Ok, so to set the stage, this is my first boat. I'm trying to boost my handyman confidence by doing some hull work. I read all I could about this for a few days before giving it a try so if for a moment I sound like I might know what I'm doing don't be fooled
I've read MaineSail's post on compounding and polishing hulls about 100 times, have bought the materials, and can't wait to start.
BUT, as much as I want to make things shiny, I knew I should address some dings in the hull first.
Here are the ones I figured I'd start on:
So first I took a dremel and lightly carved out the dings some in order to make a smoother surface for the gel coat.
And a super close up to show the layers (it really isn't that huge, I promise!)
I saned out out by hand with some 60 grit, then 120 and 220 to feather the edges and smooth it out more.
Then I cleaned the area with acetone and mixed up my gel coat. It was from the Evercoat "Match N Patch" Kit. The gel is a reddish clear color and you are meant to mix in your coloring. So I mixed in several drops of the white dye (the reason I didn't just get white was I was trying to match the aged hull a little better and I have some gouges in the blue stripe I need to patch up too).
I mixed it up, added the hardener, placed plastic over the area and used a plastic spreader to push the air out and even out the gel coat. I taped it up and let it sit an hour as instructed.
Here's what I ended up with after I faired out the excess gel coat:
It seemed the middle worked out because the gel coat was thick enough, but the edges didn't and you can see the blue circle. Even if it was because the new gel coat was too thin, I can't make it any thicker without making a lump. If I sanded out more I'd just have more blue to cover. I must be missing something.
I cleaned out the dings again and cleaned with acetone.
I then tried some White Evercoat Formula 27 filler (really gray) to fill the deeper spots and faired out the spots a little more.
After that cured I sanded off the extra. At first I was using a stiff sanding block so I could sand down the filler and not the surrounding gel coat, but I was worried I was usng too much of a straight block on the curved hull, so I switched to a dry spong and continued to use 220 grit to sand down the filler.
I started to see blue specs showing through the white so I immediately stopped, seeing that I was on the fast track to more problems.
I then mixed up some more gel coat and added some extra white drops to be sure it wasn't a problem of being too translucent or something, and spread it on thicker and over a larger area, just covering on of the spots so I could test.
How I had to leave it this evening. Shown under a plastic sheet to keep air out.
As you can see, you can see a hint of the oval within the photo. Not a huge deal if I could leave this much gel coat on, but once I start to fair it, it will show more. Even if I can fair it enough to barely see it, I feel as soon as I compound the hull to follow MaineSail's buffing guide I'm going to start seeing blue again.
What am I doing wrong?! (Thanks so much!!)