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Gell Coat cracks... Well the whole damn boat.

18324 Views 43 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  kidcarbon
So my boat is getting to the point where i want to rework the upper decks.

I have two problems , one is the boat is 40 years old and the gell coat has seen better days the second is that someone applied cheep paint over it and its cracking and flaking too.
So do i strip it down to glass and re do it all?
smooth it as much as possible and fill it?
or just go over it?

P.S. these holes are no longer there. I have redone them and they are the best spots on my deck as of now.

Thank you all for your time and for putting up with all my dumb questions.:)
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Lots of work , i know.... But i have thought about using a thin coat of Max Bond epoxy/resin over the real tough area's. I have no water leaks as of yet and none of the crack are very deep, there just
The bad layer of poor paint just makes them look even worse. :(
WOW, hot topic...

So, i was once told by a very wise man that none of us are as smart as all of us..
I started this thread to see who has done what or tried different approaches to a major repair like this.

Not to speak for any one else's boat but mine..
My crazed deck does not appear to be a structure problem but shrinking gel coat. After a two week's of hard daily rain i hit her decks with a very high pressure washer. Then cut bunches of the cracks open only to find very shallow surface cracking the core is fine. I got" 0 "core damage or even dampness. After hours of cutting all the deep ones i could find i gave up and started sanding. 60 grit on a 6" da sander.

I did a 8' section with max bond epoxy/resin and the surface came out like glass. I did smaller experiments all over the boat trying to sand, pressure wash, dry with a heat gun, lay resin/epoxy let dry for a few days and try real hard to pry it off, cut it or blast it off with high water pressure.
the results are...... The max bond find's every nook and cranny and fills it and holds on like nothing i have ever seen.
i went so far as to try to force a razor blade in between the old and new with no luck. "The people at max bond dared me to .."it was able to dig in to the old gel coat but when i tried to pull it off the deck was lifting up!

Any way, I will be doing all the top side in this manner. then a good primer wit either a Algrip or Perfection top coats to finish it off.
I am more inclined to use the perfection rather than the Algrip. I have done a few tests and the perfection has won them all so far.

I planed to post up pic's during but i always forget besides a video would of been the only way to prove any of this.

I want to thank you all for your input even the people who were not very nice about it. We all have an opinion and they all matter.

To answer a few questions i have received:
1)No i did not get a boat inspection , mainly due to the lack of un biased opinion around here.
2) I knew how much work i was in for and LOVE to do this kind of stuff..
3) i am a Mechanical Engineer and a Heavy Diesel Tech and am no stranger to hard work, fabrication etc. I just wish they made a fiberglass rod to weld with. lol.
4) Yes i know my boat and i are the same age... 40 :D
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Ok, You are SO not off the hook here! I want pictures!!! Yes I do! Please, pretty please, with awl grip on top?
:laugher Ok Sara, just for you i will try and shoot the " action" shots.
What do you want? before during after of a spot or the whole boat, small area?
I spoke with a chem guy out here and i was told this about the cracks we have:
They are a result of a to hot mix. The gel coat cured to fast and has been steadily contraction over the years. Forming the micro separation's we see.
The best fix was a good rough sanding for a texture and a filling with a softer resin/epoxy . Which is what the people at Max Bond told me as well. the surface needs to be rough, and very clean! the resin/epoxy must be THIN and flow well..

I have used their products before in the forming of Carbon fiber race parts and can attest to the strength under impact and resistance to heat.
They have a cool set up and do a bunch of stuff on ebay. If you are an insomniac watch the proper mixing of resin for two min and you will be out cold.. Great products and fantastic support.
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