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Old 20-06-2013, 19:50   #1
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Fiberglass maintenance?

Bumped into the first fiberglass boat that I would really consider. Up to this point they have all been steel. Wondering:

Does fiberglass need any maintenance other than paint?

Bottom paint every year or 2 depending on where you live?

Top paint- How often?

Can topsides be done DIY? Does glass get sanded first?
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Old 20-06-2013, 21:23   #2
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

No matter what fiberglass will require less maintenance then steel. every boat needs bottom paint, no matter the material it's made from ! Paint on a big boat, at least the sizes you have been talking about, requires a bunch of equipment most owners don't have or wish to buy and store! And painting a 50ft+ boat is something most folks won't wish to try ! If the boats painted with epoxy type paint , it can with care, last at least 10 yrs and Ive seen some go longer then that and still look good !! And ALL surfaces being painted no matter the material need sanding !! and not just one time either!! Just my 2 cents
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Old 21-06-2013, 17:42   #3
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

But with fiberglass you have to wax once a month, right? And is that it.

Bottom paint every 2 years
top paint every 10 years
wax monthly

Anything else?

Touch ups or anything?
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Old 21-06-2013, 17:54   #4
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pirate Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
But with fiberglass you have to wax once a month, right? And is that it.

Bottom paint every 2 years
top paint every 10 years
wax monthly

Anything else?

Touch ups or anything?
Is it already painted...??
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Old 21-06-2013, 18:01   #5
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

paint???
wax????

egads. sorry. i sail mine. i dont shiney it up.
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Old 22-06-2013, 08:15   #6
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
But with fiberglass you have to wax once a month, right? And is that it.

Bottom paint every 2 years
top paint every 10 years
wax monthly

Anything else?

Touch ups or anything?

Top paint?

We haul every year (even when we over-winter in water, 3 out of every 4 years) for a power-wash, hull and running gear inspection, new zinc anodes, usually TOUCH-UP bottom paint... and wash/wax the hull topsides. We've done the TOUCH-UP bottom paint (biocide) part for the last three years; next year, we'll probably have to do the full hull.

We hose saltwater off the hull after each run.

The deck, house, bridge, and stainless all gets washed once/month, "detailed" (picky picky washing) and waxed once/year. And it all gets hosed down after any run that causes salt spray on the decks, sometimes after "drier" runs too.

That's pretty much it. (Without addressing any additional maintenance or repair on any dings and cracks we might inflict on the 'glass during use.) The Chesapeake is relatively benign, compared to water with higher salt content.

-Chris
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Old 22-06-2013, 08:27   #7
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

the folks i have met who wax their boats monthly never leave the slip.

racers usually wax prior to their race event. some wax weekly for beer can racing..lol

most cruisers i have met, even snotty ones, wax when a local is hongree and needs money badly enough to beg boat work while swimming in a bay.
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Old 22-06-2013, 08:36   #8
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

Most of the traditional laid up in a mold boats start with a thick layer of gel coat, which is a polyester resin, nearly the same as what is used to lay up the rest of the boat. This can last 25-35 years. It should be regularly waxed to protect it from UV if you want it to last the maximum amount of time. Gel coat is never as shiny as the polyurethane paints. If you don't wax it the outer layer turns to dust and can be sanded off and polished up again.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:05   #9
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

Oh, waxing is only once a year. That's great. So, fiberglass really does seem easy.
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Old 28-06-2013, 21:34   #10
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
Oh, waxing is only once a year. That's great. So, fiberglass really does seem easy.



Many large boats are painted as the epoxy paint last as long as gel coat but easier to repair and match. It take 6 to 8 hours just to wash the Eagle. Fiber glass is easier to maintain but gel coat vrs paint is not the main reason.
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Old 28-06-2013, 21:43   #11
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Old 29-06-2013, 21:05   #12
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

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Originally Posted by rw58ph View Post
Many large boats are painted as the epoxy paint last as long as gel coat but easier to repair and match. It take 6 to 8 hours just to wash the Eagle. Fiber glass is easier to maintain but gel coat vrs paint is not the main reason.
I'm confused. Does the gel coat go over the epoxy? What is epoxy paint?
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Old 29-06-2013, 21:24   #13
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
every boat needs bottom paint, no matter the material it's made from !
stainless steel, bronze, and copper, do not

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
Bumped into the first fiberglass boat that I would really consider.
Does fiberglass need any maintenance other than paint?
yes, you must fixed the hole you caused in it when you bumped into it with your steel boat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post

Bottom paint every 2 years
no, 3-5 up to 8 with a hard bottom
Quote:
top paint every 10 years
nope.
Quote:
wax monthly
nope
Quote:
Anything else?
depends on the age and make. some need new gel coat if the boat is very old.
some blister.
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Old 29-06-2013, 21:30   #14
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

There is epoxy paint which is a paint that one might be convinced is a good idea to make one's boat beautiful again but gelcoat, which is the "paint" that the boat originally came with is sooooo much easier to repair and feather in. You could be convinced by a boat yard to have your boat awlgripped (a paint) but jn my opinion
it's shiny appearance lasts MAYBE 5 years IF you put covers on your bumpers and NEVER EVER hit a dock.Repairs CAN'T be feathered in to disappear
Stick with gelcoat..... It came on the boat and lasted 20 to 30 years ....sand the boat and regelcoat it.....it'll last another 20 or 30 years
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Old 30-06-2013, 06:20   #15
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Re: Fiberglass maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
I'm confused. Does the gel coat go over the epoxy? What is epoxy paint?

When a hull is molded, gel coat is the first layer of "real stuff" that coats the mold... and becomes the outer layer of the hull. (Usually the mold is pre-coated with some kind of release agent, so the new hull can actually be removed from the mold eventually.) Gel coat comes with it's own built-in color (can have color codes, etc.), created by mixing pigment into the wet slurry that becomes the hard gel coat layer.

The fiberglass itself is usually mats or strips of "fabric" made of loosely woven 'glass strands, and the 'glass matting is then infused (in a number of ways) with resin. Once all that hardens, the hull can come out of the mold for installation of systems, deck, etc. (There are several technical methods of creating a fiberglass hull, so this is just a quick-and-dirty.)

Some makers add an additional layer of gel coat on the inner side of the hull, partly for cosmetics, partly to make cleaning etc. easier.

Paint isn't necessary over the top of gel coat, although some makers do that for cosmetic purposes (e.g., to change the hull color topsides), or sometimes as a "barrier coat" to help the gel coat further resist water intrusion (bottom, under the biocide bottom paint).

Gel coat can be repaired, although sometimes color matching can be an issue; even with manufacturer's color codes, the rest of the gel coat around the area to be repaired may have faded over the years. I've read some paints are easily repairable (AlexSeal?), some not so much (Awlgrip?) in small patches. No first-hand experience.

-Chris
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