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Old 18-12-2014, 08:56   #1
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Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

I have a few areas of hairline cracks in my gelcoat - more cosmetic than anything serious. I have been researching various repair methods and would prefer not to start grinding away the gelcoat and doing a major repair. I came across a product called "MagicEzy" on youtube. The manufacturer has a website at www.magicezy.com this product looks a little "too good to be true", and experience tells me that is probably the case. I was wondering if anyone has tried this product or if anyone has other recommendations.

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Old 18-12-2014, 09:45   #2
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

I've found that if you just don't look at em, they disappear. We are talking just a few hairline cracks?
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:37   #3
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

Usually, gelcoat cracks are from flexing. Gelcoat is brittle and doesn't like to flex. If your boat's cracks are around the genoa sheet tracks, or where the winches are mounted, you may want to beef it up a bit, address the underlying cause, before addressing the cosmetic issue.

If it truly is only cosmetic, then A64pilot's suggestion of directing your eyes away from them does make a certain kind of sense. :-)

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Old 18-12-2014, 19:14   #4
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

A cracked gelcoat allows humidity to enter. Gelcoat is the impermeable part, fiberglass absorbs water and besides that cracks are not nice.

Probably it works, given what they say and the warranty. In Europe they are also commercializing a similar product. I am going to try it too. I do repairs with normal gelcoat but that's difficult and takes time since you have open all the cracks before repairing. If this works it will be very easy.
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Old 18-12-2014, 23:12   #5
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

Ok, I have just finished repairing the Admirals kayak which is gelcoat. Besides some quite deep chips accumulated over the years, it also had a serious disagreement with a big rock in a river, and the rock won. So there was an impact chip and radiating hairline cracks about the size of your hand on the side of the kayak.

I used both Magicezy 9 Second Chip Fix and the Hairline Fix with excellent results. I wish I had taken before & after photos, but didn't.

The Hairline Fix was a better product IMO unless you have really deep chips. I just put in multiple applications in deeper scratches and buffed the surface at the end. The Hairline Fix is quite watery and you just spread it over the hairline cracks and it fills it. I first ran a sharp pin along the cracks to open them up in a V so the product would get better grip on the bigger V-surface area. That also clears out any dirt which will darken the colour and show up.

Worked perfectly, the cracks completely disappeared. The stuff is structural ie it bonds to the gelcoat and strengthens it.
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Old 20-12-2014, 06:34   #6
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

I've tried the MagicEz and am satisfied, with practice I'll get better at it.
It does make it seem not there...of course if you focus and know where it was you will see it, but with time everything disappears.
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Old 20-12-2014, 08:57   #7
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

My suggestion is to leave the cracks alone. If you do something, you need to v out the crack down to the fiberglass the build it back up with gelcoat or epoxy (tinted properly). The problem with hairline cracks is that they are usually from stress in the glass or induced by a stanchion that was improperly install with out adquate backplate or in and area with fiberglass not strong enough to handle the loads. My suggestion therefore is leave them alone. They will come back.

The product you mentioned, Id do not know anything about it.
But,I tried a crack product called "Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure"(p/n CCC02) it did not work. Then when the sun baked it it made the crack an ugly black crack - beware!
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Old 20-12-2014, 09:35   #8
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

Sometimes the cracks may be due to the gelcoat being applied overly thick. Later, years of exposure to sunlight causes further shrinkage and cracks. But if the cracks appear in a highly stressed area (stanchion base?) the only sure way to prevent continued cracking is to spread the load over a larger area by reinforcing. If you grind the gelcoat down to bare fiberglass, you will likely see (using a magnifying glass) that the cracks continue into the glass. This requires further grinding and then matting over the cracks; then re-gelcoat.

Do not just ignore them by looking away, as water will continue to enter the glass, swelling the glass, and enlarging the cracks.
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Old 21-12-2014, 10:17   #9
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and advice.....all good stuff! I think I will give the MagicEzy a try after Christmas and see how it works.


Cheers!
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Old 21-12-2014, 10:43   #10
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

BigBeakie, thanks for posting your experience.

The MagicEzy Hairline Fix looks like it might be the best way to deal with my cracks but since the surface needs to be warm and we are starting winter here, it looks like it will be several months before I can try it.

Luckily, it seems to be available at a local vendor so I should be able to match the color more easily than ordering over the Internet.
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Old 21-12-2014, 17:58   #11
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

One thing I forgot to mention, and feel I should, is that there is an old saying in marketing, something like "There is no such thing as a perfect product"

There is one thing about my experience with Magic-ezy that was annoying, and that was that the colour matching can be a bit challenging. My experience is that the 2 tubes of product I got, although supposed to be the same colour, were quite different. I got the Matterhorn White in both the 9 Second Chip Fix and Hairline. The 9 Second Chip stuff was really pure bright white, while the Hairline was close to what the colour was displayed on their leaflet, a very light bluey gray that matched the kayak bottom very well.

However the Hairline tube had to be squeezed for awhile to mix the colour because when it first came out of the tube it also was very bright white as well.
The 9 Second Chip never did come close to being a similar colour, it was definitely like their Snow White.

So squeeze the tube up and down to mix the colour & test the colour before you apply it. You might want to put some on a piece of copy paper and let dry and then compare it to your boat first, or just do a small area to try the colour match.
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Old 21-12-2014, 18:07   #12
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
A cracked gelcoat allows humidity to enter. Gelcoat is the impermeable part, fiberglass absorbs water and besides that cracks are not nice.

Probably it works, given what they say and the warranty. In Europe they are also commercializing a similar product. I am going to try it too. I do repairs with normal gelcoat but that's difficult and takes time since you have open all the cracks before repairing. If this works it will be very easy.
Are you sure fiberglass absorbs water ! You might find polyester or GRP does but fiberglass !!!
The reason boats are made out of GRP (Polyester) is cost not practicality Fiberglass is 3 times the price. Having made many fuel tanks and holding tanks out of fiberglass can't say the substrate has absorbed anything !
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Old 21-12-2014, 18:09   #13
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

Used to use a product called Capt Tolleys creeping crack cure. Not sure if it is still on the market
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Old 21-12-2014, 18:21   #14
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

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Originally Posted by Emmalina View Post
Are you sure fiberglass absorbs water ! You might find polyester or GRP does but fiberglass !!!
The reason boats are made out of GRP (Polyester) is cost not practicality Fiberglass is 3 times the price. Having made many fuel tanks and holding tanks out of fiberglass can't say the substrate has absorbed anything !
I don't know of what you are talking about. For fiberglass I was referring to the one that is mostly common on sailboats, with polyester resins.

"Other common names for fiberglass are glass-reinforced plastic (GRP)"
Fiberglass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 21-12-2014, 18:24   #15
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Re: Repair of hairline cracks in gelcoat

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I don't know of what you are talking about. For fiberglass I was referring to the one that is mostly common on sailboats, with polyester resins.

"Other common names for fiberglass are glass-reinforced plastic (GRP)"
Fiberglass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oh sorry I was referring to epoxy resin !
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