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Old 30-01-2009, 11:58   #1
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Cracks in the gel coat Bavaria 37

Anybody ever experienced cracks by the mast foot on a Bavaria cruiser. It apperas on both side of the mast food. Mine is a 37ft 2007 model. Any good recomendations. Se pix in attach
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Old 30-01-2009, 12:36   #2
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Those look like stress cracks. They are common where the fiberglass makes an abrupt turn like that. Sharp corners are difficult to get a good resin coating on and are often subject to extra stress when they are freeing the glass from the mold.

I had some where the deck met the cabin and along the lower edge of the bulwark. The only solution is to grind them back to solid glass, fill with long fiber glass/epoxy, finish fill it with fairing compound or microfiber and finally spray with gelcoat that matches the color.

None of it is really difficult but it is time consuming and will require patience. There are video/dvd's that show the step by step process.

Edit: although you are seeing the cracks in the gelcoat, it is highly probable that they extend into the underlying glass.
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Old 30-01-2009, 13:12   #3
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Thank you. In that case I wonder if the whole structure has weakened significantly or I could just fill the gap superficially to avoid humidity to enter, as a temporary solution.
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Old 30-01-2009, 13:13   #4
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As mentioned , they are common. This is a cosmetic repair. There are step by step instructions on Gelcoat repair here:

Catalac Catamaran Factory Update 3 - with News and Recommendations

Towards the bottom of the page.

It's not rocket science, and although it's a not a job I look forward to, it's easily done.
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Old 30-01-2009, 14:19   #5
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Dear Klaus,
Ann Cate, sv Insatiable II, here. If the cracks go deeply into the solid glass, IMO the best thing to do is consult with a well recommended professional repairer. If you want to go to sea in the boat, fix it if there is an underlying weakness there. But yes, the epoxy/glass should keep the moisture out, short term, but you'd still have the true problem waiting to smite you on the proverbial dark and stormy nght...
Ann
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Old 30-01-2009, 14:57   #6
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I don't believe that the fiberglass on deck has much to do with integrity of the rig. Certainly not if the mast is keel stepped. As Tropic Cat mentions this is a cosmetic repair. As to the cracks going deep, it really doesn't matter. The repair process of grinding out the crack and refilling with structural grade fiberglass is the same. In the video I learned from, the author states that in some cases he's had to go all the way through the original glass but that the new repair will be as good as the original should have been.

The one nice thing about a repair like this is that no exotic tools are necessary. An electric drill with a carbide grinding tip will take care of the grinding out. A small airbrush with a small can of propellant does an excellent job of applying gelcoat to a small repair like this. They are available for around $25 U.S.

On the other hand, if this is the only repair that needs to be done. I'd just hire a guy that's got all the stuff and let him/her do it. Even allowing for the cure times, it's a one day job with most of that time spent waiting. A few minutes to grind out, about 15 min for the structural glass to cure, a bit sanding, apply the fairing compound and wait another 15 - 20 min. The trickiest is to match the gelcoat color. In my case it took about 20 min., it might take much longer but usually not. The gelcoat should probably cure for about 4 hours before the final finish sanding and polishing.

Like I said, for just a single repair, which is totally cosmetic, it's probably easier to hire it done. I had a bunch so I learned how to do it myself.

Rich
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