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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Last summer another boat dinged the back of my boat. The area where the boat made contact left a quarter sized chip in my gel coat (you can see it all the way to starboard one below pic) and it appears to have led to a much larger cracking of the surrounding area over the winter. Does anyone know how to make this repair?

Thanks,
Amp1310
 

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That looks like paint rather than gelcoat. It looks like paint that didn't adhere to the surface it was applied to. Whether paint or gelcoat I cant picture how the small ding could have caused all that damage unless it was a much bigger impact than the ding suggests. You are going to have to strip all of that loose stuff off and see what it looks like underneath. I see a new paintjob in your future!

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does look a bit like paint but could be thin gelcoat. could be gelcoat that was sprayed on after boat was built. I see there have been a few name changes so something was sprayed on since it was built.the cracking could be from the impact. the hole area was flexed and took a shock load enough to cause the outer coating to separate from the fiberglass.
 

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Water could have gotten behind it from the chip, and freezing caused the lifting. If you squint just right, it almost looks like the cracked coating follows a hull-deck joint. You will need to remove the damaged paint/gelcoat to see what is going on under, then repaint/gelcoat the area.

Mark
 

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I agree with Mark that it looks like a fiberglass joint was disturbed and causing the cracking. That’s the real problem that must be addressed before it gets worse. That is a structural concern which will get worse due to hull flexing.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for the replies. It sounds like it is most likely paint separating from the fiberglass below.

Is the best way to fix this to chip and sand away as much of the paint as possible and then apply several layers of topcoat to match the thickness of the surrounding area? Is there any fiberglassing that I should/need to do properly address this?

Thanks again!
 

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I agree with Mark that it looks like a fiberglass joint was disturbed and causing the cracking. That’s the real problem that must be addressed before it gets worse. That is a structural concern which will get worse due to hull flexing.

Good luck!
Actually, I wasn't concerned about structural issues. It looks like the gelcoat did not bond well at the hull/deck joint, and my hypothesis was that the small chip allowed water into this area, which then cracked when it froze.

If this is the hull/deck join, then it was likely gelcoated out of the mold after the deck was put on and glassed to the hull. It is possible poor prep resulted in the gelcoat never bonding well.

However, the loose gelcoat should be removed and the joint inspected for damage.

To fix, remove the loose gelcoat, prep the underlying fiberglass, fair with a suitable fairing compound as needed, and paint or gelcoat. You can use a chip of the damaged gelcoat to have a paint store or gelcoat supplier match the color. An inexpensive Preval sprayer may be all you need for this, although a better sprayer would be best. You could even do it with brush or roller, but that is more post work to sand. Check out youtube for guides on how to do this work.

Mark
 

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I have to add, though, that I have no idea how this boat was put together, and that may not be a hull/deck join in that spot. Sugar scoop sterns almost always are, as are reversed transoms because they can't be pulled out of a hull mold. I can't tell from the picture.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Mark. If it helps the bot is 1985 Tartan 28. I will check YouTube for more info. I appreciate the information thus far. Thanks again.
 

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I would be at least a little curious if the reason the paint/gelcoat lifted was because of movement in the initial impact. One thing you could do is look for any signs of movement from the inside.
 

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It could be the paint separated due to water intrusion or bad prep. It could be that it separated because the impact flexed the glass. That could cause damage, or it could be just fine.

You're not going to know until you remove the paint or gelcoat to reveal any real damage. You might be able to get a sense of it from this inside too.
 
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