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post #1 of 33 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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First Fiberglass repair

Once I am done my butyl based repairs on the leaks I will move on to fixing the few fiberglass dings. Having never worked with fiberglass I would appreciate your guidance on what I should use for each of these repairs:

1. Pop top.
a. Wooden rails pop out. screw holes are too large.
b. Fiberglass cracks and holes

2. Lazerette hinge is broken off lid

3. Cracks near scupper.
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laz hinge.jpg   pop top crack 2.jpg   pop top crack 3.jpg   pop top crack.jpg  
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post #2 of 33 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

Really hard to diagnose based on the pics provided, but a lot of that looks like simple gelcoat repair.

The handrails should probably be rebedded and through bolted, if you've got the room underneath to do so.

If I were in your place (and I was years ago as a new owner), I'd pick up a good book and start reading. I started with this one, and found it to be well worth the investment.

Last edited by PorFin; 07-24-2012 at 11:09 AM.
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post #3 of 33 Old 07-24-2012
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Forget FG, go with epoxy. For screw holes etc, I like West System 6-10. Gun it into the holes let dry overnight and you're ready to drill new ones. West system has a great website for "how-to", check it out. For blind holes, (way to much work), try Togglers (togglers.com) available at your favourite chandler.
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post #4 of 33 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

WEST SYSTEM epoxy is the way to go see here CLICKY for help.

BUT be careful to get the mixing ratio correct. Use syringes as measures for small quantitys.
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post #5 of 33 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

By the looks of things, your boat has a few years of age. If you are planning on painting it after repairs are done, then I'd go with epoxy for my repairs. If you've never done this type of repair I'd recommend a bit of practice on an area thats not readily visible so you can hide any Uh...Oh's if you have to. How about inside a hatch or locker to start. If you are trying to re-gelcoat the repair, I can't help you as I'm not the gelcoat Guru as of yet....
Looks like you have a lot of stress cracks mostly. Any time fiberglass flexes more than a certain amount, the brittle thin layer called gelcoat will tend to crack. This also happens from minor impacts from objects too. My 1st attempts at repairs were hideous but I can at least say those days are far behind me now. Anther person asked for more info and that would helps us all to help you. Hope this helps. Bruce

ps Is that a Hunter pop-top I'm looking at?
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post #6 of 33 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

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Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
If I were in your place (and I was years ago as a new owner), I'd pick up a good book and start reading. I started with this one, and found it to be well worth the investment.
Got it at local library ...looks great. Will use their copy for the next three weeks and then pick one up used on Amazon @ approx $35
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post #7 of 33 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

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Originally Posted by Bruce_L View Post
By the looks of things, your boat has a few years of age. If you are planning on painting it after repairs are done, then I'd go with epoxy for my repairs.

ps Is that a Hunter pop-top I'm looking at?
Thanks guys.

Bruce,

It is an 1981 Edel 665 pop-top. White hull / red sails so we will stand out in the crowd.

Epoxy is my preference after having researched it a bit more and the feed back here. Painting is in the plan but not in it's current location in downtown Toronto. It has been on the hard since fall 2010 and it is filthy. The storage yard is used by truckers to sit with engines and reefers going 24 / 7. Too many pollutants. I will wait until I move it a bit east next spring after launch.
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post #8 of 33 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

One other thing, without getting into any specific brands, I try to use epoxy that is a 50-50 mix to keep things simple. Ya know, 1 part A mixed with one 1 part B. Some I've used have some wacky mixing ratios that make the task more complicated. You can tell when the size of the two epoxy bottles are the same size in the ad from the vendor. Good luck with the project. Bruce
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post #9 of 33 Old 07-25-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

i_amcdn...I am parting out an Edel 665 - shipping will be expensive as I am in NC but it may be an option for you to consider for some parts such as the lazerette hatch and the pop top - something to consider. Send me a PM if your interested in some parts.

Andrew
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post #10 of 33 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

A bit hard to tell from the photos, but I'd agree with the others thinking that it is probably just cracked/crazed gelcoat and isn't a structural issue. The West manual has lots of detailed info on the subject and it isn't hard, but the key to success is the preparation. You can't just slap in some epoxy into the crack and expect it to last, you have to open up the 'wound' and give the epoxy some surface area to adhere to. By the time you get finished preparing the area, it will look a lot worse than it does now, but once you build it back up with epoxy and fair it out, you'll have a good repair that will last. Then you can think about painting to blend it in.

As far as epoxy goes, West is great stuff, but it is expensive and most of their products are 5:1 ratio which is easy to screw up (seems simple until you are in the middle of a repair and realize you have to quickly mix up another batch before the first kicks). I prefer the 2:1 ratio epoxies like System Three, Progressive, Raka, etc... They are easier to mix and can be found at close to half the cost of West System.

I'm currently finishing a deck recore on my Alberg 35 (Magic #16) and have gone through 8 gallons of System Three and almost 11 gallons of Progressive (I switched because supplier was much more convenient). I feel like I've got a good understanding of the different epoxies out there and for the type of repairs most boaters are doing, the additional cost of West isn't warranted. I'd probably use it if I were building a freestanding carbon fiber spar or airplane wing (or something that is engineered to cutting edge tolerances and demands the best), but not for rebuilding decks or gelcoat repairs.
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