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Old 17-07-2018, 15:43   #1
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Advice on fiberglass repair

I had an unfortunate encounter with a concrete abutment going through a narrow lock. It is a gouge about 18" long that goes through the gel coat pretty deep into the fiberglass, but not all the way through. I received an estimate for repair from a guy recommended by my yard: 14 hours at $80.00/hour + 208.00 in supplies + tax for a total of $1,420. Does this seem like a fair price or should I try to get additional estimates? I do want it to be done right and am willing to pay for it.

Alternatively, I'm wondering if I could do it myself. I'm pretty handy and have all the necessary grinding and sanding equipment, but I've never worked with fiberglass/gelcoat before. Should I start watching youtube videos and go for it, or would I be way over my head?

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Old 17-07-2018, 16:37   #2
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Hhmm, I guess we would need to see the quote and what he is actually doing. 14 hours is A TON of time.

Is he grinding and reglassing, then gelcoat? Is it just a gelcoat overcoat and color match (maybe a fiberglass layer inside)?

Granted, gelcoat sanding, fairing and polishing can take some time, but that seems pretty high to me. I had a chunk of my sugar scoop cut out, reglassed, and a gelcoat match done in under 20 hours. I also didn't pay $80/hour either, however, that was Florida.
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Old 17-07-2018, 16:42   #3
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Sigh.. I typed all that and then looked at your picture (the turtles threw me off and I thought you posted the wrong picture).

Based on that picture it looks like a straight gelcoat fair and color match. Of course its hard to tell in the picture, but it looks pretty easy and straight forward. I'm guessing the gouge is about 2 fingers wide? If so, then the guy must be planning on leaving his glasses at home and fixing it while drunk to quote 14 hours. Seriously, I would never pay that for a standard gelcoat repair job.
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Old 17-07-2018, 17:07   #4
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

The gouge is pretty deep, well into the fiberglass. Here is his description when I asked him for the details of the repair:


Yes, we will enlarge the repair area by grinding out all the crack and 6-8Ē around . This will give the new glass enough area to bite, once the fiberglass and woven work has been done, then we fair the area out (straighten) so no lumps remain, then gelcoat to match (best as possible) sand and buff. I also donít believe we have to do a two sided repair, however if the crack goes all the way trough and we can get to the other side , then we will put a patch on the inside as well. Hope this answers all your questions. My understanding is you will take care of the turtle art work (I did not put that in the quote). Let me know if you want me to repair.
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Old 17-07-2018, 17:20   #5
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
The gouge is pretty deep, well into the fiberglass. Here is his description when I asked him for the details of the repair:


Yes, we will enlarge the repair area by grinding out all the crack and 6-8Ē around . This will give the new glass enough area to bite, once the fiberglass and woven work has been done, then we fair the area out (straighten) so no lumps remain, then gelcoat to match (best as possible) sand and buff. I also donít believe we have to do a two sided repair, however if the crack goes all the way trough and we can get to the other side , then we will put a patch on the inside as well. Hope this answers all your questions. My understanding is you will take care of the turtle art work (I did not put that in the quote). Let me know if you want me to repair.
Now I'm not a "fiberglass expert", but I have definately fixed quite a bit of glass in my time. Again, I will caveate this with the fact that I'm only looking at a small picture.

Now I won't argue with his method. Its absolutely the right way to fix serious fiberglass damage. He might be seeing something I'm not, but that does not look like serious fiberglass damage. That looks like pretty superficial gelcoat damage with a small layer of glass removed. Personally I would try and look behind the damage and actually see if there are spider cracks. Even better, I would try and repair that from the inside if at all possible. Why grind a bigger area if you can add two/three layers of patches inside to strengthen the area. After that, its just a gelcoat repair!

Personally, I think he may be "Gilding the lilly" to extend his quote. Seriously, no skin off his ass to gind out a bunch and make the repair take longer (his hours cost him nothing).

AGAIN.. I'm saying this with only seeing a small picture. I think your best course of action is to have another person quote on the repair. See if they quote similar prices, with similar steps.
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Old 17-07-2018, 17:56   #6
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Thanks for the advice. Interesting idea on reinforcing the area on the inside. It doesn't go all the way through, but probably close. So, I could lay down some layers of glass on the inside, and then what, fill the outside area with gel coat? How thick can you do gel coat?
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Old 17-07-2018, 17:56   #7
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

It's really hard to tell from the pic,on my phone it looked like the black was part of the turtle pic.

Will some of the scuff mark come up with a little buffing?

Also it looked like there's a different shade of white underneath.

Depending on how bad the scuff mark is makes a big difference. Would he have to re do the gel coat over the whole area or is it just fairing a crack.

If you want to attempt a diy try and buff the black off,feather the crack with gel coat and extend the artwork a little.
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Old 17-07-2018, 18:25   #8
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

The darker scuff marks do look superficial and I think I can wet sand/buff them out. But there is a deep gouge probably 1/2 inch deep x 1" tall x 12" long. So, if I don't have to grind away a large area surrounding the gouge and could somehow fill in the gash and buff away the scuff marks, I could indeed make a larger turtle decal and cover it up.



My hesitation with this is that all the fiberglass repair videos I've seen involve significantly enlarging the damaged area, as my repair guy says, to give the glass enough area to bite.
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Old 17-07-2018, 19:02   #9
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
The darker scuff marks do look superficial and I think I can wet sand/buff them out. But there is a deep gouge probably 1/2 inch deep x 1" tall x 12" long. So, if I don't have to grind away a large area surrounding the gouge and could somehow fill in the gash and buff away the scuff marks, I could indeed make a larger turtle decal and cover it up.



My hesitation with this is that all the fiberglass repair videos I've seen involve significantly enlarging the damaged area, as my repair guy says, to give the glass enough area to bite.
Whoa.. 1/2 inch deep. Are you sure you don't mean 1/4 inch (even that is pretty serious)? 1/2 inch would be a puncture on most boats! If indeed its 1/2 inch deep then its definately a serious repair. (seriously, get out a tape measure and look at a 1/2 inch).

If that is the case, then its a completely different can of worms. While an inside repair is still possible, there are more things to consider (like is it in a cored location). Unfortunately, I don't think you will get good advice here on CF with just a small picture. Even with high resolution pictures, I still wouldn't feel comfortable giving proper advice. I think you need to get other professional opinions from people who actually assess it.


P.S. The reason the videos show an enlargement is due to the nature of how fiberglass fails. In a sitiuation like this, the main area of damage is the only visible damage. There is usually hidden cracks surrounding the area. You want to make sure those cracks are "mostly" ground out or reinforced by new glass. However, you also want to make sure your new glass matt has a large enough area to adhere to (what your guy is calling "biting").
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Old 18-07-2018, 04:37   #10
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
I had an unfortunate encounter with a concrete abutment going through a narrow lock. It is a gouge about 18" long that goes through the gel coat pretty deep into the fiberglass, but not all the way through. I received an estimate for repair from a guy recommended by my yard: 14 hours at $80.00/hour + 208.00 in supplies + tax for a total of $1,420. Does this seem like a fair price or should I try to get additional estimates? I do want it to be done right and am willing to pay for it.

Alternatively, I'm wondering if I could do it myself. I'm pretty handy and have all the necessary grinding and sanding equipment, but I've never worked with fiberglass/gelcoat before. Should I start watching youtube videos and go for it, or would I be way over my head?

This is an interesting one.

For starters, get another quote, that price is a bit stilted...

From this article

https://www.practical-sailor.com/rev...32-1223-1.html

it appears that the PDQ32 is built with epoxy resin with a klegecell core above the waterline. If this is the case make sure both the quote you have and the requote you get are aware of this.

If the hull is cored then a 1/2" depth gouge is possible; did you hit a piece of steel protruding through the concrete? Hard to imagine how a gouge that narrow and deep could have resulted otherwise.

How are you for access on the inside? if you can see the area from the inside, you should be able to get an accurate feel for the depth by just looking at it from the inside; glass is translucent, if the gouge is all the way through the core you will be able to see sunlight through it.

If not, use a pick of some sort to see how deep the cut actually is.

Depending on what you find and what your intentions for the boat are, the repair could be as simple as filling the area with thickened epoxy, sanding and painting, or as involved as that of your first quote.

If the cut is through the outer skin of the hull, then a lasting, seaworthy repair will include some amount of exterior grinding to allow for laying up of sufficient glass to mimic the existing hull thickness. That high up on that sized boat, on a cored hull, I'm guessing on between 1/8" and 3/16", so the proper scarf would be from 1.5" (from the cut) to 2.25".

If cosmetic perfection is not your first priority (or even if it is if you have patience), this is a job that anyone who has the least bit of manual dexterity can easily handle. As you say, youtube it, check out some library books, search around here under 'fiberglass repair' or some such, and when you feel comfortable, give it a shot. Generally plenty of good advice available right here...

Most of those black marks will likely clean of with one of those white 'magic eraser' sponges...
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Old 18-07-2018, 04:57   #11
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

https://www.youtube.com/user/boatworkstoday

really like this site,my go to for specific questions
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Old 18-07-2018, 05:18   #12
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Youíre getting a lot of bad advice here. Anyone questioning the vendorís description of work and estimated hours from that picture should be ignored.

Thatís a fair price for that work, and actually strikes me as low. The glass work requires care and expertise to be done correctly, and the fairing and gelcoat and polishing work is time consuming.

You *could* do it yourself but it will require hours of research, possibly a redo or two along the way, and very possibly a less than professional result. There is some craftsmanship involved important to both the structural and cosmetic outcome that you canít master doing it for the first time.
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Old 18-07-2018, 05:20   #13
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Youíre getting a lot of bad advice here. Anyone questioning the vendorís description of work and estimated hours from that picture should be ignored.

Thatís a fair price for that work, and actually strikes me as low. The glass work requires care and expertise to be done correctly, and the fairing and gelcoat and polishing work is time consuming.

You *could* do it yourself but it will require hours of research, possibly a redo or two along the way, and very possibly a less than professional result. There is some craftsmanship involved important to both the structural and cosmetic outcome that you canít master doing it for the first time.
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Old 18-07-2018, 05:40   #14
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

I'd get a ruler, lay it across the damage and measure to the deepest part of the gouge. It doesn't look to me like the gouge has even damaged the inner core. From your photo, I don't think that the hole needs to be extended and repaired in layers. It would be different if the damage had been caused by a right-angled blow. That could have damaged the structure with cracks going off in all directions. If I were you, I'd just fill the hole with thickened epoxy and finish off with gel coat. It's not a hard job.
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Old 18-07-2018, 06:29   #15
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Re: Advice on fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Youíre getting a lot of bad advice here. Anyone questioning the vendorís description of work and estimated hours from that picture should be ignored.

Thatís a fair price for that work, and actually strikes me as low. The glass work requires care and expertise to be done correctly, and the fairing and gelcoat and polishing work is time consuming.

You *could* do it yourself but it will require hours of research, possibly a redo or two along the way, and very possibly a less than professional result. There is some craftsmanship involved important to both the structural and cosmetic outcome that you canít master doing it for the first time.
Anyone who ignores an honest, qualified, and requested opinion should be ignored.

As can be seen by any reasonably experienced person in the picture below, the damage is rather limited, was not caused by a perpendicular impact but by a glancing, parallel impact and unless fully penetrating through the hull, can most likely be repaired from the outside.

This can certainly be repaired by the owner with proper preparation and, perhaps, a little practice before applying glass to boat.

I don't know what the going rate in Punta Gorda is but 1420.00 for that repair around here is about twice too much, especially since the OP is interested in doing it himself.

If there is something hidden that we can't see from the picture, as suggested, get a second quote, and compare the two. If there is a big difference I'd really like to know why, if it were me...

Nor is this description of the work to be performed exactly confidence- inspiring.


"Yes, we will enlarge the repair area by grinding out all the crack and 6-8Ē around . This will give the new glass enough area to bite, once the fiberglass and woven work has been done, then we fair the area out (straighten) so no lumps remain, then gelcoat to match (best as possible) sand and buff. I also donít believe we have to do a two sided repair, however if the crack goes all the way trough and we can get to the other side , then we will put a patch on the inside as well. Hope this answers all your questions. My understanding is you will take care of the turtle art work (I did not put that in the quote). Let me know if you want me to repair."


But of course the OP also says he has the money to pay and doesn't mind doing so...
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