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Old 06-15-2004
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Minor gelcoat repair

I have a small hairline crack in the gelcoat of my Lido 14 and was researching the different products available. Some are just a single bottle (pre-colored) others include hardener , color matching dye etc. Which would you recommend for this minor repair on a white hull? Could I get away with the single bottle or does hardener make that much of a difference? I''d like to do this right the first time. Thanks
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Old 06-15-2004
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Minor gelcoat repair

First, you need to determine the cause of the crack. If the crack is due to lack of strength under that area, the crack will return and the repair will be useless. If the crack is on a cabin corner or in the edge of the cockpit youíre going to need some reinforcement. If itís on a rubrail then it''s probably from a hard docking.

The one with the hardener is the right stuff but it takes patients and TLC. Depending on the condition of your gelcoat now depends on how much work you''ll need to put into it. If it''s like new it''ll take lots of careful fine sanding and polishing.
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Minor gelcoat repair

It''s on the outside of the hull right around the water line. The boat hasn''t been in the water since 1988 so I belive it to be impact related. I didn''t even notice it until I was polishing that area - bringing back some life to the finish. It is almost impossible to see unless you''re right on top of it.
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Old 06-16-2004
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Minor gelcoat repair

Take a look on the inside opposite the crack to see if there is any signs of damage. If not, it''s a simple fix.
A fairly inexpensive kit can be purchased for the job. And being at the waterline it is important that it is sealed. But being a trailered boat not so critical.
The kit (Evercoat) comes as a paste and goes on easy. You''ll have to mix in the right amount of white. I do that before the hardener, gives time to mix well. You''ll have to grove out the crack with an angled tool, like the corner of a file trying your very best to stay on the crack.
Then you''ll be filling the crack . One thing you''ll have to remember is that the paste will shrink when it cures. So get a little extra thickness on there. The kit supplies some thin plastic sheets to put over the paste. The idea seems good but doesn''t work well. I use them to help smooth out the paste.
Give it a couple days of curing time in warm weather. Then you''ll be sanding with a fine wet-n-dry.
You might want to do a little reading on gelcoat repairs before you make the attempt. For one, there is an Advisory in the WestMarine catalog. Books will give you more detail, I don''t have the time. But just trying to give you an idea of the work involved.
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