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Old 07-08-2013, 13:33   #1
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GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

I looked at a boat which has been on the hard, on the east coast, for several years. Stepping onto the deck the first noticeable feature is: gravelly bits all over the place. Second feature: rather than gelcoat-molded nonskid, the surface is exposed glass cloth. Putting two and two together, the deck's gelcoat has been eroded, either through a defect, or the effects of pollution. If this is the total extent of the problem, it seems it can be fairly easily remedied by product(s) from Interlux or Awlgrip. The deck seems fairly solid, but has water permeated the glass and gotten into the balsa core. My concern is that the watertight aspect would be provided by the (nonexistant) gelcoat. Secondarily, can I trust what a surveyor says with his moisture meter, etc?

Any thoughts appreciated.
Thx,
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Old 07-08-2013, 14:26   #2
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

Moisture Meter Mythology
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Old 07-08-2013, 14:31   #3
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

well , the water meter thing is highly contentious. For instance: That boat could have water wicked into the glass itself with no gel protection, but the meter reader might interpret this as core wetness.
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Old 07-08-2013, 14:38   #4
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

Quote:
Originally Posted by dschultz View Post
the surface is exposed glass cloth. Putting two and two together, the deck's gelcoat has been eroded, either through a defect, or the effects of pollution.
does it matter?
Quote:
If this is the total extent of the problem, it seems it can be fairly easily remedied by product(s) from Interlux or Awlgrip. The deck seems fairly solid, but has water permeated the glass and gotten into the balsa core.
Thx,
Are you asking a question: "but has water permeated the glass"?

I don't think anyone can perceive the answer through the internet.
A good surveyor won't rely solely on a moisture meter but would take soundings and probably take core samples in hidden areas to be sure.

Also, you can't use paint to mask FRP. Paint will not hide flaws underneath such as glass stranding and you can't sand FRP smooth enough to eliminate coating it first.

This sounds like not just a run away from boat but burn it down first before running away type boat.
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Old 07-08-2013, 14:40   #5
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

Thank you for the replies.

Cheechako, is it therefore a fair statement to make that the glass will wick water, but the resin will not, and so a reasonable, if somewhat cosmetically challenged, fix is to, after cleanup, get plastic over it to arrest the moisture infiltration, then dry out the glass with a heat gun, and then "replenish" the gelcoat?

Thx
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Old 07-08-2013, 14:51   #6
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

>>does it matter?

Perhaps somewhat, a strictly environmental factor can be fixed.

>>Also, you can't use paint to mask FRP.

It was my understanding that there are epoxy compounds for this type of situation.

>>This sounds like not just a run away from boat but
>> burn it down first before running away type boat.

Good answer. Thanks for the reply
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Old 07-08-2013, 15:14   #7
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

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Also, you can't use paint to mask FRP. Paint will not hide flaws underneath such as glass stranding and you can't sand FRP smooth enough to eliminate coating it first.
Never heard of "high-solids epoxy paint," apparently?




to the OP: gelcoat can wear with age, and it may not be a big deal. But for a real answer, you need a real surveyor. Get the best you can find.
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Old 07-08-2013, 15:38   #8
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

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Never heard of "high-solids epoxy paint," apparently?




.
Impossible to sand smooth in a reasonable time, especially over an extensive area. Next option?
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Old 08-08-2013, 16:01   #9
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

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Impossible to sand smooth in a reasonable time, especially over an extensive area. Next option?
That was not my experience, perhaps I was lucky
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Old 08-08-2013, 16:09   #10
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

There are filling and fairing compounds. Once the glass is dry that would be the next step before painting I suppose. Is it just the non skid that has done this.... It just seems something is amiss.... like: did someone start to replace the non skid? Is it exposed glass mat, or woven cloth or what? Once dry, if a inexpenve, non yacht solution is wanted, you could just mask and roll on a thick layer of commercial deck paint like Dura Tek etc. Thick, tenacious stuff with agressive non skid. A $125 gallon would do your whole deck.. I put some on some old fir 6 x 12 timber steps on my house deck, It'll never come off without pulling wood with it.... NOT a yacht appearance finish!

If you want a true yacht level repair, post pics and get Delmarray's, or a couple other yacht repair guys on this forum's advice.
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Old 08-08-2013, 16:15   #11
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

Quote:
Originally Posted by dschultz View Post
Thank you for the replies.

Cheechako, is it therefore a fair statement to make that the glass will wick water, but the resin will not, and so a reasonable, if somewhat cosmetically challenged, fix is to, after cleanup, get plastic over it to arrest the moisture infiltration, then dry out the glass with a heat gun, and then "replenish" the gelcoat?

Thx
More or less , yes. I might be tempted to tent it and run air conditioners or dehumidifiers for a couple of weeks. applying a heat gun probably not the answer. Or tape down plastic and run a vacuum pump.
I would try drilling some small holes below decks in the closet overhead and any other places like that that you can. Peel the balsa off the spiral drill and squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger... any wetness? A small hole is not going to hurt anything. fill with a dab of 5200 if you want. This works great to dermine extent of water in decks.
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Old 08-08-2013, 19:30   #12
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Re: GelCoat Eroded by Pollution, Permeability of FRP Underneath

Quote:
Is it just the non skid that has done this....
Yes. Well, the deck.

Quote:
did someone start to replace the non skid?
Actually, the opposite, the boat has been neglected.

Quote:
Is it exposed glass mat, or woven cloth or what?
Woven Cloth.

Quote:
if a inexpenve, non yacht solution is wanted,
The way I see it, there are two approaches, after fairing and filling:

Sand down the surviving molded non-skid, paint, and then go with Interdeck, GripTex, or perhaps something like KiwiGrip.

OR

Go for matching the surviving molded non-skid by painting, and replicating the existing molded gelcoat with Mas Epoxy's Gibco Flex-Mold approach.

This kind of answers Illusion's question about why does it matter whether the disintegrating gelcoat is from a formulation defect, or simply pollution. ie, one degradation scenario can be arrested.

I'll have to investigate further people's levels of success achieved with Flex-Mold, bit it would possibly yield the best result.
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