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post #31 of 33 Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Couple of tricks I use;

#1 I mix my first fill of the gouge with un-waxed but already color matched gelcoat and cabosil. This prevent some shrinking and also prevents "bleed through". It makes for a great "patch" & leveler to the gouge. It also prevents the gelcoat from "crazing" and pulling away from the patch due to the thickness. Thick unreinforced gelcoat = bad...

#2 Build it up taller than the surrounding surface and let it kick.

#3 The top layer will still be tacky so I shave it off with a razor blade or sharp chisel and bring it as flush with the surroundings as you can with "manual tools" without trying to touch the surrounding gelcoat.

#4 Then, and only then, do I sand it flush. The old gelocat will sand away FASTER than the new so reserve fairing as your absolute last resort.

#5 I then tape painters paper to the hull surrounding the gouge and roll them back and tpe them to the hull creating a rounded wave type edge facing the gouge. When you spray the gel it helps to "feather" the edges of the freshly sprayed gel and helps with "blending" the repair.

#5 I then mix up some Wax-Sol and the color matched gelcoat in a Preval sprayer, with some acetone to thin it, add the MEK-P and spray the gel onto the surface being careful to not make a thick "edge" under the paper. Sorry I don't have a recipe for the thinning and I just do it by feel and experience..

#6 Let it kick, dewax it and feather it with wet sand paper. Once that is done buff it to match the rest of the hull.

#7 You will not get a good color match until you buff up the hull to a glossy finish..

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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post #32 of 33 Old 03-09-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Originally Posted by Faster View Post
.... OK.. sorry, I misunderstood what you typed and your pics zoned in on 'the bad'..... my bad.....
No problem I wish my deck only had those few scratches!

That is my next project.

I opted to take the next couple days off from the boat because the temperature is in the high 30s low 40s and that likely isn't good for the gel coat and the filler specifically suggested over 50.

Monday and Tuesday are back into the high 50s (heat wave!) so I'll give it a shot then and let you guys know how it turns out


Thanks for posting!! I had seen in some other threads that you mentioned you used cabosil but wasn't sure how to go about using. Perhaps my evercoat poly filler is similar in similar in function?

You say that thick unreinforced gel coat is bad. How thick is too thick for gel coat? Would it only be an issue when filling the whole gouge with gel coat or could I run into issues while trying to build back up what I think I sanded away?

I've also read about the sprayer but wasn't sure how that would be done since it was so thick. I didn't know it should be thinned with acetone, thanks!

1975 27' O'Day "Ice Breaker"
Heart is in Maine
Boat is in Rhode Island

Last edited by maine89; 03-09-2012 at 12:27 PM.
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Re: Gel Coat Repair Flop (Pics)

Here's an update for anyone else that tries to do this the way I did it...

Basically, if you're going to do this, I'd recommend you don't dremel or feather out the edges like I did, and instead lightly sand out the gouges to flatten the surface a bit to get better surface area and leave it at that.

After sanding I used a poly filler (White (a little gray) Evercoat Formula 27 - dried in about 20 min and sands down easily). I wet sanded the filler with 400 and 600 grit and left it slightly higher than the gouge (because I was trying to cover the mysterious blue paint below the white). Then I applied the white gel goat (mine was in a kit so I mixed in white coloring to a semi-transparent poly paste). Then I wet sanded that down to even things out but still keep it a little thicker over the poly paste because it was still showing through a little bit.

Attached are how it looks now. Worse than when I started, but my standards have fallen since then. The close up you can barely tell (yes there are a couple craters in the gel coat but since I'm leaving other gouges that stick out more, I'm not too worried about it at this point. The zoomed out version you can tell the area is darker, probably just poor color matching on my part (like everyone says, it's nearly impossible to match, and adding the hardener darkens it so it is even harder to match). I'm hoping that once I compound, polish and wax this won't stand out as much (because the hull will look "wetter"?), but perhaps it will stand out more.

Overall the money and time (days) I spent trying to fix these dings was mostly ineffective (arguably counter-productive) but a great lesson non the less! At least I wasn't messing up someone else's boat...

In other news I have a new gas tank installed and the engine runs great. Will be on the water before you know it!
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1975 27' O'Day "Ice Breaker"
Heart is in Maine
Boat is in Rhode Island
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