Gelcoat cracks/crazing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Gelcoat cracks/crazing

Hello all,

I could use some help. I have a 72 Venture 17 that is in process of becoming seaworthy 'ish' again. Latest project is to repaint the hull. I've sanded off the existing bottom paint and came across this (see photo). Sooo, the boat is on a cradle in the garage. I'd like to avoid flipping it over if possible. My thought is to epoxy the cracks, prep, primer, paint. Here's the newbie question: do you think thickened epoxy would fill the crazing? If I flip the hull, I'd use 105/205 unthickened that I have on hand. I'm afraid using unthickened material overhead will just make a mess. What do you suggest?

Edit: any thoughts on mixing in 406 or similar and squeeging it into the cracks?
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-10-2019
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

Perhaps an epoxy barrier coat would do the same thing with less effort than trying to fill each crack individually. Primer might do the same thing, but might not last as long. The cracks look small enough to really be a hassle to try to fill. Thickened epoxy will make uneven areas that will have to be sanded out - even more work. Coating the whole thing might be the quickest and best solution. If you're planning to paint it anyway, the process is essentially the same. Might be worth flipping the boat over though, even if it's a hassle to do. Boat that size shouldn't cost you more than two six-packs to have neighbors over. Ten minutes for the flip and an hour or two for discussion over the brews.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

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Perhaps an epoxy barrier coat would do the same thing with less effort than trying to fill each crack individually. Primer might do the same thing, but might not last as long. The cracks look small enough to really be a hassle to try to fill. Thickened epoxy will make uneven areas that will have to be sanded out - even more work. Coating the whole thing might be the quickest and best solution. If you're planning to paint it anyway, the process is essentially the same. Might be worth flipping the boat over though, even if it's a hassle to do. Boat that size shouldn't cost you more than two six-packs to have neighbors over. Ten minutes for the flip and an hour or two for discussion over the brews.
Yeah, that's what I've been thinking but I want to make sure I'm not missing something. Soooo, do you make your way to Naugatuck at all??
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-10-2019
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

Iím afraid that unless you flip the boat, the resin will not penetrate. Thickened epoxy will not penetrate and be a bear to sand, especially if you donít flip the boat.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-11-2019
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

Looks like "only" gelcoat crazing. Barrier coating it is probably fine. I like Pettit Protect as it requires fewer coats.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-11-2019
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

I used the Pettit High Build Barrier coat (2) coats on a hull that looked similar to yours. I lightly sanded in between coats and then added two coats of their marine enamel. This was all for the topsides...not below the water line. Someone suggested that the crazing in the gelcoat would keep returning due to stresses created from different temperatures and general flexing due to normal use. I kept the boat in the water full time, sailed it often and sold it after a few years, but the cracks did not return.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-11-2019
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

I prefer using epoxy resin for the first coat, i will stick much better to the gell coat or whatever is left. The following coats can be any epoxy based barrier coat or thickened epoxy. It is best to use the same producers epoxies.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-11-2019
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

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Originally Posted by scubadoo View Post
I used the Pettit High Build Barrier coat (2) coats on a hull that looked similar to yours. I lightly sanded in between coats and then added two coats of their marine enamel. This was all for the topsides...not below the water line. Someone suggested that the crazing in the gelcoat would keep returning due to stresses created from different temperatures and general flexing due to normal use. I kept the boat in the water full time, sailed it often and sold it after a few years, but the cracks did not return.
Pettit protect high build is a very easy to use and great product. sands easy with no clogging of the paper. forget using epoxy resins, no need with this product 2 coats and you are done. sand the surface with 80 grit, wash and apply. sand to desired finish and paint. covers gelcoat grazing and they won't come back for another 47 years
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-11-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Gelcoat cracks/crazing

Thanks guys! I am looking at barrier coat. Sea Hawk Tuff Stuff has a nice long recoat window. Either that or Pettit Protect. I already have Pettit bottom paint so it probably would be best to stay with the same product line.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-11-2019
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Gelcoat cracks/crazing

Another vote for flipping it, then spraying a coat of high-build primer and long boarding it. I went Awlgrip on mine, but to each his (or her) own...
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