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post #1 of 36 Old 04-16-2016 Thread Starter
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severe deck crazing repair cost

Hi all,

I'm buying a boat in need of a number of repairs. One of the projects I will be doing is refinishing the severely crazed deck gelcoat. I'm trying to wrap my head around the cost of this project. The crazing appears non-structural (cracks don't emanate from the genny tracks, etc.) and involves only the (formerly) glossy portions of the deck and cockpit, not the non-skid. There are a few deep cracks, which will need to be "Veed" out and filled with epoxy. For the rest, I'm hoping to sand, apply 2 coats of epoxy, then pay the yard to paint it with LPU. By doing much of the prep myself (including removal of deck hardware), I'm hoping to significantly decrease the cost of the job.

Is this pie in the sky, or is my logic sound?

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by StephenMaturin; 04-18-2016 at 02:43 AM.
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post #2 of 36 Old 04-16-2016
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

IMHO forget trying to repair it.

I have a similar situation on a much older boat and the problem almost certainly is the result of a fault in the original lay up. Any attempt to repair it by veeing out the cracks may fix things for a short while but the cracks will return and you may make things worse by introducing new stress raisers.

This was the advice from my surveyor and glass work pro.
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post #3 of 36 Old 04-16-2016
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

adding more thickness to the already to thick gelcoat will make them comeback even faster. but not as fast as it will empty your bank account. if you have already bought the boat then sail it for while before you decide to try to repair.

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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

Cleaning out and filling, even if you drill small holes at the ends to stop the crack from spreading, still leaves you needing a complete deck repaint to hide the cracks. And that means removing and later replacing and rebidding all the deck hardware, a long job needing a helper above/below deck as well. An expensive job for a shop because of the labor involved.

If you are contemplating that, better to "paint" over with a rubbery non-skid coating, which at least stands a chance of not showing the new cracks as they continue to form. Or, one of those "Chia Deck" kits that they sell on late night tv.(G)
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post #5 of 36 Old 04-16-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

I like the chia deck! It'll be like a "green roof" on the boat!

Seriously, this isn't fixable? I thought sanding, a few coats of epoxy, and painting would fix the problem. It sounds like this will continue to worsen as time passes regardless of intervention?

Thanks
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

Anything is fixable. But if the gelcoat is brittle, or stiffer than the underlying frp, any flexing or impact loads can cause more cracking. If you had a professional shop doing all the work, I would still doubt they would guarantee no more cracks to develop. (If I'm wrong about that, get the guarantee in writing & give them the job.(G)

The problem is not about fixing the cracks, but in the significant cost of repainting the deck (with uninstalling & reinstalling everything on it) and then putting *that* to waste if it keeps cracking.

If you wanted to gamble, maybe grind out and refinish the cracks, and then wait a year to see if the deck is stable or if new cracks continue to form. And hold off on the painting until you know that. If they continue to form...rubbery antiskid over them, or one of the "fake teak" products that will also prevent any cracks from telegraphing through.
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

The real fix is to grind off all gelcoat and lay on a new layer of fiberglass, fair then Lpu. It's a good bit of work but the only true cure...chasing recurring stress cracks is never ending.
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

Patching the cracks without correcting the cause will not change anything. As someone already said, the cause was with the original layup, most likely too much gelcoat or improperly catalysed gelcoat.
Only sure (mostly) fix is to remove it and start again..... not financially practical.
Call it "character" and go sailing.

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post #9 of 36 Old 04-17-2016
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

You could also sand off the gelcoat (through the cracks to glass...you could paint over non-cracked properly prepped gelcoat.) This provided the cracks were age/ not stress related. They could have been the result of some quirk in the original construction. Hard to know. So you could use an AwlGrip or Awlcraft paint (which I've heard one is more repairable than the other down the road...anyone ever used either and care to enlighten me on that?)...It does a beautiful job. I have the same thing on my Tartan 37 I'll eventually address. I'll probably use (I think it's Awlcraft) the one more repairable...
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post #10 of 36 Old 04-17-2016
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Re: severe deck crazing repair cost

Awlcraft 2000 is spray only, won't work well for griptex/non-skid areas. The underlying problem must be addressed. As a guess the gel was overcatylized making it brittle...a systematic failure. It will continue to stress crack in new places as well. If the layup is the culprit a new layer of glass will strengthen. No quick fix...go sailing and have fun...it does not have to look like a Ferrari paint job...it's a boat to be used and enjoy!
In other words I agree with boatpoker on this...

Last edited by captjcook; 04-17-2016 at 09:39 AM.
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