unanimous online that gel coat needs a smooth surface or it will just bridge the gaps and crack easily.

I have some areas like the attached that I would love to fix (they are HIGHLY noticeable, more so than what I just "fixed") but there was no way I was going to try to sand them all out and build them back up again. Can these just be lightly sanded down the middle and then the whole area spread with gel coat? Just don't want it flaking off or something after I've done all the buffing and waxing.
I'd do one of two things - spring for a pro to spray some gelcoat over the necessary spots and rub it out myself or, pick up one of those Pre Val sprayers - sort of a cross between a spritzer and a disposable spray gun - and spray the gelcoat on myself. As long as you prep the area by thoroughly degreasing it and them wiping with good acetone, you shouldn't have any trouble with it sticking.

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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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

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Originally Posted by maine89 View Post
I know the topsides are the hull
.... OK.. sorry, I misunderstood what you typed and your pics zoned in on 'the bad'..... my bad.....

Ron

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